What’s Next?

As the new year winds down and projects come to a close my thoughts naturally turn to what’s next? Just like Kristina, I tend to review the year before making plans for the new year and new beginnings.

I am a big believer in New Years Resolutions and I make them every year; some times they are successful and sometimes, well…not so much. I love setting goals, they are the ultimate to do list, and they help give my year a frame work to play within.

This year two important things have already happened that have unwittingly determined my goals for the new year. The first is my best of 12 book for 2015. (Although I am not as organized as Mike and my books are not in the post, they are ready for packaging.) While I was editing my book it became very evident to me that I need to brush up on my photography skills. Seeing Mike’s images up close and personal for the last few weeks at the Bryan Ohno Gallery has led me to appreciate all the more what an excellent photographer he is. Mike is my inspiration to improve my skills at this hobby which I love.

I’m lucky that I live in a town large enough to have good resources for continuing my photography education (plus awesome friends who I can lean on for help). I plan on taking at least one class from the local photography school; I am hoping to experience at least one solid critique of my work from an impartial group. I also plan to take a deep dive into Lynda.com. If you are not familiar with Lynda.com, I can assure you it’s an amazing resource for anyone motivated enough to take on the task of learning through video instruction. They have produced videos on  variety of photographic topics including photo editing and lighting; two skill sets that I need to get better at. I like their videos because they break down large complex topics into bite sized chunks (2-5 minute) that I can watch as time permits.

There are two large reasons driving this need to get back to basics. One I will talk about sometime next year as the project develops but the other one I am happy to share with you now.

We all have our bucket list of experiences we want to have before we die and I am no different. One of those bucket list items is photographing the aurora borealis. (For those of you who live in cold northern clients you  probably can’t image the magical pull of this atmospheric phenomena to those of us who live south.) Recently I signed up for a photography adventure in Iceland which doesn’t leave until February of 2017 and I want to make sure I am ready to take full advantage of this experience. I will be joining five other intrepid photographers traveling to Iceland with Justin Reznick to photograph the aurora almost every eveing in below freezing temperatures. During the day we will be venturing to Gul Foss as well as to a glacier filled bay and other locations in the southern end of the island. I know I am going to be sleep deprived and experience cold like I have never felt before, but I don’t care, this is going to be amazing experience and I want to be ready!

Last year my photography resolutions were centered on making personal connections with other toy photographers, but this year has a slightly different focus. While I know I will still see my friends (two trips to Portland are already in the works) it seems the technical side of photography is calling to me this year. While I appreciate Kristina’s indecision as she approaches the new year, that doesn’t seem to be my fate; I am going to simply let the imagery take care of itself as I focus on taking the best photos I can. I know from past experience that this simple goal is more than enough to tackle in one year.

~ xxSJC

What are your photographic goals for the new year? 

I wonder if Mike, Boris, Vesa and Mike have any photographic aspirations for the new year? 

Photo Bomb

19
Leave a Reply

avatar
5 Comment threads
14 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
ShellyMargaretReiterliedBalakovAndy Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
lynmillerlachmann
Member

I look forward to hearing about your classes! I look up to you as a photographer, but I also know that even published authors take classes as well and are always learning and improving their craft. Last year I signed up for a post-graduate program to work with a mentor on translation and on a new novel project that I was having difficulty getting started on my own. It was a great decision, because my translation work has grown exponentially and I’m nearly done with the first draft of my novel. I hope to take a basic photography class (yep,… Read more »

Andy
Member

Improve, have fun, improve, have fun and improve :) When I started photography, a few years back, I started with a small Lego cowboy and its horse. It allowed my to understand how my camera mode worked and I realized I had a blast with it. Today, I still shoot Lego bricks on a regular basis, but with much less skills than you guys. I’m always astonished by the quality of your work. My goal for next year is to work on my backgrounds. I realized that my best photos are the one with the best background. It’s all about… Read more »

Balakov
Member

Such kind words, thank you Shelly! I rarely make new year’s resolutions, and the reasons are probably suitable for a blog post at some point, but I do often find myself with a lot of free time at the end of the year that I could put to use on a project of some sort. I like your suggestion of Lynda.com, that looks right up my street. I’m in a constant state of wanting to learn stuff, and there’s tons of stuff that looks interesting. :)

Andy
Member

@Balakov : Your comment made me realized “Mike” is the Balakov I’ve been following for quite some time on your Flickr page. You’ve been a great inspiration to me, for the past two years.

Amazing work that you did ! Congratulations !

I’ll try and improve my photography to be able to create such beautiful pictures one day !

Keep up the good work !

Balakov
Member

Hi Andy, yep that’s me, and thank you :)

Maëlick (aka Reiterlied)
Member

I’m not the kind of persons maling new year resolutions but this year I have such a strong desire to improve my photography that I could probably make a few ones and be able to hold to them. But because I started learning photography focusing a lot on its technical aspect, I will probably focus less on it for the year to come. What I want to improve is mainly my storytelling and, like Andy, the background of my pictures. I’d also like to do more outdoor photography with my toys because at the beginning it was the kind of… Read more »

Andy
Member

@Reiterlied : I just realized I’m already following you on 500px.com. The world is definitely small :)

Maëlick (aka Reiterlied)
Member

Haha when you posted your first comment I also realized that. However it’s been a while I haven’t posted anything there. I must thank you because seeing someone with a profile on 500px gave me back the motivation to try to be active on this social network that clearly lack toy photographers ;-)

MaggieGem
Member
MaggieGem

Great and timely post Shelley. I’m looking forward to taking MORE photos going forward, seems I’ve slacking off and it shows. While I’m not big on resolutions, goals never hurt :-)

As I went through my photos for 2015 I wasn’t happy with what I’d produced and was quite dismayed when digging through my archives I found work from a few years ago that I felt better about. That is a true testimony to the fact that I need to get around to shooting more!