On losing your ‘mojo’ in a time of extreme stress.

So stress is an interesting thing, and people react to it in different ways. I have had a recent up close look at its affect on me, compliments of the earthquake and subsequent events.

Here is a breakdown of the timeline starting 4th Sept:

4.25am Earthquake hits CHCH and flatmate text me
3.25am Melbourne time (5.25am NZ time) I see the text and find out and not so quietly freak out as I am in Melbourne Australia on holiday and dont fly out for another 4 days.

The Saturday following the quake was quite surreal. I was at a SciFi convention and there was a lot of support to be had but it almost felt like another 9/11 day for me. The next day I completely lost interest in my holiday, I just wanted to go home, and a big part of my holiday was sightseeing with my camera. So I forced myself to go out and be distracted but I wasn’t enjoying myself by this time. So much so that on the last two days I killed time at the movies (mind you Inception was fairly awesome!)

Getting home, and finding my house was OK, and all my friends were fairly OK and intact helped. As well as getting the cats home and safe from the cattery, but the continuing aftershocks were really difficult for me to deal with initally. After about a week I started to calm down a bit but they were (and still are but less so) big enough to be quite scary. And my house was a mess, and various things had to be checked, and sorted and going back to work was involved in the mix.

And I found at this point I had completely lost my photography mojo. All this amazing event happening and from a photography POV I just didn’t care that much. It was a combination of several things:

– every man and their dog was already out with cameras and phones shooting it all anyway and had been for the week I was away
– I just had too many other things to worry about
– there was (and sadly still is) an lot of resistance from the people badly affected back towards recreational photographers – angry at their lives being turned into a tourist attraction

So I decided to just go with it, I have taken my camera out a couple of times, but more just to record the fact I was there really. I havent even been to the badly damaged parts as they are still having issues, and I am respecting their wish to be left alone. And the sheer fact of the matter is, unless the magic is there, its just “not happening” for me photography wise.

Its odd because its spring in CHCH and its glorious with blossoms and daffodils. I was actually angry at the daffodils I drive past every morning because they were there and gradually dieing off and I hadn’t been able to capture them at their peak!

One of the major stresses that happened after I got home was both my cats got quite sick. One has been diagnosed with a fatal disease, so I had that to deal with. The other got *really* sick with a cold, so badly he had to be on oxygen and fed through a stomach tube for several days. The good news is both are home, and the one with the bad cold is MUCH better. The other one is a matter of months, and hopefully will be as stressless for all concerned.

My general outlook on life is now feeling a bit more positive and I am hoping my ‘mojo’ is going to come back. As I have been driving around town, I have noted places that I want to go back to with my camera and shoot, so I might try that this weekend if the weather holds up.

And here is one shot I did take to record the earthquake – in the middle of the CBD is the Square and this building is on one corner with a lovely clock tower. The left face shows the correct time but the right face stopped on the day and time of the earthquake. It was like that for two weeks and still isnt working properly yet

Earthquake damage to the Square Clock Tower


About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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