Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010: Photography Resolutions Part 1

This morning I read Lisa Bettany's list of 10 New Years Resolutions Every Photographer Should Make.  I left thinking about how the post applied to me as a growing photographer.  So here are my reactions to the 1st four of Lisa's resolutions.

1.  Learn How to Use Your Camera
I've taken a couple of classes and a couple of thousand photos towards this end goal.  So many of my shots are still test runs.  I need to read up on how to achieve the end result I am shooting for... pun intended.  In addition to participating in online communities, I'm building a reading list.  Tell me...  what books should be on it?

a. take pictures every day
b. look at pictures every day-  try to figure out how they are made
c. read about taking pictures
d.  read my manual again and again
e.  ask questions

2.  Don't Shoot in Auto
I don't.  Ever.  Well... except when I get so super frustrated by low light situations.  Lighting weaves it's way through all of these goals.  I need to work around poor light situations and build up my toolbox for dealing with them.

a. see #1:  read, practice, ask
b. research DIY lighting solutions

3.  Don't use on Camera Flash
Low light again...  I hate on camera flash and rarely get a photo I'm pleased with when using it.  That said I am not in the position to buy a flash.  Someone did give me an old flash of theirs,  but I'm not sure it's compatible with my camera and have done nothing to determine its usability.  Additionally I have a 5 in 1 reflector kit that was kindly given to me.  I have enjoyed playing with it but have also been unsure of how to use it when I try to take so many candids.  That said,  using them often is going to help me learn more about lighting.  And it will certainly help when I'm taking portraits.  If only it came with an assistant.

a. determine if external flash is compatable
b. create opportunities to use my reflectors/diffuser

4.  Don't be Hindered by Gear I Don't Have.
This is just like the pesky 10th Commandment.  I don't have much gear.  I have 2 lenses, a few filters, a remote and my reflector.  I do have a lots of wishes and wants, but this is a really good reminder that it's not about having the gear-  it's about getting better with what I have.  It's about learning, pushing, trying and growing with the resources available to me.  It's not about remaining stagnant until I get the new tool.

a.  take pictures of everything
b. push beyond comfort level
c. try shoot same object from every imaginable perspective

What goals do you have to improve your skills (photography or any hobby you're passionate about)?  Have you thought about how to achieve your goals?

Resolution post to be continued...

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