It is time for me to write about New Year’s resolutions. The prospect of new opportunities is always exciting and jotting down a personal list of goals (resolutions) at the beginning of each year is a good idea if one wants personal growth.
This past month I have been asking people that come into my shop what their resolutions for the New Year would be. Here are a few from the many I heard that, in my opinion, are good solid resolutions.
Use a tripod more.
Turn off Auto mode.
Buy a new camera or lens.
Try shooting RAW.
Learn more about lighting.
Take more photos.
Learn about Composition and the Rule of Thirds
Learn to use Photoshop or Lightroom.
However, as good as those are I am adding seven that are a bit more inspirational (is philosophical a better word?) New Year Resolutions that I have put together (seven is a lucky number after all) this past year from all the long, coffee fueled discussions on ways to make improvements in the future with this exciting medium.
- Pay more attention to creative ideas. Without creativity a photographer doesn’t have a chance at moving forward. “This could be the year to begin evolving creatively”.
- There is too much focus on what is the best camera. When we spend too much time worrying and making everything about the camera we forget about the story. How about this year being more concerned with making images that tell a story”.
- Take risks photographically and move away from always trying to please. Make this the year to push-the-envelope beyond the comfort zone without being concerned with other’s opinions. Maybe this will be the year to put “me” in the photograph.
- Learn a New Technique. I think it’s as simple as experimenting, and definitely taking the time to “read up on some technique and then give it a try”. Photographers should always make the effort to learn new techniques, maybe by taking a class, or at least buying some books, or CDs, written or taught by experienced, educated photographers.
- Choosing new subjects to “get out of the rut of shooting the same thing over and over”. While practicing portraiture or landscapes is good, photographing the same thing the same way over and over can result in a lack of inventiveness and creativity. Sure it’s nice to stay in a comfortable rut, but as with Resolution #4, “Maybe this will be the year to put “me” in the photograph”.
- Make every shot count and stay away from the “spray and pray” shooting style. It should be about making each image a quality photograph, not massive picture snapping sessions hoping that a few to turn out.
- Become more ruthless with one’s photography and what is done in post-production; conditioning oneself to throw out the crap is the only way to keep improving.
Finally, I’ll wish everyone a great 2015, and end with a quote by award winning English author, Neil Gaiman. “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
Do you have any to add? I will be happy to read them.
My website is at www.enmanscamera.com. Thanks, John
Some excellent suggestions, John. Happy New Year!
Thank you oneowner, I am glad you liked my suggestions.
Excellent list to challenge one’s creativity, John. Happy shooting in 2015!
thanks so much Jane, and happy creative shooting to you in the upcoming year.
I’m excited for this new year. Every year my photography skills jump leaps and bounds. I love new challenges and trying new techniques. One of my resolutions is to re-read my camera manual (its been a few years.. I’ve referred to it now and then.. but I need to read it through) I’m betting that will spark a few new ideas to try. I have photoshop, and know it well (always a ton more to learn of course) but I have a book about editing in RAW.. which I do currently, but I want to know more about how to edit in RAW. I want more tricks up my sleeve with RAW editing.
Another challenge is long exposure night photography… mostly I hope to capture the Northern Lights. Its even a challenge for me on a personal level… going out alone at night is daunting for me… I have to find someone to go with or who will come with. And one last resolution to use my light kit. I have to experiment with it more, so my light kit and I know each other better and for me to feel confident enough to use it.
Hope your New Year is a wonderful one John! Loved this post! Thanks for the reminders!
I would hope you are alway shooting in RAW. It offers so much more than a JPG. And ACR is such a fast way to edit your original images. I would suggest you also try out (free test download) NIK softwares program. I would be lost without Viveza. And for B&W there is nothing as good as Silver EFex.
I haven’t bothered with the Northern Lights, but there have been several local photographers regularly posting Northern Light photos on facebook.
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I shoot exclusively in Raw… And have for a few years. I love editing in Raw… And 100% agree it’s more quick. I just haven’t dove into my book yet so I am sure there is some neat trick I am missing, lol Thank you for the suggestions I will be checking them out. I wish to capture he Northern Lights mostly because I have never seen them!
Hallo John, greetings from Germany, I’m happy to find your blog, also the resolutions for 2015. Since I’ve been living in a little village, far from every city, I’ve to learn more about to look, to find the beauty far away from the life in the cities. It’s hard to take Streetphotography here, I thougt, but It’s harder to reach the view for it here. So it’s just the way to recocnize the suroundings in the way they are to find some wonderful images to take. 😊
Hello to you also. I expect “learning to look” is what makes your images successful miesvandenbergh.