The importance of rest

I realise that for most, there is never enough free time to do what we want to do. Often our work and family commitments mean that our passion for photography gets much less attention than we would wish.

Central Highlands of Iceland in Winter Image © Bruce Percy 2018

Central Highlands of Iceland in Winter
Image © Bruce Percy 2018

Right now, I'm doing the opposite. I am spending a lot of free doing things that are unrelated to photography. I haven't made a single photograph, nor picked up my cameras for over two months now, and I'm very happy that this is the case.

I like to give my love for photography a rest every year, and I deliberately step away from it, so that I can recharge my interest in it. Perhaps you find this odd - how can someone improve their interest in something by taking time away from it?

As the saying goes 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' is never more true when it comes to what we love. And likewise, 'too much of a good thing, isn't good', is also true.

If I were to keep going, every single day, making photos, it would soon begin to feel like a chore, and I doubt that I would have the needed time to absorb what I had experienced, and to grow from it. Growth comes from rest and so by giving my photography a rest, I allow myself time to recharge.

I have found that by the end of my rest periods, I come back to photography with a fresh view. What may have started to feel old and tired now feels exciting and fresh. And I often find that the distance away has allowed me to collate my thoughts and approach photography with a slightly new way of seeing and doing things.

This summer, I spent my 'vacation' learning to Kayak, and by working on music, and by just catching up with friends and doing things very unrelated to my photography. It has all been good, and as I see September approaching soon, it won't be long before I am standing in some vast black desert in the heart of Iceland, knowing and loving every minute of it. More so, because I chose to take time away from it, so I could enjoy the experience of getting re-aquainted with it.

If you are finding you aren't enjoying photography so much of late, or that you are wondering if you should stop, then I would suggest you take a break. Go do something entirely differently for a few weeks, even a few months. Rarely have I seen anyone drop a passion when they do this, but I certainly have seen people drop a passion through burn out.