Last year on January 2, I posted some photographic resolutions for 2013. These were:
- Focus on seeing. Isn’t this what it’s all about?
- Spend more time taking photographs. If you love doing it, you should do more of it.
- Slow down, concentrate on composing the image, on setting and checking the light.
- Learn to photograph trees. They are worthy subjects, but can be difficult to compose, difficult to get the light right, difficult to isolate, and difficult to disentangle from power and telephone lines.
So now the question is how did I do. Lets see:
- As for seeing, I try very hard to do this all the time. Whether I have my camera with me or not, I’m always evaluating a scene for its photographic opportunities. How would I take the picture, where would I fail? And, of course, when all else fails I have my cell phone with me ever ready to fill in as a miniature 8 x 10 large format camera. And also I spend a lot more time looking at other people’s pictures, evaluating what I like and what I don’t like, trying to incorporate the good into my own work.
- I have spent more time taking pictures, more time processing them, and more time writing about them. Indeed, I think that the fact that I keep this blog actively moving encourages me to take more pictures and hopefully to improve my pictures.
- Slowing down, this is very important. It begins with having my camera ready to take a picture in some kind of average light for a given day and place. Then there is the thought process, what is the light level, what do I need to do. Or I take the picture and then I ask myself was that right, did I get what I wanted. Recompose, rethink, check the image sharpness by using the on “zoom in on the image” feature of the camera. I’m still a bit sloppy but getting more thoughtful and careful and also I’m expanding my repertoire of picture taking techniques.
- I photographed a lot of trees this year and was happy in many cases with the results. Taking pictures is the best way to learn some I am gaining technique and experience.
OK, so what about 2014. My photographic resolutions for 2014 are:
- Focus on seeing. This has to be a continuing lifetime lesson.
- Spend more time taking photographs and have my camera with me more often.
- Slow down, concentrate on composing the image, on setting and checking the light. This remains the key and is a lifelong lesson.
- Continue to learn to photograph trees. They remain the most worthy of subjects.
- Spend more time photographing people, learn to take better portraits and to develop a personal portrait style.
This point about developing a personal style is very important. Whether you’re photographing landscapes, trees, or people, indeed whatever the subject, what you need to develop is your own unique photographic signature. Then it becomes fun to watch it evolve.