Ten Resolutions for Photographers for 2013

When I wrote about New Year’s my resolutions last year I said they weren’t so much resolutions, as they were things I’d been thinking about for some time. This year they could be just as accurately called my photography goals for 2013 rather than my New Year’s resolutions.

I also asked members of Canadian-Digital.com for their resolutions. So here are some of the best from them, a couple from other photographer’s blogs I liked, and some of mine.  I kept the number at ten and mixed them into no real order. Too many goals don’t seem to work for me.

1.    This is the year to concentrate on personal strengths. So the first resolution might be called  “growth”.

2.    Plan a trip or photographer’s vacation this year.  Be sure to make it about photography, not one of those    rushing trips where one hopes for a snap shot or two. For me the resolution would be, a photographer’s excursion that allows and inspires me to use the equipment, knowledge, and talents I have.

3.     Photographers should always make the effort to learn new techniques. Maybe by taking a class, or at least buying some books, or CDs, written by accomplished photographic writers. This resolution can be called “education”.

4.    I will continue my ongoing quest to organize my old prints and slides.  I make this resolution every year. This never-ending struggle has been ongoing for years and may never end. I want to place as many as possible on archival CDs. I suppose this resolution is “organize”.

5.    My shop is a great place to interact with others interested in photography; I have a few chairs available, and it is fun to talk about photography. My advice for those that don’t have my convenience is to get together with other photographers with the only goal being to talk about, or do photography. How about searching out photographers interested in the kind of subjects one might like to photograph, for example, collaborate with like-minded enthusiasts and plan an outing, or just get together for refreshments and talk at some local spot. This resolution is “get involved with other photographers”.

6.    I could add a lens or maybe get a newer camera body this year, but I am never really searching. New equipment just happens, there isn’t any one camera or lens that I require.  However, because I prefer to purchase used equipment, I am always on the look out for bargains that fit the kind of photography I do. So the resolution for this year should be to sell something that I am not using and buy something that I will use.

7.   Many photographers are participating on “photographic challenges”. Anything that gets us out with our camera has got to be good. Whatever the challenge may be, whether about some specific subject like photographing all the bridges in one’s area, or a photo-a-day for some period of time. As I’ve stated before anything that gets us out with our camera has got to be good. So this resolution might be “take on a challenge”.

8.   Study famous photographers and look at lots of photos. When I am interested in a new subject I begin by doing an internet search on photographers that worked in that specific area. Then I find their books or photographs and choose an image and try to figure out why it works. This resolution will be to “look at lots of photographs” this year.

9.   “Out of Chicago” blogger, Chris Smith, wrote, “Slow down. This was my resolution two years ago and it changed my photography. I decided to buy that new tripod.” And he continues by saying, “Before this I was taking too many pictures.”  He explains that by reducing his captures, “I actually had many more keepers. So take your time with each shot.” I like what he wrote so this resolution will be “slow down and take more time”.

10. The last is from photographer, Ming Theinb, “(Be) More ruthless with the seeing and editing process; conditioning oneself to throw out the crap is the only way to keep improving.” This resolution is “quality not quantity”.

I am sure readers will make their own resolutions for the year we have just begun.

What could  they be? I can only imagine.

9 responses to “Ten Resolutions for Photographers for 2013

    • Thanks Leanne, glad ya liked my “resolutions”. However, I wouldn’t think that you are not confident with your photography….nope, that isn’t the impression I get when I look at your work.

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  1. A useful and thought provoking post. I think I may be doing or developing most of those but there are some differences.

    Curiously, I’m not sure about the first one. Maybe that’s it or maybe I just do what I do and follow it right through wherever it takes me.

    #4 I make no pretences of. Probably someday.

    #8 is where I mainly differ. I do look at other photographs, perhaps especially old historic photographs of an era before photography. But I hardly ever try to recreate anything and rarely consciously think of the work of other photographers. You do need to think about technical things when taking photographs but it’s good to subsume that as much as possible. I just like to directly engage with my subject matter and often the ideas that drive me are not to do with photography. In line with #9, I think Photography can be a meditation.

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    • RE: #4, you and me both. Your comment on #8. I wrote “choose an image and try to figure out why it works”. Recreating another photographer’s work is an interesting exercise, but in my opinion, not all that rewarding. Learning from the great past photographer is. (for me anyway) We all will have our own approach to photographing a subject, and that might be why I enjoy interacting with other photographers.

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      • Yes, perhaps I’m not far off that. I tend to have an intuitive approach to composition when taking the shot and become analytical in post-processing. For #9, my aid to slowing down is that I’ve just bought a 24mm f3.5 PC-E. That might bring me back to a large format pace.

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      • “have an intuitive approach to composition when taking the shot and become analytical in post-processing” Ya know, that doesn’t surprise me and I expect you are so aware of what makes a good composition that you just do it…hmmm…intuitively. Ok, now I am jealous…A 24mmPC-E.

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