Photography? ......I am just a bit meh!

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by Petach, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    OK, bear with me here.

    I have been a photographer since 2011. Probably.....since maybe 2013 I have photographed like a man possessed. Every day I went out and photographed someone or something. Be it dawn, dusk, midnight or afternoon; I had all my cameras with me and shot everything in sight which took my fancy. I saw everything in terms of a shot.....the light, a look, an incident a place, incongruity. It was all meat on the plate for me; much to the ire of the ever fragrant and much loved Mrs T.

    It was suspected that my Parkinson's medication; Specifically my Neupro Patches, which were the root cause of my obsession. The patches had a reputation for causing obsessive behaviour, including gambling, drugs and other things I am too much of a gentleman to discuss here and would likely fail to get past the eye of the mods.

    My legs and feet were swollen, I slept maybe 2 or 3 hours a night. When I did sleep ...I had the most dreadful nightmares which often had scenes of horrific violence. I was also very emotional and could become upset about some pretty minor things.

    Moving on.......

    I am now off the patches, having gradually reduced the dosage over a number of months. I am on new medication. I now sleep the sleep of the dead; and the ever fragrant and much loved Mrs T has to drag me out of bed. I still dream but they are vivid rather than nightmarish. Sometimes, when I get up to pee and go back to bed, the dream carries on in Part 2. The dreams are seriously weird, sometimes funny and always remembered in great detail when I awake. I am now much more alert, feel much more alive....more interested in things non - photography. I feel that a great weight has lifted from my shoulders and the black cloud has vanished. Family and friends have noticed a difference.

    You can see this coming a mile off I know; but, the thing is, my obsession with photography has reduced almost to the point of it being "meh, whatever". Sure, I enjoy it when I go out and do it, but the frequency has seriously diminished. I no longer hunt at dawn or dusk or midnight. I no longer prowl the house in the wee small hours to seek photo fodder.

    The thing is that I am not upset or concerned by it. I expected to become less obsessed when I came off the patches, but I didn't expect to become "meh". As I was coming off the patches, I was doing less shooting but more editing of old work. Now even that is a trickle.

    I am not sure how far my interest will wane. I may become camera rich but interest poor. Yesterday I went out for an hour at dusk with my X-T1 but didn't turn it on even once. Normally I would come back with something I could play around with in LR and post on flickr etc.

    It isn't a dry patch, or lack of inspiration. My God, I think I am becoming normal!!!
     
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  2. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Veteran

    309
    Jan 19, 2015
    Loads of highlights in your wonderful post, I am particularly envious of your sleep abilities. Let's have some general updates please, including how this "meh" transpires 1,2, 3 months down the line.
     
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  3. jssaraiva

    jssaraiva SC Veteran

    213
    Dec 31, 2014
    Porto, Portugal
    José
    Hi,

    You might have noticed that over the past weekend, I've started following you on Flick. For me your photos are becoming more interesting. I only follow people on Flickr if I really like the photos, not to be "popular". You might now have a more selective eye, and for me this is improving the images you are sharing. So, keep them coming!
     
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  4. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Good that it doesn't bother you - and that you're doing better in general! We all know you have a great talent for photography, but that shouldn't lead to any pressure. The "tormented artist" thing has some romantic connotations to it, but living a more wholesome life is pretty fantastic actually. And if something still catches your eye, you have the experience and the gear to translate it into a fantastic image. Win-win, if you ask me.

    My own obsession also reduced somewhat, which is another reason that I have decided to not get any cameras that aren't coat-pocketable; that way, I can have a good camera with me without having it drag me down when I'm not in the mood (which is most of the time), but I still have a good camera handy when inspiration strikes.
     
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  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'm very happy for you, Pete..... and for the the ever-fragrant Mrs. T, as well. I'm sure you're much more of a pleasure to be around.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
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  6. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    I share your dream sequence - in fact I'm probably in them if mine are anything to go by see part 2.
    Normal is merely an average of Foibles & Phobias - the 2 F's
     
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  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Pete,

    Photography is wonderful, but life is soooo much more than photography, as your post so fully demonstrates. I'm in a big lull myself - just haven't been shooting, haven't been LOOKING for images. Sometimes you just have to experience life rather than documenting it. The muse comes and it goes - I love it when it's here but I can't say I miss it when the muse takes some time off. It's usually because I've got other stuff going on that seems to matter more at the moment. Shoot when you want to. I wouldn't worry about it as long as the rest of your life is going well. And it sounds like you're in a good place right now. Enjoy it!!!

    -Ray
     
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  8. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Sounds like photos were, for a time, a very effective coping mechanism to deal with an overactive, underslept brain.
     
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  9. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    Thanks José, very kind of you to reply....and to follow me.
     
  10. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    I think it is likely you are correct! Cheers
     
  11. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months. I am off to Assisi in May for a week to see the Festival of Calendimaggio. In June we are off to Salzburg and Vienna for a week. Then, in July we are off to Singapore and Australia until October. I am only taking the one camera!!!
     
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  12. Richard

    Richard SC Top Veteran

    564
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I had to look that up, and discovered it translates as May Day. Sounds better in Italian one feels. It looks like a great photographic occasion - I hope you enjoy it.

    -R
     
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  13. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    I have gone through the "shoot everything" phases, and "shoot nothing" ones too. I was recently, finally able to get the EM5, that really is the closest digital clone of the old OM series of cameras, that I loved during my film days. Even that milestone doesn't drive me out to shoot something. It is within reach of my chair, at all times, but no drive to, "gotta go". And I am comfortable with that. It's almost as if I've seen all that, shoot all that, and don't need to do it all over again. I know I'll get back to photography, when life has something worth capturing. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying life, woodworking and the "fragrant" Mrs N. (married 50 years next month!):biggrin:
    And, I'm glad, you're feeling better!:2thumbs:
     
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  14. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    LOL if my hubby ever referred to me as the "ever fragrant" I would bop him!!! Which is odd cos he calls me butt face and I really don't mind!!

    Your stories do always make me smile Pete and its good to hear life is more settled for you. Photography is always there for you for when you are inspired. Otherwise, plenty other things in life to keep you happy. You would make a good writer though!

    Hope you have a great time on holiday, both you and your wonderful (and I dare say very patient) wife.
     
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  15. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    So glad you are settling down, Pete. Parkinsons is a complete B of a disease and you have my undying admiration for your persistence and your vision. It doesnt matter if you've gone to "meh". We all go there sooner or later and really, as long as you can shoot what you want, when you want, instead of feeling like you must, its all good.
     
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  16. Petach

    Petach SC All-Pro

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    Dear all, thank you for your replies. I think I can now pinpoint what I tried to say in the beginning. The exact word eluded me for a while.

    I feel "L I B E R A T E D" :0)
     
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  17. jssaraiva

    jssaraiva SC Veteran

    213
    Dec 31, 2014
    Porto, Portugal
    José
    Thank you for the feedback you left me on Flickr. I understand it has under the effect of a glass of wine, but I take it! :)
    It is very important for me to get this feedback, makes me think a bit more about what I'm doing or trying to do.
    Thanks again!
     
  18. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    There's a cool book I am reading at the moment - It's an Easy Read not too taxing

    Hector and the search for Happiness - Francois Lelord
     
  19. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Perspective and balance are often achieved through a painful process. You've earned some happiness.
     
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  20. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Well, I have kept meaning to contribute to this thread, but have really needed the time to sit down and marshal my thoughts.

    Firstly, photography is just a thing. It is something you do. It doesn't define you. If you stop doing it, it will continue, and so will you. If you want to take it up again it will still be there. Personally I enjoy it because it is totally different from what I do for a living. At one point a few years ago I considered going pro but realised that photography was my outlet, my escape and my channel for self-expression along with my writing. I realised that if I combined the two I would kill that which made it enjoyable for me.

    Secondly I think there is a huge link between photography and physical and mental well-being. I wrote about this years ago when I was between wives: Rangefound: Photo Analysis (sorry, I realise I have to refresh the photos there...) I have researched "photo therapy" (as opposed to "phototherapy" which is something totally different) and would really like to learn and do more on the subject someday.

    Thirdly, having had the pleasure of watching you shoot and seen the subsequent results I was reminded of the book and the man that more than any other motivated me to try Street photography. "Johnny Stiletto" was a chap who for a time in the '80s had a regular column in Amateur Photographer. He was famous for using one camera - an Olympus OM, one lens - 35mm, and a roll of film a day. There is a great book of his work, long out of print: Shots from the Hip:Amazon.co.uk:Books it was revised, re-edited and re issued in more politically correct form a few years ago: Vintage 80s: London Street Photography:Amazon.co.uk:Books I have both. The photographic content is 90% the same but the narrative has been dumbed down. Get the first if you can and it will transport you back to an earlier, simpler time.

    Either way I urge you to get one of the books. Put your cameras away, right away, in a box, in a cupboard. Sit down and read. If you don't want to rip that cupboard door off and get back out there then photography has truly waned for you and I for one think the world would be poorer for it. But ultimately it matters not one jot or iota what I or anyone else thinks - you have the ever fragrant Mrs T. in your corner and for that you are a wealthy man, whether behind a camera or not.
     
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