Cattle (Entre Rios, Argentina): D800 24-70mm shot at 70mm, f/8, 1/125sec & ISO 400. This is an image I captured back in April on my trip to Argentina. I just recently processed some of these images and am trying some new styles.
Happy New Year everyone!
At work I use a Moleskin notebook to take notes. A medium sized one lasts me about six months and there is nothing as satisfying as starting a new notebook. It represents a new beginning or birth and a chance to do things right. To leave cares and concerns, disappointments and regret behind and start unburdened into the future. Well my Moleskin has one blank page left in it and, almost as if on cue, the year ends and just like starting with my new Moleskin reinvigorates me at work, so to does the new year inject new energy into my life and passions.
And so I turn to photography and wonder what I want out of 2015. But before I go into that let me take a look at what my resolutions were in 2014 and what grade I got.
#1: I believe that shooting in film will teach me some fundamentals that I may have missed by jumping straight into digital.
I knocked this resolution out of the park! I have a bunch of film rolls under my belt and have loved this particular path down my photographic eduction. Resolutions PASSED.
#2 I need to go through the images that I have taken and build my portfolio.
Ok this is a LONG way off. The problem I encountered is a bit of a identity crisis late in 2014. The photos that used to excite me now seem so dull and boring. I look at the mainstream “greats” and I have no desire to shoot like them. The inspiration they used to fill me with has disappeared. If I put together a portfolio today it would have five or six images that I am happy with…this would be too depressing to attempt. Resolution FAILED.
#3 My goal is simply to have 3 go-to lighting setups and 5 go-to poses.
No where close. Film has been the single new path I have had time to explore and adding light to it would be far too complicated for lowly me. Resolution FAILED.
#4 I have often heard about micro-focus tuning your lenses.
COMPLETED! Yup you got that right and you can see the post HERE. Resolution PASSED.
#5 Color Calibration is something I have postponed for some time.
COMPLETED! Yup you got that right and I will be putting up a post about it this week! Resolution PASSED.
#6 My goal for 2014 is to not buy any gear.
Ok this was a bit more difficult than I had imagined. You see the search through the genre of film introduced me to old cameras which would be purchased for a song. I could not be expected to learn film photography with a single film camera! Could I? Resolution FAILED.
Total score: 3/3 or 50%. That is a failing grade in school but once you look at the average resolution success rate then I just might pass on the curve….
Ok so what do I want out of 2015?
#1 Turn to the masters. Learn about six Master Photographers in 2015.
This means to study a single master for two months or so. My goal is to read at least one book on them and to understand five of their most celebrated works. I would like to deconstruct their images and see what made them Masters. I have not made my list yet and may just leave it open to jump from one to another. I have decided on the first Master I will study…Paul Strand.
I will write a bit about what I learn about on the blog but will not go into too much detail. This is a personal quest and one that I need to make largely on my own.
#2 Learn to develop film.
This one has been born of necessity…ok and curiosity. Each time I go to my local lab to process my film it seems to cost me a ton. By a ton I mean something in the order of $30 for a roll with some small 4×6 prints. I will start developing B&W film this year to help cut down on the cost and to learn a bit about the process.
#3 Shoot people.
Most of my shots are of family or of scenes without people. Street Photography is daunting because it really puts the photographer out there. We risk bothering people, making them angry and causing them to worry about our intentions. Is any hobby worth that?
There must be a way to take candid shots of people in a non-threatening manner. I will see if I can find one and will happily share any secrets I find.
#4 Shoot personal projects.
I never really give myself and project and usually just shoot what I run into. I would like to add some purpose to my photography this year. One project I would like to do is to take a roll of 120 film and my Hasselblad and photograph what the city of Perth means to me. One roll, one city in one day. The last bit is key…I want to see if it is possible to shoot a roll, develop the film and make a print in a single day.
#5 Overcome the crisis and define my style. Then select a portfolio of 20 images.
Yes this is a resurrection of the past resolution. I still believe in the value of this process and really would like to go through it.
#6 Shoot once a week. Think of it as a Project 52 tracked in a notebook.
In 2014 there were a couple of months where I did not shoot a single picture. I want to change that. I have a Micro Four Thirds camera and some small film cameras I can take on business trips with me. In a pinch I have my iPhone but to be clear I need to shoot at least a single useable image per week and deconstruct it.
I will start a photo diary to cut and paste my weekly images, deconstruct them and also take notes on the Master Photographers I am learning about. Looks like time for another Moleskin.
Well that is it. Six new photography related resolutions. My goal is to do them all or at least beat my 50% record of last year!
Have a great New Year and may the best of times in 2014 be the worst of times in 2015.