Create: For What It’s Worth Episode 017

I just can’t stop doing these things. A few weeks ago someone asked me about audience feedback and how it shapes what I do. I said “I’ve never done anything with the audience in mind.” (This triple applies to my new voyage into YouTube.) This might seem odd but I find it much more enjoyable. How do you think I’ve been able to blog since 2002? Yes, you read that correctly, 2002.

I sure as shit didn’t post with the audience in mind. If I had I would have given up this blogging nonsense more than a decade ago. Here is the trick. It’s not that I don’t like the people who read this site. I do, obviously. Heck, I like most people whether they visit here or not. However, if I post with only your needs in mind I end up with a site that isn’t mine. Think about that.

The exact same thing happens when you work as a photographer and spend your life shooting OTHER people’s pictures. At some point, most of us hit the wall, burnout and never go back. I LOVE writing, sharing, posting and tossing odd things against the wall to see what sticks. Like this podcast. Enjoy.

7 Comments on “Create: For What It’s Worth Episode 017”

  1. I’ll skip the flowers, thank you. I was listening as I was finishing my first Magcloud digest. I’ve mentioned before – it took me forever. Now that I’m more familiar with InDesign, I hope I’ll just get faster. Placing and distributing images…I’m probably making that a lot harder than it needs to be.

    The digest is images I shot in the UK in October. Long story short, I wanted to leave with a sense of Brexit. They delayed it again, so maybe anticlimactic, but that’s fine. You said it really well in the New Mexico video – that place at that time. The Extinction Rebellion was also going on. It all felt connected in a way, so I explored that, too. The digest might be a little chaotic. I’m good with that. It was an interesting, chaotic time to be in the UK.

    But choosing one format resonated. I got close. Shot 90% with my XH1 35 f2. Brought two other lenses, and they just ended up being things I had to pack, unpack, lug (I would have liked to use the 56, it would have meant I was doing some portraits on the side). But I also took two film cameras…no, 3 film cameras, for what seemed like good reasons. I took my grandfather’s Leica IIIa for sentimental reasons. I think he picked it up there in WWII. Camera probably has a story, and maybe not a happy one. A desperate family fleeing Germany might have pawned it. I took an Olympus XA because I’ve ruined a few rolls out of the Leica. Sure enough, the first one was ruined. I trimmed the lead on the second roll and it rewound correctly. Not sure about the actual images, maybe garbage. Last – Instax Square, because they’re fun, and it’s like taking a bit of a break from the documentary work.

    But back to trying to use different formats. You’re right. I might get this digest back and think it looks terrible, for a host of reasons. So far I like having a few of the Instax photos in there. To me it feels like a chance to stop and breathe. We’ll see. I shot most of the XH1 stuff in black and white, but sometimes the photos just screamed for color. So I added them that way – we’ll see if it’s too jarring.

    No idea on the movie reference. Sounds like a monty python reference, but it would have to be Life of Brian, and I don’t remember that scene.

    1. Scott,
      One of the things that often gets lost with people new to bookmaking is the idea of text. Copy is SO important to the overall story. I see so many photography books that are just images and that to me is more of a portfolio.

  2. I cringed when I heard you mention about a Sony camera. I have never owned one myself so I’m only going on word of mouth here but Sony is a consumer electronics company not a camera company, and apparently their customer service on their cameras is diabolical. Their cameras don’t last very long and often malfunction. Trying to get it serviced, repaired, maintained is almost none existent. They would rather you just upgrade to the next model.

    I quit social media almost half a year ago now. I had been thinking about it for a while but after listening to you that finally sealed the deal. I agree with you… your life changes for the better!
    I recently entered a photo contest but didn’t read the rules properly. It said I have to also post my photo entries onto Instagram and tag appropriately.
    I had won my category in the contest so I had to quickly creat a new Instagram account and share the image. I have never felt so depressed and sick having an account again! I HAD to delete it within the week!

    1. Kurt,
      First, there are only about three contests that matter, worldwise. The rest tend to be money grabs. I know folks at Sony, as well as most of the other companies seeing as I’ve been around the industry for thirty years. I haven’t heard the same about Sony malfunctions. Their menus are a mess, at least in my opinion but the cameras are being used by a lot of people doing crazy things so they would probably work fine for me. Heck, I shot on Friday, an actual shoot, and both my Fuji’s were acting up. One wouldn’t write motion and the other kept freezing up requiring me to turn it off and on between images. I know this would probably freak most people out, or make them angry, but I’ve had issues with nearly every digital camera I’ve ever had so I just factor in the current issue and keep moving. Now they are both being cleaned. Another weakness of digital. The second you change lenses in a windy, dusty environment your cameras are dustville.

  3. Regarding Meditation.

    Try Sam Harris’ meditation app Waking Up at https://wakingup.com/.
    The nice thing about it is that it takes you through and explains different types of practices.
    It is a subscription service, but has a 50 day introductory course with guided meditation. If you find its not for you, or just find his voice annoying during the introductory course you can get you money back and maybe just chose to practice on you own.

    Normal length after the 50 days is 10 or 20 minute sessions, I find the 10 minute ones to be long enough for me. I also try brief moments of meditationduring the days, just stop, be aware for a few seconds and carry on.

    As to your question about how to sustain it – its easy – start again if you miss a day or a week,
    My current longest streak is one day 🙂 and I rarely get in more than a full week.

    1. Jarle,
      I do those small moments throughout the day as well. It works. And it’s easier than we think. I have no excuses…

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