I have set some very lofty photography goals for myself in past years. Stuff like photographing all of the registered historical sites in Maryland or the drudgery of a photo 365. Each year that process led to failure and frustration. While each of those were good goals, and certainly achievable, I simply don’t have the time to realize them.
Early last fall a friend contacted me because he wanted to use several of the photos I have posted here for a vacation property he was decorating. Of course I was humbled, and the project was learning experience like none I have endured since picking up a camera. What stuck out to me most about the experience, though, was the photos he chose for the project. With the exception of one, the four photos he chose were part of an experiment exercise I tried one quiet summer afternoon. The experiment wasn’t created by me, but was published by the Digital Photography School, you can read it HERE.
The basis of the article was to limit the number of photos taken during the session (resist roboshooting, and slow down), fix the focal length of the lens being used (focus on composing shot in the camera vs cropping in lightroom), and to keep ISO and aperture settings constnant. For those who were film camera photographers if this sounds like familiar to the regular constraints of film camera photography that was the precise point of the exercise.
2012 Photography Goal #1
Slow down and think and don’t take so many photos. I accumulated 10,749 photos in 2011. The vast majority are a blurry over or under exposed waste of hard drive space. Not every shot will end up framed in a friends beach condo, but I’ll be a better photographer if I slow down and limit myself. Ideally, I would like to cut this total in half, so 5,350 total shots, or 445 per month.
All of my photos are edited in Lightroom, Photomatix, or both. I have Gimp loaded on my PC, but get frustrated when I try to use it. Photoshop is the industry standard, but I have never used the software. This puts me at a disatvantage with my photographer peers.
2012 Photography Goal #2
My DLSR is old, it a Canon 350D. My lenses, for the most part, are never wide enough, or fast enough for the conditions I am shooting in at the time. The tripod I have can barely support the weight of my 70-300 lens. I don’t have a cable release. The list goes on and on. Looking back at the experiment above there is far more to photography than having great equipment. It helps, of course, but never required.
2012 Photography Goal #3
Be content, at least one more year, with the equipment I have. At this point I can’t take a better photo with a better camera, it would be the camera doing all the work. The exception to this rule may be ro purchase a fast(er) zoom lens in the 16-70mm focal range, or a fast 30mm or 50mm prime. Both of these would improve my photography.
Anyway here is my favorite photo from 2011, enjoy!