Apparently there’s a phenomenon known as “phone bored”. This is how one article defines it –
“Phone boredom occurs when you’re technically “on your phone,” but you’re still bored out of your mind. It’s that feeling when you’re mindlessly clicking around, opening and closing apps, looking for something to do digitally and finding the options uninteresting.”
So this got me thinking about times when I’ve been flitting from camera to camera, not really finding satisfaction in any.
These occasions might last for a few minutes, as, ready and time rich, I survey my camera shelf for the most appealing machine to join me as my comrade on my latest photowalk.
Or it might be a period that that spans days, even weeks, as each camera I choose and take out with me somehow leaves me unfulfilled and wanting something else.
Perhaps it’s not something more that I’m looking for, as each camera (and arguably every camera, even those you hated) has its own possibilities and potential.
It’s more likely I’m seeking something different, an alternative challenge or thrill or experience, sometimes even when the cameras I have I greatly enjoy, and deliver photographs I’m more than happy with.
Inevitably, this kind of dissatisfaction is a shortcut to unhappiness, whether you already have three, 33 or 333 cameras to choose from.
Is it possible during these times I’ve become “camera bored”?
Or is the root more likely a disinterest or indifference to photography as a whole?
When we consider something to be a great passion of ours, it can be surprising, even disconcerting to even contemplate that perhaps there will be periods when we’re “bored” with it.
And to accept that perhaps sometimes the best way forward is not just to buy more new kit to try to rekindle the joy, but in fact quite the opposite, to strip back down to the basics, with a refreshed perspective.
It might even be time to have a break from photography entirely, and just objectively observe without judgement what you miss about it, and what you don’t.
Personally, I can’t recall a time where I’ve given up photography entirely for years. But I’ve certainly felt periods of being “camera bored”.
Like those who are phone bored from having too much choice (the “phone bored” article suggests users “sometimes open and close up to 20-30 apps, hoping that something, anything, will catch their attention“), any camera boredom I’ve experienced has almost always been during phases where I’ve been buying more and more gear, then not had enough time to try it all, struggled to choose, then ended up not enjoying any of it.
So perhaps for me (as with those bored phone users), the issue wasn’t boredom, but a kind of options overload.
It wasn’t that there was nothing to do, but that there were so many possibilities, I couldn’t settle on and engage with just one.
This feeling has always been solved by picking one or two cameras and using just those for a sustained period, putting all other cameras out of sight, which helps shift that “options overload” out of my mind.
How about you? Do you ever feel camera bored? If so, what do you do to rekindle your interest?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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