Inspired in part by my friend Carl’s post on Photography Goals, this time of year always seems to have me thinking about what I want to do with my work. This time of year is always filled with “resolutions” which I don’t do, but I do reflect upon what I would like to do just to give my creative aspirations some direction instead of wandering about aimlessly. What hit me most poignantly was Carl’s mention of some advice he received from Craig Tanner … that all that really mattered to him is moving forward with his work.
For me, moving forward is about looking at what I have been able to do and strengthening those abilities, and also looking at what aspects of my photography may be missing and how I want to address it. On the subject side, I tend to start a lot of different projects as ideas, and then they may fizzle completely when it comes to developing them further. I often find themes that would make for a really great project, and then I am not able to find enough images to match up with what the theme was about. Other projects tend to be more long term with no specific “endpoint.” I create a Lightroom folder and drop images into it when the subject fits. I think in the field I am becoming more project oriented instead of just shooting whatever catches my eye.
Those may be technical strengths / weaknesses, subjects I may want to explore, or skills that I need to work on. I know in 2012, I felt like I was not using my tilt-shift lenses to their full potential. So I purchased a couple of e-books, and began taking those in the field with me instead of their focal length equivalents in normal lenses. I really like wide angle shots with close foreground subjects, and traditionally have worked those using hyperfocal distances and my wide angle lenses. Well, using my 24 mm PC-E lens the way it should be used helped me recognize how much sharpness I could obtain throughout the image. Often you don’t realize how much sharper something can be until you are able to compare side by side using both methods in the field. I don’t feel like I have enough experience with them yet to write intelligently about them, but someday in the future perhaps as I gain more experience.
Here are some areas that I hope to expand in my photography for 2013;
Long Exposure photography
I have always been a fan of this, especially around shorelines. Most of the work I have done to date is within the 30 second metering range of most modern cameras. I want to go beyond that more often. I just recently ordered a long exposure remote release for my camera, so I hope to go exploring beyond that 30 second range more often. Just call me Bulb Boy.
Wide world at f1.4
I started this over a year or so ago using my 24 f1.4 lens. I have long been a fan of shallow DOF. It was a counteraction to the typical use of wide angles using the most DOF possible. Well, the project turned out harder than I thought. Even though I shot quite a few images this way, very few “worked” in my opinion. I need to work this more to learn how to identify situations that are good candidates for viewing the world in this way.
Stonescapes & Abstract Expressionism
This Inspired by Stone project has been ongoing for years. I didn’t add many in 2012, I only made one post about it. (!) I have so many rocks piled up in my office, Fred Flintstone should be working here. So I hope to at least get caught up with the slabs I have.
This is something I started in 2012 with the help of getting more familiar with my tilt-shift lenses. I hope to do more in 2013. Better yet, that I sell one of these that really takes advantage of the 80 MP images!
I mentioned this in my 2012 favorites post – I have enough images as a good start to a project, I will probably do some more in 2013.
Another theme subject I started gathering images for. At the start I knew it would be difficult to accumulate a lot of images for this as I need to be out in significant storms for it. With our changing climate, I have no doubt 2013 is going to bring some whoppers of storms. Whether I will be out in or around them is another story. We shall see…
This is at least a start for me – at least I have identified the subject areas, and more will come up along the way I am sure. In fact, looking that this list is freaking me out a little – that is a lot of territory to cover! Maybe 3 out of 6 is a better target…
What types of things to you see yourself doing to move forward in 2013?