Over the past year I have heard a few of my photographer friends say they had become uninspired. In sports, they would say the photographer is in a slump. A slump is a period of poor or losing play by a team or individual. For a photographer, it is a period where anything seen through a viewfinder does not look right.
When I find myself in a slump, I look for a way to shake up my photographic brain. Here are some of the ways I do that.
1. Go for a walk without a camera. Look around at the world without the restriction of a frame to fill. Let your eyes and mind wander, breath deeply, listen to the sounds around you and feel the earth beneath your feet. No pressure to find something to photograph. When I do this, I find myself refreshed and photo possibilities come much easier.
2. Look for an event to attend and plan what kind of photographs to get. Look through your community’s websites and newspapers for a festival, concert, fair or another event. Plan what kind of photos you would like to get there and then attend the event. Did you get the ones you planned? What else presented itself during the event?
3. Shoot for a day/week/month with a prime lens or, if you normally use a prime lens, a zoom lens. By changing up, you have to think a bit more, go a little slower and see differently.
4. Select a subject to photograph and do it for a day/week/month. Examples would be color, shape, theme, people, animals, etc. Usually something like this starts slowly until your brain picks up on the subject. By the end of the time period, you will be seeing the chosen subject everywhere.
5. Read a book of fiction. Another non-photographic way to give your mind a break.
6. Create or work on a life project. This can be photography related or not. Maybe you have another hobby. For me I have a few photography projects like panning, scenes of my hometown or local festivals.
7. Put your camera in manual mode for a weekend. Another way to engage your brain more is to use manual mode and think through your exposures and creative spirit.
If you have ever gotten into a photographer’s slump, how have you gotten yourself out of it?
For all you Twitter users out there. Did you notice the new Tweet box at the bottom of all my posts? This is a fun and great addition to our WordPress.com blogs!