2017 is finally here, time for some new years resolutions. Last year my target was simple, "take more pictures", and I think that target was achieved and then some. This year however, I think I will take a much more structured approach, and try and create a few more specific targets. Below are 6 new years resolutions for the coming year, from the mindset of a photographer.
1: Learn to Use Photoshop
This is sooooooooo long overdue. Its a daunting hill to climb, and I really should have started it a long time ago, instead I have focussed and worked almost exclusively and Lightroom, with a little dabble in Google Nik collection.
My friend Alex would argue that "Learn to Use Photoshop" is not a S.M.A.R.T target as it is not "measurable". Perhaps a more sensible or "Specific" approach would be to aim to be able to fully edit a RAW image from start to finish using Photoshop. Ill worry about editing myself perfectly into celebrity pictures like this guy below a little later on.
he is @kirbyjenner on Instagram in case you are wondering. His feed is awesome.
I think that Photoshop is a fundamental piece of software if you really want to take your pictures that final step, also for more complex work like HDR or removing people/ objects from your image, it is much better than Lightroom.
2. Blog betterer
I want to try and fill this blog with interesting tips and tricks on Lightroom, as well as beginners guides to things like buying lenses, camera and kit. I have found it very interesting chatting to my students whilst out on photography walks, I think a lot of websites focus on the super high-tech and high end guides which can be a bit overwhelming, and simple bite-size articles could be really useful. (let me know below if there is anything you would specifically like me to cover).
I'm also going to try and write my blog in a more routine way, perhaps publishing every other Monday or something like that. More for me than anything else, as a schedule will hopefully force me into being more disciplined.
• Keep formatting consistent
• Use pictures in each post.
• Tag and categorise posts
• Try and be as hard as I can wherever possible and to the best of my abilities attempt to write what I want to say concisely.
Will be interesting to come back to this one in December 2018!
3. Try and plan at least one good photography trip per month (then write about it)
I have been building up a little map of spots to visit around WA, making little reminders here and there when I see pictures on Facebook or in Galleries. I think its about time I got around to packing the tent into the back of the Jeep and actually properly going out to these places with the intention of taking pictures. Plan my locations beforehand and make sure I am in the right spot at the right time come sunset!
So far a lot of my "photography trips" time has been spent in the various wineries of WA.
4. Buy a telephoto (possibly with Macro capabilities) lens
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM II Macro
Isn't it beautiful to look at, shame it's and absolute wallet killer!!! (Link).
Buying a telephoto lens in the 70mm+ category is something Is long overdue. I think Operating on the lower budget that I usually do, this gorgeous piece of gear may be a tad outside of my price range, but my camera bag is severely lacking in telephoto capability as of now. I live in'a country full of incredible wildlife and a 50mm really doesn't cut it. I think something in the 70-200mm range is ideal although I may have to sacrifice on speed a little and opt for something in the F4+ range in order to bring it more into line with my finances! Possibly something like (THIS).
This also leads nicely into......
5. Try and take some more wildlife shots
Last year I took this..
...and I really liked the result. Taking pictures of Animals, especially wild ones has never been something I have really gotten into, instead choosing to focus more on people and landscapes. This shot was a lot of fun to take and edit, you really need a keen and a steady hand for decent wildlife photography, all things I could DEFINITELY do with working on.
I may also now get into bird watching ........ possibly.
6. Try Macro Photography
I think shots like this below are absolutely stunning:
Photo credited to Laurie Wilson. Original Flicr link (HERE)
Macro opens up a whole other world of amazing detail, especially I feel in nature and wildlife when you get in really close to flowers and bugs. I have always found macro shots to be fascinating, and its definitely on my hit list for 2017.