Starting over.

2014…. A fresh start… well, not that fresh, it’s already mid February… 

The beginning of a new year is always paved with intentions, good ones hopefully. It’s also a time of reflection on another year gone by…
Some people choose a word to guide them through the year. I’ve tried that last year, it didn’t work. I guess I’m not a “one word person”. So, this year I go for a mantra.

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I also decided I had to start this year by explaining to myself that it’s time to accept that I have my limitations. They are not my fault. They just happened to me. The burnout 3 years ago, the fybromialgia that nags me like, well almost always, and very bad and deformed eyesight that plays tricks on me even now while typing this.
Especially that last one can make me mad, or sad every single minute. I can’t “ignore” it… I mean, I “see” it all the time. I just have to learn to accept it. And that’s the hard part I guess. Accept that I need more time than others for doing simple things and find peace with that. Peace and quiet. It’s a learning curve.

So I hope that the mantra will guide me this year. And I immediately must admit that I am terrible at making choices.  And having to make them sometimes paralyze me in such way that I do… nothing.

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And “nothing” is exactly what I did with my former photography last year.  Except for some Polaroid adventure.  I clung to my iPhone, as if it was the only camera in existence.  Leaving my DSLR and a range of lenses catching dust in my cupboards.  All kinds of excuses: too heavy (well, that’s true); too difficult with the dog (for those who don’t know yet, in May last year a pup, Largo – an american cocker spaniel, joined us), etc.

I didn’t like any picture I took anymore.  I thought – still do – that all others take world class pictures, every day, every moment.  But not me, noooo not me!
Well, I guess we all go through some block sometimes.

I used to be on all kinds of photography sites from 1X to Flickr, last year I said goodbye to all of them except for Instagram.  Instant, quick, easy.  But I also noticed that my photography was going down hill.  I love my phone pictures, but it’s not DSLR quality, let’s be honest.  And my photography changed. Big time.  From a macro lover, precise, lovely bokehs, details, I turned into a snapshot-gal. Nothing wrong with that but I felt something was missing.  And I was/am in awe with other photographer’s pictures.
Beautiful light, exceptional warmth, personality, signature…. all of that I find missing in my own work.  My Instagram feed is a “mish-mash” of all kinds of shots.

Today I read the latest blogpost of Holly on Mortalmuses (http://mortalmuses.com/2014/02/11/the-friendship-of-collaboration/) and I kept reading, scanning from one link to the other.  Strangely enough, I don’t know anymore what link exactly triggered this post.  I can’t even find it anymore…
Probably it was just a button hit in my brain somewhere along the lines that did it.
As I sat there at the breakfast table, like so many times before, staring, planning plans that never would make it through the day, I stood up.
Felt some energy blow through my veins.  I went to my “creative” room (grown into a storage place last couple of months), opened the drawer and grabbed that special belt that would ease the weight on my neck and shoulders, but which I never used so far…, buckled it up to one of the idle dslr’s, grabbed the dog – well, gently asked him to follow me – and headed outside,  determined to use my big girl camera as an i-Phone.  Shooting what I would with my phone, only differently.  And even on the little display, the soft backgrounds of the wide aperture I used to like so much, made me smile…

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The belt is marvelous btw.
I returned home with 15 shots of my neighborhood and sat down.  Thanked Elke Sewöster (@elke1403 on IG) who pointed me to @soupatraveler’s blogpost initially, joined The Big Picture class: “Finding your Photography Style”, that starts the day after tomorrow and hope I am back on track… to Flickr, to IG even with some dslr shots, which means getting rid of that ridiculous principle I talked myself into, to only post iPhone pictures there.

See you… soon I hope… and you are always welcome to visit my IG feed @marl1een !

Marleen

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6 thoughts on “Starting over.

  1. Such beautiful shots today Marleen.

    I am so glad you have decided to be kind to yourself. Know that to me your photography is inspirational. Your eye for detail and your creativity shine.

    I am so glad to have begun to know you through photography.

    Lynn

  2. What wonderful shots today, especially of dear Largo.

    I am so glad to know you are being kind to yourself. Know that to me your photography is inspirational. Your eye and your creativity always say so much.

    I am honoured to have in some small measure got to know you through photography and look forward to seeing and sharing more.

    Lynn

    • Hello Lynn
      The honour is totally mutual. Such kind words to read, especially coming from you. They mean a lot to me and encourage me to go on.

      See you soon. And thank you so much for dropping by here on my blog. I didn’t expect any visitors ;-)

      Marleen

  3. Dear Marleen, happy smiles here! Glad you are dusting off your DSLR and venture out again. You already know that i love your IG work, your (flow-) ing creativity every day. And I admire your writing skills! Gonna visit this meeting place of yours regularly from now on.xx

  4. How did I not know that you had a blog?

    I am profoundly touched by what you wrote because it could have been almost word-for-word how I feel too. There are so many places to share photos that I seem paralyzed to pick one and then trying to decide which image to share just has the same effect. Suddenly nothing seems good enough and I just want to throw the blasted camera away and give up. But then, one picture will be nice and I’ll have a ray of hope again.

    IG is easy since it’s all contained on the phone and instantaneous, you know? But mine too feels like a mish-mash of stuff. I want so badly to put together a project or portfolio but I just can’t seem to pull off the cohesiveness that is necessary for that. Or focus.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I feel like we are in the same boat and I am so grateful always for your wonderful comments on my IG feed. : )

    My poor blog is totally neglected too…I can’t remember what my focus was for it and it seems to have just fallen off the wayside – even so far as to loose the template that it was formatted in. It’s a total mess right now!

    • Hello Jessica

      You probably think “better late than never”… honestly, it’s the first time I open my blog since beginning of this year…. And I so appreciated your words, that I just read. Can you see me blush?
      I also have the feeling that so much has changed over here, that I can’t seem to find anything anymore, let alone know how it works.
      I visited your website and am glad to see that you have it all back under control.It looks so good and you have such lovely topics there.

      I hope to be able to pick this little blog back up and breath some life into it. But I guess I have to start with figuring out how everything works… :-)

      Big xo – Marleen

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