Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2010 Achievements

A few days ago I was listening to Alain and Natalie Briot’s photography podcast #55, ‘Celebrating Your Achievements’ and they suggested we should make a list of our achievements from last year. It's a way of patting ourselves on the back and shows that, yes, we did accomplish something in the past 12 months even if it feels like we were standing still.

That was my case. I didn't feel like I did anything worth while with my photography last year. However, once I downloaded Alain's list and started answering some questions, I had to be impressed. I did more than I thought! So, with that in mind, here’s my list of last year’s achievements:

What did you try that was completely new?
  • Photographing waterfalls which taught be a great deal about using Neutral Density filters and Manual camera settings.
What new equipment (camera, lenses, computer, software, etc.) did you get?
  • My first off-camera flash - an SB600 - for more lighting creativity.
  • A proper bag for my gear - the Think Tank Streetwalker.
  • A sturdy Gitzo tripod
  • BlackRapid RS-7 camera strap replacing my UP Strap.
  • A hotshoe level to help keep the camera straight
  • Holux M-241 Wireless GPS Logger - a far better way to record GPS coordinates than trying to use Google Earth, especially after long day hikes.
What resources did you discover or master?
  • Reeder iphone and ipad app for reading my favorite blogs
How did you improve your studio habits?
  • Improved my digital workflow
    • Import to Aperture
    • Record metadata (headline, caption, keywords, gps data)
    • Rank photos on a scale of 1-3 stars
    • At the end of the month write metadata back to the master files
  • Began proper backups to an external hard drive and to the cloud. Right now I’m using Apple’s Time Machine to back up to the hard drive and CrashPlan to back up to the cloud but, CrashPlan is designed to do both.
What books did you read to learn new skills?
  • Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color & Composition in Photography (Updated Edition) by Bryan Peterson (Paperback)
  • The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes [Kindle Edition] by Joe McNally
  • Seeing the Light, Making the Most of Available Light and Minimal Equipment, an eBook by Mitchell Kanashkevich
What videos or films did you watch and found useful?
  • Digital Photography: Available Light and Flash with Ibarionex Perello
What seminars, workshops or lectures did you attend?
  • Waterfalls of Western NC with Juan Pons
Which projects did you complete?
  • Project 365 - Taking at least one photo a day for 365 days. This was far tougher than I ever expected but, I learned so much.
Overall, what was the single best thing that happened to your photography career in 2010?
  • Taking time away from work to go to a workshop for a few days. It’s so rewarding to spend time with people that have the same interest as yourself. Family is always supporting but, so easily bored when I spend too much time staring at a silly rock through my camera view finder.
Ideas for 2011
  • Try something uncomfortable such as street photography
  • Visit art events, galleries or museums. Soak up the work of other artists for inspiration.