I’m not shooting enough photographs. We have all heard the film argument about how it slows you down and you take fewer photos. I get that, but there is a difference between shooting less and shooting a lot and shooting a lot of the same exact scene. Instead of machinegun photographing a subject, take a photograph and recompose to tell a story. What I’m getting at is I’m not taking enough photographs, I’m not producing enough content.
I’ve tried many different focal lengths and I have set myself up with only using one, the 50mm. Recently I thought I would quickly (very very very quickly) try out the classic focal length of 35mm. For thous of you that don’t know, I only shot with a 50mm. And I have so say… I’m conflicted.
We all like to think that life is guided, destiny or gods will. But in truth life is random. The counter-argument is I make my own luck or I have worked hard to get to where I am. I met the love of my life, it was meant to be. But statistically, to find your ideal partner it’s only 1 in 100. Knowing this you could successfully find the ideal partner for you to mate with, marry or find your so-called soul mate in the dating game. Not very romantic but never the less true. The same goes for your success, statistics never lie, they just aren’t sexy.
Passion is a word that gets thought around all the time in creative fields. Doing what interests you, inspires you or having a hobby is another term. I’ve been told that turning your passion into a career is the quickest way to kill it. The truth is if its a true passion you can’t do without it, you can’t go a single day without thinking about it. I’m not talking about sex, food or money I’m talking about something so visceral you have to do it regardless of modern life’s priorities.
I’ve been contemplating Instagram, social media, feeding the beast, wondering when it will show its appreciation. When will it be my time in the spot-light? Dilutions of grandeur. If your taking photographs, if your creating for anyone other than yourself you will hit a wall of ‘why?’.
I’ve had a lot of negative feedback about my choice of a camera when compared to alternative brands and image capture devices. All these judgments are valid and have good arguments in regards to the available choices from DSLR, mirrorless, point and shoots or smartphones for that matter. But I thought I would explain my reasoning on why I use a Leica rangefinder.
After a certain amount of years, you know who you are. It can be through experiences, experimentation, rebellion, music, a book, a person or just time. Knowing who you are is very valuable when it comes to art, how you see the world and express yourself. The truth is there is no path, shortcut or cheat sheet for discovering yourself. I strongly suggest you don’t follow someone else in this journey called life, because all you will do is walk in someone else’s shadow, and you will never see the light for yourself. Only you can walk the path, only you can trip and get your own scare that will mould you into the person you will become.
It’s called many things, burnout, a holiday, self-reflection, personal time or recharging your batteries. Whatever you call it, it’s OK to step away from your craft, it might even be necessary. For myself, I put the camera down, stoped writing and deleted my social media from my phone for two months, I needed to step away and take a creative break. This is why you might need it too.
When it comes to art or creativity it’s subjective. And art is only worth what your willing to pay for it. One person’s monthly income is another persons pocket change. Personal style, preference and tastes vast dramatically from age, culture, social groups and geolocation. So can one find a baseline for what a photo is really worth to the user in today’s economy? And answer the question, what is the value of a photograph really worth?