I’ve just spent 4 days in Tuscany, which has become a strong habit over recent years. Tuscany has deservedly become one of the top destinations for photographers, featuring fantastic landscape and impossibly photogenic medieval (and older) villages and towns, all shifting mood with the seasons and weather. In some places you can’t swing a cat without knocking ten tripods flying. It’s a visual goldmine for photographers from nature to street and all points in between. I’ve accumulated over 6000 digital shots from Tuscany, and pre-2004 plenty of film as well. But this year, I managed a sum total of 119 photos over 4.5 days, including friends & family snapshots. The weather was cold and wet, mainly, which didn’t help, and I struggled to motivate myself to take any shots at all. But even those I did apply a little effort to are very, very underwhelming, and even technically poor, with endemic exposure and focus errors. Of course, when all else fails, one can resort to ND grad filters (as above) to desperately try to recover a bit of drama. And when THAT fails, convert to good old grainy black and white for that authentic look.
Basically I’ve gradually lost interest over the past months, and photography is becoming a bit of a drag. I think I’ve realised that I’ve hit something of a peak in my photography, but compared to most it’s a pretty low peak. I’ve tried to do all the things one is supposed to do, try new subjects, enter competitions, submit portfolios, but it’s not stopping the general feeling of decline. I’m not even interested in gear, for heaven’s sake, despite my dearly beloved’s best efforts to get me to buy an Olympus E-M1. I’ve developed pre-purchase buyer’s remorse, the ideal solution for Gear Acquisition Syndrome.
Just to show equal-opportunity all-the-gear-and-no-idea, here’s some stuff that might pass as “landscape” - well, for a beginner, anyway.
So rather than find something more constructive to do with my time, I’m going through a process of assessing and qualifying my extensive archives. It’s not always that encouraging - I don’t seem to have taken a single interesting photograph in Italy, for example - but it might give some clue on how to rekindle my interest. Or indeed confirm that it’s time to switch to knitting, or something. Or even do the housework.