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Thread: I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA

    I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

    I was tired all day yesterday because I had stayed up past midnight to make a pr int. And then had to get up at 4:23 AM to get to work. I wanted to see for my self that my vision was indeed intact. It is. Worth it? You bet.

    For me the biggest problem in my creative adventure isn't magic bullets (althoug h I do have a philosophy that seems to be working) but time. I started out on t his journey knowing that I would fill a dumpster with bad prints before I ever m ade a good one. It has proven true.

    My problem: I'm teetering on the commitment ledge that falls off into the black unknown. Lately I've been adding up how much time I can devote to this creativ e effort and stay in balance with a family that has constant needs and demands, my wife who I promised long ago to hold in priority, a job that pays a fair $ an d expects a fair return on the investment, friendships with demands, faith with demands and on and on, ad-infinitum ad-nausium. When I get to the end of that e quation I'm down to minutes........that's right minutes per year that I can use to express my creativity and make real advances towards excellence. It is frust rating. Maddening! Meanwhile the dumpster sits there waiting!

    Do the guys I read about in magazines with the fabulous work and dream darkrooms have wives and broken down cars and houses with pealing paint, or has their com mitment to the craft made them walk away from all that to pursue the goal. I'm painfully aware that Weston abandoned his family to go to Mexico. I'm not willi ng to do that so I ultimately may be just one of the very many who doesn't get t o the magazine pages.

    Just venting a bit. It's nice when you know you're not the only wacko in the wo rld and this forum goes a long way, for me at least, by giving me a peek into wh at others are experiencing. In Central Nevada I truly am the only wacko. Anybo dy got a late 150mm Xenotar?
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  2. #2

    I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

    Jim, For what it's worth... welcome to the club! As far as the wife, job and faith are concerned...inescapeable... friends should be understanding or you should put them in perspective. I'm a commercial shooter and love it, just redid the darkroom, have an absolutely great wife (although like any good wife... high maintenance [HMW as I would joking say to her]) and a small child whom I love them both dearly. Sometimes I have the need to "escape" and go shoot pretty pictures so I plan a long weekend so I can get away and shoot my 4x5 and recharge my creative batteries. This weekend/week will usually surfice for 2 months at best as far as the "itch" goes. Shooting during the day does help and the corporate stuff enables me to be somewhat creative but I do, like you, still need the creative outlet so we do what we have to do and on those long nights in the darkroom, I highly recommend espresso the next day! Good luck, Cheers

  3. #3

    I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

    Jim, I completely relate to what you are experiencing. Probably not to the extent though. My son is grown, I don't have a wife , but I do have a live in girlfriend and a job, other artistic endervors (dance) and a number of friends that I backpack, ride mountain bikes with and have lunch and dinner with. My girlfriend is also a photographer so she is supportive of my efforts, but I have to continualy fight the urge to completely withdraw into photography. However,I am nt willing to give up the other stuff and feel like I am burning the candle at both ends. I think my money making job has definately suffered. However, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will no longer need to work in two years and my 53 year old body isn't going to be able to do the kind of rigorous activity that I now do too much longer. Things should begin to get a bit more mellow and I will have more time to market my portfolio. Keep on truckin Jim.


  4. #4

    I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

    While I was within the corporate working world, photography was most difficult if not impossible. Add the demands for a family, wife and all of the other responsibilities and the frustration mounts as you clearly are feeling now. It was nearly 10 years from the date in the front of Adams "Negative" to where I arrived at a solution that balances it all. But photography was not the only stimulus for reaching from beyond the status quo to a better situation for myself and my family.

    I got caught up in one of those corporate fiascos where management was interested in finding out how many employees they could get another 20% more work out of without a pay raise. Needless to say, I got my walking papers out the door and had the opportunity to re- assess my priorities and start fresh. I concluded that: 1) My corporate job was at an efficieny level of about 20% because of to many meetings and knucklehead management, 2) I was not involved at all with my family because of travel and the general feeling of belonging to my "job", 3) I was constantly stressed out about the perception (not the actual numbers) of what I accomplished at my previous job and 4) I needed to find a way to have it all - my photography, family time and financial freedom.

    How did I do it? I started my own company two years ago after finding a service niche that was not being filled that let me work out of my house making more than I imagined with the ability to set my own schedule, take my kids to school and my wife out to breakfast when we want and create the flexibility to build a darkroon and make photographs at my descretion.

    I content that anyone that can succeed in the corporate world already has the skill set to make it on their own. All that they are lacking is the balls to make it happen. Reminds me of the age old axiom "Sometimes the Greatest Risk is Not Taking One".

    My point is that you can attain all that you want to with good planning and photography does not have to take a back seat.

    Good luck.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Redondo Beach

    I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

    Upon telling my wife that I was getting a 8x10 camera, her response was 'Oh I see, you're too lazy to do your 8x10 prints anymore, you gotta go and get a camera that does it for you'.
    Jonathan Brewer

  6. #6

    I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

    That's funny because lately I've been using 4x5 for the convenience of Polaroids. I don't have an enlarger at home so it's great to get a direct print right away (I like to pretend they're contact prints). Now if only Polaroids weren't so schizophrenic about their EI...

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2000

    I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

    When i read your post i felt like I was reading my biography. Not only is time an issue with my wife, work and two daughters (ages 18m and 5yrs) but so is the amount I can budget towards my passion. I had to make a major shift in gears when the kids came along and my darkroom time went from 4hr sessions 5 or 6 nights aweek and photographing anytime i wanted outside of work, to maybe 2hrs a night 3 nights a week and except for occaisonal day trips only a few hours a week with the camera. Fortunatley my oldest daughter has an interest in photography and comes along with me to shoot, so that is increasing my time out somewhat.

    So what to do? I don't hold any illusions about chucking everything and doing this full time, but i have learned to work within my limitations. My phtographic interests and projects suit where I live and where I can go for a day of shooting. I use a JOBO processor which allows me to do other things like while the film is processed. I standardized on a couple of developers, a few papers and 2 films for large format. This doesn't mean I don't try new things, but I have certain predictable results with my standards which saves time and paper when printing.

    When I print, i work on two negs at a time, usally one is in prelimnary stages determining manipulation decisions, then i will end the session working to have a finished fine print from another negative a began in another session. The only real washing needed then is the finished fine print(s). If toning, or spot bleaching is required on a print, i will substitue that process for one of the negs. The real frustration comes in when you have planned time to print some exciting negs that you processed the night before, and your daughter wants to play, or the other one is sick, or you had to bring work home etc etc. My family is the priority, so i just have to make do. I don't get as much done as i like, but i know the situation will not last forever, and I like to beleive that the few images I do complete to my satisfaction are well worth the effort.

    i really don't have any other choice. Photography and the creative outlet it gives me is the counterbalance i need for the rest of my crazy life.

    It also helps to appreciate the passions of your wife and kids. It makes it easier for them to understand my near obsession.

  8. #8

    I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

    Having just begun down this road myself I can certainly empathise. I have 2 kids, 2 1/2 and 7 months, neither of which goes to bed on my (darkroom) schedule I am limited to 1 night per week (on rare occasion 2) and dont get started until 10pm. A few minutes later in the DR and it's 2 am, knowing full well that one if not both of the kids will be up early and rare'in to go, and the multiple commitments of the weekend. At this time I'm not even developing my negs (take them to a private lab) due to the time contraints and limited space for storing the chemicals. After much internal turmoil I have come to the conclusion that my photography will, to some extent, suffer (maybe I should say "evolve" at a VERY slow pace) for some time to come. This is not to say that I sacrifice quality for time's sake...just that I am aware of the self-imposed limitations to shooting (and the learning curve to go with it) and the total control processing would allow. My wife thinks I'm too obsessive about the final print as is. I'm simply an obsessed weekend warrior, and of course get to take lots of shots of my fondest subjects - the kids. Regardless, I can't imagine NOT being involved in photography and dream of the day when both kids will go to bed at 7:30, let alone be old enough to do their own thing. It's all a matter of perspective...

  9. #9

    I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

    Great discussion, Jim. Thanks for sharing and starting it. I think there are always times when "it doesn't go like we would like it to." We don't get into graduate school. Our portfolio is rejected. We can't afford the paints and canvas. My answer has been is that if we have something inside that needs expression and is worth communicating to others, if we have the passion, it will find a way of being expressed. Can't afford a camera, learn to draw with pencils. No one will publish our work, start a web site or self-publish. It's the vigor and committment and honesty of the expression that coun

  10. #10

    I Was Tired All Day Yesterday.....

    Jim: I'm in the same situation as you. For the foreseeable future I see no prospect of increasing the time I have to devote to photography. I've been thinking lately, though, about how I spend the time I do have. I tend to lose focus. I start a promising project (e.g., still lifes under the skylight in the kitchen), but before I can finish it, some real busy phase at my job intervenes, time passes, and before I get back to the promising project, I get interested in something else ("scraggly trees I see on my route to work"). So I end up scattered. But I have an idea! At this moment I have essentially three photographic projects going. I'm going to choose one of them, define it narrowly, and say that I will have ten images in that vein finished and ready to display by, say, March 1st. In the meantime, I will not permit digressions into the other projects or any new projects. Isn't this a good idea!? -jeff buckels (albuquerque)

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