When Time Is in Shortage

After I launched of my eBook 10 Great Tips to Take Better Photos last week, the reception has been above all expectations. Thanks to all of you, who gave me encouraging comments or kind-hearted feedback—and not the least, thank you to all who bought the book. It’s been a ride on high winds, taken me to a place of pure joy and making me want to start writing new books almost right away.

It has also reminded me of my intention I mentioned on this blog earlier this year, all the way back in January. Back then, I wrote that I had great plans for this blog of mine; I wanted to redesign the site and add more values in various ways to my readership. As such, this eBook is for me the first step in this direction. However, the reminder is in the fact that I had actually expected to also have redesigned my blog by now, as well as having launched more ideas and added new features.

The thing is—and I am sure you have experienced the same—sometimes we want to do so much, while time is holding us back or limiting how much we are actually capable of doing. There is just not enough time to go around. At least that’s our perception. It’s easy to get discouraged and stressed out by this apparent time lack. I have had to tell myself to lay such thoughts aside, not to discourage myself. I simply need to give myself some slack—we all need to do so, I would assume. Sometimes we push so hard, that nothing will ever get close to create a feeling of satisfaction no matter how much we actually are capable of doing.

In the end, I believe it’s better to be ambitious, have many plans, maybe more than is realistically pursuable, than sitting back and not push for much or anything at all. Some ideas may not be able to fly at all, some may need time to be transformed into reality, and maybe, in the end, only a few will reach realisation. It’s still so much better than doing nothing. In my opinion at least.

Another factor adds to this time balance. We have all heard and have probably experienced that time is relative. Isn’t it so that when we feel time is running short, we don’t manage to get much done—no matter how much or little we set out to do. The opposite is true, too, isn’t it? When we feel we are in no shortage of time there is no limit to how much we can get done.

Time is a mental state. We can actually control time. Of course, time never stops, but our experience of time is very much a result of our mental state. If we can relax our mind and not worry about time, there will suddenly be plenty of time. When you feel stressed out for time, try to impose a thought inside of you that there is plenty of time, and suddenly you will start to relax, stress down and time doesn’t feel like a shortage any more.

The last many months—or probably years—I have been flying around feeling the shortage of time. Never being satisfied with myself, never feeling I could get enough done. Launching the eBook actually provided me with a break. First of all because I had finished one of my projects that I had long been working on and wanted to finish, but never really had time for. However and even more importantly, the positive response on the book made me rethink my approach to time and gave me space to relax. This last week, I have allowed myself to think there is plenty of time for all I want to accomplish. It may sound strange, but suddenly it feels as if there is no shortage of time. It is really a mental state.

As a reaction to all this newfound time, I have decided to push on even harder. A couple of weeks ago I met up with Mary Shoobridge, a blogger that I have only had contact with in cyberspace. In mid-August she and her husband visited Bergen, my hometown, and we met face to face for the first—but hopefully not the last—time. One of the things that I brought back from that meeting, besides a very pleasant couple of hours with the two of them, was a question from Mary. She was inquiring about my Picture Critique I have in earlier years offered on this blog. When would I do it again? When I checked, the fact is that last time was back in spring 2015. Since then I have not had time to open up for another around of picture critique again. Well, with my newfound time and not the least because of Mary’s request, I will start a new round later this month. It will be duly announced here. However if you think it could be worthwhile to receive feedback on a photo of yours, you now have some time to either capture a new photo or search your archive for one you would like to have a second opinion about.

Furthermore, I want to flow with this positive response that the eBook has created. I am ready to start working on new books about photography as well as creativity. The question is where to start? I have far to many ideas for new books. So I have decided to ask you blogger-friends. Do you have any thoughts, any desires, any photo eBook you may feel the need for? Is there any theme I might be able to help you with through such an eBook? Please let me know. I will be delighted if you would like to give me some feedback.

By the way, if you haven’t gotten my new eBook 10 Great Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Point-and-Shoot Camera, you will find more information and may buy it on my website www.munchow.no.

Facts about the photo: The photo was taken a Canon EOS 1D with 28-135 mm lens set to 28 mm. Shutter speed: 1/125 s. Aperture: f/11. The photo was processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.

72 thoughts on “When Time Is in Shortage

  1. Time is an odd beast to tame, and I’m glad that you have. I too would like to see the critiques, and I also had fun with the photo prompts you did. As for a book, you write so much here about creativity in general, and how to tap into that. I love those conversations, and would love to see more.

  2. I think the biggest challenge facing many new photographers is learning how to see…..learning how to draw the viewer’s eye into the frame. I spent many years following other photographers, amateur and professional, and each time I really liked an image, I asked myself why (I like that image). In doing so, I gradually learned more about how that photographer produced an inspiring and/or creative piece of art.

    I don’t do much new photography now due to a decline in health and ability to get outdoors as much. But certainly in the first few years after I took up Photography as a hobby in 2010, I often felt that fellow ‘newbie’ photographers bought themselves an expensive camera and lenses and just expected the camera to produce a brilliant image. I felt they just aimed and pressed the shutter button assuming an ‘instant success’. They had no idea of colour, contrast and balance. And if they did, they often missed out on the mid-tones or ‘greys’ in a B & W image.

    The camera doesn’t make a great photographer, the photographer makes the image and its his/her constant practice and understanding of light, composition and exposure that makes for a good image.

    I’ve made both good and bad photos over the years, and some days I feel inspired and ‘see’ something that catches my eye and want to share the ‘view’ (e.g. B & W street image) and other times (on my Nature blog for example), I am merely using my camera to create a visual diary of whatever caught my eye as I went for a walk, usually the small details in nature or the challenge of trying to get a bird in focus.

    A photo needs to have a reason for being made.

    Some new photographers are keen to learn the technical aspects of their camera and use every button or setting. The want to create their resulting image in Photoshop, Lightroom or some other editing software. To me, the technology nerd does not necessarily become a good photographer, they become a good photo editor. Perhaps they might learn how to edit their images into copies of other famous photographer’s images, but they haven’t actually learned how to take a good photo from their own point of view. They haven’t learned how to ‘see’. They haven’t learned to develop their own style or creative skills.

    I guess an ebook on how to create a good image straight out of the camera i.e. how to ‘see’ is worth more emphasis than some photography tutorials spend time on.

    1. You have written a poignant and very good account on the difference between a random shooter (even if he or she believe they are more proliferate than they are) and a conscious photographer. I will use you comment when I work out ideas for my next book. Thank you so much, Vicki.

    2. I agree with you, Vicki…the photographer’s best tools are their eyes and brain! Too many people are chasing the latest equipment without an appreciation of the craft! I’m learning steadily, but I shall always be learning, and that’s the thing.

      1. When we stop learning, I think we miss out on so much. To this day, I constantly ask myself why I like a particular image (made by another photographer).

  3. PS A few words, or tutorial, on the reason why you made the photo might be helpful. As a new photographer, do you want to make a photo that tells a story or creates an emotional response as a stand alone image OR a series of images from various angles & on different (or connected subjects) that illustrates a written story.
    A single piece of art?
    Or to illustrate a journalistic piece or writer’s story?
    Perhaps there are other reasons to make photos 🙂

  4. What struck me most in this important post is that time is a mental state.Your positive and upbeat state allowed you to see that.What a meaningful reminder. Thank you.

  5. A very great point about time. I completely agree that we sometimes are slave of time. We are under pressure for running out of it where we could do something about it.

  6. A very interesting post and as always it seems, a timely one for me. I listened to a very interesting BBC Radio 4 documentary about being busy the other day. How the response from most people these days when asked ‘how are you?’, the response is ‘Busy’. We’ve become obsessed with being busy. If we’re not being busy, no matter whether we’re achieving anything or not, we’ve failed. It’s the way the world works today. We’ve always been busy, it’s natural for us humans but with the advent of smart phones and 24 hour a day, connectivity, we’ve taken busy to a whole new level and productivity, well, not much, we’re all running around like headless chickens achieving much less than we once did.
    Time is very much a relative thing. How those days when we’re having fun pass so quickly and those days when perhaps we’re engaged in boring, but necessary chores pass slowly.
    I do believe we can make time for what we want to achieve and I’m sure you will achieve all that you want to Otto, despite the time constraints we all work with but can definitely make more elastic. I too have lots of plans now that I will be working on when I return from my promised break in Fuerteventura when my last project came to an end. For now, busy doesn’t come into it. I’m on vacation. Very much looking forward to developments and announcements from you my friend.
    Best regards

    1. A had to laugh a little; running around like headless chickens – indeed so. You are so right in most of what you write, at least in my opinion. Besides, I like the word elastic in conjunction with time. Good thought. I hope you enjoy your vacation – and look forward to seeing more work from you. But don’t feel pushed to become busy!

  7. Great post Otto and I can definitely relate. I have the post about your eBook still waiting to be read in my Inbox and as for the blog I too have had things I planned to do that was well planned and still being planned. Time goes very fast these days and there never seems to be enough of it!

  8. As always, such a great post, Otto.
    You make me realize that some of the most obvious things are those self-same things that I do not slow down long enough to take time to think about.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    have a wonderful week!

  9. Congrats on your eBook publication! I agree about time…it can make us feel so pressured and inadequate but I think you are right that it is best to have too many “irons in the fire,” so to speak than to have too few goals or projects.

  10. This discussion about time is interesting. After years of “never having enough time,” I finally decided that, no matter how we define it, each of us has all the time there is. The important question is how we make use of it. Rather than seeking more time (an impossibility, after all), I began to focus on wiser use of the time allotted to me, and it made a big difference.

    On a somewhat humorous note, I might add that a couple of years ago, after realizing I probably have only twenty years left on earth, give or take, I swore to devote no more time to the stupid, the irrelevant, or the boring. That’s helped, too. 🙂

    1. I think you last advice is a very good one. Even for those who still have plenty of years left on this Earth (and who really does?) it would well advised to use less time on the stupid, the irrelevant, or the boring. As you say we always fill up all the time we have or think we have. Wise is better when it comes to mastering the time squeeze.

  11. Thanks for a very interesting post, Otto. It’s good to know that everyone is busy, not just me 😉
    As far as ideas for books, I don’t know if I am right, but I found a lot of books for the beginners, and a lot for good photographers who want to take specific photos, but I didn’t find any for those who are in between. After I learned about composition, light, color…, then what? What do I need to know or should consider next to move to the next phase?
    I recently watched a video on what a wedding photographer do before the shooting and how he took photos before the ceremony, during ceremony and after the ceremony. Learning the workflow and understanding his thinking process was very helpful for me.
    I probably haven’t given you any solid book idea… sorry. Like I said, I am not sure I know what should come after the basic beginner book. Personally, I would like to see a series of books that would help us to become a good photographer, not just helping us in the beginning stage.
    Thanks, Otto.

    1. Your suggestion is plenty good. I certainly didn’t ask for a finished book idea. But I like the thought of created a book (or books) for the intermediate stages of learning to master photography.

  12. Hej Otto, härligt att du är i fas med tiden och samtidigt har sådant flow. Ser fram emot nästa e-book. Den kreativa processen gillar jag alltid att läsa om i detta sammanhang. En ny omgång med picture critique är också mycket välkommet. Har inte kommit mig för att beställa din första men vill jag absolut göra. “Tiden du vet”!!!! 😉 Må så gott 🙂

    1. Takk for hyggelig ord. Denne første eboken er mest for begynnere, så målgruppen er nok ikke sånne som deg som allerede er godt inni den fotografiske prosessen. Men jeg håper at du sender inn bilder når jeg drar igang bildekritikken igjen. 🙂

      1. Tack för info om innehållet i din e-book Otto, då väntar jag på nästa. Kommer absolut att skicka in bilder när du kör igång bildkritiken. 🙂

  13. Love this photo. It really speaks to the wide outside world and the depths of the internal world — which I guess is what I like about your blog. I enjoy reading your thoughts about creativity and the creative process. Good luck with all of your projects!

  14. A thought-provoking post as usual Otto. Your comment ‘Time is a mental state. We can actually control time’ is, I’m sure, true, but controlling the mental state is a continuous challenge in all aspects of life and the decisions we make. Increasingly I find myself drawn to the Zen philosophy of the Now and try to use the present moment to best advantage. It is surprising how much can be achieved by a succession of Now’s’!

  15. I would love an ebook by you on how to photographically get OUT of a photographic lull… what to do when the passion seems to just die…
    i enjoyed your talk on time… i have a wee internet business and i’m in a lull with that too, and the last quarter before the Christmas rush is upon me, and i feel sooo stressed about it…
    can’t wait for your next round of photo critiques… thanks for doing that for us!

    1. We all have periods of creative rut, and I think writing about how to get back on the track again is a great idea for a book. Thanks Elaine. May you be able to handle the stress that is about to come upon you. 🙂

  16. Congratulations on completing your book, Otto, and best wishes for your future accomplishments. Goal-setting is the key, and your accomplishments demonstrate this.

  17. The sense of time really is a mental state, as you said, and I’m glad you’re feeling less stressed about it. And yes, build on the book for sure! I agree with Vicki, above regarding emphasizing the ability to see, and how to keep your eyes – busy! 🙂 Just kidding! .

  18. But I think you know what I mean, the eyes need to be assessing things in the field of view, looking for relationships, colors, light, etc., even when one isn’t making art.

  19. Congratulations on your e-book, Otto! You have written inspiring blog posts about photography and trust the book is a great one for everyone who wishes to improve their photography skills.

  20. Hello Otto,
    I fear my comment from early in the week has again found its way to spam.
    I just wanted to say how I’m happy for you that your e book has been received so well. I agree with you about Time. I too find that the calmer I am the more I get done.

    As for your question about your next e book, as the proud owner of a compact Nikon b700, I’d love one about using manual mode when it’s not a DSLR.
    Thank you, a great post,
    Di 🙋🏻

    1. I am sorry you comment disappeared in the spam filter. Unfortunately the last month or so my spam folder fills up in no time. Often I have hundreds of spam comments and, unfortunately, it’s not possible to go through them all for that one occasional “real” comment. I am happy at least you made it to the top of the spam folder this time, so I could “save”. Anyway, thanks for the encouraging words. And I have noted your wish about an eBook about using a compact camera manually.

      1. Oh hello Otto,
        I’m so happy this comment came through. I tried a different window. There seems to be various levels and I think it was your actual blog site I went to.
        You don’t have to be sorry…but thank you for your lovely reply. I’m sad you have to wade through there to find my comments.

        You’re welcome and thank you for noting my thoughts. You have many ideas presented to you so wishing you well in choosing your next e book. It’s an exciting new step I can only imagine…
        All the best from Di 🙋🏻💐

          1. Thank you for your kind reply, Otto.
            Yes, I get really sad about it, when comments and connection mean so much to me too.
            Until soon,
            Di 💐✨

  21. How relaxing, Otto, to read your very instructive and relaxing post about “time” and how to manage it best. I, personally, feel more and more, as I am getting older, that the more I am worried not to succeed in doing everything I have in mind, the less I will really carry out. I wish you all the best with whatever you endevour.:) Cari saluti Martina

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s