The photographer’s block

JJWP312Like all artistic endeavors, we sometimes reach a blank wall. For those who use the mighty pen, it is widely known as writer’s block, the inability to produce new work. For photographers who use their eyes to scan, the mind to process and the camera to capture, there is also such a thing as a photographer’s block. The camera as a tool has nothing to do with it, but it has everything to do with the individual. I read bloggers who have decided to pick up the camera after a long hiatus, saying they were inspired to shoot again after seeing some great images. What causes this photographer’s block? Since most of us treat photography as a hobby, it remains just that – a side activity in our daily dealings with life. We are caught up in our everyday struggles at work, family, home, school, business and whatever we are engrossed with that we forget or don’t have time for our hobby. There is also a condition called eye strain (you know this when you sit in front of your computer for hours) which reduces our perception and the ability to notice (we know this is important for the photographer’s sense of  seeing). Then there is the monotony of subjects, shooting the same thing and situation over and over again, resulting in what noted photographer George Barr calls the seeing fatigue. Just these three aforementioned examples are enough to extinguish the creative flame. We need sparks of fresh ideas and inspiration. Though this article, 25 Ways to Jump Start Photography Inspiration, was written five years ago I still find it relevant and applicable to this day because they are simple, practical and can be done (most of them) immediately. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of tips, they contain just two-sentence explanations each, are short and direct to the point. I won’t mention the 25 of them here, again simply allow yourself a few of minutes to go over them. From among the list, I will just cite one: look at photoblogs and get inspired. I do it here all the time, looking over the incredible works of photo blogger peers. It’s enough to keep my creativity simmering and my passion alive. Kick off the doldrums and take pictures!


3 responses

  1. Well written and could nor be truer. I like the 25 tips BTW. I did have a photographer’s block that lasted a few years until I did some of the stuff proposed in the link. They work!

    January 8, 2013 at 3:39 am

    • Junsjazz

      Oh, and it took you years? I know they say the intensity of the block varies. In writers, some of them are never able to pick up the pen again. But I never knew in photographers it would even take years. Great you took up the camera again because you take such great images. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:48 am

      • Thanx for your kind words. I would say I lost interest for years. I was always shooting the same thing (motorsports) and it got boring so I shelved the camera. After a few years, I was itching to shoot again and I started exploring other things than action photography by forcing myself to perform one photo project at a time. Now I am hooked to variety and that’s why I will shoot about anything.

        January 8, 2013 at 4:09 am

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