If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained
I wonder if you potters ever get your equivalent of "writer's block?" I've been going through a pretty fearsome stretch of such, from a shooter's perspective.
I'm trying to find inspiration in others' work, spending time looking through photographic essays and books, paging through flickr, trying different ways of post processing, but everything I do lately, (which admittedly is not much,) feels flat and uninspired. This has been going on for months. It started last year when there were several instances very close together, of people stealing my photos for their own use.
I know it's unreasonably idealistic of me to expect everyone to behave honestly, but it kind of knocked me down. Immediately following those incidents, I had a rather frustrating experience with someone requesting photos for commerical use, being unwilling/unable to give me specific parameters, then being unsatisfied with everything I offered and repeatedly asking me to "try again."
Within the same week as this was happening, I entered a chat room and upon scrolling back through the conversation (you know how one does to find out what's happening at the moment,) I discovered that the conversation was about ME and MY photos, very critical and mean-spirited. It knocked me right down the rest of the way, and all of a sudden I wasn't satified with anything I produced.
I'd get an idea, set it up, take the shot, then decide it had "been done" and was crap. Delete delete. I'd go to a garden, spend the day shooting bugs, water, trees, then delete them all because just how many millions of photos of trees does the world really need?
So that is the state I find myself in presently. I tell myself: "so you have a block and think everything is crap? So shoot crap. You might lay a golden egg, you never know." I'm not sure I believe it, but I keep saying it.
So far this month, I've shot more than Nov-Jan combined, but still a fraction of what I was doing a year ago. A year ago, I had ideas (delusions?) of trying to do something with photography that was more than just taking pictures and posting them on Flickr and forums. Now, I'd just like to get back to that place where I felt the freedom and courage to just get out there and try something different.
The only way to get through a block is to keep looking through the viewfinder. How can you find inspiration if you give up on looking for it?