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Monday
Dec292008

SCL Photo Podcast 26: New Years Resolutions!

SCL PodcastLets ring in the New Year with some ideas to improve our photography.

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Show notes:





Featured Posts:

My Own 12 Favourite Photographs of 2008.

Feature: Photography New Years Resolutions

My Notes:

Last Podcast I talked about how I tried to pick out my 12 favourite photographs that I had taken in 2008, and part of that process is thinking about the things that well in my photography during the last year, and what didn't go so great, and what things I'd like to work on in 2009, apart from losing some weight and getting fitter!

1) My first resolution for 2009 is to make my photographs technically better. I always carry a tripod with me, but I have to admit that I don't always bother to set it up - I love to get into a "zone" on myphotowalks , where I'm looking, shooting and moving on quickly. This means that I'm making compromises to keep my shutter speed high to avoid camera shake. I'll shoot wide open at f3.5, which isn't good for large depth of field or overall sharpness, and I'll bump up the ISO, which leads to more noise, if the light gets low.

SO what I what to be doing is always shooting low ISO, 64, 100 or maybe 200 - then choosing my aperture based on the visualization I have in my head for the photograph, not just automatically shooting wide-open. An example of this would be the photograph I took of the stick against the railings shadows, where the shadow of the stick looked a bit like a Chinese Dragon. I took the time to move the stick into a composition that I thought would be interesting, but I didn't take the time to set up my tripod so I could have used a really sharp, smaller aperture for a biggerDoF and sharper overall image.

2) My next photographic resolution for 2009 is film. I'm determined to shoot at least one roll of film a month - with my Minolta SLR's, but also with a new beirette film camera i got from the car boot last week-end - it's a viewfinder type film compact, built in East Germany in the late '60s, early '70s. What I find fascinating about theBeirette is that it has no internal light meter, only three different shutter speeds and you have to estimate the camera distance to the subject, and set the focus based on on distance markings on the camera barrel. It's one step up from a box brownie, and a totally different photographic experience from digital, and I'm excited about what type of photographs I can create with it.

So what's the point of shooting film? Well, I think it's the best tool I have for improving my photography. It keeps me sharp, when you've only got 24 exposures to play with, you make damn sure that you try your best to get the composition and exposure right every time! It's also good to shoot with different cameras - it keeps you interested and just feels great to pick up a strange camera and start wondering what you can come up with.

3) My third resolution is people. I will photograph more strangers, both by approaching them and asking permission, but also some street photography where I don't ask permission, just walk around shooting. I imagine I'll be doing the latter with my little film compact, it just looks a lot less threatening than m=a digital camera.

4) My final resolution is about Photo Assignments and competitions. For the past year I've been guilty of simply shooting lots of photographs, and if one sort of loosely fits the remit of the assignment or competition. This year I'm going to be thinking about assignments a lot harder before I even pick up my camera. Again, the idea is not to go out and win,but rather use the process of being given of given assignment and having to come up with a finished product in a given timescale as alearning process.

That's it for my photo resolutions for 2009, but I've also got some projects and goals I want to work through.

Wildlife photography - bird set up.

Photograph every Church in Gosport.

Shoot warships entering and leaving Portsmouth Harbour - see local press for details.

Organise a Photowalk for local photographers.

Read lots more Photobooks by famous photographers, and share reviews on the podcast and video reviews on the blog.

Grab a roll of Ilford Black and White film, with processing pre-paid, and see what it's like to shoot Black and White film.

Get a sponsor for the podcast, website so I can offer more, better content for everbody, and hopefully goodies to give away or use for competitions.

So, I hope my resolution and goals for 2009 might give you an idea for ways to improve or stretch your photography next year - it's going to be a great one!

End of Year Photo Assignment - "Shape Interrupted!"

Post photo's here.

Just for fun, no prizes I'm afraid, and we'll run it into January, as everyones busy at the moment with Christmas and New Year Preperations.

Technique challenges (No Time Limit):

No Sky Landscapes

Fill The Frame!

Dawn / Dusk shots

A Landscape Style Shot With Strong Foreground Interest

Remember to email me your photos if you'd like to me work on them for the Photo Workbench.

To contact me, just click on the link near the top of the page under the big picture.

Thanks for listening, see you on Flickr!

Join the Flickr Group!

Cheers, Rob.

Reader Comments (4)

Hiya Rob,

Really enjoyed your new years resolution listing. Got to hear it too!
The low bandwidth podcast downloaded without so much as a hiccup, fantastic! (None the worse for sound quality either and the quality of content being the main factor!)
Couldn't believe you carry a tripod around just not to use it! What's it for, ballast?!
(Perhaps you ought to carry two tripods, just so that you use one and maybe even lose a few pounds lugging them about! You mentioned weight loss, not me.)

Your 'new' little Beirette is going to be a real challenge and will be so worth it. Forget the sunny f16 - use your Fuji as a lightmeter to start with you'll soon be able to 'guestimate' exposures in no time. Your ability to judge distances will improve no end too! (You'll be surprised at how good the pictures from the Beirette are as well.)

Real food for thought article, made me sit up and realise I should be a lot more dedicated than I have been so far. (Always seem too busy just trying to find questions to answer on Flickr when I should be taking more pictures!) Definately gonna hit that shutter more often and post more pictures - really need to look at a pro account!

Really looking forward to seeing what you get up to in 2009 as it's been such a pleasure in 2008. Thoroughly enjoyed your work and effort you've put into all this, quite inspirational!

All the Best,

Victor

January 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVictor

Hi Victor!

Ha! I have my tripod on one side of my bag, and a water sprayer on the other (for adding the occasional "wet look"), so I'm pretty balanced!

Glad you enjoyed the Podcast and that the low-bandwidth worked OK, I'll be doing that every week.

Thanks for the compliments, lets hope 2009 is a great year, Photography and otherwise, for everyone!

Cheers, Rob.

January 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Hey, Rob Happy New year!

I've been enjoying your SCL podcasts. They're great. You also did a great job on the Fuji podcasts. They really helped me use my camera to its full potential. Anyway I have a web link that I thought you'd be interested in regarding you new years projects and goals for 2009. I belong to a photography meetup group via Meetup.com. Here's a link to the whats in your area:
http://photo.meetup.com/cities/gb/gosport/
~John R

January 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Rosalia

Hi John,

Glad you like the Podcasts, it's great to hear from listeners, especially as you enjoyed the S5700 guides too!

Thanks for the link, I'll have to check it out.

Thanks again, Rob.

January 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

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