A new year is approaching. This, in some ways, means a new beginning. It just so happens that I completed a monster project and am looking for things to work on next year. There are several major things I want to focus on.
After I completed my 365 project, I felt oddly out of place. I wasn’t sure what to do with my camera anymore. It felt nice to not have to stress, but it also felt weird because I was so used to having to take a photo every day. In the past few weeks I haven’t taken that many photos, and that’s not great. I need something to keep me shooting, but I don’t want to have 365 part 2, as that’s a level of masochism I’m not ready for. Instead I’m gong to commit to posting here once a week, like I’ve been doing the past several months. I think that this will do a couple things: 1, it will make me work hard to take photos that are worth talking about and 2, it will make me a better storyteller. In a way, I think, this will be sort of cyclical: In order to write a better blog, I’ll need to take more interesting photos; and in writing about them I’ll become better at telling stories, allowing me to take better photos in the future. That’s the hope at least. If nothing else, it’ll force me to take photos.
This is generally speaking not a terrible idea, since clear communication is useful not just here, but also in my professional life. Also: this will make me better at preparing materials over time. Up til now I have a bad habit of writing everything in one go on Sunday night and by the time it’s done i run out of steam and it’s kind of garbage. My 365 overview post was written over several days and it shows, I think.
I don’t think there’s ever a time when anyone feels like they know enough to stop learning about a subject. At any rate, I don’t feel that way about photography, so I’m going to keep reading as much as I can about the history, the evolution, the movements, composition, etc.
As I’ve mentioned before, street photography is the most widely available form of photography to me, so I’m going to keep working on that, as much as i can. I won’t do it necessarily for journalism - not at all - but more as an exercise in moving quickly to capture a moment that I find interesting. For me, it’s more of an excuse to get better at using my tools and maybe capture something interesting in the process. Since I’m not sure where I want to go with photography, I think it’s important to keep busy practising the skills until I find my ‘calling’ or what have you.
I’ve been thinking about what I can do next along with this blog, but I’m not overflowing with ideas. Fortunately, Darya is full of ideas, so she suggested that I enter photo contests every month. That’s a terrific idea. In his wrapup of DEDPXL07, Zack talks a lot about contests and shooting for contests. He basically says, ‘don’t do it’ because you don’t know the judges, so last years winners won’t make this year’s top 100. So that leaves me with this: build a portfolio worth looking at and submit photos from that to contests where they feel appropriate. Honestly, I will probably shoot a few photos ‘for’ contests. I quoted ‘for’ because the photos will still be for me, but the theme will be inspired/directed by the contest criteria, like DEDPXL. And, of course, as soon as Zack starts his DEDPXL assignments back up, I’ll shoot for those. They are great exercises in technical skill as well as creativity. In his case I know I can’t bullshit my way out of it and i know that I don’t have to worry about copyright issues, which is a thing I’ll need to be looking at with other contests.
So, there it is. Those are my ‘new year resolutions’, if you will. (My real NY resolution is 24 MP(har har)) Let me know if you have suggestions, thoughts or feedback.