Jack Baty on being burnt out of film photography

Jack Baty:

The trouble, I’m finding, is that I don’t really like the results I’m getting. I’ve shot maybe 20 rolls of film this year and a couple dozen large format negatives. Not a ton, but I’ve gone through them and there are only a handful that I really like, and most of those I only like because of their filminess.

Lots of people feeling a bit worn on the film photography process lately. At the end of the post Jack says he may just need a break. I totally get that. It is totally cool (and sometimes beneficial) to take a bit of a break from any creative endeavor.

I also think many people are just generally creatively burnt out because of 2020. Think of all the fuel we generally put into the creative tank when we’re traveling, getting together, going to events, etc. This year we’re relying on the internet for inspiration – which is all well and good but a poor substitute for the real thing.

If you’re reading this and you feel burnt out, it is OK to take a break. Even a long one. Try something completely new like painting. Or, don’t try to output anything at all. Eventually the creative geyser will build up pressure once again and you won’t be able to stop it from bursting out of you in whatever form that takes.

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I’ve photographed *more* in 2020 than in any year before. There’s just joy in walking around with a camera in hand, making images of whatever feels good. So what if I have a lower percentage of “good” photos than ever before?

You must be rich Jim, to throw money and effort at something that doesn’t produce results. As I’ve written before, my wife thinks my return to film is crazy. Perhaps, it’s a form of COVID induced insanity.

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