With the new year upon us, it's typical for the resolutions to begin pouring in. I'm not one for making resolutions, but I have some photography resolutions that I would like to make in 2011. I've been photographing for a full two years now and I'm approaching the year anniversary of using my new camera. I've gotten to the place where I'm ready to start expanding my technical skills and I'm ready to start expanding my portfolio and taking on long, themed projects. So, with that being said, here are my photo resolutions for 2011:
1) Undertake Project 365 - For those of you that don't know, Project 365 is a year long photo project; one in which I'll be taking photographs everyday. I will post one photograph to represent each day of the entire year. This is a daunting project and I will probably need some encouragement from everyone as the year goes on. As much as I love photography, I'm sure I'll get tired of lugging my camera(s) around everywhere I go and I'll get tired of trying to find new and interesting things to photograph. Or even making old things appear interesting. It will be tough, but I'm determined to complete this. I know I be extremely satisfied at this time in 2011 when I reflect on my year in photographs. So, if I begin to waver, please help to keep me on track. I will be creating a separate blog page for Project 365 and they will also be posted on my Flickr profile page as well.
2) Take a photography class in the fall - The reason this is one of my goals is because I feel that I can't teach myself all of the technical aspects of the camera, lighting, techniques, etc. I can read and I can experiment; but I will never be able to fully grasp the technical nature of photography and how it can improve images without taking a few courses. I plan on doing this in the fall because I am three courses away from completing my B.S. in Marketing at Franklin University. I will be finishing that degree up by the 2nd quarter. Once that's out of the way, I will have a lot more free time to spend on perfecting my photography.
3) Begin working on a (or multiple) themed series - Shooting anything and everything can be very interesting, however, there's something very appealing about strictly focusing on one subject. Putting together a series is a long project. It's visually appealing and it forces the photographer to evolve because new angles, techniques and perspectives have to be employed to keep the series engaging not only to the viewer, but also to the photographer. Partaking in series work will not only help me grow as a photographer, but it will hopefully open other doors for me as well.
4) Develop an idea and create a stop motion video out of my photographs - I recently came across a stop motion video from an individual taking a video class from the Columbus College of Art and Design. It was hauntingly beautiful. So much so that it inspired me to try something similar. The process is fairly easy and I have the editing programs to produce such a video. The hard part is coming up with an idea, making it work and creating a cohesive, finished product.
5) Start shooting more film - As some of you may know, I have a 35mm film camera. It's a Canon AE-1P. I really like it; however, I've only shot one and a half rolls of film. I want to shoot more film in 2011. Like a lot of us, I like the immediate gratification of my digital. I love being able to review the shot I just captured and I love being able to upload it to the computer almost instantly and begin cataloging the image and posting it to various places. With that being said, not seeing your image as you shoot it creates an air of excitement. I can't tell you how much I anticipated seeing what I was able to capture with my first roll of Kodak 400 Tri-X black and white film. I want that feeling to continue. Is digital easier and quicker? Yes, but that doesn't always mean it's better. I will slow down and make a concerted effort to take only my film camera out on shoots this year. In addition to my Canon, I've received a few Lomography cameras as gifts in the last quarter of 2010. I have a Holga, Fisheye No. 2, and a Diana F+. I like the experimental and alternative quality of the images that these "toy" cameras produce. So, you may be seeing some different stuff from me this year as well.
6) Create my best work yet - I feel that I've grown as a photographer over the course of the last two years. I feel that my work shows it. However, I would like to take a giant leap forward this year and create some of my most inspired work yet. I feel that I have it in me; I just have to accept that I'll have uncreative moments and every image will not be a show stopper. If I can remember those things, I should be able to achieve this goal.
7) Show my best work yet - I've been showing my work for about a year now. I'm a member of the Edison Photo Society at Edison Community College and as a club, we have three member shows a year. I've also entered my work in a number of other shows and contests. As each show passes, I'm becoming more comfortable with the idea of showing my work. With that being the case, I'm in the process of scheduling my first ever solo exhibit. It's not finalized yet, but it will probably be taking place during the month of August. I'll keep everyone up to date on the specifics, but my goal is to show my best work yet at this show.
8) Have fun - The one thing that I have to remember is one of the reasons that I love photography is that I enjoy it and I have fun doing it. No matter how serious I get about photography, I can never let it stop being fun. If so, my images will never be as good as they could be and I won't achieve any of my photography resolutions.
So, those are my photo resolutions for 2011. I hope everyone has a terrific new year and 2011 is better than 2010. Please feel free to encourage me or offer constructive criticism along the way to insure that I achieve my resolutions. Cheers and I'll see you along the way!