I’ve been fairly busy lately and haven’t had a lot of time for photography and photography-related things. When I say I haven’t had a lot of time, I mean solid, continuous blocks of time in which to get things done – a weekend, an evening, a couple of hours, whatever. In the past, this really might have slowed down my output. After all, why would I want to work on, say, editing an image when I don’t have the proper amount of time to commit to it?
What I’ve learned, though, is that this is pretty defeatist thinking. It’s a great excuse for not getting things done. Instead, I’ve been using the time available to me – 15 minutes here, a half-hour there – to work on my images. Granted, I don’t get finished in one sitting, but I do get them done. In the process, I’m able to make photography a more realistic part of my everyday, work-a-day life. It keeps me continuously involved in the craft, and keeps the inertia going for generating work.
But doesn’t the quality of the work suffer by working in a somewhat piecemeal, fragmented way? Surprisingly, no. The image in this post, “Windswept Bristlecone Pine,” was made by working in this manner. So were several other prints over the last couple of weeks that I’m fairly happy with. Conversely, there have been many occasions where I had several hours in which to work, and produced nothing that I really liked. There seems to be no real correlation between the amount of time within which to work, and the quality of the output.
Stated differently, I believe there is no need to wait for the “perfect conditions” in which to work on one’s art. Even if there were such a thing as “perfect conditions,” waiting for them to occur would likely result in a lot of down time where nothing gets done. And, if anything, working on an “as-available” basis seems to produce just as good a quality of output on just as consistent a basis, at least for me. So, my suggestion is to just get on with it, and work your photography (or whatever art or other endeavor you may be involved in) into the available time that you have.