Meh

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 19

This past weekend, I had two terrific opportunities to relax, not work, and shoot lots of photographs. First, I met up with Jayne (a lovely woman and kindred spirit who lives right here in town, but who I had to go to New Hampshire and Squam to meet!) for breakfast and a bit of a walk-about Lincoln for a photo jaunt. Then on Sunday, I attended Stored Potential in Omaha which was an outdoor event featuring local food and chefs, as well as commissioned art installed on old grain elevators. The weather was sunny and beautiful all weekend. Simply gorgeous, crisp fall days.

I was delighted to see Jayne and excited to have a photo excursion together. Although I enjoyed her company, I struggled to capture the images I was seeking. We went early in the morning so we’d have good light, only to encounter many shadows lurking from the buildings surrounding our Farmer’s Market. So we walked downtown and on campus, seeking “better” situations.

I then had difficulty shooting sculptures in a way that was interesting to me and that conveyed my “eye.” I quickly realized how much I need to practice photographing large-scale objects as I’m typically drawn to small, very close-up aspects of things.

Then Sunday presented all new challenges. With the huge grain elevators and the massively long dining tables to accommodate the 500+ people that attended the event…well, let’s just say that my little 18-55mm lens just couldn’t do it justice. I kept thinking about lenses I don’t have and how they would solve all my problems. I even went a little green with lens envy as a photographer sporting an amazing 75-200mm lens (with f/2.8!) chatted with us briefly. I thoroughly enjoyed the local food, the freshly brewed beer, and the company (fabulous friends and a fellow photographer, Sarah and Tom), but not the images in my camera.

As I uploaded and looked through all the shots from the weekend, I found a small handful that I could bear. But just minimally. I feel disappointed in my images. I feel a bit disheartened that I couldn’t capture through my lens what I was seeking and could see in my mind. In general, all the shots make me feel “meh.” I know that’s a critical place to inhabit, but it’s true (for now). Maybe as I look back through them, I’ll feel more positively. Maybe some of them will grow on me with time.

For now though, here’s a little reminder (for me and you) of love from the universe.

19 Responses

  1. Laura says:

    Having a handful of shots you like is FABULOUS, and the ones you’ve shared here are GREAT! YAY to you for prioritizing your new skill and creative passion!! FUN that you have another friend to share the journey in Lincoln!!! Autumn is a great season for reflection–

    “There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.”
    – Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Light on those sunny spots, Megs.

    Love you!

  2. Sarah Jean says:

    I can relate to this feeling of meh-ness. I’m feeling in the photography and in life in general. I’m glad you wrote this post — it makes me feel like I’m in good company! Also, I love the leaf pictures — the one posted here and the one Polaroid on picture fall.

  3. Tiffany Hogan says:

    I love your pictures and NEVER get a meh feeling from them but your sentiment resonates with my own creative endeavors most times. I love your posts Meghan!

  4. Jayne Bramley says:

    This is the case for me at least….when I feel ‘meh’ about photos that I have taken it is usually because I have no ‘connection’ to them, they don’t remind me of a feeling or a story. I think sometimes we can get so caught up in ‘getting the shot’ that we don’t allow ourselves to relax and soak up the feeling around us. In the past when I have allowed myself to be immersed into the moment I find I have taken the photos that resonate with me the most. Does any of that make any sense?!! 🙂

    I really enjoyed meeting you for breakfast and the photo shoot, I was happy with a couple of my shots from the Farmers Market, but the sculpture…forget it!! I took so many shots but nothing jumps out at me as being special. I love the heart leaf impression you found…..I was so busy trying to get shots of the different leaves that not only did I not see this one BUT I wasn’t paying attention to what you were finding/experiencing. You see, I need to step back and enjoy the moment a little more 🙂

  5. Tammy says:

    Meghan
    Your photos are great!! I agree with Laura if you can get a handfu you like,l that is success!!
    I think we all get the meh…feeling as we challenge ourselves but you kept shooting!! I like Jaynes advice too and will give that a try.
    Hang in there and keep capturing the beauty around you

  6. Lis says:

    Like you, I tend to focus upon the details, the smaller, quieter aspects of a scene or object. I have the bag of lens and a knack for leaving at home THE lens I needed for the location! Shooting larger scenes is challenging; I think as a writer, you are draw to examine the details and that is what comes out in your photographs. It is just your habit. I try to broaden my view and always end up sliding back into my habits. The trick does seem to be staying aware and committed to growth.

    I love the images you posted here. No “meh” for me . but I know what you mean :0

    xo Lis

  7. Karen D says:

    I see what you mean also.. but I have to say I really love the first one, the pine cone and it’s shadow..
    and how cool that Jayne lives near by for photo safari days.

    Karen

  8. Melissa says:

    I take a ton of photos I don’t like and get a few that resonate with me. I think the fun of taking photos is getting that one shot even if it takes 50 to get there. Hey, at least you had an enjoyable weekend with good friends…and you got a few shots that you really like! Just keep doing what you’re doing. I love the one’s you’ve posted!

  9. Monica says:

    hi there. just stumbled in.

    i think that every professional and artist in the world is grateful for a ‘handful’ of worthy efforts! just one will do.

    being a little hard on ourselves is okay, because it’s what pushes us to greater (more flfilling) artistic heights. but it’s all worth very little if don’t enjoy the process too. 🙂

    love that heart leaf print!

    • Meghan says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Monica. Love a new visitor!! You are so right that every artist is grateful for just a handful of efforts they like, and that self-criticism does push us. Thanks for the perspective. Hope you stop by again!

  10. Amy says:

    As hard as it is, I’ve found that “meh-ness” seems to be an essential part of the creative process. Not that I ever liked having that reaction to my own work of course! I believe that being in it and coming through it – along with a few great shots as others have rightly mentioned! – will benefit you as you grow even more deeply into this creative part of yourself. xoxoxo

  11. Tanya says:

    Hey Meghan,

    I’m glad you chose some of your photos from your “meh” photo shoot and posted–They’re great! I really like the blue of the sky with the notebook sculpture, as well as the leaf/heart photo. Like others have already said, self-criticism seems to be a part of the creative process. The important thing is that you keep at it, and work through it.
    I took photo 4 twice. The first time, I felt like I was able to find 10 good shots (after nine weeks of shooting at least one roll per week) for my final presentation (although I still questioned the cohesiveness of all 10 together). The second time, I felt like I never really got it (and again, I had taken rolls and rolls for nine weeks). It was frustrating for me, but looking back I still enjoyed the process, and hope to get out there again in the future!
    PS I confess, I am a lurker. I sometimes feel like posting a comment, but often think that I don’t have anything insightful to add to those who’ve already commented. At other times, after being a mommy all day, I just don’t feel like all brain cells are firing:) Just so you know, there are Peeps (besides me) checking out your blog!

  12. so happy to hear you have found a friend from squam in your home town! that’s awesome and i know how you feel when the images you “see” aren’t what you see later in the photographs you take but even if you have the handfull of hopefulls that’s something! i sometimes come away with not more than 2-3 that make me really happy. it’s getting out there that matters. looking forward to seeing more!

    xo

  13. Rosie Grey says:

    Hi Meghan,
    I just found you (your blog) and I’m glad I did! I can so relate to what you are saying! From the beginning with focusing on small objects (photographically speaking) to the disappointment! I have days where I delete every single photo after uploading (that is but one because I’m doing a 365 project and have to have one…). But a professional photographer once told me that even he has days like these. So don’t let’s forget to have fun with what we are doing with our cameras! :-)) Have a wonderful day!

    • Meghan says:

      Thanks for coming by, Rosie, and for making a comment! Love to have new visitors here 🙂 I’m glad you can resonate with some of my experience–it’s nice to know that many of us are in the same boat. But you are right, let’s focus on having fun with our cameras! xo

  14. Rosie Grey says:

    Oh my, now I totally forgot to tell you that I loved your photos!!!!

  15. Sarah Jean says:

    Hey Beautiful! Someone said my good souls picture (inspired by you of course!) reminded them of Rick Ruggles work. Just wanted to share: http://www.rickruggles.com/posters.html.

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