A Lesson in Perseverance


ISO 1250 | f/8.0 | 1/125th | GR III

I had been going back to the downtown office for two months now, but it was only this past Friday when, for the first time, I actually took a lunch break and ventured outside our building.

Life in Chicago is slowly waking up and people are going into the streets in much larger numbers. What helped a great deal was the fact that this weekend was Lollapalooza concert in Chicago’s Grant Park (pre-pandemic, this multi-day event would draw 2+ million concert-goers). The crowd heading to the lakeshore was obviously much smaller, but still a decent showing.

I am so grateful I had a chance to go out for that half hour and do some shooting and to be reminded that every skill we have requires diligent and consistent practice to not only gain, but also to maintain. Street photography is no different. Having not shot a single street photo for a year and a half has left a very apparent mark on me. Getting that groove back will take time, effort and heaps of patience. I had been so focused on landscapes and nature photography during the lockdown that the theoretical knowledge of street photography is still intact, but the muscle memory just isn’t there. I felt as if I had started learning photography from the ground up again (and in a sense I am). It feels odd, it’s a bit frustrating, yet exhilarating at the same time. This extended loss of practice and re-learning of a skill is a golden opportunity to correct old bad habits, to try different techniques and in general look at the world (and photography in my case) through a different lens (pun intended).

I can only imagine how many photographers and other artists are going through similar experience. There is a silver lining to everything.

One only must keep going, be patient, and plow forward. The old groove will come back eventually…

Categories: StreetTags: , , , , ,

3 comments

  1. Jiri, I think many of us are re-learning and possibly almost desperate for self improvement in our efforts and our creations. But, it is heartwarming and refreshing to actually read someone saying it! I have wondered over many years as to how important real photographic considerations are nowadays, because I think, I struggle too with old bad habits and am itching to improve. Seek and you’ll find, my friend. It has to work! Good luck in your endeavours and as always, I follow in anticipation! Great shot by the way. Lovely tonality!! Best, Rob

    Liked by 1 person

    • And thanks for the compliment on tonality! I will relay it to my GR III as I had absolutely nothing to do with setting it, LOL.
      That is another change I’ve observed on myself. I used to fiddle with the knobs all the time before, trying to figure out the f-stop triangle. Now, I have set up three custom presets on my non-infrared GR, two for monochrome and one for color and shoot it all in JPEG and let the camera do the work.
      On my infrared GR, that’s a whole another story.
      I’ve turned into a “set it and forget it” kind of photographer and it feels liberating.
      Though, coming up with those preset settings was a neverending agony, I admit… LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Rob! Going out shooting street for the first time was really shocking. It will take me months to get back into the groove. That only shows how nimble, intricate, and complex the art of photography is.
    But, the process of getting into the groove is the fun part most of us learned to hate. Once in the groove, that’s where the repetition, boredom and creative rut begin. I had so many bad habits, the pandemic made me forget them, and I now have a chance to learn a better way. It sounds odd, but I feel like we’ve all been given a second chance at this and that is so exciting to me.

    Like

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