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  • Writer's pictureemjaybeecreatives

M is for Mojo















Or rather, lack of it? To quote the Beatles it does not seem to be ‘here, there or everywhere’ just at the moment! I wonder if creative people are particularly prone to misplacing their mojo? I’ve been searching for the culprit……is it GAS syndrome? A common affliction of photographers, GAS stands for gear acquisition syndrome. Sometimes it’s a new piece of kit that serves to kickstart my slumping enthusiasm but I’m drawing a blank this time. FOMO is not the issue either - fear of missing out is not motivating me to get up at 4am to capture a shot.


Sometimes reading or watching the wrong material or listening to the wrong song saps my mojo. Who hasn’t realised that playing ‘All by myself’ over and over again after a break-up may not be the most positive form of action. I’m currently experiencing deep and personal grief and find myself drawn to songs that speak of isolation e.g. Eleanor Rigby whom the Beatles described as wearing ‘the face that she keeps in a jar by the door’. Perhaps something which provides more solace would be better. Partly it’s circumstantial: the aforementioned grief, the closure of a place I used to visit that was important to me spiritually, the loss of a member of the team I work with who was also a friend, due to her (well-deserved) retirement.


So the question has got to be - what do I do now? Photography, for me, is often a sociable thing. I do it in the company of friends or family who are fellow photographers. I'm not normally a lone ranger. Sitting here in my little spare room I could spend hours looking on the internet for inspiration. I could look at websites, including my own, browse my bookshelves for some writing or images I might enjoy and find inspiring, or even rummage through my art-themed DVDs. What I am aware of is that I have never been a great fan of computers even though it is what I use to make this website, to communicate with the world. Unfortunately, with my various medical conditions, navigating computers is no easy thing to do. Back in the days when you had a film, you took your film and you waited for your little 6x4 inch prints to come back. There was no other method. The hardest thing was simply to remember to keep up to date by placing them in some form of album. In some ways there is no real difference between putting them in an album to putting them into something like the Adobe Lightroom programme. You do, though, need to know how to use the programme, to be able to pay for it ,and to deal with any changes that Lightroom or its competitors decide to make. It's certainly not the same as going into a good camera shop and buying an album to display your prints and to add to your collection on the shelves.


How many pictures make it out of the hard drive or phone? How many of them are actually printed? How many of them are actually out on display now? I am not advocating the sole use of film with its ensuing costs. Been there and done that. Looking at a screen for me has, though, taken some of my enjoyment away. I think what I need is probably less time staring at a screen and more time just being out there, just fumbling around with my camera in hand, being careful to avoid pressure and to keep looking at what I’m seeing, then relaxing and capturing it. Once I get into the post capture stage, then it's that brick wall of a computer again. I think my mojo is affected by the demands of technology. (However, I remind myself, technology also provides me with the way to be heard, to express my thoughts and opinions which are valid and my own.)


So where do I go from here? I need to get out and do the things that I have loved in the past and which inspired me to be creative rather than sitting here looking at a screen (and not enjoying it!)

Has this happened to you? How did you deal with the loss of your mojo? Did you manage to change something? Did you spend a lot of money on a new course for new inspiration? Did you take up a new hobby? Join a club? What I need to do is stop procrastinating about the computer issues and just get on, doing what I enjoy the most, getting out there and shooting. Maybe a trip to a familiar place where I am most relaxed or, instead, the challenge of something new? A new style of photography, new image aspect ratio to shoot in; maybe 16:9, not my normal 1:1 square! Challenging, difficult. Definitely not relaxing, but done well, the reward for me can be a good one. Enjoyable but a maybe, shooting in black and white (but my wife, Jacquie, does not like black and white images!) Maybe a Leica Monochrome camera (only records an image in B+W) has some appeal at this moment in time, but I don’t do the National Lottery, so maybe not.


Well, it could well be a long ride, so please stay with me and we will find out my answers together.

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