Leaving Kathmandu

In Creativity and Inspiration, Travel by David72 Comments

Boudha, Kathmandu
Canon 1Ds MkIII, 85mm, 1/160 @ f/1.2, ISO 800

After the last post, and what one reader called my exhausting angst, I’ve been shooting very little and just enjoying this place. Guess I just needed a break.

I’m really grateful for the comments left, and for the thoughts and ideas expressed in them, but I trust you know I don’t share this stuff to get sympathy or even input on solving a problem. I don’t think the creative process – complete with challenges and struggle – needs solving. I was sad to see one reader tell me he was checking out, cancelling his subscription and moving on because he felt my speaking honestly and openly about the struggles was “disappointing and misleading.” You can’t please everyone, and I’m not about to try.

Still, that outlook saddens me, though I understand it. I’m just not sure anyone who expects to create photographs that stir the soul, either our own, or of others’, can expect to do so without the struggle.

To be sure, the struggle is not the be all and end all. This is not angst. And it’s far from hopeless or even self-pity. It’s living life with a strong desire to find hope and beauty, and those things come not in the absence of struggle, but through them. Much like faith, which is not, as it’s often sold to be by hucksters, denial of doubt, but a choice of the will in the face of doubt. The reason I keep on about this stuff is because so many people, like me, wrestle to express something more, and are willing to put in what is sometimes surprisingly hard work, to find beauty. Once in a while our successes lull us into thinking the wrestling is over, so it hurts all the more when we find it’s still there, lurking in the corners of our illusions about mastery, etc. πŸ™‚

We all have dry spells, and as some of you have pointed out, those do not signal failure, they herald possibilities.

I’m lying in bed with food poisoning right now, not sure when I’ll have a chance to hit Publish on this. But if this struggle I’ve been engaged in is in fact a search for beauty and a way to express it, then last night – before the gut rot started – was another milestone in that search. We left the hotel to find butter candles being lit, and rushed to dinner. When we came back it was raining, and the women tending the candles for the faithful were under umbrellas that bounced the gorgeous light around and added elements I’ve not seen here in 4 years of visits, proving once again that beauty is in the unexpected places, and is more like a lover playing coy than prey to be hunted. She has her own ways, and I find that makes the struggle much more enjoyable, and so much worth the effort.

Sorry if you feel the angst exhausts you at times, I really am. If you need to check out, I can recommend some conspicuously angst-free blogs that will focus entirely on kittens and rainbows and ways to make photographs with very little effort. πŸ™‚

Thank you again for being the kind of community that embraces the mess and humanity of this art. If I survive the wrath of last night’s Veg Manchurian, I promise lighter things ahead, like trying to explain why this Canon shooter is beginning the switch back to Nikon, which I abandoned when I transitioned to digital. That one ought to be full of chuckles and giggles. Put your helmets on. πŸ™‚

PS – 24 hours since I wrote this. Beginning to feel better, at least enough to get out of bed. We leave Kathmandu this morning for 3 days in Bhaktapur, then on to Bandipur.


  1. David, remember what you said in the CreativeLive sessions, that you have to be true to your vision and not worry about pleasing others. That goes for your blog as much as your photography! If you lose a couple of losers along the way, you’ll still have the true loyal following of all of us who appreciate your honesty as well as love your photography. I hope you are feeling better as I am coming to this post about a week late.

  2. You know, one of the things that first surprised me about this blog when I first came here were the book recommendations, because almost all the books that you recommended were books that i had already read in my own search for improving my photography. One of the books that come to mind right now is the Tao of Photography.

    The first time I read it, I didn’t grab anything in it because I was all too caught up with what the author was trying to share about Taoism and how it relates to photography. It seemed less like something I was interested in and more an interest of the author. But, I waited for a while – a couple months – and then gave it second read and realized that what the author was trying to say was that to open up your photography you sometimes have to think out of the box.

    Why am I saying all this? Well, I think that you have always created some stunning photographs of people in lands that some of us will never get a chance to visit, and sometimes but you may still be just touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to telling stories with pictures of the lives of the people over there and how they live it day in day out.

    I am sure that you will discover more things that still fit into your genre of travel and humanitarian photography to explore if you step back, take a look at the big picture then zoom in again on a less explored area. Think out of the box!

  3. There is one thing (at least πŸ™‚ ) that you are absolutely right about – good photography, and it doesn’t matter in which genre, can’t be created without a struggle.
    But then again, it goes for all things in life – you can not achieve something worthy without putting some kind of hard work into it.

  4. Hope you are feeling better, David. That’s a stunning travel/action portrait. Beauty is indeed NOT prey to be hunted, I agree with you there. It comes in the dry, the grieved, and the dark moments with its power of light and hope. Thanks for sharing, and inspiring David.


  5. Like you said, we can’t please everyone! Even in my amateur photographic endeavors, I get that feeling that I may not just have enough mojo to keep it going…but then, you just do it anyway. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for sharing your rants, angst, troubles and foibles. I’m guessing as you experience catharsis in sharing your thoughts, we also find that silver lining of inspiration that if we just push on, we’ll find that satisfaction again…the one that affirms that we love what we do, and that we get to do what we love at the same time (thanks to Anja…).

    Hope you get better soon. Would be looking forward to reading more of your rants, ruts, troubles and foibles…and how you got out of ’em.

    Now about that CanoNikon thing…why not have both? πŸ˜‰

  6. …nearly everything is said before, just one thing: after changing to Nikon your muse will come back soon, because she loves Nikon so much πŸ˜‰ … just kidding, I really don’t want to dive into that discussion… guess it’s not that easy, but I am sure you will find your way…

    thanks for sharing your thoughts and struggles – it’s always an enrichment for me to read your blog!

  7. David,

    You love what you’re doing but are you doing everything that you love? Just looking at your blog posts it’s clear that the amount of travel, workshops and writing you do limits the time you have to do what started this whole journey which was exploring the why and how your art. I wonder if taking a hard look at the balance your various activities would help? Easy and arrogant for me to offer lifestyle suggestions, of course, but I suspect I’m not alone in my concern or my hope that you get your mojo back.

  8. David,

    Your openness is something that I, along with many others, clearly appreciate. Travel photography is tough; there are lots of things to contend with yet still come up with the goods.

    I know from experience how wonderful Kathmandu is, but it can also take its toll on you. The noise, pollution, extended power cuts, hustle and bustle of city life, plus potentially debilitating stomach bugs – it all adds to the mix.

    When you add the fact you have been on the road running workshops, keeping up your blog and maintaining your business, you have a lot going on. So, hey, it’s natural that you may not feel one hundred percent and are questioning your creative abilities.

    If you look back, this is not the first time this has happened. Remember Cairo when you were struggling to find your voice? But then your creative juices came through and you got some great images for your book.

    It’s sometimes difficult to see the wood from the trees, but if we learn from our experiences, we can use those past moments to help inform our present and future. Your creativeness is still there and I am confident that we will see more of your wonderful work. Be kind to yourself πŸ˜‰

    Safe travels

  9. Your honesty is the reason I return to your blog day in day out. Don’t ever change. The human touch is what makes it a fascinating read πŸ™‚

  10. I had food poisoning in Jakarta circa 1998. One of my images from that assignment ended up as a double-truck spread on LIFE magazine. Just keep going, man, you’re doing great.

  11. Anyone doing creative work struggles from time to time. Sharing your pain helps you which in turn helps us. Anyone who hasn’t had a dry spell or stopped shooting won’t understand anyway. Get well and remember to enjoy the moment. Oh I just switched to Canon from Nikon ~ can’t wait to hear more about your reversal.

  12. I have a thought that all artists go through this. Especially those whose bread & butter is their art.

    Hey, I hope you get better soon. AND, for the love of GOD… please no rainbows & kittens. Take care of yourself.

  13. Hi David,
    Just a short note hoping your feeling better and getting some much needed rest.Sometimes the travel and other added pressures can really sap your motivation and creativity.Ever think about shooting close to home in Canada??Just got a Terrific book from Amazon by a wonderful Canadian Photographer “Daryl Benson” called “CANADA”.Absolutely beautiful work.I guess he did the travel thing for a while and now for the time being he ‘s shooting close to home.Check it out…
    I know that sometimes I have to motivate myself to get out of bed at 5AM to catch that light for the sunrise over Tampa Bay,but if I come home with one good image it was well worth it.
    Looking forward to your next e-book..
    Take Care and be well.
    Mike DuPonte,Tampa,Fl.

  14. i like the way you think and write and pictures you click and post…….

    here is good news for all photography lovers…..

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    Also, there are some fantastic prizes on offer which include 4GB Ipod shuffle, 2GB Philips MP3 players and more than 100 early bird prizes. The contest is on till 21 October, 2010. To know more about the contest, Click here

  15. I find that when an artist of your caliber, someone that I look to for inspiration as well as out of respect, writes about his struggles it makes me feel more connected to you. It shows the depth of character that makes you human.

    I don’t feel that there’s anything discouraging about finding that there’s something more to learn, no matter how much you learn — I feel the opposite. I feel that it encourages me to keep pursuing my art, because there is always room to learn, and grow, and improve.

    My sympathies about the food poisoning… but also cheers that you’re recovering πŸ™‚

  16. Well, if you were attempting to cull your following, you only lost one. …we’ll see what happens if you switch to Nikon. πŸ˜‰

    Seriously, David, thanks for verbalizing how discouraging it can be to think you’ve mastered something only to find there’s always more to be done… I deeply value the fact that you “keep it real” here – celebrate triumphs and share struggles. This community feels like a place where we can show up and grow, …despite our condition or circumstances. I hope I never do anything to get ex-communicated because I love this place and greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn from all of you.

    BE WELL and Travel Safe!

  17. Oh, and Gatorade is great medicine for post-food-poisoning recovery. And hangovers, since they make you feel the same way. It’s the electrolytes you need, since food-poisoning severely dehydrates you.

    Just sayin’.

  18. You know, without angst, the world would be a happier place. And photographing shiny happy people all the time would never, ever get boring. And not having to struggle and wrestle with your art would be a release from dramatic and inspiring art to the oblivious wonders of the mundane.[/sarc]

    I think “Phil” needs to hit a creative brick wall himself before he casts doubt and dismay on your blog.

  19. Great post! What a gamut: from faith and artistic struggles, to sarcastic comments about rainbow and kitten images, finishing off with a tip of the hat to the Gear Wars. Thanks for the honesty and inspiration!

  20. Cure for dry-spell/block/angst:

    Go shoot some Renaissance Festivals. They are happening all across the country all year long – and it will be such a wonderful sensory stimulation of beauty, festival, joy, spectacle and present such opportunities for candids, environmental portraits, street photography, sports photography, music, etc…

    Want to go deeper? Read some Carl Jung and then look at all the archetypes in play. Then go shoot a RenFaire.

    Go deeper yet? Read some Frances A. Yates and Edgar Wind’s books, study the mystery of Botticelli’s “Primavera”. Then go shoot a Renfaire. Mind blowing…


  21. It’s all been said here, so I’ll just vote – keep on being you. If some don’t resonate with that, and move on, oh well.

  22. I believe that these difficulties you speak of are a very important part of the journey…both as a human and as a photographer/artist. Even though I don’t enjoy the low points, sometimes I do invite them and I try to embrace them when they come. I feel like I get to see the parts of me that I often keep from myself. It can be a very healing place if I can sit with my “swamp monsters” and learn to accept them. What typically happens for me after one of these “bouts” is that I come back stronger than ever…both as a person and as a creative.

  23. If you have 50 comments telling you how much they appreciated your post – don’t worry too much about the 1 that didn’t. Of course, that seems to be typical of creative types – the critisism always seems to get our focus!! πŸ™‚

    I did find your “angst” post a little difficult to read – only in that it was like looking into a mirror. It happened to me a few months ago. I was so dissappointed with what I’d been shooting that it took me almost two months before I wanted to shoot personal work again. I can tell you it was scary going back out, too – worried that I may never make a photograph I was happy with again! I didn’t come home with all the shots I’d imagined in my head, but I did came home with ones that made me happy.

    So your post gave me two thoughts. First, I’m so glad I’m not alone! Second, I was hoping that if I got far enough in photography that I wouldn’t have these “creative dry spells” anymore… but it looks like everyone that really cares about their work has the same problem from time to time. Thanks for your honesty, it’s much appreciated.

  24. Get to feeling better David, and stay true to yourself. You have a pretty good audience that appreciates your honesty.

  25. Hi David,

    I’ve been working in the creative field all my working life; from full-time post-production to full-time writing and shooting on the side. I say that so you know where I’m coming from: all of us ‘creatives’ go through dry periods where nothing seems to work and all we do feels empty.

    I know you know that these dry spells are phases we go through, and – there’s no guarantee but – when we do go through them, we usually come out renewed on the other side. As to why; who knows – it’s probably something for the psychologists to figure out. But spend a decade doing creative work and you’ll see this cycle often enough to – if not understand it – at least work with it.

    I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t know πŸ™‚ But I wanted you to know that you’re not alone, and your honesty is greatly appreciated. What you wrote about is real and felt by many, except for those who either seem to be little experience or just want to gloss over the difficulties of creativity for the quick, easy and sellable tips of the day.

    I remain your subscriber and fan πŸ™‚ Be well.

  26. Hi David,
    I’m new to my hobby of photography, but I am happy to say that your blog was the very first photography blog that I included on my favourites list. You were and still are my first inspiration as far as having a mentor to look up to. You are a great teacher and I really love that you don’t let us all get caught up in the illusion that Photography is one of those things that you don’t have to work for if you are a “Real Artist”. It’s encouraging as a newbie to know that even the long time practicioners have those blocks in the brain for inspiration sometimes. Thank you for helping me learn and don’t change the way you write because the honestly is brilliant.
    Hope you feel better.

  27. I love the way you write, and think…and certainly the way you capture images. You inspire me, daily. Thank you.

  28. David,
    I have read all the comments to your Blog and the one you quote about quitting and moving on. It is his loss not yours. If he has no understanding of what you are going through as we all go through it, then he certainly does not understand what you are communicating. Keep up the good work and be well.

  29. Good grief. I subscribe through an RSS feed into my e-mail reader. so I don’t see the comments unless I go to your website. I’m bemused that some thought your previous post was `too angsty’. Perhaps it’s about them, not you…. Personally, I gobble up your stuff, including your books and e-books, and look forward to what you have to say & show on this blog. I’m not a professional photographer, but struggle with some of the same issues in my own line of work (writing). So the lessons are the same: keep at it, rejuvenate with breaks when you need to, and expect short spells of inaction when you lack creative juice. And Happy Thankgiving! No turkey for you, I suspect.

  30. I don’t think you will but I just have to ask: please don’t stop being honest. You honesty about your own struggles as a photographer encourages me to see my own in a different light and to move beyond them and overcome them. So please keep it up. Hope you feel better soon. Food poisoning is not fun. :c(

  31. There are no ‘negatives’ coming out of this blog. You’re obviously and inspiration to many…and I have recently joined this list.
    Thanks for sharing your blog, your ups and downs…and your wonderful images.

  32. David, as a newbie to your blogisphere and having just recently finished your book I am enamored by your realness (is that a word?) and honesty. I so appreciate your frankness and don’t view it at all as angst, but rather as the natural ebb and flow of creating – whether that creating is photography or writing or managing people or caring for the sick (as I do) or whatever you have been called and inspired to do. The dry spells, as you so aptly stated, “do not signal failure, they herald possibilities.” Amen, Brother! I hope you are feeling better.

  33. Thank you for your raw honesty. It is this kind of honesty that keeps me coming back.

    Would there be any children in the world if it were not for pain. I look at my son and I thank God for pain because it brough my wife and I our little boy. Would my wife rather there have been no pain, of course, but that relatively brief moment brought us some serious joy.

  34. Please don’t change anything about you and your blog. I appreciate your honesty and openness. There is always going to be those that disagree, such is life. All you can do is be true to yourself … life is too short to do otherwise :-)).

    Happy Thanksgiving and let’s all be grateful for everything we are blessed with!

  35. Not sure why anyone would check out after reading your post. Personally I found it uplifting.

    That may seem strange, but basically it affirmed that even the experts that I look to for finding the very best photographs on a daily basis have their slow moments, when things don’t go right.

    Sometimes it looks as though people like you do everything so perfectly and effortlessly. I know in my head that isn’t true, but it is hard to remember you must have troubles too when seeing the work you put out daily.

    It is nice to see that even you are human.

    Now, get better and keep wow’ing us !

  36. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have run out of inspiration, gone off to do something else and then come back again with more zeal and determination. Its just part of life’s rich tapestry!
    The lull is frustrating, sure, and gut rot will just encourage you to feel worse about things. But one morning real soon you will wake up, the light will be fantastic and you will see things differently. When you do you’ll know things just got better so reach for the camera and enjoy again.

  37. David,
    I haven’t written before, but wanted to let you know that your “angst” is my “angst”. Not just in photography, but in everyday life as I get older and have done more things. I’m constantly having to look for new and different things around me.

    I just returned from a 3.5 month RV trip to Alaska (and everything in between AZ and there). Now I’m bored; it’s that letdown/slowdown after such a trip. One thing that helps is looking at the photos from there and thinking about what I’d like to photograph next time (even if there may not be one).

    When I was younger I would have been very impatient to get on to the next thing. For now, I am reading all your ebooks, reviewing how my camera works, watching videos on how to use lightroom better (I bought it just before the trip), and planning my next adventure. Patiently (mostly) anticipating whatever might come next so I can further perfect my skill.

    When looking ahead to better things, it might help to look back at where we’ve come from and how we got here. Review our lessons learned, and hills and valleys, and better appreciate the process.

  38. For every one who leaves you will get 10 more who will follow, such is your honesty and integrity and the superb quality of your work.

  39. My usual method for dealing with dry spell is two-fold. First, remember irritation is valuable. Think of irritation as a resource not a road-block. Not easy but it can be rewarding.
    Second, change one thing. It is not so important what the one thing is, method, intention, subject. What matters it pick one and make it a rule for the day or week or month.

  40. Looking at a camera switch, eh?

    Ever consider asking Pentax for a sponsorship?

    I love their rugged and compact K-7 paired to their renowned primes. The new K-5 looks even better and appears to be a perfect way to lighten your load, plus it fits your wandering lifestyle and exotic subjects.


  41. Mr. David –

    Some days our jobs as photographers is simply to turn coffee into pixels. You know – Auto Focus, Program Mode, maybe Auto Bracket, then download and LR Presets and PS5 Actions, followed by Print, Ship and Invoice.
    Great – it keeps us in peanut butter and sodas.
    But, the angst / dry spell creeps in when we look at what we have done because each of us is our own worst critic. Soon, we are so critcal that we never even snap the shutter because what we see through the viewfinder is not “good enough”.
    This is the breeding ground for our angst / guilt / impatience / frustration / doubts / fears / etc.
    So – what to do?
    a) Keeping shooting anyway? Maybe.
    b) Go out without a camera just to see? Scary!
    c) Hug a loved one? Always a good idea!
    d) Read an honest blog from a friend you have never met? I think we are onto something here.

    Continued safe travels, my friend.

  42. Hi David,

    I did not read the “Wrestling in Kathmandu” entry yet when I saw this entry. Hey, there is always the odd one who will “check out”. And you gotta respect that. I agree with most others here. The reason why I read your blog is that your are REAL.

    Quote: “… I’ve always felt like this blog has been a bit of an exercise in disclosure and that part of the value has been in relating my own journey and struggle. ”


    Greetings from T.O.

  43. David..Sorry to here about the slump,but then again we all have them at one time or another.You’ve been a great inspiration to me as an amateur photographer.Hope your feeling better.And keep those e-books coming!!Best Wishes and be well.Mike DuPonte

  44. Keep up the honesty. I wonder if you realise quite what a relief it is for a newish photographer also beginning to hit speed bumps.

  45. Strange that people would ‘check out’ because of you telling this stuff and would consider it ‘disappointing and misleading’. Quite on the contrary: NOT telling that you struggle from time to time would be misleading. I for one am happy to know that even talented photographers struggle from time to time. It helps me put my own struggles in perspective.

  46. David, I don’t think I am saying anything which hasn’t already been said – but I love your blog because of your evident honesty, integrity and openness, as well as the inspirational photography you share with us.

    Get well soon brother.

  47. thanks for the honesty in your post David, and may I also say how good it is that it fits completely with your message in ‘Visionmongers’, which I’m working through at the moment: I’m referring, of course, to the part about the struggle and how being creative isn’t simply a talent that we effortlessly employ when the mood takes us, it’s a battle against a big, nasty, evil beast who we have to fight to outwit.
    I also agree with your sentiment about faith and how that too is a matter of deliberate choice and (sometimes) struggle.

    regards, marcus

  48. Is there anything wrong to feel angst? Angst is functional. It sharpens the senses to produce a appropriate behavior in a certain situation. Even a getaway could be the right decision.

    To be aware of the angst and say “Thank you for the warning!” to her could be a reasonable strategy. If one is aware of his/her angst he/she has the chance not to allow the angst to control his/her behavior. A lot of the people I work with as an facilitator and mediator are not aware of their angst, are driven by their angst and not mastering specific situations, sometimes even their lifes. A lot of them cry for a strong leader and will panic when the leader tells them he/she feels angst. They want a hero to blow away their angst and to make them feel save instead of feeling the angst consciously and accept the challenge. In short: They want ot be like childs and not want to be an adult. They want to live in an ideal world instead of the real world. They avoid the work that is needed to master the challenge of whatsoever. – You, David, tell us “it is hard to admit the struggle”. I feel the same way when I am in public relation with customers and competitors. I felt the same way when I was in a dialog whith our children as long as they were in the primary school age. You have overcome the angst to harvest drawbacks with your honesty. Your recent blogpost “Wrestling in Kathmandu” for me was a strong gesture. Not at all it was exhausting. For me it was commendable. Keep on wrestling with struggles, David! Keep on enyouing creating photographs on a patio with a glas of wine in your hand, like you did in Camogly, too! Cheers, Jens

  49. Do you feel like you do not ever want to go back to Kathmandu, because it was disappointing this time? Or do you hope/know you’re going to make great photographs for the 5th time? I’m just curious πŸ˜‰
    Love your blog! πŸ™‚

  50. Man we’re glad you’re okay. But what’s an adventure without the side effects of trying out new food??

    I’m on Nikon’s wishing I could fully utilize Canon lenses. Just as a warning to you =p

    Ignore the pressure for smooth success, David. We appreciate your honest sharing. You have any idea how much it inspires us? =D

  51. I am glad you are felling better and can continue on your travels.
    Being honest and transparent is a good thing.
    Marvelous image you captured.

  52. I really appreciate the honesty, angst and all, so do go changing on us. πŸ™‚

    I’ll pass on the Kittens and Rainbows; too much sugar is bad for you. πŸ˜‰

  53. Isn’t Life Strange?…(Justin Hayward…Moody Blues…)
    I’m not good with dealing with stomach ailments….let it flow (sorry!) and let the words keep flowing ,also.
    David, if you never shoot another picture or expound on the how and why of such activity, rest assured that there are those who have benefited from your being there. ( Although I, for one, do agree that you should take care of David. We, the ‘readers’ will take from it what we are capable of absorbing…nothing more, nothing less.)
    Thank you, again

  54. David, That was a good and encouraging read much like your books too. Keep up the great and inspiring work and continue to never look back.

  55. I just wanted to say that one of the things I respect tremendously about you is your honesty and openness.

    Inspiration has a tendency to hit you in the face right when you need it. Sounds like you were open to it when it smacked you. That’s the important thing. And you took a lovely photo when it did. Glad you’re feeling better too πŸ™‚

  56. Beautiful image. I can identify with your struggles. It happened to me more often than I would like but like your story illustrated, the struggles will never fail to end with a uniquely beautiful image. It’s like the light at the end of the tunnel or the silver lining after a storm. Pray that you’ll feel better soon.

  57. David, the good news is that it’s YOUR blog. Tell the truth, share your passion and continue your authentic approach to life…those of us that desire depth, truth and authenticity will continue tuning in and enjoying the great service you provide…glad you’re feeling better! (would love to know when and if Nepal is scheduled again – missed this one by that much!) Cheers

  58. Emotional honesty is just one of the reasons that makes you a both great photographer and inspirational writer and why your work resonates with so many people. Keeping it real will only make you a better person and hence, photographer, in the long run. Thanks for the honest sharing!

  59. Someone moved on because “speaking honestly and openly about the struggles was ‘disappointing and misleading'”? At first blush, I can’t fathom how candor and honesty and transparency are misleading. Seriously, get real! Some days, the dragon wins. Sometimes, you’re the bug, not the windshield.

    I’m nowhere near as good a photographer as you, so it heartens, encourages, and reassures me to see that you struggle with creativity and an empty bucket from time to time. This is not schadenfreude, though, for I don’t enjoy seeing you struggle. Rather, seeing you experience the same struggles I do confirms and validates that I’m on the right path.

  60. Feeling exhaustion and angst over photography isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I’m blessed to be able to be a photographer/author/etc. for a living and, while it is exhausting at times it’s freaking great that I get exhausted over something I love. That’s much better than being drained from a non-stop job that I don’t want to be doing.

    I appreciate your honesty and enjoy following you around the world through your writing and photography … you’ve inspired me to take my own solo voyage to a random place across the ocean (in the near future, hopefully). πŸ™‚

  61. Glad for your PS – hope all is even better now. I began following your blog after I received ‘Within the Frame” last Christmas. Now I have added Vision & Voice. The books sit on my coffee table to be picked up most days for the inspiration that you give me David. I would say that I am relatively new to photography but you have opened up a whole new world for me. The way you express yourself is why I like your books and reading your posts. Don’t change. BTW Happy Canadian Thanksgiving.

  62. you can’t be everything to everyone big guy. if you lose a follower or 2 over an honest post, so be it!

    this post brings back memories as the sickest i have ever been was in nepal. thought i was going to die! the family running the guesthouse thought so too and took great care of me – brought food, water, medicine.

    get well soon – both physically and creatively!
    your fellow vancouverite

  63. David,

    Thank you. As I commented on Jeffrey’s post yesterday, your sharing your struggles with us shows us that even those who make their living on photography struggle and have to work hard to produce good images. For me, that is comforting.
    Hope you get healthy.


  64. Switching? Maybe got tired of the struggle for focus in low light? Just a guess… it drives me batty but I love my 5D. Nikon, Canon whatever. Love your work and your inspiration. πŸ™‚

  65. David, you are right where you should be. In Sting’s autobiography Broken Music, he said that without struggle there is no art, and I firmly believe this. Shooting fall color in the eastern Sierra as I did this past week is wonderful, but still I envy you, food poisoning and all in far off Kathmandu. Heal well and embrass the possibilities ahead. And if you happen to wander back to the world of Nikon we’re still here πŸ˜‰

  66. Continue doing what you’re doing and being an inspiration to many like myself. Don’t be distracted and pulled down by those who expect everything to be right all the time.

    Your angst shows a human side that those of us who dream of making the visual impact artists such as yourself have identify with. It makes our own struggles with vision more bearable.

  67. As I mentioned on Jeffery’s blob; the pain of the process makes the joy of giving birth that much more pleasurable. Angst away.

  68. oooohh Kittens that will help πŸ™‚ Keep being you David that is all anyone can ask for. I for one love the honesty and thrive on it.

  69. It seems to me that your work has a tranformative quality to it. And that means you transform as you make the images and become some newer part of yourself. How those challenges manifest themselves is part of what I look for in this blog. It’s like solving my own problems through the use of making images. There’s bound to be struggles, and often if you’re really surrendering to the creative process. In my opinion, it dances you, you don’t own it (the creative process, i.e.).

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