After long last, your photography friend has finally reappeared. I feel like a school kid that took the summer off and am now back in class and it’s time for Show and Tell about our summer vacation.
After having a lovely long weekend at Smith Island in June with Jay Fleming my life turned into a whirlwind of household repairs one after another, then extreme heat that has lasted literally for months. In spite of the turmoil I had my first photography travel trip with Marie Joabar of Capital Photography Center were we took our nearest and dearest photography clients to my favorite Mount Desert Island in Maine.
The schedule in Maine was intense, the scenery as always was spectacular with endless photographic opportunities and knowing the island as well as I do, we enjoyed back roads and off areas away from the throngs of tourists. There is something to be said about really getting to learn about a destination through repeated visits. Truly, no two trips are the same and the more you become familiar with the area the more you begin to explore places truly off the beaten track. You get to slow down and really appreciate the nuances of a destination and become part of the landscape.
It gave me the chance to practice on long exposures, intentional camera movement, and night photography for the Milky Way. Even the best of photographers benefit from practicing a skill that isn’t used very often. Just like scales on the piano. Keep working on the scales and the concierto will be flawless.
And then the thing happened. You might be familiar with it. The time when motivation and creativity flies out of the window and the camera just sits in the bag awaiting for you to take it out on a new adventure. Yeah..well, this time this lull hit hard. It didn’t help that the summer when I returned from Maine was so bloody hot and I had a number of horses that I needed to care for in said heat. And so my camera sat after my return. I trudged through the classes I had scheduled and even my scout at Longwood was drowned out with heavy rains through my entire stay.
It’s a quandary for many of us and we all ask “How do we get out of this funk?” In my case the heat really put a big damper on my wanting to get out. Once the heat broke a bit and the promise of a change in the season, the itch to get out and explore reappeared on its own. To really help restart my mojo, I went back to my roots and spent a little time birding in one of my favorite spots.
I was told once that if there is something that you love doing, the worst thing you can do is make it your job. It takes away the special feeling you get when you’re doing your favorite thing. Perhaps that is another reason why it was a little bit harder for me this time to find my mojo. But I kept plugging away at it and wasn’t discouraged from the disinterest. What worked for me is finding the one thing that I enjoyed most in the aspect of photography and went out with no objective in mind. Just to go out and enjoy being out.
So it can be done. If you find yourself stuck, in a rut, or just plain hit a creative juices barrier, don’t let it get you down. Go ahead and take the break you need and then come back to something that you love and go and enjoy it. It’ll come back to you easier than you expect when you’re ready.
After all, we are all on a journey that can have twists and turns. Within this journey we inevitably find and lose ourselves many times along the path. It’s the patience, the perseverance, the effort to keep an open eye, mind, and heart that will allow good things to happen.
Categories: All about Hoofbeats & Footprints