Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

Prairie Sunrise

Prairie Sunrise
Prairie Sunrise

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Photographers Block

Writers suffer through a phenomenon called 'writers block' where the words just don't come...nothing seems to be stimulating those creative juices.  Well...I've discovered that as a photographer...I suffer from 'photographers block' from time to time.  Nothing seems to be working on some days...every image is either a cliche' or worse.  What to do?

When this occurs two things tend to happen...I get discouraged and then I take a break from the routine.  Neither one of these two things serve a very good purpose although taking a break can actually prove beneficial in the short term.  Even so, there are a few things you can do to help get on track.

Change your Routine.  If you normally concentrate on landscapes, switch over to another aspect of photography..try people, sports, or local venues.  The idea is to do something different to jump start those creative juices.

Slow Down.  Take a hike without your camera...simply enjoy getting out for the sake of getting out.  Sometimes when you always lug the camera around, you tend to forget to enjoy simply being out. Refresh your thoughts and clear the mind.

Review your old photographs.  Go back as far as you can and thumb through some of the early days of your photographic attempts.  By doing so you just might realize just how much you've improved over the years.  Plus those old photos just might rekindle ideas.

Go someplace you've never been before.  Spend the entire day there. Many times just seeing something new will get you excited again.

Join a photography club.  I've never been very clubby over the years but a few years ago I joined a local photography club and have thoroughly enjoyed the interaction.  It's a great way to learn about other techniques and the fellowship it affords can often make the difference between becoming stale and staying fresh.

Keep on shooting anyway.  Most of the time the block is temporary and by simply working through it you will find your old creative self again.

Photographers block, like writers block can be discouraging...but always remember that in time you will get back to visualizing and photographing those wonderful moments.  Trying something different often helps...sort of writing this article...because I just could not think of anything else to write about this time...there you see...I feel better already.


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