I think having photographed the Edinburgh Fringe Festival over the last seven or eight years took a bit of a toll on me, creatively, this year. I wasn’t looking forward to it like I usually do, and to be completely honest, I just wasn’t as interested. Even just using the festival as a kind of living backdrop for more general street photography didn’t excite me very much.
Part of the problem was over familiarity and trying to find new and interesting performers and acts to photograph. That’s always the case after a few years, with returning shows etc, you don’t want to shoot the same thing over and over again. However this kind of bled into the festival as a whole. I felt a bit jaded, so it was a bit of a challenged to keep myself motivated. I often found myself reluctant to shoot at all, but began to loosen up a bit once I did. Questioning what I was photographing and why may not have been helpful in that regard but it is necessary. Thoughtless action gives thoughtless results. I suppose this is made more difficult when shooting for yourself. There is no given brief.
These are issues I’m having with photography at the moment generally, it’s not specific to the festival. I have to question what I’m doing and why, and I am very critical of the results. I’m not sure about other photographers but I often am very dissatisfied with my own work but I think that’s built in, in order to improve and strive toward creating better work you have to be able to identify the flaws. However, that can go too far in the other direction where nothing is good enough, and nothing is good at all. At the moment that’s where I’m at.
In regard to street photography I often feel I rush things, even when I try to take my time. I will return from a trip thinking about how I should have approached a certain shot and resolving to do this or that next time. Then going back to the same spot and photograph the same thing, or same sort of thing, and then feeling repetitive. So, during this year’ festival all of that was going on, along with the general maliase as described, which added to the reluctance to actually shoot. At the same time I was still trying to find new and interesting shots.