Seems like it's been weeks since I've seen anything or had any idea what I'd like to shoot. I've just gone about my normal business, NOT seeing anything in the way that I usually do. No light, no shadow, no shape, no texture, no pattern that I connected with that told me, "Hey, need to shoot that."
No big deal. I've certainly gone through longer dry spells and the holidays plus some family issues have taken so much of my concentration, this dry spell could almost have been predicted.
A couple of days ago, I started noticing things again. Mostly in the neighborhood around the hospital where my wife is having some elective surgery. I made mental notes of several things and packed a camera to take with. Today I walked off for lunch, planning a route to pass at least 3 of the ideas I'd come up with earlier.
Well, as these things sometimes go, after taking the first couple of frames, my camera jammed...just would not advance the film. I opened the back and saw that the film had sort of doubled back on the take up spool and made a terrible tight mess. There was just no fixing it short of cutting out the mess. I'd never seen any failure quite like that.
I sat down to lunch and cleared the jam. Next problem, of course, is that I'd actually failed to take a second roll of film with me. Another very rare situation, as I generally carry 3 times the film I have the slightest chance to shoot.
At least my ceviche was good...
I pushed down my disappointment and gave the situation a little thought. I've said many times that given the opportunity, I'd take pictures even if I didn't have a camera. By which I mean that the process of discovering/approaching/seeing an image is the best part of the photography experience...worth doing, even if I end up with nothing tangible to show for it.
The intangibles of the situation were compelling enough. My eyes were open. I saw something that meant something to me. I'd thought and felt out how I would go about capturing that something so I could share it. 9/10ths of my creative process was complete.
I had a pleasant walk, a good lunch, and my dry spell is broken. That leaves very little to be missed.