Help! ''Off-photography period' :-(


Sep 14, 2010
Hi everyone,

I don't know if anyone else gets these, but occasionally I go through the odd dry spell and 'off photography period', but I usually get right back in after a week or two and start pumping photos out left, right and centre.

But this time I'm getting really worried! Its been just over a month and I haven't done any serious shooting... I mean, this is becoming a drought lol

Someone... anyone... please slap me around the face with a wet fish...

...Or put me in touch with a photog psychiatrist... (yeah I just made that subspecialty of psychiatry up lol but I guess a photog psychiatrist would be one to diagnose GAS lol :p)
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Reactions: BBW


Sep 14, 2010
Thanks for the email contact Don, perhaps you should hide your email on the forums though? I'm worried spam bots might pick it up eventually and start filling your inbox. Though it might not be a bad thing, one told me I won $1000 and another reminded me to update my Paypal details :wink:

Hmmmm thinking about it more, perhaps its because I'm helping out in my mother's restaurant full-time as one of her staff left recently :confused: guess it has to be that, its the only change I can think of :confused:

hmmm... (typing my thoughts out now lol) I think the long hours at work (3pm-12/1am) mean less time out and about, and working late tires me out to get out and about taking snaps... or maybe thats just an excuse I've made up? lol probably the latter...

Edit Hotmail service is 'temporarily unavailable"... grrrr sort it out Bill Gates lol


Jul 10, 2010
Huntsville, AL
I work 50 hours a week and I have lots of other things going on in my life, just like everyone else. So I completely understand about not getting out with the camera. What I've tried to do is incorporate photography into other aspects of my life.

How about shooting in and around d the restaraunt? Maybe some food shots?

Ray Sachs

Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Unless you're doing it for a living, you shouldn't put too much pressure on yourself. Pushing yourself too much can make you hate something you generally love. Give it time. If you get to the point where you really WANT to be out shooting, just go out. Shoot. Don't worry about what you come back with. If you feel really stale, maybe use a lens you rarely use that will change your perspective or your general approach to shooting (maybe a manual focus lens if you're used to shooting with AF, or vice versa). It'll come back. You may have to give yourself a gentle push every now and then, but if you push too hard, it can have exactly the opposite effect from what you're trying for...



Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
Vince, I'm with Ray - don't push it. Lately, I've been into iPhonography, because the camera is so easy to carry and I always have it with me... Your late hours are changing your sleep hours, I'm sure... If you have a little camera, even a phone camera...and don't want to carry something big on your way to and fro might want to try that out for a bit.

The spirit of creativity will not forsake you, that I promise.


Nov 12, 2010
Lunenburg Nova Scotia
Vince welcome to the club. My creativity goes in ebb and flows as well. I keep shooting but there are periods some times months long that there is no joy in taking pictures it is just a job and I am retired so I don’t need a job. The strange think is that the quality of my work does’t change but the feel for it does as I hate everything I shoot. I am not sure why I put myself through it as I often think I should just give up for those periods.

Eventually I do come out of the slump and times there is a trigger that helps me. Sometimes reading new ideas about photography will breaks the slump. Attending photo exhibitions can trigger a release. I set up projects for me and that can help. Shooting in new locations, they don’t to be as exotic as Bora Bora, can help. For me attending a works shop really seems to help. You would think buying new equipment would help but for me it does the exact opposite, as I feel I am wasting money on my “silly” hobby.

I am lucky enough to know that I will eventually come out of the dark tunnel. For me keeping on shooting helps me maintain my edge even if not my spirits at that time. Of course while we are all different but I think it is a good idea to understand that this a normal phase of creativity. If we are really lucky we will know what to do, what works for you, to speed up the end of the dark part. Try to look inside of your head, understand it is normal and then you can relax and ride the blackness into light.


Jul 24, 2010
Is it the gear, maybe? The one you have requires the "ok, now I go out shooting" state of mind. Get a compact camera (to complement the K5) which you can always carry on you and which is really fun to shoot with. E.g. the GRDIII or the new PentxQ (?).


Top Veteran
Dec 27, 2010
Kiev, Ukraine
I have been suffering from this for years. Sometimes I don't touch my cameras for a very long time. In 2010 I had a break from photography that lasted for nearly 11 months. I also found out that my photography and my writing correlate with each other - the more I write, the less I photograph and vice versa. I guess my brain simply can not master 2 things at the same time.

I eventually found out how to break those 'dry periods.' I literally wear myself out with other things, and then I take a camera and spend one day photographing and doing nothing else, like a small vacation in the middle of a busy week.


Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
Vince, I just read that your mother has your LX5 - get that baby back from her, update the firmware and carry it with you to and fro and at work - I bet you'll find yourself coming out of your slump.:thumbsup:


Sep 14, 2010
Hey everyone, I'm so sorry that I haven't replied you all sooner - I've been crazy busy the past few weeks, am now working 72hours a week (2jobs) and have begun self-study for the ICAEW's ACA accounting qualification, so have been up to my head in work lol

Anyway back on topic, after reading everyone's posts about getting me back on photography, I have to agree with everything everone's been saying.

Firstly Retow's got a great point
Is it the gear, maybe? The one you have requires the "ok, now I go out shooting" state of mind. Get a compact camera (to complement the K5) which you can always carry on you and which is really fun to shoot with. E.g. the GRDIII or the new PentxQ (?).

I think I do need something smaller than my K5 that I can carry on me all the time. Although the K5 has great IQ, build quality and WR, its no use if it doesn't get used right? ;-) I guess its the weight and the need to use a bag to carry it around.

The K5 funnily leads me on to Djarum's comment about taking snaps in the restaurant, I guess the form factor attracts a lot of attention and I think some customers might find it a little obtrusive and I guess that puts me off snaps in the restaurant (although this might just be 'in my head' lol.

BBW, Ray and Grant I guess you're all right, I do pressure myself to take photos and maybe its taking the fun out of photography, looking at my photos 90% of them were taken when I didnt just go out to shoot - most were when i was travelling, on holiday or with friends and family and where somethings caught my eye. Maybe I should let it come more naturally.

Penny and Stratocaster
- good points on finding some motivation, I've just taken a look at Alf's blog, Ashwin Rao's and Wouter's, as well as a few of the threads here and feel much better.

Bill and Don,
thanks for the humor as always - I've missed this place so much, guess I have no excuse not to come on the forums more now that I've sorted out my data allowance on my mobile phone :D

The thing which puts me at ease the most, funnily enough is that it seems everyone else has those phases too lol I was starting to worry that my long off period was the early symptoms of me ditching photography for good, which of course I wont.

Heres a few snaps I did since starting the thread, not my best but better than nothing ;-) :

For this first one I need help with the title, maybe 'looking on cautiously' would be better? she was looking at a drummer on the street drumming on pots and pans lol

Looking on... by VinceChu89, on Flickr

Fake bokeh/minature/tiltshift effect thingy added in LR3 lol, this man really caught my eye lol

Birdman by VinceChu89, on Flickr

Its that time of the year again...

Autumn brown by VinceChu89, on Flickr

Going for a more modern, a little gritty, city look

IMGP5176 by VinceChu89, on Flickr

And saving my fav. for last. After I got home from taking the last photo, I learned how easy it is to take photos of your otherhalf LOL - just saying its a good way to get motivated for some photography :wink::p

View attachment 44101
Emily by VinceChu89, on Flickr

Just as I was taking this photo, the wind blew by chance and IMO helped make the photo :)

Last but not least a big thank you to you all for your advice and suggestions, I really appreciate it I'm going to try and get more active. Also looking at a very well priced used Pentax Q that I've found or a GRD as my take everywhere camera so I have no excuses lol


Dec 24, 2010
Listen here you young whipper snapper! You're too young to be having to worry about stuff like this dag nabbit!!!et it go, take a vacation, paint, golf.... Get your mind off pictures. It will come back I promise. You are good shooter and it's in your blood for life



Top Veteran
Jul 11, 2010
Melbourne, Australia
I have never felt self-pressured to take photos in general, although I have occasionally felt guilty for not using various cameras. Photography, or any hobby for that matter, is something you do for enjoyment. If you do not feel the urge to take photos, then don't. Simple as that.

Meanwhile, take some time to read a photography book, look at other people's blogs, and begin to mentally compose shots but not take them. Everywhere you go, you'll begin to see more and more images, and you'll find yourself automatically reaching for a camera soon enough. The more you carry an easily accessible camera the easier it is for you to take it out and shoot.

On the rare occasions that I do not have a dedicated camera, I still have my HTC Incredible S, which takes surprisingly good photos. It's my last ditch camera, of sorts. If you have a decent cellphone camera, that can be yours, too.


Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
I must say those are some great photos, vince! I particularly like the little girl, the gritty city and your (very pretty if I may say so) other half:) oh, and I like how the Indian-looking gentleman with the birds almost looks like he's meditating and the birds just gathered around / on him just to watch him meditate :p
Jul 7, 2010
I have been beaten to death by the lack of inspiration very often. I hated it very often, because most of the time I really wanted to take photographs. First I thought about enjoying the spare time (didn't work), starting drawing again (even thought about quiting photography, but in the end decided that was no option either), reading, watching movies, you name it. I tried so much.

Last winter I decided best to do for me was to just photograph each and every day. And I really never regretted that decision. All around us, everytime, everywhere, there are interesting (and very often unnoticed) moments.

And sure a Pentax Q is small enough to take with you everytime, but I personally still find the Ricoh GRD a lot more liberating.


Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
Vince, I'm glad you came back in here and feel sure that you're AOK. You've gotten great advice and look at all those fine photos you've shown here? I know that I've already commented on most on Flickr before, but think I missed that little sweetheart! Don't worry about titles! If you want to write something you can always write where you were when you made the particular image. Sometimes less really is more.

Keep up all your hard work and before you know it that exam will be over - but definitely get a smaller camera to have with you. What about that LX5, I think it was, that you leant to your mother? They've updated the firmware and it's supposed to be even better!:wink:

I want to add that I've gotten a great deal out of reading everyone's responses to you, Vince.:th_salute:

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