Take a break

I think I’m too hard on myself about almost everything I do, especially photography. Although I try not to go at things too seriously, I get upset when I think I could do better. I know for sure that I could have done LOTS of things better throughout my life, yet here I am. I’m good with myself. Life is good, I’m happily married, I have a good job and a nice home. I’ve done well considering everything I haven’t done well. I’ve learned a lot and I want to keep learning.  But in order to learn I have to push myself a little further each time. When I do that I’ll inevitably make mistakes – and that’s when I really learn.

So I’m going to chill a little on my approach to photography. Take a break.  I’ll still be out there shooting but I’m going to try to go at it with a different mind set. I know what I like and what I don’t like in my work and the work of others. And I already know it’s not about the gear and it’s all a mental thing, so it has to happen from upstairs. There will be bad photos and uncreative times but I know they’ll be in between the great photos and creative times. I don’t think the look of my work will change much – I’m not really sure – but I’m looking forward to giving it a go.

In the mean time, for something completely different, how about a pic of a little bird? I don’t think the Audubon Society will come knocking but I think he’s kind of cute.

© David Guidas
Panasonic GX1, G Vario 14-140

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16 thoughts on “Take a break

  1. I’m hard on myself too so I completely get this.. I committed myself ( and I use that word advisedly! ) to post at least one photo a day for a year ( now 6 months in) but can I just post any old photo.. no I can’t I want to post the best work I can… hmmm
    Keep on keeping on David. I love this shot… the bokeh is great and he is gorgeous

  2. i completely understand what you mean; i’m always really hard on myself
    i found myself thinking (on the weekend) – why am i taking photos of random stuff (like cups), i’m not selling my prints, i’m not getting paid for this, what’s the point. then i remember why i take photos of absoultly anything.. because i love to :)
    i hope you find some creativity out there, we all have these times <3

    i really think that bird is cute and i love the horizontal line of bokeh, very beautiful

    • Thanks Chloe. I’m certainly not making any money from this but I didn’t think about that when I first got into photography as a young lad. I just liked it!

      The background is a reflection in water, that’s why the tree line is upside down.

      • I got into photography purely for the love as well and here I am, still loving it 5 years on :) <3
        Keep up the wonderful photographs

  3. I too understand this as I can be hard on myself especially when it comes to my work. Glad to see you are taking positive steps forward to fight it though and I can’t wait to see the results!! Photo is excellent

    • Thanks AW. I noticed you give yourself a jolt once in a while by stepping outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes that’s all it takes – step outside and look around.

  4. Oh man, I hear you! I’m nearly halfway through my 365 project and I never want to put up just any old thing. More frustrating for me is that there is stuff I know I want to work with, play with (lighting!!!) and I barely have the time to do that.

    But I still love it. And, it appears, so do you. Glad to hear you’re going to be easier on yourself.

    Adorable bird, too!

    • Yeah, I didn’t get into the things I would like to be doing but can’t always work into my schedules. Experimentation and discovery are things I really enjoy, not just in photography but in work and music also.

  5. I know what you mean. I went through a spell of trying too hard and lost my enthusiasm. Now I try to do the things that I enjoy and stop trying to judge if I am getting better. The result is I still get better at the same rate and I enjoy photography more.

    I hope you are still going to keep up the blog. The bird image is great.

    • Thanks Robin. I got down recently by comparing my work against others, thinking that they’re stuff was so much “better”. Then I remembered an interview I read with Carlos Santana, the great rock guitarist, who recalled a time when he was appearing on stage with another guitarist he admired, I can’t remember but I think it was John Mclaughlin, and Carlos was feeling inadequate thinking, “wow, this guy is great, what am I doing here, my playing doesn’t even compare”. To which John responded ” Carlos, these people are here to see you also. They want to hear Carlos Santana play guitar like Carlos Santana, not John Mclaughlin.”

      • Awesome story. Similar to that one, when I took my lighting class up at UNR last semester our instructor was a very successful commercial photographer in Reno (and all around great guy too). He travels all over to do work, has an amazing studio and does fabulous work. In one of our earliest classes he asked which of us wanted to go into photography professionally, why we were taking the course, etc, and it was finally my turn. My answer was basically, “I’m just taking the class because I love photography and want to learn as much as I can, and get as good as I can. As far as going pro? I don’t know. I just want to see where this journey takes me. But when I see work like yours I feel so inadequate.” (or something like that). His reply was very encouraging about just jumping in and going with it, but also noted that there are photographers whose work he is blown away by and feels is so far above his work. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, but we can learn from them. At least, that’s what I try to do every day.

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