Why I haven't Been Taking Photos or Present Online
1 month ago 112
Posted in: Australia, Milky Way

Why I haven’t Been Taking Photos or Present Online

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Why I haven’t Been Taking Photos or Present Online

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that for the last 12 months I have been extremely quiet. I would love to say that it was simply because I have been busy, but that would be only a half-truth.

I have been working hard to update Raya Pro and InstaMask (version 3.0 will be out on February 28th and it is free to all users), and I created my Art of Photography course, which was an incredible amount of work. But these two projects have probably accounted for a quarter of my work-time this year.

In truth, I have become very jaded by the internet, and the ways I have been using it over the years. I feel it has, to some degree, mentally drained me. It has also negatively affected how I feel about photography.

On the one hand, I love the internet. It has given me my job, and my company. It has made many things in our lives much simpler, and the world more accessible. The internet is not inherently a bad thing.

It is more about the way I chose to use it. My choices were mainly mine, but we can’t deny that major internet-based companies know exactly how to get us hooked on their platforms, too. So the blame is not necessarily mine alone.

Basically, a few years ago I found that I was far less present than I used to be. I was easily distracted. I checked my phone constantly. Every time it beeped, regardless of what I was doing, I would give it my attention. It meant that over time, I was half in and half out of real life. No matter what I was doing, always on the periphery of my awareness, there was the internet waiting to be checked.

When out in the field in the middle of nowhere taking pictures, that is when I was most present, most aware, and most content. But as soon as I returned to civilization, I’d return to old, unhealthy habits.

A metaphor I have used to make sense of this is watching movies. Maybe you can identify to some degree. I’m a huge movie fan. It has always been the one thing that allowed me to turn off my mind, relax, and be absorbed into some other reality.

Not too long ago, before smart phones, I would sit and watch virtually any movie, regardless of how bad it was, and I would be thoroughly drawn into it. I would completely lose myself for the entire film. It was an immensely relaxing feeling. I would also experience the same thing with a great book.

Nowadays, while I still enjoy a good film or book, I very rarely become immersed like I used to. My attention dips in and out of the movie, as I contemplate checking my phone, or visiting IMDB.com to see where I know that actress from. Essentially, the quality of my movie-watching experience has become diminished by an attention span reduced by frequent internet-checking (Here’s an interesting article on attention span and internet use). And this was representative of the rest of my daily experience, I felt. I was only ever half-awake.

How The Internet Affected My Photography

In terms of photography, for a long time I’ve been sharing my images on Facebook, flickr, 500px etc. We all know how unproductive and unhealthy it is to crave more likes and comments on our images. Yet here’s the thing: I have met dozens of extremely well-known photographers, with large social media followings, who talk regularly about likes, comments, and getting on the front page of 500px. It’s an obsession to more photographers than you think.

I once met an entire community of photographers who were very nice, and generous to me, but who spoke as if getting on the front page of 500px was life or death.

What I saw in so many of these conversations was an extreme version of how I felt for a time (although I have never been as serious as others about 500px), and I really didn’t like it. What’s more, since I was on social media so often, and connected to so many photographers, I became over-saturated with images from all over the world.

I saw the same scenes over and over again. After a while I wasn’t in awe of any of these images, regardless of how beautiful they were. I was numbed to them. Even worse, I found myself having virtually no desire to even visit these incredible places.

I’ve never been a photo-snob who thinks you shouldn’t go to well-known locations. I’ve always thought you should shoot whatever you want, regardless if it’s been captured thousands of times before. Just look at my portfolio and you’ll see plenty of famous locations in there. But what I was feeling wasn’t snobbery, it was complete disinterest.

This was definitely my fault. I chose to connect with lots of photographers, and I chose to share images to 500px and flickr, and be exposed to other people’s images too. But social media and photo-sharing sites were new to us all. I had no idea I would become over-saturated by it.

I once had a friend who worked as a porn-photographer. He said, after a day’s work he had absolutely no sex-drive at all, and certainly no desire to go out with his camera. In a less dramatic (and less sexy) way, that is how I felt about taking pictures.

And of course, the final nail in the coffin is having to deal with people I would never choose to communicate with. Having to see racist, homophobic, and any other type of hate-speech on Facebook, was awful.

I can put up with little insults towards me, like the commenter in my recent YouTube video who said I look ‘like the biggest douche that’s ever lived’. Or one guy who said I was too ugly to be on YouTube. These things aren’t really a big deal. My real first name is Lord, believe it or not (James is a middle name). And being raised in a very working-class area with a name like that helps you to develop thick skin. But apparently even thick skin can’t stop you from losing a little bit of faith in humanity when you spend even a little time scrolling on Facebook.

What I Want To Do about It

Essentially, I love photography. Taking photos is a unique experience that I never want to give up. I also wanted to be more present in daily life. Unfortunately I couldn’t give up the internet completely. My business is entirely internet-based, after all. But I could drastically reduce the most unhealthy parts of my internet usage.

I’ve actually been down this road before, and enjoyed a good stint off the internet. But this time I decided to be a bit more extreme.

I stripped back much of my Facebook use at the risk of losing income. I’ve developed a following of 22k followers on FB over the years, and of course that can lead to income when I share images/links on there. But I decided that the potential loss of income was worth it. I still posted to Facebook, but it was more like once every 6 weeks/2 months. I almost never scroll down my newsfeed.

I disabled all Facebook updates on my phone, including deleting the app. I disabled all email notifications on my phone. I posted once every few months on 500px and probably about the same on Flickr, so no one thought I was dead. I still check my work emails between 11am and 5pm every day, to deal with customer inquiries.

Apart from shooting for my Art of Photography course, I didn’t take a single photo just for the sheer pleasure of it.

Essentially, I tried to spend time living in the real world.

I have to say, for all of this I have felt much better. I’m slowly keeping my mind more firmly in the here and now. I haven’t been very disciplined at times, but I’m getting better. Trying to be relatively internet-free and run an internet business is, well, hard.

But I’m getting the hang of it. Over the next twelve months I hope to find a better balance. I’m going to be recording more frequent YouTube tutorials and adding more useful content to Shutter Evolve.  And of course, Raya Pro, my pride and joy, will continue to get better.

In terms of photography, my desire is back again. I’m going to venture out to a few locations I’ve been dying to shoot, just for the sheer joy of it.

I’ve also been toying with the idea of teaching advanced photography classes in person, maybe in groups of 10 – like a 7 hour exposure blending masterclass with me. This would be purely in the UK for now, and is just an idea at the minute. It would certainly remove me from the internet, though.

In an ideal world, I would delete every social media account I have. This is something I am considering in the distant future. Naturally I would keep my YouTube channel, which I still enjoy. I would also take photos out of passion and pleasure, which I’d post just to my blog. Then I’d spend the rest of my day forgetting that I owned a mobile phone, and being a little bit more present.

Ironically, I will now share this image and post on social media, so there’s still a long way to go before I finally free myself.

________________________________________________________

How I Created The Image – Before/After Post-Processing

This image was created using Raya Pro & InstaMask

bombo beforebombo after

I took this image early last year. It’s a place called Bombo, near Sydney. I never really liked it, which is why I put off publishing it. It was too messy, since the scene was very hard to shoot.

In the middle of the night, with only a faint Milky Way visible, I was being smashed by crashing waves. I managed to take two exposures, one for the foreground, and the other for the sky.

I blended them with InstaMask and edited in Photoshop with Adobe Camera RAW and also Raya Pro.

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  • http://www.outofchicago.com/ Chris Smith

    Hey Jimmy! We all have these thoughts, buddy. Clearly you’re not a “douche” and I’ll tell you that all of the women around here keep asking when you’re coming back to Chicago. :) I agree that getting off the internet and interacting with people in person changes everything. Speaking of that… I’ll send you an email.

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Haha, there’s no accounting for taste, I suppose. Thanks Chris.

      • Bernard Wolf

        Thanks for the article Jimmy. It resonates with me big time as it has with the others who responded. I am a landscape & commercial photographer and have been going through similar feelings as you have. You are doing the right thing. Smart man.
        I wish you well with your adventures in life & photography.
        Keep shooting and teaching. I appreciate your honesty.

  • Craggin Stylie

    Hi Jimmy. This post really resonates with me. Photography is my art, but I also have a day job which ties me to the internet way more than my psyche can easily handle. I’ve never done FB, which in hindsight, was an astute, yet accidental, decision. But, I’ve been using other social media networks, and they too can be just as bad as FB. If/when you get back to the states, I would to meet IRL. Cheers, and stay sane!

  • Gordon Bell

    Hi Jimmy. Very interesting post, I can relate to your views on the internet, i have stopped viewing many of the photographers i was following on Instagram and G Plus which has resulted in me following just a few of my favourites which includes you. We live in a strange world where the smartphone dominates peoples lives with Twitter one of the worst platforms ever made. Just keep up your number one talent other than looking after your wife and that’s photography. All the best

  • CanonMinolta

    Thanks for your article … have had the same thoughts as you expressed … especially the obsession with mobile devices and the internet

    For example, when on the commuter train, all i see is people with their noses next to their mobile devices … almost no one is talking or reading or looking out the window. Thinking that there will be some serious neck arthritis in the next 15 years or so. And when on the internet, I have noticed that people are either helpful and supportive or really curt and rude. Thinking that the art of conversation and interacting appropriately with other humans is becoming a lost art.

    Early on, I tried and left both Flickr and 500px … left because the buyers don’t hang out there and the sales opportunities were slim at best. Too many people on 500px are chasing likes, so it’s just a popularity contest (run by a company that secretly makes changes to the platform without telling the users, who may want the opportunity to opt out of the change). Found some non-social media sites for selling but they are not as robust as I’d like (mostly because they leave the marketing to its users).

    The biggest problem seems to be finding the “target audience.” The people in marketing tell us that we have to be active on all social media platforms because that’s where they buyers are (and want to show us how to do that) … but it’s not true. Our “target audience” is not that active on social media. Thinking of limiting social media to Pinterest as some potential clients are there. And will probably do more with LI. Staying away from IG as it has become a chase for higher and higher likes and followers. FB is like IG (which makes sense since they own them), so only posting interesting things I have found on my business page to have some presence there.

    As far as the FB personal page, along with a few private pages to stay in touch with family, I follow groups that can provide information two areas that interest me. The first area is photo editing … which I follow to learn about new software and editing techniques. It’s full of both helpful comments and snarky comments. The second area is about photography … which i follow to learn about shooting locations. It is full people who are open and will share information easily, but it also has a lot of people (usually the photographers) who are very secretive and selfish. Posting a photo of a barn or an an animal and not telling anyone about where it is makes it an ego post … “ha ha I have a photo of something you can’t have” (unless it’s a nest with babies, this is unnecessary as most people reading the post cannot get there when you and the animal were there to steal your photo find and potentially harass the animal). It reminds me of posting selfie photos, which is all about ego.

    Apologies for being long winded … but thanks again for publishing your thoughts about the internet. It sure isn’t what it started out to be and with the new misnamed net neutrality rules, it will be even worse. While the internet has it’s uses, it is indeed an addiction that we all would do well to monitor.

    Hope to see one of your proposed in person classes in the US

    Cheers

  • Debby Herold

    Such a good post Jimmy. I stopped following those photographers whose main focus in life is to be popular on the Internet. I was feeding into their ego and IMO, they aren’t photographers. They are simply people whose wish to be Internet famous supersedes anything else in life. It’s an unhealthy way to live … being them and getting caught up in their vanity.

    Photography should be for the sheer joy of capturing a beautiful image. I’ve recently begun the journey of photographing shelter animals in an effort to help them find homes and I can’t tell you how good it feels to see these deserving animals get adopted. It has renewed my drive to become a better photographer and challenge myself every time I lift my camera.

    I admire you, your work and your honesty. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Charlie J Round-Turner

    Hi Jimmy!
    Haven’t read all the comments but I imagine I’m echoing others, eg Gordon Bell. Your feelings about smartphones/internet are increasingly common, still good of you to share your thoughts honestly. I have also scaled back a lot on my social media use (mostly just occasional posting with little interaction/reading). I also despair a little at how desensitised I’m getting to the sheer volume of pretty impressive imagery out there. (And how I might create something unique!)
    As for distractions/attention span – I find meditation helps (not in any religious way). I also have deliberately left lots of those red notification alert sticker thingumies on various apps on my phone so I’m more immune to those! Of course deleting the app is more effective…
    And there will always be haters, so low on emotional maturity/intelligence that they need to lash out, I just pity them and ignore. The rest of us can tell you’re as nice a guy as you look/sound! You’re doing great stuff contributing to the photography community. Keep going man!
    And I find myself thinking how I could follow the advice, that if everyone else is zigging, I should zag… Your in-person workshops could be one way for you also to go a different direction from the herd of sheep…

  • A_Colloquy_of_Neurons

    I am never distracted enough to be a slave to my phone/the net. But it is a godsend – my favourite hobby is to fact-check, as we now live in the age of the untruth – the post-factual age. For me, that is indispensible – showing fake-news for what it is. But I do have a memory attention-span which allows me to make mental notes – and then when watching a movie or reading a book – do not let myself get sidetracked by dipping in and out like you say! Having said that, I have been enjoying Tony Erdmann, A Ghost Story, and Elle; and for reading Lincoln in the Bardo, Manhattan Beach and The Lesser Bohemians!

    Have a great Christmas, and keep up the good work! ~Jack Torcello~

  • Andrew Reynolds

    I can completely relate to everything you have said above. Ironically I am typing this whilst I have paused the movie “Looper” to see who the cast are on IMDB. I can’t seem to get through a film or TV program without being distratcted by my phone or the internet. I’m not some teenager, I’m 52.

    I put my photos on 500PX & Flickr too, and I am losing interest in going to see the places I have seen 1000 times now on those sites.

    The best things I have done recently to be more “present” is to get a dog and take up guitar playing. I walk the dog for 2 hrs each morning which at least gets you away from your computer. It’s good if you leave the phone at home too. I can lose hours playing the guitar although I do watch a lot of YouTube tutorials. I have joined a band of mainly ex-work colleagues and it is great fun. You can’t be checking your phone whilst trying to get to grips with a new song.

  • Jackie Evans

    Thank you for your very honest and thought provoking blog.
    I am currently trying to master your Pro Raya course and would absolutely love you to start face to face Photography courses!

  • Phill Toddington

    I’m glad to hear things are returning to normal for you and that the love of photography is still there.
    Sorry to hear about the comments you’ve been getting as I’m a firm believer that if you can’t say anything nice or constructive you should keep your mouth shut.
    Looking forward to the ne Raya Pro.
    Good luck with whatever you decide to do and seasons greetings to you and your family

  • CB Friedland

    I am right there with you Jimmy! Even though I am still trying to build my business, I am going to cut back on social media. It will make my task almost impossible given I am starting out, but I look forward to not chasing customers. Instead, I will keep putting out great content and let people find me. Best of luck and watch for an email from me soon! Take care!

  • Deb

    Jimmy: I am a “young” Grandmother who does not have a cell phone and certainly not a smart one. My children are always after me to get a smart phone, but I never have and never will. I have seen what the effects of the general population is over the decades, and the smart phones are definitely changing the way we are communicating as a society. I applaud you for what you are trying to accomplish. As a photographer, you are the best. Thank you for being here to teach us. Keep the YouTube channel. You have your audience already, and we will always be there waiting for you!

  • aron

    Jimmy, I can’t even begin to say thank you enough for sharing that story. Your words sum up some things that all of us seem to feel at one point or another… and for myself something that seems to be the funk I currently have less desire to go out and shoot, feeling less in awe of the places and natural beauty of a sunrise or sunset, this constant need for posting an image and the sense of accomplishment from that interaction.

  • Adrian Greaves

    Jimmy, it sounds like you are coping quite well and coming out the other side, so good for you. What you have experienced “the photography and internet blues” is more common than you think, you have plenty of company out there. You will always get dislikes and nasty replies no matter how good your video is, its the attitude of our society unfortunately and they are usually jealous or intent on causing grief for no good reason. Notice all the nice comments here and you have way more fans that will keep you going. Keep up the good work.

  • JC

    Interesting post Jimmy. Clearly there are a lot of people feeling the same way. Myself included. I wonder what the age range of the people that feel this way, I’ll be 40 soon and am not seeing social media bring any more value to my life. Not that I ever thought it would but I do find myself spending too much time on it.

  • https://adrianevansphotography.wordpress.com/ Adrian Evans

    Do You Have A Lower Attention Span Than A Goldfish? mmm, what was the question again M’Lord.
    Excellent post Jimmy, i laughed my head off about pausing the movie etc, i guess we are all doing it these days, about time you went shooting in north Wales, err not me but with your camera! Looking forward to the excellent Raya Pro 3 update. Take care and a Merry Christmas

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      I’ve always wanted to go hunting…I mean, shooting, in North Wales :)

  • Robert Marić

    This post is very relatable. I’ve been feeling the same way in the past year, to much obsession for the ratings on 500px, facebook and such. Not to comment the over saturation of content and places that I wanted to go out and shoot. This autumn I visited Tre Cime di Lavaredo (the most over shot place in europe) and there wasn’t any sense of exploration or wonder there, I felt like visiting some spot I see everyday on the way to work. Not to mention the feel of losing self value when you watch some new VSCO style photography getting way more appreciated then what you do. Internet is helpful but also draining.

    Nice post.
    Shoot for yourself.

  • Jordan

    Hi Jimmy! I ended up doing the same thing at the end of 2016 and into about mid-2017. It was refreshing and actually, I think, made me a better photographer and business person. I enjoy photography more and the creative ability it lends itself to. I think we all need to step back and just find the love or enjoyment of the process again. Thanks for being open and honest about your whole process and glad to have you back!

  • Brenda Tharp

    I’m with ya, Jimmy! It takes personal courage to post something like this, but by sharing it you have given others the ‘strength’ to rethink their own sitiuation. Look how many have said ‘I agree’ or thanks for sharing this. You obviously aren’t alone. I have felt this way for some time now, and am still working at finding that balance of time spent ‘connecting’, knowing that my workshop/tour business also depends on social marketing, yet wanting to back off from it, feeling the over-saturation of my mind from the glut of visuals and the visual competition. It is hard – yet driven by passion for photography, and the passion of sharing as a teacher, I find myself still drawn to sharing, and the internet is just one way to do that at present. I actually schedule an hour per day to check on social stuff – and then I get off – to get quality work done, and answer my clients’ emails, etc. Structured like that, I’ve broken the addiction to my phone and social marketing – well, almost. It’s a slippery slope…:)

  • Burt Johnson

    When I retired in 2013, I removed email and facebook from my iPhone. I figured there was nothing so urgent it could not wait until I was back at my desk. I continued being obsessed with likes and followers for another couple years, but then weaned myself of that too.

    Now, I post on FB only to note when I update my blog — which is only when something interesting happens, such as our trip to Cuba last month. No posts about what I ate or what I watched, or whose party I went to. Only “big trips” or “big events in town” (I now live in Ecuador, so big events here still seem exotic to most of my followers from elsewhere).

    However… gotta admit, I almost always have IMDB open when watching movies or even TV these days… :)

  • http://www.travisshoots.com Travis Neely

    Love this post Jimmy… and I’m right there with you. We met last year when you were in Arizona out by Superstition Mountain. Looking forward to Raya 3.

  • Steve Vincent

    Hi Jimmy, you’re not alone buddy.. I have BPD and my photography hobby was a means for me to relax and unwind, but the endless pressure to get comments, likes and followers had the opposite effect. Then there were the trolls, safe behind the anonymity of the keyboard. Pleased to hear mindfulness is working for you and I hope the love for taking pictures comes back. Take care.

  • Tom

    “Lord” must be correct. You have magically been able to get a nice view of my life as well. Omnipresence to be sure. Good open discussion and sage advice.

  • FRIOS777

    I have been feeling and thinking this exact thing. Great post, probably your best post as I thought I was the only one that felt this way. Don’t lose faith in humanity though. There are just some people who are miserable and they want to spread that because they don’t know any other way. Up until this year I had already lost faith in all people. I am from Houston Texas and this year was tuff with the hurricane that pretty much made Houston an ocean with water bungaló houses. Right after I took a trip to Greece and someone asked me what the Hurrivane was like and after thinking about it for a second the only thing I could say was, it was beautiful. I hadn’t really realized I felt that way till then. I had to explain to the person that watching people come from all over to help in that time was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed. My house was surrounded by water all around with less than a quarter inch till it entered and the unselfish help people were giving weirdly calmed me. I luckily was blessed and had no water damage but many friends, family and neighbors did. There are good people out there and that’s who you should focus on and simply pray for the rest. Good luck and no matter what you do I will always support you as I’ve learned so much from you. You made photography more fun for me than it already was. I want to visit the U.K. One day so hopefully you will have the classes going when I do because I would definitely enjoy that. Happy Holidays and THANK YOU!!!

  • Howard Ferrier

    Spot on Jimmy.
    One of the best photos I’ve seen of Bombo by the way.

  • David Potter

    Hi Jimmy,

    Thank you for being so open and honest, this was a great read. I can relate to how you feel and I also think a lot f people feel the same way so don’t feel alone. The Internet is a great tool but it also makes life far more complicated and stressful than it needs to be, there has to be an healthy balance between work and life. I’m very much like you I work damn hard (12 hour shifts days/night up to 84 hours in one stint) to provide for my family, it takes up so much of my time and I don’t even have a passion for it. Photography is my passion and I hope one day I can turn pro. In my time away from work I somehow have to try and balance family life (wife & two young children) and progressing myself as a photographer which is so difficult and frustrating due to the amount of time I actually have have to spend progressing myself as a photographer and being there for my family. I find myself up to all hours editing and practicing editing, following photographer such as yourself when the kids have gone to bed, then it’s finding time to actually go out and take photos, I’ve kind of lost touch of reality because I’m putting so much effort in to progress as a photographer i feel I’ve isolated myself from my family (mentally) because I am just constantly thinking about photography, but I’m doing for me and for my family, I hope one day it pays off and we just have a better way of life.

    Keep up the good work with RayaPro and InstaMask I’m looking forward to seeing the new update they are such great tools!

    Anyway, I hope you don’t read this and if you do that means your on the Internet again…naughty naughty! 😉

    Best wishes to you and your family for Christmas & New Year
    David

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Hi David,
      Thanks for the great comment. It sounds like you’re really putting in the effort. I hope you’re pushing yourself too hard. I imagine that type of thing can take its toll on the creative process. But then again, if you love progressing in photography, the more the merrier.

      I hope you find that 2018 will bring you closer to your desire of being a photographer.

  • Joaquin Gana

    Hello Jimmy!
    I agree with you and with what they’re commenting here.
    I know how you feel.. you become oversaturated so easily. You get sucked by the voragine that instagram/facebook.. getting the most engagement, likes.. perfect time posting. You miss the most beautiful aspect of photography.

    Getting to show what you see, think, imagine and feel to other people. And get the viewers point of view, thoughts, what they imagine and feel.

  • AlphaStatuz

    I see what this was really about: a clever ruse to motivate us all to now acknowledge you as Lord McIntyre.

    Well I’ll have none of it, sir!!!

    Newman: out!

  • Dan Thompson

    I can so relate to this. I was just having a conversation the other day with a friend where I was saying that Instagram and the others have, on some levels, stolen my joy of travel because I’m not surprised by anything any more. By the time I get there, I’ve already seen it a million times! This is mostly my fault because I do a lot of research before going places, but if you follow the travel community at all on social, you can’t help but see it also. Good stuff. I need to try this digital diet myself.

  • Albert Bronson

    Having attended your presentation at Out of Chicago a couple of years ago, I encourage you to pursue the idea of teaching advanced photography classes. You are a natural teacher. Make them multi-day courses and I’ll fly to the UK for one of them.

  • Sergei Anatolyvich

    Hi Jimmy, like many others here, I can relate to you thoughts on attention span when reading and watching films. I think the web has impacted so much of our personal and social behavior.

    I used to love getting into a good book, know it’s too easy to listen to a podcast instead as I am editing images. My lady hates it when I drift off during watching a film and start talking about the lighting, camera work or editing. But that I can partly attribute to working in the Post Production industry for over 20 years.
    But that attention span factor is definitely also at play.

    I love what you did with the Bombo shot, I am the Sydney photographer who offered to show you around there. I nearly lost my D800 there to a gust of wind.

    Thanks for candidly sharing your thoughts, and of course you passion and expertise. Happy shooting, Happy 20018 and Merry Christmas!

    Sergei

  • caroline

    Hello, Jimmy –
    I respect your honesty and vulnerability. I wish more people spoke the truth. It’s refreshing to read this. I am in the same boat. Thank you very much!
    Sincerely,
    Caroline

  • MartaHooverstein

    it’s OK. The mind and soul need a break particularly in this climate. You have done so much for so many of us and most of the time – gratis. You should realize the good that you’ve done.

    i still smile when i see a Jimmy McIntyre video show up on youTube! I think we’re all burned out from the negativity that is circling around the globe. Some people like to troll but 99.999999 of us are Jimmy fans. Take care of yourself and do what you have to do in life. There are other photographers like yourself who feel the same way. Many are stepping back to regroup and to see what is really happening.

    You’ve been on the road for so long and this was a big year of change for you.

    Take care of yourself and your family and best holiday wishes!

  • Ty Thompson

    Good for you. We all need to spend more time living.

  • Drew W.

    I think you’ve articulated what many of us have been feeling — I know I can relate. My wife and I spent 16 months on an around-the-world photography trip, which was absolutely incredible, but I have to admit that it would have been a better trip if I’d left Instagram and Facebook out of it.

    Whatever you decide to do (or not to do) socially in the future, I wish you the very best, and hope the choices you make bring you the happiness and presence you’re looking for.

    Oh, and THANK YOU for the incredible contribution to photography you’ve made developing Raya Pro and InstaMask. I’m sure you’ll never actually comprehend the positive impact you’ve had on the community at large, or how your energy and positivity have effected so many of us.

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Thank you for the kind words, Drew. I’m always delighted when I hear that someone is really benefited from the software. And at least you now know that if you go on a trip again, you can happily go without FB and IG!

  • Brenton Jones

    Good on you Jimmy! I can relate completely. Would loved to have caught up with you whilst visiting Australia; maybe another time and I can show you places across the central west of NSW, places not often photographed by the masses 😉 That’s why I can relate to your article and situation. I too went through the same symptoms (obviously I didn’t have the same level of social gravitas, stress and business focus as you), and decided 3 years ago to only shoot landscapes rarely photographed by others. So, I focus purely on bushwalking and exploration first. Enjoying the magic of the outdoors and mystery of going “off track” has helped immeasurably in bringing back the passion for landscape photography. In fact, I spend more time volunteering my time to Bush Search & Rescue activities and operations than landscape photography! The point is, I was prioritising what mattered to me most, not what 500px, Viewbug, etc was dictating. Enjoy it for yourself mate, and I hope one day we can meet in the field somewhere in the world.

  • Donna

    I want to thank you for all your videos and tutorials. They are why I bought Raya Pro and the Art of Photography. They are also how I introduced both to other photographers, and hopefully new Raya Pro users. What impressed me was when I emailed you, and you personally were quick to respond. That does not happen often where the owner of the company responds and resolves an issue, no matter how small. Also, I agree with others here, and appreciate your honesty and openness when dealing with social media. Yes, there are rude people, but know many of use appreciate all your hard work and look forward to the what you have in store for us in the future.

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Thank you for the recommendation Donna. I appreciate it!

  • patrick hardman

    I am seeing so many people who are texting more and more each day. It is irritating to hear them yelling into their phones as if they were speaking into a “tin can” connected by waxed string to another “tin can”. I am getting so tired of cell phones that I am on the edge of turning my phone in to get some relief from the addiction. Thanks for your very good reflections on the status of things. pat

  • Steve McKenzie

    Well put mate. After years of constant urging from my photographer buddies, I finally surrendered to posting on facebook. After 2 or 3 months, I too deleted the app and disabled all my notifications. Felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and now again, I just shoot for me! Take care and all the best for Christmas.

  • Greg Silsby

    Good for you! I’m sure I am not the only one who can relate with most everything you wrote. Your thoughts are an inspiration to those of us who have come to recognize the addictive, even destructive nature of our Internet habit.

  • David

    I was explored on Flickr >130 times and became quite addictive. When that stopped it was a challenge and amongst other things I deleted my account. After a period of reflection I found that I needed to have a publish forum And fb wasn’t the same. So I reinstated my account and feel comfortable with it now.
    Bombo is an amazing location… so many comps. Love shooting it at high tid and a big swell!

  • John Chapman

    HI Jimmy, and KUDOS to you for bearing your soul. That takes real courage.

    And I SO understand many of the issues you raise – especially chasing the golden ring of likes etc on the sites you mention, and others. It all gets so tiresome and frustrating. Doing our own thing in our own way is where real success and comfort lies.

    Regrets I have. And certainly one of the greatest is not mastering RAYA Pro and InstaMask to a higher level! Shame on me. BUT that’s gonna change. SOON!

    Re your sessions you talked about, I’d love to be part of that. My wife is from South Shields (as I’ve chatted before with you): we are planning a trip in May/June of 2018 to visit my wife’s Auntie who is in a seniors home in Wall’s End. I’d love to plan some time to meet with you and perhaps take advantage of some one on one time with you. Too bad the football season will be over by then – we could take in a Magpie’s game and share couple of ales.

    I envy your decision to walk your own path. Would that we could all be so committed.

    Have a Happy Christmas and a great New Year.

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Thank you John. I hope you find 2018 is a great year for mastering Raya Pro. Don’t worry about missing the football, it isn’t the most enjoyable experiences at the minute :)

      Merry Christmas.

    • Malcolm Boyer

      Hi Jimmy absolutely agree with all of your comments about the Internet especially social media Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
      But please keep up with Raya Pro best wishes Malcolm

  • Andrew Noonan

    Hi Jimmy. I noticed the offensive post also, and I felt quite annoyed at the horrible person that made such a comment. I too have dumped Flickr, Facebook, Twitter etc. They are awful, and appear to be platforms to distribute unpleasantness or hate.
    I recently purchased Raya Pro/Instamask and I am still learning, but I am really impressed with the results. Looking forward to the new release.
    Ignore the haters Jimmy. There are so many of us they appreciate the work you do. Please don’t dump YouTube; we would be poorer if you did. Filter out the haters and draw positivity from your loyal followers. Cheers Andrew.
    PS. When are you visiting Sydney again?

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Thanks Andrew. I don’t have any plans for Sydney yet, but I love Australia so hopefully sooner rather than later.

  • zadaki

    Hi Jimmy
    Now actually you’re quite a good looking fellow, really…..just sayin’
    Your articles are always “fair dinkum” good value and intelligently presented too.
    So thanks for all your good online work,
    It’s good to hear you figured what was sucking out the goodness….
    But really it’s perfectly normal for artistic souls to go through some cycles too.
    Best regards

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Haha, well there’s still hope for me yet, it seems.

  • Garry M

    Hi Jimmy,
    It’s so easy to relate with you. What a predicament social media has put us all in! I’m lucky enough to be a mere enthusiast who takes photo’s for the LOVE of it. Not the LIKES.
    I run my own tourism business which requires the usual posts to social media, so I totally understand the pluses and minuses of the ‘game’. Have not posted any personal images for years. I only share my images with friends, family and people I photograph on the street, social events or wherever it may be. Seeing their reactions is very gratifying but my inspiration comes from wanting to take that ‘perfect’ photo. A near impossible goal for any self-critical artist but when I do craft an image that I’m happy with, it will get printed and go on my wall. Simple as that.
    I presume Photography is a personal journey for most of us and you Jimmy, have played a part of that journey for me. Always striving to emulate the skills of those few select pro’s that I look up to is a fun challenge that never dulls. Hope you hang in there so we can continue to grow with the inspiration you provide.
    Enjoy your chill time this Christmas.

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Thank you Garry. I’m glad I have helped in some way.
      Have a great festive season!

  • http://flight303.com Abraham Kalili

    Pretty sure you will not read this considering the topic but I just want to say it sounds like we had a similar experience. I’ve been shooting for about 20yrs and I’ve always made folders for each year. I just made my 2017 folder this week. I have not shot at all in 2017. The previous three years I traveled and produced some of my best work. My excuse is the political climate I came back to after such an amazing experience. I’ve been on twitter/fb so much just angry and trying to win arguements. I recently realized what a quick and sad year it was for me spiritually and creatively. I’m not growing, I’m just getting darker. I lost my long time GF because I basically came apart. Shooting the other day really made me feel a good familiar feeling I haven’t felt in a while. Not sure what direction to go, I would like to style portraits or do abstract stuff but I have to get back on and live and shine again. That’s my bit, Jimmy thank you for your honest and well timed post. I appreciate and admire who you are. Please continue to search and grow and inspire, even if it’s just for you. Happy Holidays and Have a great 2018! 🤜🤛

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Hi,
      I’m glad things are looking brighter for you. Arguing with anyone on the internet is a lose-lose situation…but you know that already. I hope the folder for 2018 is full of beautiful images.

  • Trumpty Dumpty

    Dear Lord that was good post!

  • Larry Fasnacht

    Here here! Good on ya Jimmy! I don’t have Facebook or any of those other things, but even so, I can sympathize. You have to feed your soul. I wish you well in your continuing search for balance. And thanks for sharing.

  • Bleepin Liberal

    First off, its’ really COOL to be able to see into the future, when I saw it say, your post was dated December 16th and I’m still in December 15th. Would you mind telling me the MegaMillions loto number for Texas tonight? I’ll share $$$ 😊

    About your post. I thought I was the only one who thought that way. I haven’t posted much photography either, on my photography Fa(r)cebook fan page or Fine Art America where I (try to) sell my work. But how do you compete with a billion people?

    Thanks for sharing

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Damn, I saw this too late. Otherwise I would have given you the numbers. Sorry about that.

  • Robert Baher

    Hi Jimmy. That was a great post. It summed up what I, and apparently a lot of others, have been feeling. It’s great coming from someone like you who can reach a lot of people. Well done!

  • janeb80

    If it helps, mine is a different discipline in fine art, but I came to similar conclusions. Ars longa, vita brevis est.

  • http://www.aino.co.il Aino Shperber

    Bravo – what an interesting post!! I applaud you for writing it and I can relate completely!! Thank you for writing this and being so honest.

  • mdtinoz

    I suggest you try reading about “Deep Work” the very problems you have cited about Internet and social media use (obsessions) are noted in it. The author (Cal Newport) is quite authoritative on the topic and has produced videos on YouTube and I believe even Ted Talks; it’s not easy as the Internet has seduced us all with the “Squirrel!” megaphone of distraction. I have only implemented bits and pieces but I’m pulling away more from (anti)social media. The DW material can be found on YouTube, Amazon and the like; I won’t put links herein as web links make folks nervous, but you know how to use The Net.

    Regarding Trolls: Don’t let the bastards get you down! You have damn fine products and know what you’re talking about with photography; and who gives a stuff what we look like! Those who like how we look, great; those who don’t can … well, I’ll be mostly civil here, but I say they can go truck themselves! :0)

    Keep up the great work; I for one love Raya Pro!

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Thanks! I will definitely check that out. And thanks for the compliments.

  • http://snapflycook.wordpress.com/ Andrew Harvard

    Jimmy “Lord” you keep going. Don’t forget the visit to SA :)

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      :) It is certainly in the plans. Thanks

  • fatbaldandhappy

    Thank you for the honesty Jimmy. Many of us have gone through or are going through similar things and there’s some comfort in knowing we’re not alone in the struggle to find the right balance between real life and cyber life. All the best!

  • MIkey McDonald

    Jimmy… Think you said it all. I think there are plenty of people here who fully support and understand everything your doing and saying, plus experience similar. Hang in there Jimmy your an outstanding photographer, your teaching is fantastic and easy and your pride and joy Rayapro..takes it to another level. Got my support….come to Oz and do courses in Brisbane I’ll sign up now.

  • julien Van den Berghe

    Hi Jimmy, brilliant post!

    I used to love social media so much, especially IG. My job as an international airline pilot gives me the opportunity to travel all across the globe. Before every flight I would browse IG, 500PX, Locationscout, etc… for hours to find some inspiration and cool places to go to. I religiously took my camera gear with me on literally every trip.

    Although flying an airplane across the globe is such an amazing thing to do, and I am grateful for it, it wasn’t my passion. Photography was and has always been! Being able to combine both of them just seems to be the perfect combo right?

    But guess what? Social media made me loose my creativity, the will to go out and explore! I was more focused on trying to get more likes then trying to improve my photography skills, I wanted to shoot the same pictures my favorite photographers shot, etc…. I was just getting more and more frustrated instead, blaming everyone except myself! What I fool I was.

    Beginning of this year I just gave up on it. Camera gear locked up in the closet, accumulating dust. I was even considering selling all my gear and leave photography for what it is! Then one day I see my wife reading a book. I read the title of it and for some reason it made a lot of sense! Although it wasn’t easy to do at the beginning, I gave up on social media, not entirely but it was the best thing I’ve done this year to be honest.

    I still haven’t touched my camera gear, but I do start feeling the desire to go out and shoot again. 2018 will be some sort of a new beginning for me, less cluttered, less over-saturated and more creative! I still need to figure out how I will or can share my work, but that’s not my priority, not anymore anyway!

    By the way the book my wife was reading was The subtle art of not giving a f*ck!

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Thanks. I’ve actually seen the book a few times and loved the title. I think I’ll have a better look at it.

      Glad to hear you’re feeling the desire again!

  • Gilles V.

    Hi Jimmy. Welcome to the real life ! I’ve been fired middle of this year at 58 years old, and cross 6 months of awful life. Nothing was really interesting me. And by chance i discovered RP and IM. Then life started again, and very quickly i also discovered a great person. Not only a great photographer, but also a guy sharing truly his work and passion. There is a lot of famous photographers around the planet, but a very few of them that i’ll follow for life !
    By the way, if you want to experience new things, you are kindly invited in France. I love good wines, good foods and of course photography !

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Thanks Gilles. Sorry to hear about losing your job. I’m delighted you’ve found a way out and are enjoying yourself.

      Thank you, as well, for the kind words. They are appreciated.

  • Grahame Jenkins

    Very articulately put Jimmy……hope you find the blend (no pun intended!) that works best for you. Grahame, Blyth.

  • Chris Simmons

    Hi Jimmy, I can relate to the numbing of sensitivity for amazing images, what I once considered astounding I now give a cursory glance at, I follow very few photographers maybe 6 now that always turn on a light inside me. These devices do become obsessive. Hope you find your spot in life.

  • Peter Allchin

    What an honest, refreshing post. It is an unfortunate fact that trolls use the internet to vent their often vile remarks.
    You will find the balance that works. Good luck.

  • Pablo

    I wanted to add LIKE to this post but remembered you are not after them…. Seriously – spot on. Sometimes I want to flush my phone down the toilet. Then I remember my wife may call me to tell me I have to pick up kids, so I am bit tied here… All the best Jimmy, love Raya Pro and tutorials.

  • Doug Farrell

    Jimmy, I hope you get out of your photography slump. I only follow 3 photographers, Tom Heaton in England, Nick Page in the US and you. I think you are a world class photographer and teacher and love watching your videos and look forward to seeing many more. – Doug Farrell

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Thanks Doug. I met Nick last year. Very nice guy :)

  • http://www.lucalibralato.com Luca Libralato

    I totally agree on your post… I’m down the same path.

    I wish you the best.

  • Bob McCormac

    Hi Jimmy –
    I had wondered about your quietness this year and now I find it’s because you have suffered the same overload I have been experiencing. I understand your sentiments as I have had many of the same thoughts this year.

    I look forward to your communications next year in what every frequency and mode you choose to use. You have a great talent (far more than me) and I anticipate whatever you choose to impart that makes you happy going forward.

    Hang in and be happy on the path of your life!

  • mark

    Hi Jimmy. A tog with your talent could teach and run workshops from now until the end of time, please would you start?

    You’d be in high demand and speaking and interacting with real people who love photography and want to hear and learn from you would be wonderful I think. You’d not be beholding to someones comments online. Fancy it??

    An interesting post from you by the way. Our egos love attention and want to always be “right”. I’m not a great photographer, but now and then I take a decent pic. I look at people on flickr where my page is and sometimes get upset. Theres a guy I follow, he takes decent pics and is better than me on the whole but recently I saw a very average pic but people were liking and commenting on it. I smiled because it really wasnt a great pic imho but people were raving. It taught me that us humans are weird and worrying about what we think is a fruitless and pointless activity. At the end of the day its photography, not curing cancer. You and me are no bodies and so are the people you’re probably looking at also, we arent Tom Hanks so again we need to see the insignificance in what we do and who we are. Whats more important is who we are as people, how we teach, guide and nurture others. Do we compliment and uplift others? Jimmy, someone of your talent, if you were lifting, complimenting and bringing us up to your level that is a worthwhile thing to do. The truth is that 99.9% of us couldn’t get near you let alone overtake so I hope you’re a teacher and coacher. I’ve met some “real” talented people in my life, the “real deals” aren’t afraid to bring others on. That is where the real gold lies, not in likes or comments from people who don’t know you or have never met you. Mark.

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Thanks for the really great compliments mark. It’s little nuggets like this which push me further towards teaching face-to-face.
      I appreciate the great comment.

  • Dan H. Perry

    I completely understand. Photography is more of a hobby for me. I teach computer science and my students don’t understand why I am not on the computer 24/7. If I try to do that, I become burnt out. I have learned to ignore insults and still take constructive criticism. Take that time away from social media, it will help. Lastly, as someone who has a “face for radio”, don’t let the insults affect you. I really enjoy watching your videos.

  • Lee Rigby

    Great article Jimmy and one I’m sure many people will relate to, me included. Although I have a 500px account I’ve never used it. I very rarely post to Flickr, I don’t have Instagram or twitter and I can’t remember the last time I posted an image to Facebook. I only keep Facebook to keep in touch with distant friends and family. I know photographers that say you should post here or use this site or that but I just Ignore then. For me photography is about getting outdoors and enjoying your surroundings. If I make an image I really like I’ll print it and frame it for my office and I don’t really care if anyone else sees it.

  • Maes Hugo

    Don’t read this, get out!

  • Bertram L.

    Hi Jimmy,

    thanks for sharing your intimate thoughts. I can understand them very well and i think many people do so.
    First thing to to different is to CHANGE something. A that’s what you have done so far.
    Go along this way – and good luck.

    As a customer i’am curious waiting for the new Raya Pro in Feb 2018.

    All the best
    Bertram

  • Andy Brown

    A brave post indeed. Speaking as both a professional involved with mental health and a fellow ‘tog (amateur) I can see (and feel) your dilemma. When we stop getting the things we need from the things we love that is indeed a problem. My professional life is to say the least highly stressful and ‘real life’ to the extreme, so for me photography is what I do to escape. But I can also recognise in myself many of the same issues you describe. Anxiety entering competitions, worry over the lack of ‘likes’Fear of failure. Obsession with social media. Lack of motivation then ensues and problems with mood. It’s a vicious circle. Fortunately that problem can be dealt with, but just a word of caution; be careful of avoidance. It can lead to more problems. Balance is the key here. Anyway, you look like you have already worked much of that out for yourself, so good luck. I shall also be mindful of your experience and try and achieve some balance myself.

  • Felix

    Jimmy, I am Reality a Fan of you, and thats Not just because you are a great photographer, but a great teacher. Your work Stands for its own, but what seperates you from other Talented photographers is the way you Share your Knowledge. Your many free Articles are very helpful and your Software is also a great tool and well worth the money. I Really appreciate Borg very much.

    Keep on going your way and please Share it with us!

    Thank you!

  • Andre

    Hey, Jimmy.

    Firstly, happy to hear you’re OK and have a handle on it all.

    Secondly, thanks for all the awesome you’ve put out already. I’m sure you know, but saying it again: You’ve helped thousands. We’re grateful.

    Aside:
    You’ll probably not read these, you’ll be taking a walk with your camera :)
    Good man.

    Lastly. That linked article on attention span? The premise may well be correct, but that article’s not the one to prove it. Bluff and BS about sourcing and cherry picking conclusions etc. Doesn’t discount your experience, mind.

    Thanks again, man.

  • Joseph “hindator” Raven

    Jimmy, internet could be as dangerous as spider web! :-) But…also connecting, inspiring, beautiful,…
    Your post is true and I sign it fully!

  • Zach Jones

    I have mixed feelings about the points you have made. For one, as with most people here in the comments, I agree with you that many aspects of social media can negatively impact our lives.

    But on the other hand, small communities like this one can’t exist in any other form. Where else do I get to meet wonderful people that have a passion for such an obscure hobby as photography? The saturation of images of popular destinations on the internet would have you believe that those who love making good photography are everywhere. But I don’t PERSONALLY know anyone that has ever heard of many of the techniques that you have taught us Jimmy. And through your courses and youtube channel, I got to meet a great guy that happens to like the same hobby that I do. That’s gotta be healthy right?

    The scary part is that the internet is very good at connecting people with obscure interests. It can make you feel like you are not alone in your ideas. For those that have interests that are not as uplifting and positive as photography, that can lead to many problems. If we could only get those people to spend more time offline as well, then we would be getting somewhere.

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Very true, Zach. Connecting with people who we ordinarily couldn’t have met, is for me, the main reason why I haven’t abandoned social media altogether.

  • David Burlison

    Hi Jimmy, thank you for your efforts I certainly appreciate them as would countless others. I totally hear you on the FB scene, it is the only social media I have ever had and like you, cannot believe the amount of grief on it. I am now down to only about 6 groups and some of them are very close to being left!. The “real world” is where we all need to endeavour to be, the internet needs to be a convenience to assist our life, not turn us into a slave of it’s hunger. Have a fantastic time over the festive season and I can’t wait to see your latest upgrade to Raya.

  • Thomas Clarke

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. I think you’re 100% accurate on the negative impact of social media. When I took up photography seriously five years ago I found I was much more present and more keenly aware and observant of my surroundings. I have seen this erode as I worked to build a social media presence. I’ve cut back on social media as I’ve realized the only one I really shoot for is me.

    Thanks for your tutorials and Raya Pro!

  • http://jeffmcpheeters.com/ Jeffrey McPheeters

    I relate to much of your experience, as I went through a similar process about two years ago and limit my social media and interactions quite a bit. I was a technology specialist in my younger days, so freeing myself from that more and more has been a pleasant and rewarding goal, though not always simple or easy to do. For instance, on many of my extended photo tours driving through sparsely inhabited regions and yet having cell phone contact, it occurs to me how ‘comforting’ or ‘securing’ it feels to have a connection to the internet if for no other reason than to find help or information when I need it. And it reminds me that my parents and grandparents were probably much more resourceful in some ways, to do the things they did without the access or ‘tether’ to the grid.

    I wonder where it is leading me, but I don’t want to simply be a reactive creature and so I do, as you have expressed so well, try and consider the consequences of isolation vs interaction and the integration of meaningful communication within the craft of photography and education. As you noted with your friend, the one time porn photographer, perhaps the pervasiveness of information flooding our lives, as well as the cheapness of the experience, has harmed the internal drive or compass of our souls. As in photography, practically ‘free’ film means we can take thousands of photos when once upon a time, I’d have shot maybe two or three rolls and that can develop a sense of ‘frantic exercise’ that can lose us in a world where activity is the currency of value replacing meaningful content.

    Maybe this experience you have had, and I have had, caught us by surprise, due to the relative newness of this social media expansionism, but it could presage a more purposeful and regular periodic culling and realignment exercise for the future, similar to periodic fasting and mediation, time away with our closest companions evaluating and resetting business and personal goals, etc.,. I wonder if that isn’t a likely and beneficial outcome. You’ve written before on taking control of our lives with regard to financial commitments and consumerism, so perhaps this will be some additional fodder for some future projects to help others make responsible and healthy decisions with regard to social media and social ‘capital’ as it has come to be termed in the business side of that.

    Sorry for the long comment. I can honestly tell you that I did notice you were less active in social media, and caught myself sometimes ‘missing Jimmy’, as you are one of those ‘voices’ I consider fairly significant in my own journey with this craft. We have a mutual friend, Blake, who speaks so highly of you as a person, when we get together, and your courses and his were instrumental in helping me identify my essentials with the camera, the world as I see it, and the process of bringing out the image onto the ‘canvas’.

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Hi Jeffrey,
      You make some really good points, and I appreciate the kind words.
      Blake is one my favourite people in photography, and I see you share some his ideas regarding the days of carefully shooting film vs the sometimes frantic clicking of the shutter in the digital age.

      Don’t let him influence you too much, though. He’ll have you watching Braveheart every day.

  • Doug Farrell

    Yes Nick seems to be. I have not met him but one evening last spring I was shooting on Steptoe butte in the Palouse area of SE Washington state and he walked right by me. I was not able to catch up with him at that time. Have you ever had an opportunity to go there? What I really like about you 3 is your all consistently very generous in sharing your photo knowledge and your all great instructors. I always learn something from your blogs and videos. I plan on ordering your panel. I was waiting to see how far I could get with developing my own, coming from a software background. I think it would be interesting to see you and Tom Heaton join up in a trip together, especially being that your both in England, I believe.

  • Andreas Bininda

    Hi Jimmy,
    very interesting thoughts. I think it is not so important how often you post than what you post. Don’t care too much about the others, because they don’t go your way for you, you have to do it by yourself. I think it’s a good way.
    And not to forget: RayaPro is great! Shame on me that I mostly use only for digital blending. But I’m glad that it’s working for CS6.
    Thank you

    Greets

    Andreas

  • Peter

    Hi Jimmy! A short cycle “Like Acquisition Disassociation Syndrome” usually follows any sane person’s cycle of “Like Acquisition Disorder.” Lol!
    Happiness can never be found outside oneself as you have shown us all here… However, fulfillment can be found in your Heart! The current state of affairs is only exposing this to those who want to rise above it all! Your RayaPro and Instamask + Education Bundle are pure genius! Your Art of Photography Course is also pure genius! All, straight from your Heart! I am really enjoying learning and using your system would be an understatement! Judging from most of the comments here, everyone including me can feel exactly where you are coming from! Thank you for letting us know. Cheers, Peter :)

  • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

    Lord Jimmy (awesome btw), I too am part of the connected world as part of my job (run the IT dept for a multinational company). I can’t, nor want, to change that but I also see the negative impact of social media on my self and others around me. Last year I disconnected from ALL social media for 30 days as an experiment, and realized that I didn’t really miss it that much. Since then, I too have disabled notifications on my phone (I go check it when it’s convenient for me, not when FB tells me to). I try to spend less time on these services overall and will continue to try and be more present when I’m home with my family (4 year old twins, send help :).

    More changes coming in the new year, and soon I will have to educate my kids on how to use technology. I don’t want them to be one of those people that has their face buried in their phone. Relationships are key to a healthy and happy life, and they are not made by sending text messages, snaps, or whatever else Zuck and gang decide we need next.

  • Tony Dolce

    This has been on my mind for years. The feelings you describe could have been written by me and I’m sure many others. If I have to be on the internet, and find that primarily posting on Instagram is more image based and far less provocative. But, your post has reawakened my desire to live more in the real world and less in the virtual world. Luckily my business is in workshops and lectures, etc, and not as much on the internet as of yet, but I agree that it is all about balance. Thanks. Tony Sweet

  • barry schwartz

    Not sure why you have to feel even a smidgen guilty or questioning your approach to balancing your work, internet, etc. Societal “norms” have changed way too fast to figure out how to add value to our lives by using them. I love going to museums and historical sites. It has not been that long ago, and it lasted for thousands of years, where people worked on one piece of art or one piece of functional furniture for a year, sometimes several years. We turn things out so fast and so frequent that I am afraid we have lost the art (no pun intended) of taking our time and enjoying the process and having things evolve in a longer time span, where the artist or furniture maker can evolve along with it. My gosh man, you are a prolific thinker and artist, so I hope you can continue at a pace that brings you the most happiness, regardless of what the rest of our crazy fad driven hyper society thinks is the norm.

  • Pray Hard

    Be here now.

    Ram Das

  • Antonius Lecuona

    I agree. Social media platforms are designed to engulf and captivate (or steel) your attention away from what is important. All social media platforms are there for those companies to make money, they are not there for you and don’t care for your art. It is difficult to find a stable and sustainable mix of social marketing/sharing. Your article sums up what so many artists are facing. Thank you.

  • Sue

    Very interesting opening up of the heart. If this is happening to you, me and many others – can we actually imagine what it’s doing to younger minds. My mid-teen nephew for example – he’ll be in his bedroom, headphones on playing a computer game remotely with his mate yapping away between them. What happened to actually talking to each other or playing a proper game or being outside? The internet is a great thing, computers are great BUT we need to learn to be less reliant on them.

    One thing that gets me is all the people who wander around outside with headphones on. It’s like a huge wall around them saying “stay away from me, don’t talk to me, I’m in my own world and I don’t want anyone else in it”. People have become so individual, so insular to the point of being one giant group of insulates (if that’s a word) and if that makes sense. They are not individuals at all, they are like the Borg – with one common goal, their goal is to shut out society because they obviously find whatever they are listening to far more interesting than the world and people around them.

    As a 65yr old who was brought up without computers, without phones, certainly no mobile phones, I find the world to be more and more isolating especially for the elderly population – loneliness is at epidemic level. I’m fine right now but what about the latter years of life – no-one seems give a toss about anyone else anymore. Too busy “talking” to their “friends” on Facebook, spreading info about their lives in just over a hundred characters on Twitter – even the supposed most powerful leader of the free world admits to using Twitter to reach “the people”. WHAT?

    Kids at school compete for “likes” on FB, “followers” on Twitter. Whatever it is on Instabloodygram. Social worth seems to be based on these things. Parents out there are allowing their children to be cyber bullied. What? (Again). Stay off these sites, don’t torture yourselves with comments from other low-lives. Celebrities being cyber bullied? Don’t read it then. In years gone by, real celebrities (not today’s two a penny folk) used to say they never read the press reports about them – why torture yourself. You are never going please all the people all of the time.

    Which brings me right back to the beginning – I applaude your attitude Jimmy. As long as you are making enough money to provide the things you need – rent, bills, food etc – and hopefully have some left over for things you’d like, then you are a success. Don’t measure yourself against others, it’ll drive you mad. I won’t join a Camera Club because all they’re interested in is winning competitions. I’ve set up my own Camera Club for people interested in post-processing. Hey, for free board and lodge at our house (bring your wife too) here in West Yorkshire – you might like to come and talk to everyone. We’ll pay for your petrol. Talking to real people is what’s it’s all about. Please say you will. Wow where did that come from? But I mean it. We’re only about 90 mins down the A1(M)/M1 and literally 6 minutes from Jcn 40 on M1.

    See what I mean – people, they are the future.

  • Marc Lustig

    thanks much Jimmy for sharing your thoughts. I am sharing your feelings to a great extend. it is helpful to know others go thru a similar struggle like myself.

  • Hector

    Hi Jimmy, a very interesting and honest post. I think alot of us can relate to it. Thankfully I never got into 500px but for a while I was a bit obsessed with Flickr (when it was successful). It’s a fact as humans we tend to judge our success by what others think. However in many cases people don’t think about us much at all. They might love your photos today but tomorrow it will be someone else’s. If your photography is pandering to the masses it won’t tend to be very good (it will be very colourful though). The advantage an amateur like me has is photography is an escape from the real world. For you it is your real world and your bread and butter. It’s important when you are in business to act as if you are successful because customers tend not to support failing people/businesses. This means faking it quite a bit. It’s very common in photography. Professional photographers have to constantly talk themselves up. They make as much money telling others how to be successful as they do from photography itself. Not every photographer can be successful. They can all be better photographers but only a small minority will make money from it. You’ve travelled the world and now you’ve stayed in one place and still haven’t found what you are looking for. You may be trying too hard, Being a photographer is deep iwithin your make up, don’t forget to be that even for yourself. The alchemist (Paulo Coehlo) might be worth reading. Not that I think its an amazing book but its central message is strong. Overcoming our fear of failure is important. It’s important to go out an explore but often what we are looking for can be found close to home. In the noise of the world we often lose track of what’s really important to us.

    • http://throughstrangelenses.com/ Jimmy McIntyre

      Hey Hector,
      Thank you for your message. I may not have communicated my difficulties clearly enough. The business itself is very good. It has been profitable and continues to grow. And after some time to re-orient myself, I am really enjoying being at home. The only thing that I have struggle with in terms of balance, is the internet and social media. I’ve never really enjoyed this side of photography, but now I’m at home, with fewer things to compete for my time, I have been able to reflect a bit more on what’s important to me. That’s where my decision to distance myself from the internet has come. I’ve decided to live more in the real world.

  • http://alannastlaurent.com Alanna St Laurent

    You articulated quite well the thoughts that I have been grappling with over the past year, getting depressed when you see other photographers getting more attention (whether they are “better” than you or not – social media these days seems to be more about popularity than having a good image), or just getting tired of at looking at photos day after day after day. I can see how we can get burned out. And I don’t want that either. I am also trying to find some other more creative ways to capture images in 2018, being more mindful of what and how to shoot than I have in the past. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as it seems by reading other comments you are in good company :)

    I want you to know that you are a big influence on my work, and I am about halfway through watching your Art of Photography videos which I am very much enjoying. Please keep doing what you do.