It’s hard to believe another year is upon us. The year 2012 was a great one and here is hoping 2013 is even better for all of you. If you are like most, you have made numerous resolutions that you hope will come to pass in the new year. I can tell you that like many, I have made a resolution to exercise and lose about 15 pounds between now and May. I hate to say it, but I think I made the same resolution last year and…uh, well no comment on that one. But, last year I also made some photographic resolutions and I did achieve those. For example, I wanted to master my camera in manual mode, and I wanted to learn to use filters in the landscape. Looking back, I would say mission accomplished. I’ll continue to improve upon those new skills but I am a better photographer today because I focused on learning two things that were on my photography resolution list.
This year, my primary photographic resolution is to master off-camera flash. Two primary applications of this technique for my style of photography will be: a) outdoor people portraiture, and b) hummingbird photography. I often find myself doing outdoor people portraiture and in the past I have relied solely on the ambient light. This year, I hope to up the ante by using my speedlights on location and the only effective way to do so is to get those flash heads off the camera. So, I am in the process of getting some translucent umbrellas, stands, and remote triggers to fire them wirelessly.
For the past three years, I have said I was going to photograph hummingbirds and each year I have fed them, watched them as they migrate through the area, and not once have I taken any pictures. In 2013, look for some hummingbird pictures on my blog. This is the year!!!!!
Other goals I have for 2013 are to: a) finish my nature website and get it back online, b) get my workshops underway, c) dabble with the movie function of my camera (setting myself up for 2014), and d) test the magazine market and publish an image or two.
So what are your photography goals for 2013? If you have never considered making any, I would certainly encourage you to do so. Be careful not to make too many though as it is better to focus on one or two and really learn those well, than to try and learn everything in one year. You will be surprised how much your photography improves as you devote yourself to learning one or two things about your camera each year. Before long you will be thinking less about the camera and more about the image and then your inner creativity will really begin to shine.
To me, the magic of photography occurs either in the mind or in the heart (sometimes both), so if I can capture a moment that touches another’s emotions, or makes them pause and reflect on the image, then I have accomplished what I wanted to as a photographer. To do this continuously and effectively though, I need to master my craft and that means setting goals to improve as a photographer and working to achieve them.
So this year, find that one thing (or two) about your photography that you have always wanted to learn, read up on it, talk to photography buddies, take a workshop (hopefully mine 🙂 if I have it going) and commit yourself to learning it. Then when you ring in 2014, you too can look back and say, mission accomplished!
Until next time, here’s wishing you the very best light in 2013. –KEVIN