When I wrote Monday's post about being in the photographic doldrums, I didn't expect such a thoughtful response from readers. It would seem to be a clear sign that, far from being alone, there are lots of photographers out there with similar problems.
The quality of the replies leads me to think that many have given this problem far more thought than I have. My approach, as I wrote, has sometimes been to just keep shooting until better days arrive or splash out on a lens or camera to shock me out of my doleful reverie. I'll give the matter some more thought and ponder over the various "cures" left in the comments. I'm sure that something will get me going again.
In the meantime, here's something else to consider. My pal Phil Rogers has written in the past about his art college mentor Joseph McKenzie whose advice to students when out with a camera was to take photographs of whatever caught their eye. It's simple advice on the surface but conceals a deeper meaning: if we don't photograph those subjects that catch the eye then what are we doing out with a camera in the first place.
I've sometimes gone off on a wee urban exploration with just that aim in mind. The experience is very enjoyable and liberating, freeing me of the need to try to make every photograph something special. There are no preconceptions and no pressure to produce anything particularly worthwhile.
When walking in an urban environment I find there are usually lots of things that catch my eye but photographing all of them would be a considerable waste of film. Each eye-catching subject has to be given careful consideration and the wheat separated from the chaff. That in itself is a useful exercise if one is feeling a bit short in the creative department.
However, even with this self-editing-on-the-fly it's often the case that when I develop the negatives I'm presented with a strip of quite modest images - like those on this page that resulted from my last exercise - but that's OK. The object is to loosen up a little, burn some film and just enjoy the whole photographic process. So, regardless of what's on the negatives, the goal is always achieved.