When I first started this challenge last year my purpose was to figure out what I wanted to do with photography. I don’t know if I figured out what I wanted to do with photography. But I did learn plenty. Some of the key highlights that have come to mind recently are:
- I don’t love editing. I’m doing more work in camera so I can spend less time in post-production.
- The more work I do in camera, the happier I am with my shots.
- Manual: I’ve been shooting in full manual for something like 3-4 years now. I think this has been a huge contributor to my satisfaction with my photos.
- I don’t love shooting portraiture. I like to have a human element in my landscapes, but I do not like posing groups, or individuals in formal portrait type settings (EXCEPT: Yoga photography, I will always love doing yoga or dance portraits). I do like environmental portraiture.
- Flash photography is not as difficult or scary as I originally thought.
- I do like landscape photography.
- New gear does not make you a better photographer. I have not, and probably will not ever truly outgrow the gear I have.
- There is ALWAYS something new to learn.
- There is ALWAYS something beautiful or interesting in your immediate surroundings.
- There is ALWAYS another perspective from which to shoot an item.
- Hanging your work up at a local event, in an art display is incredibly gratifying and sort of makes you feel real.
- Look over your work occasionally. Collect your favourite shots in an album. Try to think of keywords for themes you see in your favourite work. Try to keep those in mind when you go out to shoot.
- Personal projects or bodies of work are fun. They don’t ever have to see the light of day, but they are motivating. My projects this year were a timelapse of City Hall Park in Red Deer, and my ongoing collection of before/after development photos of my home town.
- No amount of book reading, research, or youtube tutorials, can replace or make-up for time spent shooting. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
- Like I’ve learned in yoga and meditation, this is my practice. There is no comparing myself to others, because their practice is not mine.
- There is no value in judging or criticizing someone else’s work. Offering constructive ideas and suggestions can be ok, if the person is interested in hearing it.
- Printing your own work is great, too a point. There’s only so much wall space in your house. I started with printing some small stuff, 4x6. I have these hung on wires with tiny clothespins so I can change them out. I’ve only done larger prints of shots I really love. It is great to see and hold your work, but storing 12 large canvases when you only have wall space for 2-3 is pointless.
In December 2016 I took 724 photos, and posted 65 to Flickr.
Here is the December shots. I'll do another post soon, maybe next week, of all the 2016 photos I've posted. Enjoy December for now!