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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:28 pm
Posts: 1065
Location: Syracuse, NY
The last few months has been really tough for me. I've been doing twice the course work of my last 3 years combined, and lots of other stuff--I haven't been shooting much. The winter has been especially tough, I get out a lot, but at the same time I feel cooped up. I feel like i've been in a creative rut thats been at least 4 months, and during some of the darkest hours of winter, I would have trouble working if a paper was out of place on my desk.

With spring coming along, I had to go back into my studio to do some work, and I decided I'm getting rid of all the stuff that isn't photography, and some that is. Over the course of a year or so..I collected lots of framing, and matte board, and xacto knifes, glues and papers, and Popsicle sticks, and twigs, sand, lots of craft supplies and I dont want it anymore. i'm going to try and minimize the amount of junk I have, and really just keep my gear.

How do you guys deal with creative ruts and de-cluttering?

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"Photography isn't so much about the results as it is the collective experience, your interactions with people and with the world"


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:25 pm
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Location: Scotland
I have a bag full of words cut out of magazine and papers for when i'm in a creative rut, i put my hand in the bag and pull out a word which then may inspire me onto something new (a trick i learned for the singer David Bowie).

As in de-cluttering, things that i don't want around me i will put in a box and store away. I never throw my craft supplies etc away as i may need them in the future.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 6950
Location: The Netherlands, Ridderkerk
When I'm in a creative rut, I either go through some photo books or just go out. Being a street photographer primarily, just observing people and the way they move around is often enough to give me some inspiration to start shooting again. Do the pictures turn out good? Not always. But the motivation is back, and that's the foundation for good photos.

As for de-cluttering: if I need space or money (just sold two lenses I didn't use) I'll get rid of things. Otherwise, I just store it somewhere out of sight. Can't stand a messy room. I certainly think it's a good habit to clean up stuff you really don't need though, keep things organized.

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:31 pm 
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I'm like Bjorn... I just head out and chances are some form of wildlife will inspire me.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 815
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
It may be different for those for whom photography is a career, or a living - the pressures of earning a living from what you shoot can sometimes zap the fun out of the process. For me, photography will always remain something I enjoy, as an artistic pursuit - though I do make some money from photography, it's not money I rely on, so I will never let it dictate what, when, or how I shoot. Since I'm a visually-oriented type, my inspiration comes similarly to Bjorn by simply heading outside with camera in hand...I always walk with a photographer's eye - I observe the smallest details, look for shapes, shadows, or lightplay, my eye goes to any motion - so it behooves me to bring a camera along since inspiration is fairly constant and random. There are certain subjects I love to shoot, and I always schedule time to pursue those - wildlife & birds, architecture, and night photography. The rest is just what strikes me. Some days, I just take a walk. Some days I get in my car and go for a drive. The camera is always there, and when walking I'll snap photos of various random odd sightings; while driving, I'll pull over to shoot something as inspiration strikes - a church, a scenic view, a bird on a pole, people walking...sometimes I even shoot WHILE I drive - street shots through the window, traffic at a light, a rainbow, streaking lights. Many times, those photos don't get posted - sometimes they're deleted - some work, some don't. But I enjoyed the process of looking for them, I enjoyed the inspiration to take them, I enjoyed the process of taking them, and that's the part that matters for me.

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Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

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