Photographer’s Block and Consistency

The excitement that comes with starting anything new: new job, new relationship, new website, really kicks up my adrenaline level and helps me gain some quick momentum. I was brimming with ideas as I put together this website/blog and my new social media sites, and I felt that I would have enough to say and show for weeks if not months to come! Days 1 and 2 I could barely hold myself back from sharing all of the tidbits of insight and experience that I have gained over my lifetime and had to put my phone down to prevent myself from posting all of my favorite pictures at once and flooding my 9 or 10 followers. But I told myself that Starting Where I Was meant to just take it one day at a time and that meant one post, one picture, one thought. The key, I reminded myself, was to be consistent.

Then Day 3 came along and the well of inspiration and ”newness adrenaline” was dry. Maybe it was that I woke up tired, maybe it was because my oldest daughter and her girlfriend were leaving to start their new lives 1000 miles away, maybethismaybethat; I sat here absolutely unimpressed with any of my images and had absolutely nothing to say. But being consistent doesn’t mean just when its easy. When consistency doesn’t flow we need discipline and a little faith in ourselves and the process. Don’t force anything, just make sure we’re open to what’s out there.

So I went outside to tidy up a few straggling Spring projects and found myself lending my wife a hand putting up a small rabbit fence by the sprouting green beans. I looked at her, semi-leaning over the row of partially nibbled plants, and had a thought. My focus slowly moved to her left butt cheek and the thought became a desire. (Keeping it PG here) The thought and desire was to take a whimsical picture! My dirty hand print on her butt with a look from her that said (roughly): ”Really?! Right now?!” and I chuckled at my brilliant creativity and humor. I began to design the shot in my head: go get her gardening hat with the floppy brim that I like, have her crouch by the middle row of beans, have her turn her head to the right…no, left to catch the sun.

Then the nagging questions came in: was it too bright out?, how could I get her to turn her head to catch the sunlight?, what lens should I use?, how would I handle the camera with a dirty, wet hand?, how much would my kids damaged when they saw the picture?!?

It was enough to make me forget the whole thing and just get back to yard work but I took a breath and reminded myself: consistency. One picture; act on one creative impulse at a time. If I don’t take this step then the next one surely won’t follow. So I went into the house and grabbed her hat and my camera (with the 55-200mm kit lens that I own) and told her my idea. She smiled (not a polite smile a real one!) and went along with it. The questions found their answers, the details worked themselves out and even the fact that I had never checked to reset my ISO from my last time shooting (it was at 800 on this very bright day) and we had to reshoot, didn’t deter the process or dampen my enthusiasm, and this is the image I got:

Some determination, consistency and a good sport

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