Is this thing on?
I’m very sorry for the lack of updates to the site this last month and a half. It’s not that I havn’t picked up the laptop, opened up a fresh tab and punched in the URL of the site. Cause I have. More than once. But I am a bit indecisive at the moment. I think it boils down to me being fed up with my own shit! I just didn’t want to do another post like the one before it. Photographically I have been having numerous periods where my inspiration fails me. I’ve just come to accept those periods. As someone wrote me a little while ago, “These creative rots are usually when you take another step up the skill-latter”. I hope he’s right. I think he’s right. – At least thats a great thing to keep telling yourself.
I’ve tried numerous ways to fight through these periods, and they luckily always end up working. This time has been a little different. Ever since spring of 2016 I have been doing so many incredibly exiting things with my photography. I’ve gone to Iceland, I photographed Le Mans Classic. I walked, and shots, the streets of Paris and London. I went to Cologne and spoke at Photokina. I’ve also been giving numerous lectures in Denmark about my photography. To say that I’ve been laying low would be the understatement of the century. – So back in october I just had enough! – I was done. I was tired. I was uninspired. I was just. done!
It didn’t even scare me this time. I just didn’t care. I had been holding on to 1 picture a day even after my “official” 365 project ended back on january 1st. But I just said fuck it! I left the cameras at home. – And contrary to what I have been preaching for the last 5 years I just found joy in NOT carrying my camera all the time.
My rationalisation started to run free. Trying to figure out if this was it. Was I really done with photography this time? I knew for a fact that I was done taking pictures like I had been doing in 2016 so far. Because what I had been doing was shooting pictures for everyone but myself! I made reaction pictures! Pictures that I thought others might like.
Slowly I have started picking up the cameras again (And God knows, I have enough of them to chose from!!). I started picking up the camera when I felt like it. When I wanted to document something that my kids did, when I wanted to hang a new picture on my wall. – And it completely broke the pattern! – My images probably look the same as they always have, but to me they’re different! – They’re better! – They tell me something.
So today I’m serving up some landscape shots. Why? because I LOVE doing them, and I LOVE the way nature looks this time of year, where I live.
So let’s see if this will be the beginning of more blogging. I don’t know. I hope so. Because it feels good shouting these things into the open void. I don’t care if anyone catches it it, but it feels rather therapeutic.
I don’t even remember what gear I used to capture these. Probably a Fujifilm camera with a 35mm or 23mm lens on it
I certainly know what it’s like to be in a creative slump and there are many reasons for it. As an American, I’ll bet you can imagine what the source of my anxiety is and while I should just turn off the news and pick up my camera and get out in the world to make images of beautiful natural things, I feel stuck following the ups and downs of a large shift in my country. So far, it has not been helpful to stay deep into it so I’m going to attempt another way through.
Great images. You could make great images with any gear on any day in the middle of a slump or while stuck in bed. Keep it up, you’re inspirational.
Hey man. Thank you so much for your thoughts. I agree that you, as a country, have some way bigger issues than we do at the moment. Whatever the reason, your creativity will come back. Rest assured.
I understood every word you wrote! I think when it comes to a point where you need to take a break-just do it! You’re an inspiration for me and I am looking forward to new posts-when you feel it’s right posting. Have a nice Sunday!
Hi Kevin. Thank you so much. Glad to be able to inspire you.
Have a great day!
I wish I had places to shoot like that where I live.
I’m curious. How far do you usually have to travel to find these places?
Are they in your backyard, your immediate local area, or are these from when you travel?
These places are actually just around a 4-5 minute drive from my house. Except for the ship/sea image. Thats around 20 minutes away.
Keep up the good work and you know that you never let us down.
I have to say that as an amateur photographer, you really inspire me a lot in my own way, and enjoy photography, don’t let it be your burden.
Life is slow and enjoy it
Greetings from China
Thank you so much for your support, Butters Chang. Amateur photography is powerful, because it is based on passion. But it is a constant fear, that I someday lose that passion!
Thank you for sharing. Sometimes we need a break even from the things we enjoy the most.
Exactly! – Thank you for reading along! /J
I’ve been checking the blog lately for an update and was glad to see one today. Honestly, your reviews are great, That said, I love your images and the stories they tell. Even without all of the “Fuji love”, I’d still check every day just to see what you have posted. I started to enjoy photography again when I stopped shooting for everyone but me. I have a ton of photos of my kids now, but I love it! Hope you continue to post!
PS, Your quote, “I don’t even remember what gear I used to capture these. Probably a Fujifilm camera with a 35mm or 23mm lens on it” genuinely made me laugh out loud!
Hey man. Thank you so much for saying that. I really value when people say that they like my reviews, but they like the pictures the best. That is what I want to bring across to the world. So thank you for staying, and coming back to check if my lazy ass writes a new post! Tank you!
Beautiful images as always. I think it’s always important as a creative to remember, or at least try to find time, to be creative for yourself. It’s the reason we all start creating in place. We all go through these phases and I’m happy to see you come out of the other side and produce spectacular results at that. Keep inspiring and doing what you love.
Exactly. And since it’s my base for my entire photographic life that I’m a creative enthusiast, makes it all the more important that I look out for it.
Hi Jonas, I am really not a fan of landscape photography, but man these really really rock ! I felt like being in these places, litterally.
Thank you so much Patrick. Very kind of you to say.
I feel the same but I can’t get out of the slump. I hardly carry a camera around and I am not finding inspiration in taking photos anymore. Plus since changing to the Fujifilm XT2 I think it has made me even more uninspired and I don’t know why. :/
That sounds like you tried to cure it with new gear. – Let me tell you something. I own about 25 cameras. Most of them Fujifilm, some Leica’s and so forth. I always buy them thinking that exactly THAT camera will bring new creativity. But it never does. What has brought me most creativity has been sticking to a horse. The horse has changed over the years, I know, but still. I keep a camera on me that I truly like. Since january it has been the X-Pro2 and then the X100T has always been my main squeeze. Those cameras simply gives me a feeling that makes me want to pick them up. The XT2 doesn’t. The Leica M240 doesn’t. – So you just need to find what feels right for you.
Hello Jonas … I flinched a bit on reading this. I am only too familiar with falling into those blank spaces as far as inspiration and creativity go. My own “holiday” has lasted quite a while. I think: “What if I never get it back?” Hopefully it comes back. Some of this is due to the tedium of processing raw images. (I do not have the results some other Fujifilm users have with straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, and I always process raw.) Some of it is due to anticipated disappointment: what if I only disappoint myself again? In terms of creative work that fear is not helpful. Shooting more and accepting only a few “keepers” is realistic! Shooting nothing of course … well, produces no disappointment — but no art either. “Intellectually” I am well aware of this. Getting past the block is another matter.
The photographs accompanying this blog post are very beautiful, the first one in particular. Clearly the creativity and inspiration have _not_ abandoned you.
Yeah. I really have no good advice for this. Its been so different what has worked for me during the last two years. The self loathing and lack of confidence is always there. But I have learned to trust my taste. So whenever I have doubt, I just push through. But this time I was just sick of it all. Sick of all the expectations that weren’t my own. Cause those I cannot, and will not control.
Regarding “Sick of all the expectations that weren’t my own”:
I don’t want to make the expectations seem worse, but still I want to echo something said by another person who replied: “…this particular selection of photographs just might be (imo) one of your single best posts ever. Every one is positively beautiful.”
He’s right and I think the photographs in this blog post illustrate something I realized a long time ago — that if I have a strong feeling about what I’m seeing at the time I take the shot (whatever the feeling is, ranging from reverence to affection to pure humor), that’s when the photo has a chance of pleasing me later. But if I’m thinking “Oh, here I am with a camera — I really need to take some pictures…otherwise I wasted my money and someone else should own this camera” — the photographs always turn out mediocre or terrible. _Always_.
Here, by pleasing _yourself_ you’ve done just the right thing.
Thank you for the article. I appreciate your words and willingness to shout into the open void. For what it’s worth, this particular selection of photographs just might be (imo) one of your single best posts ever. Every one is positively beautiful.
Thank you so much Sean! Glad that you feel that way!. /J
Such periods happen to me every year. I call it a different state of photographic mind. During such episodes I tend to hold my camera less and explore more with my mind. This is the time when I like to relax with a cup of coffee and my dog on my side. I also venture outside WITHOUT my camera. I think we all need such a laissez-faire state of mind to let ‘it’ go, whatever it is. Long time ago I found out that seeing is not ‘on demand’ kind of activity, at least for me. The worst thing I have ever done was to pretend that I can ‘see’ – I would never ever do it again. Having said that I truly value such periods of confusion/lack of motivation/inspiration. I view them as a kind-of retreat for my seeing. In fact, they always help me to stay REAL and TRUE to my own visual soul – strange, isn’t it?
Looking forward to ‘new’ Jonas Rask! 🙂
All the best,
Olaf, you’re such a fantastic photographer. I listen to everything you say! You’re very right, but I’ve always been the guy who “wore his camera” everywhere. It’s a bit overwhelming suddenly having to see stuff a little differently 🙂
What beautiful, evocative shots. I began the day by opening your post J and simply left the page on all day. Calm flowed in. Art can do that. Thank you & Best, M
What can I say. Thank you so much Mark!! /J
After reading about what you’ve been doing this year I cannot imagine that you are kicking yourself for wanting to take a break from it all. Publishing a Blog forces you to concentrate more on photography, less on the subject. Try publishing only what you really love.
Hey Andre. – Yeah, it has been crazy. And I have maybe lost a little bit of control along the way. Slowly gaining control over my content. Important process indeed. /J
Jonas, I love your work and your writing as well. Inspirational! Thank you so much and keep it up.
Thank you so much Tim! /J
Keep going! Your work is splendid. As a startup, I just did four shoots for very little money (not yet posted on my site) – yet the images are truly making a difference in people’s lives. One person wrote, “thank you for making me feel beautiful again.” Yes, keep going… cheers.
Thumbs up to this post, Jonas. As a graphic designer and hobby photographer I know exactly how you feel when inspiration gets lost in work. Fortunately, a break almost always cures it in some way or the other.
And just wanted to say that to me you’re one of the most talented photographers out there right now, and I always love what you create. I think one of the obvious reasons for this, is that it’s so evident in all of your images that you truly believe in what you see before you take the image – very much based on “feel” it seems like.
The other reasons, for me at least, is that I feel a strong connection to the vibe, the places and narrative in your images, as I also live in Aarhus, Denmark ;->
Remember, you’ve already made a lasting impression on a lot of people, and nothing can take that away.
It’s quite embarrassing to the rest of us Jonas, that no matter what genre of shooting you choose, they most always come out absolutely fantastic. These shots are simply incredible sir.
I’m still trying to figure out how you have the time to do all of this while being a married father with a full time job etc. You must never sleep. Haha
Thanks for sharing your inspiring work as always.
I think it’s quite natural that you are tired after such an intense year – and it’s your right to lay low for a while, enjoy days without a camera and not putting pressure on you to create something! Batteries, also the creative ones, need to be charged.
Nevertheless, happy that you created these beautiful shots of the landscape around you and shared them with us. Truly inspiring!
I just wanted to say that I really loved your post and I think your photos are amazing 🙌.
I’m not sure I can be classified as an amateur photographer, I got my first interchangeable lens camera a few months ago (the Fuji X-Pro 2) and am probably more of a happy snapping taking pictures of my weekends and adventures.
I found my way to your website after spending way too many hours reading review after review, and I have referred back to your posts many times since.
I love your photos, every single one of them. You inspire me to keep learning and keep trying and for that I want to say thank you 😊.
Katie (from the land Down Under 🐨)
This is such a beautiful series, Jonas. Wonderful light and colours, awesome compositions. I especially like how you capture trees, in either B&W or colour.
Haha… where to begin a response? Well, I could be silly and note that you don’t have to post anything unless you’re doing FujiFilm / Minolta combinations! Except I’m about half serious and not meaning to be silly. I think you’ve sold many of us on the GFX system and the idea of pairing it with various modern and vintage glass, particularly Minolta… except I just bought my second Sony A7R2 so it’s going to be a while… Meanwhile I added my third Minolta lens based on your recent, excellent Minolta post. I’m loving the 58 1.4 (one owner who gave the lens to his photographer son-in-law) mounted on my A7R2. I’m now dying to see my various Minolta and vintage Leica lens on a medium format system. Regarding creative slumps, I’m leaning on God and finding answers. Regarding the work above, yes!! And finally, would love to see some more work w/ the Minolta 85 1.7 (and, you know, you probably really need the AF 1.4 too, so add that one…). Living a medium-format life vicariously through you!