Do you have "photographers block"?

Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in ResidencePosts: 3,165Registered Users Major grins
edited July 31, 2007 in The Dgrin Challenges
There was a very interesting post in the forum today that I felt was important to share with everyone. It gets right to the heart of many peoples inability to think of something to shoot for the contest:

Posted by Flyinggina

Your dilemma seems to me to highlight the hidden challenge within the new challenge format. How true do you stay to your eye and vision and how much do you adjust your style and/or subjectmatter in an effort to please the judges? Shay suggests that doing the latter will help us stretch and grow creatively. Maybe. Maybe not. :dunno I guess the trick is to stay true to your creative vision while "learning" from the work of the judges. Or maybe, the goal is simply to win a slot in the finals, whatever it takes. However you achieve this, it will presumably help you grow as a photographer whether you shoot in your style or the style of others. :dunno

At least you are out there trying and sharing, unlike many of us who seem to be keeping our heads in the sand. Me, I feel like a deer caught in the headlights - unable to even bring myself to give the themes a try and I suspect I am not alone. So I admire you and the handful of others who have put photos up for comment, most of them quite good too.
I responded to Virginia this way:
Virginia, I absolutely love your post. It is very thoughtful, and completely the direction I hope people start opening themselves up to. Asking questions about the art we produces, the reasons behind it, and the motivations is very enlightening.

When we take photos for ourselves, we have but a single motivator, ourselves. When we shoot for work, we split that between our own motivations and that of the client. For the contest it is even more complex, you have yourself, the judges, and the public. How does one balance those? Are they complementary or competing? For everyone it is different, but asking the questions is the beginning of understanding yourself as an artist.

Now one word of caution here. Mental paralysis can develop when you have to make a decision and you don't know which way is the best direction to take. A writer calls it writers block. But in reality all it is is the lack of a clear direction to take. Pick one, any one, and don't look back. Making a decision, any decision, will get you out of a writers block. In the course of following your first decision, you may discover a better way to tackle the task at hand. The brain needs to work on something if it is to work out anything, give it something to do.

So to all those out there who may be stuck artistically as what to do, just pick something,anything, and go in that direction. You never know where it will ultimately lead you, but at least you won't be spinning in the sand :D
Do you have "photographer's block"? Not sure what to do? Have questions? Feel free to kick around ideas here. Want to talk art? Motivation? Lay it out!

edit: And just as a side note, this is not a pledge break begging for submissions. No no, if you don't want to submit a photo, you are under no compunction from anyone to do so. We won't be hounding people to submit for the contests. This is just to help photographers who want to and are struggling or in some other way just want to talk about different issues.
Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
"Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
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Comments

  • douglasdouglas ShOoT tO tHrIlL Posts: 696Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 13, 2007
    Very interesting. I totaly agree with the part about you never know were it will ultimately lead you. I have often started with one idea, almost always something subtle changes, sometimes moderate changes, and sometimes extreme changes that barely had anything to do with the original idea at all. In the end I may not always come out with something Im happy with, but Ive gained experiance and feel like I atleast put in the effort and did some shooting.
    Best regards,
    douglas
  • RhuarcRhuarc Pilotographer Posts: 1,550Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 13, 2007
    I find that when a theme is announced I have trouble getting started. Usually once I see a few other people's work it sparks an idea in me. Hoepfully over time I will get to where I don't need others' work to inspire my own.
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USAPosts: 8,959Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 13, 2007
    Rhuarc wrote:
    I find that when a theme is announced I have trouble getting started. Usually once I see a few other people's work it sparks an idea in me. Hoepfully over time I will get to where I don't need others' work to inspire my own.

    One must give into the child within, that has been either driven deep into our souls or out of us completely by a society that no longer wants us to have an imagination or have those so called Imaginary friends that we had as children......that as children those imaginary friends were real and could be seen and talked to.......... just as real to the children as their own mothers, fathers and siblings......Bring back your imagination and then the universe will hold no limits....................
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • SwartzySwartzy Right Brained Scientist Posts: 3,293Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 13, 2007
    Pontificating further
    I have found the most productive and sucessful way to get over the hump (mental blocks, can't come up with ideas, etc.) is start shooting......start shooting anything and everything that remotely is in context with the goal (theme).

    Let's say hypothetically "fly" was the subject matter or theme....well, it's Winter and there are no flies rolleyes1.gifNow what? Don't live near an airport and all the birds are gone....what to do?

    Get out your camera.....toss stuff up in the air....motion pan....take shots.....take 100 of them throwing stuff up in the air....before you know it something as simple as tossing a Timex with the proper light and exposure/focus will be an award winner. You have to excersise to get stronger...it doesn't happen by osmosis. Same is true for good shots whether for a challenge or personal delight. You can't win the lottery without buying a ticket.

    Ok....sorry for all the analogies...I could go on but I'm going shooting :ivar
    Swartzy:
    NAPP Member | Canon Shooter
    Weddings/Portraits and anything else that catches my eye.
    www.daveswartz.com
    Model Mayhem site http://www.modelmayhem.com/686552
  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Posts: 3,165Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 28, 2007
    Anyone have photographers block for Surf or Turf? Does the first post in this thread help any?
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
  • indiegirlindiegirl Light Wrangler. Posts: 930Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 28, 2007
    On my walk tonight, I found myself thinking, "If only I lived in Ireland! I'd have those sweet green fields of grass kissing the brillant blue sea. Surf meets Turf..."

    Then it was Hawaii, for some killer waves and ripped abs / long boards.

    Then I thought about all the other places I could shoot for this theme.

    It's not a very productive way to go about shooting for where I actually live, now is it?

    Mostly, this theme is so much simpler--on the surface. It's conceptualizing a shot that is not just about looking AT something, but engaging with that something in some way. I've been brainstorming about exactly what that should look like and have been coming up very, "grass is greener."

    Now THERE's a picture!!!


    Jesse
  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Posts: 3,165Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 28, 2007
    Here is a related riddle:
    Billy's mom has three children, their names are Dime, Nickel and ________. What was the third child's name?
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
  • Tessa HDTessa HD Major grins Posts: 852Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 28, 2007
    sorry jesse - paul beat you to it - and me too. i actually went out and shot my lawn the other day. :D

    i do feel a little block with this theme though. i went out this morning shooting some fields, for some reason that's what i'm envisioning and that's about it, other than my lawn!
    Love to dream, and dream in color.

    www.tessa-hd.smugmug.com
    www.printandportfolio.com
    This summer's wilderness photography project: www.tessa-hd.smugmug.com/gallery/3172341
  • jwearjwear learning now shoot & cuss LOS ANGELESPosts: 7,986Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 28, 2007
    Here is a related riddle:
    Billy's mom has three children, their names are Dime, Nickel and _penny_[down by the sea]______. What was the third child's name?
    who were the judges last time and who might the new ones be ????
    Jeff W

    “PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE ‘JAZZ’ FOR THE EYES…”

    http://jwear.smugmug.com/
  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Posts: 3,165Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    jwear wrote:
    who were the judges last time and who might the new ones be ????

    The judges info is in the first or second post of each contest thread. The judges for LPS#10 has not yet been finalized.

    And you got the riddle wrong mwink.gif

    Anyone else want to take a crack at it? There is an important lesson in it :D
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
  • Pat664422Pat664422 Major grins Posts: 225Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    The judges info is in the first or second post of each contest thread. The judges for LPS#10 has not yet been finalized.

    And you got the riddle wrong mwink.gif

    Anyone else want to take a crack at it? There is an important lesson in it :D

    I'll guess that I was supposed to guess Penny which was my initial reaction, but my "final answer" would be Billy.
  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Posts: 3,165Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    Pat664422 wrote:
    I'll guess that I was supposed to guess Penny which was my initial reaction, but my "final answer" would be Billy.

    You would be right! The third childs name is Billy. Sometimes we can make a problem out to be harder than it actually is and over think it, even when the answer is staring us in the face :D

    I was recently introduced to that little puzzle last weekend, and had to be given a hint after many failed attempts (the riddle was oral). And I thought is was a good lesson to pass on.
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
  • Pat664422Pat664422 Major grins Posts: 225Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    I was recently introduced to that little puzzle last weekend, and had to be given a hint after many failed attempts (the riddle was oral). And I thought is was a good lesson to pass on.

    If I hadn't been able to read the riddle repeatedly, I would still be guessing obscure monetary denominations...

    "Haypenny! No...? Wheat penny! No?!?"
  • TentacionTentacion Click On ! Posts: 940Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    Here is a related riddle:
    Billy's mom has three children, their names are Dime, Nickel and ________. What was the third child's name?

    That's funny, it would have to be Billy...cuz Billy's Mom has 3 children...Laughing.gif

    Almost like:

    A rooster is on a slanted roof and lays an egg, what way does the egg fall???
    You're only as good as your next photo....
    One day, I started writing, not knowing that I had chained myself for life to a noble but merciless master. When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation...I'm here alone in my dark madness, all by myself with my deck of cards --- and, of course, the whip God gave me." Truman Capote
  • indiegirlindiegirl Light Wrangler. Posts: 930Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    Tentacion wrote:
    A rooster is on a slanted roof and lays an egg, what way does the egg fall???

    Last time I checked, roosters don't lay eggs.

    Which weighs more: a pound of rocks, a pound of feathers or a pound of honey?

    Jesse
  • TentacionTentacion Click On ! Posts: 940Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    All the same...A Pound.:D
    You're only as good as your next photo....
    One day, I started writing, not knowing that I had chained myself for life to a noble but merciless master. When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation...I'm here alone in my dark madness, all by myself with my deck of cards --- and, of course, the whip God gave me." Truman Capote
  • tsk1979tsk1979 Major grins Posts: 939Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    Okay one from me.
    What bird weighs around 500 kilos when grown up and flies at 80 miles an hour at the height of upto 7 miles?
  • GreensquaredGreensquared Lost my lens cap Cartersville, GAPosts: 2,115Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    All right, I have no riddles, other than this. I hear a theme, think of an idea, then another, and another. I try picking what I feel is the best, shoot it...it gives me a decent shot, but nothing LPS worthy. So, I start working up the other ideas, keep shooting and am left with a batch of good shots, maybe even ones I feel could go in my portfolio, but nothing I feel has a great chance of gaining me that ever-so-desired position in the SF. Eventually, I usuallly end up with one that I'm hopeful about, but only after a lot of frustration and disappointment first. Is this a typical mental process? I see some that jst post something brilliant and make it look all too easy.

    I think I'll start posting my outtakes before I get my entry, maybe that will ease my torment. ne_nau.gif

    Emily
    Emily
    Psalm 62:5-6

  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Posts: 3,165Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    All right, I have no riddles, other than this. I hear a theme, think of an idea, then another, and another. I try picking what I feel is the best, shoot it...it gives me a decent shot, but nothing LPS worthy. So, I start working up the other ideas, keep shooting and am left with a batch of good shots, maybe even ones I feel could go in my portfolio, but nothing I feel has a great chance of gaining me that ever-so-desired position in the SF. Eventually, I usuallly end up with one that I'm hopeful about, but only after a lot of frustration and disappointment first. Is this a typical mental process? I see some that jst post something brilliant and make it look all too easy.

    I think I'll start posting my outtakes before I get my entry, maybe that will ease my torment. ne_nau.gif

    Emily

    Sometimes it helps to hash out an idea with others. Talking about a problem and verbalizing it can many times spark the solution that has been eluding you, because up until then the problem had remained murky and undefined as it rolls around in the head. Verbalizing the problem makes it concrete and allows us to then see the problem more clearly and from many angles.
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
  • LlywellynLlywellyn Temperamental Irishwoman Mountain View, CAPosts: 3,186Registered Users, Retired Mod
    edited July 29, 2007
    Alrighty, as I am new to the LPS challenges and have only recently "delurked" myself, I am struggling not so much with the theme, but the fact that many C&Cs out there for other potential entries are pushing for such a literal application of the theme. headscratch.gif Having browsed through the past couple themes, I'm amazed, frustrated, and confused by this sudden leap onto the literal bandwagon.

    Seeing this, I grow less and less enthused about shooting my idea, which invoked the idea of "beach" instead of showing actual sand, surf, grass, or dirt. My shot idea applies to the theme and pulls me out of my comfort zone, as the lighting and angles will be challenging for me to get right, and I usually don't futz with anything other than natural light. mwink.gif So for pushing me to learn while keeping my creativity--or mind's eye--my own, the theme idea has definitely accomplished that. clap.gif

    This hard push for literal interpretation in feedback elsewhere squelches that. So I'm torn. And getting more frustrated every time I read, "but where's the surf/turf?" I couldn't pluck "oppression" from a tree and put it on display with nice lighting, so why should I have to with surf or turf? ne_nau.gif Yes, one is a feeling or an act and the other is an object you can touch, but why should I have to photograph an object and not an idea this time around, just because the theme features an object?

    In the end, I'm in this grow and learn. I'm here to get the critique at the end so I can learn and grow even more. I figure this time I'll shoot what I saw in my mind when I read the theme and post it without getting feedback from all the talent here first. While I beg, borrow, and steal that incredible feedback wherever I can, I think this time it will only squash my excitement for the idea and the challenge I've posed to myself. And I hate to give up before I even try.

    ...Woo. Apparently I had a lot more on my mind than I thought. eek7.gif
  • FlyingginaFlyinggina To see and not be seen Posts: 2,639Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 29, 2007
    Nope, no photography block. Just LPS block. rolleyes1.gif

    Virginia
    _______________________________________________
    "A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know." Diane Arbus

    Email
  • fashiznitsngrinsfashiznitsngrins Major grins Posts: 220Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 30, 2007
    Llywellyn wrote:
    Alrighty, as I am new to the LPS challenges and have only recently "delurked" myself, I am struggling not so much with the theme, but the fact that many C&Cs out there for other potential entries are pushing for such a literal application of the theme. headscratch.gif Having browsed through the past couple themes, I'm amazed, frustrated, and confused by this sudden leap onto the literal bandwagon.

    Seeing this, I grow less and less enthused about shooting my idea, which invoked the idea of "beach" instead of showing actual sand, surf, grass, or dirt. My shot idea applies to the theme and pulls me out of my comfort zone, as the lighting and angles will be challenging for me to get right, and I usually don't futz with anything other than natural light. mwink.gif So for pushing me to learn while keeping my creativity--or mind's eye--my own, the theme idea has definitely accomplished that. clap.gif

    This hard push for literal interpretation in feedback elsewhere squelches that. So I'm torn. And getting more frustrated every time I read, "but where's the surf/turf?" I couldn't pluck "oppression" from a tree and put it on display with nice lighting, so why should I have to with surf or turf? ne_nau.gif Yes, one is a feeling or an act and the other is an object you can touch, but why should I have to photograph an object and not an idea this time around, just because the theme features an object?

    In the end, I'm in this grow and learn. I'm here to get the critique at the end so I can learn and grow even more. I figure this time I'll shoot what I saw in my mind when I read the theme and post it without getting feedback from all the talent here first. While I beg, borrow, and steal that incredible feedback wherever I can, I think this time it will only squash my excitement for the idea and the challenge I've posed to myself. And I hate to give up before I even try.

    ...Woo. Apparently I had a lot more on my mind than I thought. eek7.gif

    I understand your thoughts and frustrations here. I rarely post for C&C - I see what others go through, and even add in my own 2 cents now and then, but usually I am not strong enough to handle the deflation I feel from the experience. I usually think that if I have to ask,then it's not good enough. Possibly, I am not growing as much as I should be, by limiting myself in this way.

    Shooting for the theme is so hard, but that is the challenge, and often times it is what pushes us to get that awesome shot that we wouldn't have thought of otherwise. Sometimes, photos get through with what can only be viewed as an incredible shot and no real relevance to the theme (or at least a real stretch). While this can also be confusing, it is what it is, which is art - is, was and always will be subjective. If we can't break the rules here, then where can we? I know for me, personally, art gives me the break from my technical world, where most things are black and white, right or wrong.

    The real challenge for me is always to come up with an original idea. During an active LPS round, I will spend two weeks with my head physically hurting. I toss and turn at night thinking randon thoughts on the theme, knowing the perfect shot is in my brain - somewhere, only to come up with something I am happy with and then receive absolutely no points! And then it starts all over again... But then, one day, you take a shot that you like. You ask a couple of people that you respect and admire and their response is something like, "it's good" and you're thinking "hmmm - that's not very encouraging". So, you decide whether to go with it or continue on - racking your brain. I suppose taking a good shot is one thing - knowing it's a good shot is another!

    I came VERY close to not entering "Morning Sun" (http://www.karenanda.com/photos/157901406-L.jpg) based on what I considered to be lack of enthusiasm from my trusted few, but as the days went on and I kept coming across the thumbnails on my PC, I kept coming back to it and thinking, "I really like that". I was stunned when it came in first place for that round, but that's another piece to this complex puzzle - how the judges will feel.

    I suppose my thoughts are such that if you feel strongly about shooting something, then do it and if you are happy with the result, submit it. If it gets through - great, and if it doesn't - move on, but make sure that you move forward with your thinking and not backwards (not always easy for me). Know that you are growing and one day it will happen the way you want it to as long as you keep going and trying.

    I think those that are willing to push the boundaries or even cross them are putting themselves up for the most criticism, but they are the ones that when it pays off, it will pay off BIG!!!
  • BistiArtBistiArt LR3 Workshops Posts: 307Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 30, 2007
    Dollar
    Here is a related riddle:
    Billy's mom has three children, their names are Dime, Nickel and ________. What was the third child's name?

    I once heard a saying,
    "Dollar waiting on a Dime..."
    Joe

    [FONT=&quot]As You Think, So Shall You BE... Rumi, 13th Century Persian Poet

    Award-Winning Photography, Workshop Instructor, Storyteller, Writer

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Blog: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Pathways of Light[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] Workshops: Creating Fine Art Magic[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    Book: Paths of Light [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Workshops: 2011 Lightroom 3 Workshops
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Galleries, Bisti Art
    [/FONT]
  • BistiArtBistiArt LR3 Workshops Posts: 307Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 30, 2007
    Repetition
    indiegirl wrote:
    Last time I checked, roosters don't lay eggs.

    Which weighs more: a pound of rocks, a pound of feathers or a pound of honey?

    Jesse

    A pound is ... a pound, ...a pound ...
    Joe

    [FONT=&quot]As You Think, So Shall You BE... Rumi, 13th Century Persian Poet

    Award-Winning Photography, Workshop Instructor, Storyteller, Writer

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Blog: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Pathways of Light[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] Workshops: Creating Fine Art Magic[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    Book: Paths of Light [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Workshops: 2011 Lightroom 3 Workshops
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Galleries, Bisti Art
    [/FONT]
  • BistiArtBistiArt LR3 Workshops Posts: 307Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 30, 2007
    Anasazi Pleasure
    I like the responses in this thread ... such a variety, so many questions, and, like me, some indecision.

    Seems I am more linear than some; the LPS 10 titles do not interact as easily with my visions as I might like. Having said that, being caught on another seeming writers block, trying to sort out a very complex problem of Anasazi foroensic anthropology vs what a tour guide sez to digital participants, I certainly appreciate some of the sensitivity and ability to put feelings into these works and words as Shay invited.

    In LPS we have those ubiquitous judges; in telling of the Anasazi, we have no written records and a plethora of archeology and forensic anthropology, all laddeled out with seeming endless repetition, but little characterization of their own direct lives, their struggles, and even their dreams.

    What would you have done if you were dealing with daily exigencies of only limited water, fire, shelter, and survival in a semi-arid desert/high plateau dryland farming region without a cell phone, a computer, or a digital camera?

    I recently sat in an ancient ruin high on a cliff under an overhang... before me lay a round stone structure with one of the most incredible {often, an overwrought word} views I ever had, looking out into a gorgeous, majestic scene, yet placed in a very remote region very few ever get to. My image demanded creative, handheld vertical panoramas with the wrong lens, two versions of Adobe Photoshop, and a lot of growing just to get to the point where you could see even this limited indication of their provocative lifestyle. Clearly, I'd like to do a better job of the initial shots...

    Post shot reflection tells me sitting in this unique spot was a spiritual experience. I am captivated by the subject of "who and what were these guys and gals that lived there some 1300 years ago, how did they live and survive... even, what gave them their jollies?"
    Its taken me far afield, even into stoichastic modeling (for landlubbers, that's statistical modeling) which tries to use different variables to predict some 700 years of their lives [not a customary process for an archaeologist or anthropologist]. I have even been using Google Earth to try to see their world from several perspectives.
    In late October-early November, I'll be camping in a tent, shooting images, and trying to inculcate some of the deepest feelings those guys had by creating my own living experience of it. That's 100 miles of some of the most incredible dirt road through mountain plateau and canyon bottom our planet has to offer; limited by the National Park Service, traveling in a four-wheel drive, inaccessible to most, and capable of really stretching even the most intrepid imagination. For those of you who wonder about such things, check out White Rim Trail, Canyonlands...

    At this point in following the spiritual idea, I can't tell you how big those Anasazi were. I can tell you some things about how they're supposed to have died as a race, their pottery, even their architecture. I can tell you something about the healthiness of their diet and how, like ours, it changed to become unhealthy. And, perhaps, like you, I can go see some of the famous ruins they left.

    But in the end, when I go back to their habitats, to their evocative Red Rock country Four Corners land with such incredible beauty, and to 'were they happy', I feel they must have been happy, because I too can really feel the beauty of the land my camera captures...

    Maybe, just maybe, if I would've shot it at the right time, I could have put Anasazi Pleasure in as
    "Their turf..."

    And yes, after each evenings melt down with what to do next, the morning awakens, I read some of the lines penned by creative photographers, and, once again, get that spark to try another idea!
    Joe

    [FONT=&quot]As You Think, So Shall You BE... Rumi, 13th Century Persian Poet

    Award-Winning Photography, Workshop Instructor, Storyteller, Writer

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Blog: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Pathways of Light[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] Workshops: Creating Fine Art Magic[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    Book: Paths of Light [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Workshops: 2011 Lightroom 3 Workshops
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Galleries, Bisti Art
    [/FONT]
  • GreensquaredGreensquared Lost my lens cap Cartersville, GAPosts: 2,115Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 30, 2007
    I understand your thoughts and frustrations here. I rarely post for C&C - I see what others go through, and even add in my own 2 cents now and then, but usually I am not strong enough to handle the deflation I feel from the experience. I usually think that if I have to ask,then it's not good enough. Possibly, I am not growing as much as I should be, by limiting myself in this way.

    Shooting for the theme is so hard, but that is the challenge, and often times it is what pushes us to get that awesome shot that we wouldn't have thought of otherwise. Sometimes, photos get through with what can only be viewed as an incredible shot and no real relevance to the theme (or at least a real stretch). While this can also be confusing, it is what it is, which is art - is, was and always will be subjective. If we can't break the rules here, then where can we? I know for me, personally, art gives me the break from my technical world, where most things are black and white, right or wrong.

    The real challenge for me is always to come up with an original idea. During an active LPS round, I will spend two weeks with my head physically hurting. I toss and turn at night thinking randon thoughts on the theme, knowing the perfect shot is in my brain - somewhere, only to come up with something I am happy with and then receive absolutely no points! And then it starts all over again... But then, one day, you take a shot that you like. You ask a couple of people that you respect and admire and their response is something like, "it's good" and you're thinking "hmmm - that's not very encouraging". So, you decide whether to go with it or continue on - racking your brain. I suppose taking a good shot is one thing - knowing it's a good shot is another!

    I came VERY close to not entering "Morning Sun" (http://www.karenanda.com/photos/157901406-L.jpg) based on what I considered to be lack of enthusiasm from my trusted few, but as the days went on and I kept coming across the thumbnails on my PC, I kept coming back to it and thinking, "I really like that". I was stunned when it came in first place for that round, but that's another piece to this complex puzzle - how the judges will feel.

    I suppose my thoughts are such that if you feel strongly about shooting something, then do it and if you are happy with the result, submit it. If it gets through - great, and if it doesn't - move on, but make sure that you move forward with your thinking and not backwards (not always easy for me). Know that you are growing and one day it will happen the way you want it to as long as you keep going and trying.

    I think those that are willing to push the boundaries or even cross them are putting themselves up for the most criticism, but they are the ones that when it pays off, it will pay off BIG!!!

    I can totally relate to this. I have gotten the exact sames responses when asking my own "trusted few" for opinions and my heart gets repeatedly crushed, thinking nothing I shoot will ever be good enough. So, I've tried asking for opinions and not asking for opinions, and have found it makes no difference as to whether my shot is chosen for top ten. In the end, I much prefer the interaction, even with its disappointments, as I feel that is where my strongest growth is.

    I too have thought that if I had to ask, it wasn't good enough. But I keep remembering that I wasn't going to enter my Soil Sample shot at all and had personally chosen something completely different. Then one of my trusted few felt it was what I needed to enter and was right on. All opinions are valid, if they are honest. Some people just know how to temper it with feelings better than others.

    I also was enthused about posting for opinions here when I read that it sometimes helped to free the "photographers block" of another as it began to give them ideas. To think that someone might be inspired by something I shot makes it all worth it.

    Shooting for LPS is like nothing else I've done. I'm in a never ending pursuit for not only the best of my own work, but for that WOW shot, one that is universally appealing as well as conveys a message and a theme. It's a wonderful growth tool as well as a tremendous inspiration.

    Emily
    Emily
    Psalm 62:5-6

  • Tessa HDTessa HD Major grins Posts: 852Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 30, 2007
    I'll never forget your 'soil sample'! That image will remain in my hard drive (my mind)!
    Love to dream, and dream in color.

    www.tessa-hd.smugmug.com
    www.printandportfolio.com
    This summer's wilderness photography project: www.tessa-hd.smugmug.com/gallery/3172341
  • Awais YaqubAwais Yaqub One Inspired soul Posts: 10,561Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 30, 2007
    Yes a huge one eek7.gif
    Major problem is that during contests i am always at worng place at wrong time rolleyes1.gif.
    Thine is the beauty of light; mine is the song of fire. Thy beauty exalts the heart; my song inspires the soul. Allama Iqbal

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  • BistiArtBistiArt LR3 Workshops Posts: 307Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 31, 2007
    Shakespeare

    Shooting for LPS is like nothing else I've done. I'm in a never ending pursuit for not only the best of my own work, but for that WOW shot, one that is universally appealing as well as conveys a message and a theme. It's a wonderful growth tool as well as a tremendous inspiration.

    Emily

    Emily,

    Your eloquence seems to sit alongside that of Shakespeare, who said,
    "Who ever loved - that loved not at first sight>?"

    Its a pleasure to follow you...
    Joe

    [FONT=&quot]As You Think, So Shall You BE... Rumi, 13th Century Persian Poet

    Award-Winning Photography, Workshop Instructor, Storyteller, Writer

    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Blog: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Pathways of Light[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] Workshops: Creating Fine Art Magic[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    Book: Paths of Light [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Workshops: 2011 Lightroom 3 Workshops
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Galleries, Bisti Art
    [/FONT]
  • LiquidAirLiquidAir Major grins Posts: 1,751Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 31, 2007
    I too have thought that if I had to ask, it wasn't good enough. But I keep remembering that I wasn't going to enter my Soil Sample shot at all and had personally chosen something completely different. Then one of my trusted few felt it was what I needed to enter and was right on. All opinions are valid, if they are honest. Some people just know how to temper it with feelings better than others.

    I regularly see three types of questions in this forum and I list them here in order of how easy they are to answer

    1. Which of these do you like best?
    2. How do I make this better?
    3. Is this good enough?

    The first question is a funny one and I think it looks on the face of it more useful than it turns out to be. I've only asked it once and that was precisely in the situation where I didn't think any of my possibilities were good enough to enter. I got some nice and useful feed back in that thread, but and the end of the day it didn't create a winner because there wasn't one to be found.

    The second question has been remarkably useful for me and I have seen a fair number of winners created this way. Three out of my four top ten entries have gotten there because of feedback from this forum on that very question. Not only that, I think I have become a much better photographer because of the feedback I have gotten here.

    The last question is the tricky one. At the end of the day, only the judges can answer it and only after all the entries are in. It is easy to get lulled into the idea that buzz in the forum helps you answer this question, but buzz can often be misleading; a photo that is fun to discuss is not always a winner. Getting a handle on this question is very hard. Partially it is because people generally are more encouraging than critical, but I think the crux of the matter is no one person has an unfailing barometer for universal appeal. I have developed a few tricks over the last few months which have helped me get a handle on my work, but I have nothing even vagulely reliable. All that said, if you had asked me if Soil Sample was a likely winner I would have not hesitated to say yes.
    Shooting for LPS is like nothing else I've done. I'm in a never ending pursuit for not only the best of my own work, but for that WOW shot, one that is universally appealing as well as conveys a message and a theme. It's a wonderful growth tool as well as a tremendous inspiration.

    Yep, yep, yep. No one is going to hit it consistantly every two weeks but there sure is a lot to be learned trying.
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