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So I'm having one of those "all of my work sucks " moments... sigh

No biggie and I know it will pass... but I feel like I am watching everyone around me improve and just get so much better and I'm stuck. :(
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Barry Blanchard's profile photoNick Gatens's profile photoSandra Parlow's profile photoRachael Alexandra's profile photo
136 comments
 
I know the feeling. I was looking at some of my older stuff and being super critical. Photos I loved once I don't like at all now. Or see the flaws through the lens of time. It does pass though. :)
 
no your not! It just feels like you are! Been there....done that!
 
I just found you on Google+ and I think your work looks amazing. I hope you find some new inspiration but from where I am standing WOW
 
Happens to me ALL the time. :) And no, your work doesn't suck. :)
 
Our biggest critic is our self. I have those moments all the time! I think your work is amazing +Sandra Parlow. Can't wait to meet you next weekend!
 
I bet you that I think that I suck more than you think that you suck! :)
and what +Bart Synowiec said!
 
I know that feeling too well. As you say it will pass.
But from here, as a viewer, no your work most definitely doesn't suck :)
 
Tomorrow will be day 100 of my 365 project. I am so new to photography that I have learned so much in these last 100 days, but I feel like I'm stuck right now, too. In any case, and for what it's worth from a newbie, your work always looks beautiful to me! :)
 
+Sandra Parlow - I've been feeling creatively flat lately and poo pooing my stuff in general. We are most definitely our own biggest critic. I think it is important to try not to compare yourself to anyone else and instead let other's work inspire you. Maybe make a list of some new things you'd like to try and give it a go? I think we all go through phases like this. Keep shooting and ride it out. <3
 
Yeah, what +Bart Synowiec said. :) We all reach plateaus, +Sandra Parlow. I'm never, ever happy. Ever. I'm a perfectionist. :\

And, holy crap, +Chris Bagley. Say whaaaattt??? Get outta here. Wait, maybe I'm the one who should get outta here...
 
+Sandra Parlow it happens. So, here is what you need to do... Do something fun, like splash, or paint on a speaker, or silhouette. Those are all FUN, and they make you love photography again... I'm in a rut because my housae is clean. I SOOO want to do self portraits, but I feel guilty setting them up when my house is a disaster.
 
I am there. I was there not long ago, and I'm still sort of unsure whether I've climbed out of the pit yet. I think +Kerry Murphy is right. I make the mistake all the time of comparing myself to others. I've begun to remind myself more frequently to look for inspiration, and never comparison.
 
+Eustace James Don't you have mirrors in your house? You are an inspiration! To a lot of people. :)
 
+Sandra Parlow - Trust me.. I know exactly what you mean.. Trouble is I've been having that feeling for much longer and see no end in sight. :(
 
Yeah +Mike Wood but that's good right? I means that you ARE improving if you can look at old stuff and think how it would be better.
 
Any one of my photos would make you feel better. LOL! :)
 
Hi +Jason Rykiss !! Nice to meet you! It looks like I will be meeting a lot of new people next week an I'm SO looking forward to it!!
 
+Sandra Parlow You have to trust them. It's hardest to be objective about your own work, because you've spent a lot of time looking at it. You don't see it "fresh" like you do when you look at someone else's work. Make sense?
 
I agree with +Bart Synowiec (you have lots of followers who adore your work) and with +Jason Rykiss (we are our own worst critics) This will pass and you will be creating new work on no time. You are very talented and I look forward to seeing more of your work.
 
Sandra, I feel ya; it's so easy to become overwhelmed with the goodness of everyone else's photos--just try to remember others are feeling overwhelmed by yours!
 
+Chris Hoffmann I'm so glad the project is working for you! that's a lot of days to keep up with it - good for you!!! You'll get your groove back!!
 
+Kerry Murphy it may even just be the mid winter blues - not a lot to shoot around here landscape wise :( I think you're right - I have been doing a lot of comparing lately and that's just not a good thing to do. I hope you get out of your slump soon! But I always think your work is so lovely and has such a beautiful quality to it.
 
+Sandra Parlow I follow you because of your personality. Now, I LOVE your sense of humor, but I would love you even if you NEVER posted another photo.... I like you for you, as long as you keep up your wicked sense of humor, I'm hooked. Well, I'm cross stitched? Well, I'm regardless, you are fun.
 
I suppose it could be that +Pam Chalkley .... a plateau.. I just need to work through it I guess...
 
+Erika Thornes ... You are right - and maybe what I need to do is just try some new things. I'm sure my trip next week will help as I will be seeing a lot things I've never seen before and it will give me a chance to photograph something different!!
 
Sorry if my comment was a little confusing in it's tongue in cheek but what I mean is... we all go through a "man, do I suck" phase. You are not alone in this but the bottom line is that it is only your mindset and not the work itself. I started to follow you because your such a fantastic photographer! REALLY!!! And that hasn't changed for me.
 
+Sandra Parlow - it is totally winter blah blahs here too. They get me every year. And yes! Your trip will be a great motivator! That is something to look forward too. :)
 
Thanks +Shane Raynard ...yeah, I think what I need to do is watch some good tutorials about editing and start to think of doing things in different ways.. maybe I should go and stay at your condo! ;)
 
That is so true +Pam Chalkley I think that I do tend to get bored with my own stuff and my style. I need to mix things up a bit more or something...
 
In case my opinion matters: Your work doesn't suck.

If you ever want to discuss that topic, or the topic of improvement, feel welcome to start up a conversation with me about it.
 
Brew up a cajun coffee, and crank the rock n roll. Your work will look much better to you.
 
I was just thinking what +Christina Lawrie said. Get to warmer weather, around other people, out shooting more ... that might be just the prescription you need. :)
 
I constantly have that same feeling. I think we are just our own worst critics. Keep posting, you have some great work. The feeling will soon pass.
 
Yes +russ vallelunga ... You are right - there is always someone looking at someone else's work and thinking that they wish they were that good.... I suppose it's good for us - it makes us want to improve....
 
+Erika Thornes well, sometimes that's what I'm afraid of.. what if people don't follow me for my photos? what if it's because I make smart ass comments all the time and my best photo is my moose one?!!

thank you though for the wonderful comment.... I appreciate it!!
 
I knew what you meant +Chris Bagley !! perfectly - and you are right - it's just my mind set right now and I KNOW that... I need to kick myself in the ass and smarten up!

thank you so much for the sweet words. ♥
 
+Sandra Parlow I have never uncircled anybody (yet), but I do have a circle that's set to zero, and I've put people in it for being rude and inconsiderate, even if they have the most outstanding photos in the world. Don't care.

OTOH, most of the people I've circled are photographers, and I don't think I've circled any crappy ones because I saw them commenting on a thread. Yeah, you have a great personality, but most people found you by your photographs in the first place.
 
Thank you +Mike Spinak for the offer. That's very kind of you. I will keep that in mind. :) and your opinion matters.. very much!!
 
good God, woman! snap out of it! you have been such an inspiration to so many of us! You are way more than a moose photo to us!!!
 
THanks again +Pam Chalkley you are quite the cheer leader! LOL!! I really appreciate your thoughts!
 
awwwww +Gary Munroe ... we can wallow in the pits of self pity together... it's good to have a friend there!! ♥
 
of course.... when I hit this wall....y'all are allowed to slap me back!
 
will do +LaDonna Pride !! make sure you let us know when it happens - I'll put on my big shit kicking boots and come looking for you!!
 
+LaDonna Pride - Sorry already there... Unless you can do something about my skill level I plan on wallowing for a while.. thanks. ;)
 
I think every serious photographer is always always looking for that 'next great photograph'. And once you have an accomplished portfolio - as you most certainly do - that 'next photograph' is always measured in the context of all that's come before. The thing is - those photographs - the ones that feel truly special for whatever reason - just don't happen all that often - at least for me.

Most frustrating are those days where I go out to make photographs and it feels difficult and frustrating and the results are at best competent. Sometimes that happens for several outings in a row. That's just discouraging.

But that's both the joy and frustration of photograph I think. Mostly, I find I just have to persevere. That next photograph will come. Lot's of good suggestions by others on mixing it up, trying something different, etc. But sometimes, I just need to force myself to go out and make some damn photographs!
 
THanks for chiming in +Eric Fredine !

What you say makes so much sense! It's hard when you have a GREAT shoot and you get a couple of great shots and then there is a dry spell where you feel like you are not meeting your own personal standards. That happens to me all the time.

I suppose it might be good to just enjoy the journey and not always expect every photo you take to be your best one.

Very good food for thought....
 
I just Shared it with my "a wonderful post to remember" circle of just me....
 
Hey +Sandra Parlow Now... wasnt it you that was telling me not two days ago to relax a bit.... and get off my bum and go shoot..? Well... I wont have any of this nonsense. You have some great work of a beautiful country. And I have consistently said that for months so you know I am not blowing smoke.

Take a day off... unplug... relax and come back to it.

I took your advice and the advice of several others.... and I am about to upload a new shot that I took as a result of all that friendly advice.

BIG [[[HUG]]]

Take a load off... go hang with your husband... got a movie (or the keg and a movie)... relax and then come back gunz a blazin
 
Hi +Sandra Parlow, I'm so glad you posted your thoughts.

The subsequent comments are wonderful and uplifting. I hope they helped you, I know they helped me!
 
Your moose photo isn't your best one? Kidding! A lot of these comments either say or point to the fact that we are all our own toughest critics. +J. Rae Chipera is absolutely right on with every point she makes. And hell, you could very well just have a case of those winter blues. In any case, keep it up +Sandra Parlow ! We all like you for your photography and your personality. Jeez.
 
+David Bowden .. ♥

Thank you my friend. you are right - maybe it's just my state of mind tonight... too tired, feeling a bit bummed, wondering where I'm supposed to go next with my photos... kind of floundering a bit.

I'm hoping for some nice frost tomorrow am - maybe the fresh air and some beautiful frost covered trees will get me back into the swing of things!

thanks luv hugs back!!
 
+Sandra Parlow I had the very same issue... got some great advice and am working in that direction. Posted what is my 2nd shot of 2012 tonight (how pathetic is that) so getting out of the funk is important. I tell you what though... this community is second to none. And we all need to re-charge our batteries from time to time.
 
You have a good point +J. Rae Chipera .... I think that I am feeling in a rut with my processing too - I just keep procrastinating - I have a year's worth of images sitting there and I haven't been working on them at all.. the other night I tried and tried to edit one stupid photo and I just got frustrated with it and quit.

I need to find my editing mojo...

I'm looking forward to shooting with you tooooo!!
 
Yeah +Jenna Lynn Monroe ... we are very much our own worst critic.... It's good to know that we all feel the same way from time to time!
 
You know +Chris LaCour - sometimes I think that's all people follow me for! LOL! it's been a blessing and a curse at the same time!!

jeez... I LOVE it when you say that to me....

thanks hun! hug!
 
We really do +David Bowden - I'm really looking forward to my trip because I will be away from my computer and just out with my camera a lot, doing some different things - AND meeting so many great Googlers! I wish you lived near Phoenix.....

I have to go and find your photo..
 
I know +J. Rae Chipera I have a year's worth. I seem to edit in spurts - I'll do a whole bunch and then stop for a while. I'll have SO many after Arizona!! LOL!
 
+Sandra Parlow I'm sorry you are feeling that way, but that is so not true! I can't add much to what has already been said because I suck with words but I love your images, each and every one of them!
 
Hehe I'd like to take an epic landscape like Todd Sisson too +Erika Thornes! Unfortunately they don't happen much to me either.

Don't worry +Sandra Parlow this happens to us all. The more you freak out the worse it will get. I go and shoot blurry out of focus stuff just to reset myself. That works for me because I find that relaxing to shoot. You will have something that you find relaxing to shoot. Don't focus on the results focus on enjoying the experience.

Hope that helps. 
 
Take a break and read or watch a movie. I find not trying to be creative can really clear the mud out.
 
Thanks +Todd Sisson that's good advice. I think we will have hoar frost tomorrow morning so if we do I will go out and shoot that - I'm sure it will pep me up!!
 
Wait. Hold On.... You're either confused or you're being a people pleaser... How can you take a break like +Greg Berdan suggested, and shoot like +Todd Sisson recommended... I just think you need to take a shot of black berry brandy and well, I don't know. But, someone's got to do it with me.
 
Welll........... I'm very confused! LOL!! maybe I should go to bed at a decent hour tonight and take a break, and then get up early and go shooting tomorrow a.m. ... that way I can do BOTH!
 
Who is going to drink the blackberry brandy with me then?
 
well, if I have just one it might put me to sleep!! ;)
 
Or change to shooting a different way. I like to do the one lens or wide open sometimes to really change how I shoot for an afternoon. I'm saving for a macro lens. That's another good way to mix it up.
 
I was also going to mention that winter is a challenging time to make landscapes. The options are reduced a bit and lovely warm scenes are hard to find. Also, from memory your part of the world is one of subtle landscapes rather than big epic scenes. It requires a different approach. If you have a macro lens try shooting that tomorrow its a whole new world of possibilities :)
 
Yeah, I've been dreaming of a 105mm +Greg Berdan but dang! that's a pricey lens!! So much equipment.... so little funds!! LOL!
 
THis winter has been dismal for photos +Todd Sisson ....nice temps, but hardly any snow!!

I do find that I get a bit photographically depressed this time of year as everything all around is so damn dead and lacking colour.

I've been eyeing up a macro... I may just have to splurge and get one soon....
 
really +Dirk Vi ?? that sucks.... maybe give it a few more days..... you just might need a break...
 
This just happens ... it is very common. I just go and look at the work of others for a while when I get this way -- I am always inspired afterwards!
 
I think that has been one of the worst effects on me is the lack of snow and spring like sunshine.
 
I know the lack of snow is getting to me too +Greg Berdan I had planned that my main source of exercise this winter was going to be snow shoeing and with no snow that's out - but yet the side walks are too icy to even go for a good walk.

In the summer I go out walking a lot and the fresh air really helps me to even out my moods but I'm feeling really cooped up this winter.
 
I like to go snowshoeing and I miss it this year. I had to skip it last year because of my shoulder now it's all fixed and no snow.
 
Ah, like making you depressed that you aren't creating the same?
 
Yeah, sort of like that +Robin Griggs Wood .... it's just my mood though - I usually am inspired by other's work.. but not at the moment! LOL!!
 
It sucks right +Greg Berdan ??!! I just took it up last year and was so looking forward to it this year.. but no go :(
 
You're having a moment? I've been having a month or two like that - hating everything I shoot. I just went through about a hundred photos from downtown Toronto today and hated pretty much everything. Maybe we need to start a support group. ;)
 
Then time to play with editing techniques! -- ah well, maybe not that either. But gosh, I know that feeling so well -- it usually means that I need a good long nap!
 
oh no! you too +Ian Thomas ??!! I'm sorry to hear it, but I'm also glad to not feel so alone! A support group is a great idea! LOL!

It would be a nice change for me to have a city to shoot..... I'm feeling so uninspired and like I've already shot everything around here... but I know it's not true... I just need to open my eyes and see what's there.

Sorry you had a crappy shoot today, and for the last few months. Maybe it's a part of the pain that causes us to make change that will be the new growth??
 
I'm thinking that I've got one coming up in about 10 minutes +Robin Griggs Wood !! LOL!

yes - editing I think, is a big part of what is bugging me right now....
 
Yep, it's just "creative" block, +Dirk Vi.
I was in an artist's group a while back (painters, photographers, filmmakers, writers, etc.) and wrote an article on "The Care and Feeding of Your Muse" for everyone. It's a long read, but just in case anyone is in the same boat -- maybe they have nothing better to do, haha! ;oD http://web.mac.com/robingriggswood/iWeb/RobinGriggsWood--Portfolio/Articles.html (part two is the real body of technique for fighting the problem.)
 
+Robin Griggs Wood - I find that ya gotta be careful when looking at other people's work when borderline photographically suicidal - it often depresses the crap out of me :-)
 
But then again I am sad old man..... Not some new age creative genius :)
 
You hit the nail on the head +Todd Sisson !! LOL!! It must be a cult thing... where is the Kool Ade??
 
Hey, "old, sad man" +Todd Sisson ... where the eff did you get the idea you're old and sad? ... I'll accept that you're a man, however ... ;oD
 
Ahhhh +Robin Griggs Wood... But am I a man? I could have just grabbed a shot of an aspiring male super model and plagiarized a whole load of shots from Flickr ..... You may never know. I mean, don't you think it a little strange that I am always busy when +Sandra Parlow invites me to a hangout ?
 
+Sandra Parlow Three words - You are awesome :) And definitely constantly improving. It's just a flat day, it will pass. Be happy :)
Wes Lum
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You're at that Ira Glass gap...just keep working...it's only through sheer volume that you will cross that gap! Sometimes I over analyze things...I've posted things that I thought was horrible, and then it ends up getting more +1s than stuff I liked! People see things differently.
 
Yeah - either +Todd Sisson is an imposter or he just doesn't want to hang out with me :(

Now I' depressed again... maybe I should just go back to bed now.. :)
 
Thank you +Andy Smith and I know you are right - today is a new day - so no more wallowing - time to get busy...
 
Maybe that's true +Wes Lum ! I have a selfy to shoot today for next weekend! that will keep me busy for a while!!!
 
Me too... so we get out and shoot, and shoot again. I was really inspired by +Alan Shapiro's show last night.

Sometimes I just need to get out of my usual comfort zone and try something different.

I will say that Phoenix is going to be just what the doctor ordered for you +Sandra Parlow.
 
I think so +Barry Blanchard .... I'm really looking forward to it....

It was a great show! I've used textures quite a lot in the past but it was really good listening to Alan - he's awesome at explaining things!
 
Hey buddy. I just saw you mention this in another post. I'm right there on a regular basis (pretty much from day to day; right now from scavenger album to scavenger album... I'm really proud of my output on one album, and completely embarrassed by my output on the next!), and this video is one of the things that helps me every time. Doesn't specifically mention photography, but it completely applies to it or any other artistic endeavor as far as I'm concerned: http://youtu.be/xcmI5SSQLmE
 
I'm sorry I missed your post today +Nick Gatens !! Yeah, I think the SH is bringing a lot of this about for me right now. I'm thinking this isn't a good activity for me! LOL!

I'll check out that video for sure! thanks sweetie!!!
 
No worries, I've missed stuff all weekend. I love the scavenger hunt and it forced me to be creative and try new things, but it's really hard not to make comparisons.
 
I edited part of that because it sounded shitty to me after I read it back, and I don't think I made my point very well... the point I was poorly trying to make as it relates to the hunt or the stream here is not unlike that video - I am a terrible judge of my own work, and that messes with everything, including how I take any feedback I might or might not get.
 
+Nick Gatens a couple of yours placed well and you did so awesome with them - you deserved every win you got! I got your point perfectly (it was in my email) and I know what you mean! I'm a bit disappointed with myself because I feel like maybe my ideas weren't imaginative enough, or executed well enough. It was a tough project and everyone worked really hard on it. I'm going to have to evaluate whether I want to do this kind of thing again.
 
I haven't read all the comments but suffice it to say I'm having one of those days today.ugh I think it happens to even the most confidant types and admittedly I'm fairly confidant in my work most times,then on days like this I'm like wtf is wrong with me ? Everything looks well..ugh lol
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