Boy we live in a world! A world of non-stop availability and consumption. Anything we want to know or see, and a lot don’t, is available right at our fingertips through iPhones, computers, iPads, billboards, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc. Media has made it a wonderful world; it has also made it a terrifying world!
Some time ago I noticed I was getting sad, and grumpy, and irritable. I was just generally pessimistic about the state of the world. My solution? I turned off the news. Not as a whole, I don’t have a magic remote control, but in my life. I stopped watching the nightly news (especially local news) and I stopped reading newspapers. It was all negative news anyway and therefore slanted and biased toward selling newspapers and news shows. So I went on a “no news diet.” You know what, it worked. My mood improved dramatically. I’m still on that diet to this day.
With that in mind I wondered how I could make a similar shift in my photography. I spend a fair bit of time reading blogs and looking at other photographer’s work and while sometimes I get inspired, as my Inspiration Monday blogposts might suggest, I also find myself getting down on myself. You see, I compare myself. Sometimes I compare my skill level to others’ skill levels; I compare the quality of my output to others’; I compare the quality, intensity, depth, creativity of my projects to others’ as well. And that can depress me with regard to photographing.
Hmmmm, where have I seen this pattern before?
So, what about going on a low-photography diet? You know, to stop looking at others’ work and comparing myself against it, even subconsciously? Especially subconsciously! What if I just dream up a project and work toward it, without distractions, in my own little creative bubble, without critique, without comparison. I might just have to pull back a bit to do that, but I’ve survived (thrived) doing something similar before. And heck, I just might have the time to pursue those creative endeavors if I stopped.