12 Sep 2016

My first photo project: overcoming photographer's block

A year ago I stumbled upon a surprising and unexpected guest: photographer's block. I don't really know what caused it but there it was, clear as day: I had no motivation to keep on shooting weekly as I had been doing for the past 2 years, and my cameras endured neglect for months; all that once was exciting and challenging had become unappealing and dull, and only occasional trips abroad were able to ignite the passion –albeit shortly– again. I had no idea when (if at all) that would finish. In the end, it lasted for about 10 months, until last May I decided it was about time to confront this drought and actively do something to fight against it. As a first step I joined a photography workshop, which made me realize that inspiration would not come back on its own and that I had to actively chase it; one of the methods suggested as an antidote was to embark on a personal project, which would give me FOCUS, something I was severely lacking before.

The way in, GX80 + Panasonic Leica 15mm
Don't misunderstand me: that medicine wouldn't have helped in the slightest without the real driving force: my own determination to revert the situation. Once that had been set in motion, then, the rest of the things started falling into place progressively and, step by step, the machinery gained strength. The first thing to do was to set upfront a few, clear objectives that I wanted to accomplish with my project, and I synthesized them in just 2 words: COMMITMENT and PRACTICE. I wanted to recover the lost drive, and in order to achieve that I had to be more disciplined, which, in turn, would hopefully help me to improve my skills and to learn new things in the process.

Welcome, GX80 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
I had no preconceived idea of what I would do at the end with all the images captured, because all that mattered to me at that point was just having fun shooting as I once did. To keep me engaged and motivated throughout the project, I decided that I would post one picture a day in my Instagram account the following 100 days, and every 10 days I would write a post here in the blog documenting how things were progressing, showing the selected images plus some other captures that I liked. And with those few notions in my head, I only had to choose the theme of the project, and I was ready to start! So today I start this journey that, if nothing else, at least will bring me (and my cameras) out for a walk almost everyday. See you right away in Instagram and back here in 10 days with the first chapter!

The way out, GX80 + Panasonic Leica 15mm

4 comments:

  1. Hi Gonzalo,
    I just followed you on instagram. I am curious to see what you will show. Happy shooting!
    cheers,
    Ralph

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  2. Hello Gonzalo

    I was delighted to find your site for two reasons. First, I really like your images. You have a great eye, both for unusual detail and for composition. I have thoroughly enjoyed your 100 visits project. I am impressed by the way you have set fairly strict parameters, but have managed to accomplish so much within these confines. I am glad you stayed with your commitment. We are all richer for the many fine images you have shared with us. The second reason that have been pleased to find your site is because of your very effective use of the Panasonic GX85 rangefinder camera. I have been using a Panasonic point and shoot since 2008, my first foray into the digital realm following years using Minolta 35 mm equipment. This wee camera brought the fun back into photography for me, and I enjoyed pushing to see what I could accomplish with very limited equipment. But, the time has come for a change. I considered an upgrade to fairly sophisticated SLR, but decided that the compact size was just too important for me. I finally decided that this smallish rangefinder was just right (I tend to be an urban photographer), but I am worried about the kit lens that comes with this camera (12-32 F3.5). I am interested in the two lenses that you appear to favour, the Panasonic Vario 12-35 mm and the Leica 15 mm. I think I will just work with one lens only for now. I would appreciate your advice. Peter

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    Replies
    1. Hello Peter! First of all, let me apologize for the delay answering your warm words, but for some reason blogger stopped sending confirmation e-mails to inform bloggers about comments received in their blogs and I just realized that I had completely missed yours in the process, so sorry about that!
      Second, a very big thanks for your undeserved compliments, it's always very comforting to receive encouraging words from a fellow photo-enthusiast! As for the question you ask me concerning lenses, going with just one lens is definitely an idea I have been favoring more and more, since it helps you develop a sharper eye, and to know your perspective and style better, and, for that purpose, and since you mention you are primarily a urban photographer with a preference for compact size, my recommendation would go to the PanaLeica 15mm, a terrific lens for street/urban, super small, reliable, tactile and sharp! It's my go-to lens even when I travel and I use it for landscape photography (you can see my own personal hands-on review here: http://gonzalobroto.blogspot.com/2014/08/new-lens-old-grounds-review-of.html).
      I hope this info doesn't come too late and can help you somehow make your decision easier. Thanks a lot again and happy shooting!

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