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Creative Block

What do you do when you can't do what you want and need to do?

I've recently been working on and through several different things, a side effect of this was that I had less time for photography. Well, that's what I told myself anyway.

To be completely honest, it's an excuse, I was avoiding going out with my camera as I felt that I couldn’t create the images that I wanted to. When I eventually managed to drag myself out, I would return with images that I didn't like, I couldn't see the compositions as I used to. I started to spend more time planning where to go and rarely get there to get the images than I was creating them.

Among other things, I'll put it down to creative block. It happens to all of us at one time or another. It's not my first time, and I'm sure it won't be my last. Each time I have to discover a new way to move through it.

The photographic process has over the years grown to mean more to me than only capturing a moment, and it's only recently that this has become clear to me. It is not only a reason for me to get out into nature, but more importantly a means of relaxation that has developed into a form of mediation, and mindfulness. Which means that it was even more important for me to get back out and behind the camera.

For me, each image is a journey, it begins with a small rush of excitement when I feel a possible composition, and yes, it is a feeling. It may sound strange but more often than not I sense a composition before I really see it, as if my minds-eye or photographers’ eye is working ever so slightly faster than my actual eyes. I then move on to study the light and the environment, finding the right angle, fine-tuning the position and the settings of the camera to the final point of triggering the shutter to create the image. For the duration of the creation, I am concentrated on the process, I am in the moment and mindful of the creative flow.

The realisation of this was one of the factors that got me back up the hills, and into the forests. This time I understood the need to get back outside, and I saw my largest block had become too much planning, so I reduced. I reduced weight, I reduced gear and I removed elements that were in my way. I put together a spontaneous camera kit, a smaller APSC camera with three small prime lenses, which I could pick up and take with me without any planning. As much as I love the GFX system, it can be a little cumbersome.

This worked well, the lighter gear helped me to get over the hurdles and back into the forest. The quality of the images is clearly not that of the GFX, but they are still great, and more importantly I am regularly back in nature.

These two images were made with the Fujifilm X-S10 and a prime lens.


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