Monthly Archives: May 2021

Zero Sum Game

The Church at Black Mesa (No. 1). Near San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, 2016.

Well, here it is at the end of May, and I haven’t even picked up my camera once in 2021.  This time of year usually is my busy season for photography. The weather is warm, the days are long, and generally I’m excited to get out and do some fieldwork after being mostly inside for the winter.

But there’s no particular excitement right now.  I wonder why?  Maybe I’m just in a dry spell.  I hear it happens to people, but I’ve been petty consistently motivated to produce work during most of my photography career so far.

Maybe it’s something else.  I’ve been playing a lot of guitar this past year, probably in part as a result of social distancing due to Covid (music has been an interest of mine for a long time, long before I ever picked up a camera, in fact).  I’ve been fairly motivated about it and am finding it pretty exciting.  Exciting in a way that, until recently, I got from photography.

Could it be that creativity is a zero-sum game?  That is, do we have a limited wellspring of creativity to draw upon, and if you spend it on one thing, it runs out before you get to the next thing?

I think of the past few years, when I’ve really been into photography.  I wasn’t doing much with music during that time, is that just a coincidence?

I’d like to think creativity expands to fill the space of creative endeavors that occupy one’s interest.  But given the current state of my affairs, I wonder.

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