Bad Habits

I don't know why, but big puffy clouds make me happy

I don’t know why, but big puffy clouds make me happy

I expect to collapse into a deep sleep from which I cannot be awakened at any moment.  Between long days for my day job and several personal projects, sleep seems to be the thing that’s not fitting into my schedule.  Oh, and healthy meals.  Oh, yeah, and working out.  How long can a human survive on limited sleep, limited nutrition, and way too much time sitting?

More importantly, how do bad health habits affect photographic skills?

This is my list of what I have observed in how my photography habits have changed:

  1. I have less time to shoot.  Therefore, I shoot what presents itself.  Sometimes what presents itself isn’t all that interesting.  I shoot it anyway because I don’t have time to go find something more interesting.
  2. I have less imagination.  There have been many times I have had a lot of fun shooting uninteresting subjects and made them more interesting by choosing to treat them differently.  With a muddled mind full of unfinished to-do’s, I seem to be stuck in landscape mode.  I guess when we are stressed, we tend to fall back to where we are most comfortable.

    The same clouds as above as they begin to break up

    The same clouds as above as they begin to break up

  3. I take fewer images.  Instead of shooting every possible angle with different exposures and trying different focal lengths, etc, I take a couple of angels less than a half dozen times and call it done.  This would be a good thing if it were because I was taking my time and carefully deciding what I wanted.  But it’s more like I am not seeing all the possibilities and don’t have the energy to create a bunch of shots I have to go through later.
  4. I minimize the time I spend on post-processing.  If I have 3 similar images, I spend less than 2 minutes adjusting the first and then I stamp the same settings on the rest.  Unless there is something really amiss, I call it done.
  5. I don’t plan my shoots or my shots.  When I am experiencing less stress, I think about images I’d like to get.  I think about where I can go to get them.  I think of techniques I’d like to improve and give myself assignments to work on them.  Now, I am grabbing what I can get.
  6. I don’t work on new skills.  Normally, I find at least a couple of hours a week to read about something related to improving my photos or go to a workshop or watch one online.  Those hours have been consumed.  Perhaps this is why I am having a shortage of ideas?

Now that I have enumerated the ways in which I am neglecting my development (that would be funnier if I were a film photographer), the only question is whether it’s better to keep shooting or whether I’m just picking up bad photography habits in addition to bad life habits.

I cannot recall having ever seen a cloud quite like this one

I cannot recall having ever seen a cloud quite like this one



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