It happens to me every winter, during the summer I am an active photographer jumping around taking pictures, getting ideas and getting things done. But during the winter is the opposite. I just don’t take enough pictures, I don’t feel like doing it, even if I want to, its quite a funny dilemma. Every winter I go home for holidays so I spend most of the time thinking about being there and what kind of pictures I can do there, but not taking any pictures here.
I think one of the main reasons of my winter block is the lack of natural light. I love natural light and during winter day light in Helsinki last for a couple of hours and in general they are at work time. So when ever I get out from the office I don’t feel inspired on taking pictures. I know I should get out and take pictures, that is the only way to break the block, but there is always somewhere warmer to be. Now I have one week before going home and I have a couple of pictures in mind that I want to take before going home. I just have to go and do it. Also for when I come back I enroll myself in a course, so if I am taking a course I will find the time and I will feel the responsibility to go out and take pictures. So maybe next winter I feel more comfortable shooting in the dark winter days and my block is not there anymore, maybe I can get the beauty out from these times, that in Finland are quite common.
There a lot of websites that tell tips about how to overcome the photographer block. Most of them just recommend that you just grab your camera and go shooting. But I don’t know, if that can work for me, I need a plan or something to get me interested, because if I just go and snap without a reason and get a bunch of really bad pictures that won’t help me to motivate me. Other says that you should make experiments that a good thing, I think trying new things its always a good excuse to play around without the pressure of getting good pictures. So if you feel that you are learning something new you don’t expect something great as a result, so that keeps you motivated.
One post that I read that the fist way to start solving the photographer block is to realize that you are blocked and to say it at loud, maybe this blog post is my way of saying it. And start planning to do something about it. I another place I read that if you don’t feel like taking pictures, don’t do it. That is not a common advice, but it can be a good one, take a break, we are amateur photographers its our hobby, we don’t need to be creative all the time and do something else and later it will come the inspiration. I don’t know about this one, its the easy way out, maybe its good to take a break and think about what is making you less inspired, but not to just quit, that the easy way out of the problem. It won’t work for me because even I don’t take pictures during the winter, I really want to do it.
I think some good advises are looking at other peoples pictures, try to find pictures of photographers in your region, that are under the same weather conditions as you are and try to see how they manage to get great pictures, no matter how the weather is. Also finding new projects to get inspiration and learning new techniques is a good way of getting out from the mental block. For example, why in winter not try indoor photography with flashes or long exposure with a tripod outside? Start a course or workshop, get together with other photographers, usually being in a group is easier to find inspiration, learning from others and getting deadlines and new ideas are always great ways of getting out from the mental block.
So lets see if I can get some interesting photos from finnish winter before getting home…