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Saturday
Jan162010

2010 And Beyond: Start With The End In Mind

So here we are, new year, new decade.... new start. A time to take stock, reflect, think about the future, and plan for it.

Last year was good. I feel I've come a long way with my photography. My 350d and its lenses are becoming as familiar as my old Fujifilm S5700. I'm not having to think about the technical side as much, which frees up the old grey stuff to concentrate on the more artistic aspects of this great pass-time.

Actually "pass-time" isn't the right word for my photography. you could call it a hobby, but when you consider I've got this site, the Flickr group, all the time I spend taking / editing / uploading photos , and the Podcast, it has to be more than that. It's a passion.

I've described this photography blog, and the SCL Podcast, as like a diary, a record of my journey on the process to becoming a better photographer, a place where I can share my experiences and things I learn.

So where are we going next? What do I want to do with this passion on mine? Where do I choose to end up?

Small Victories For 2010

OK, so I need to set some goals for this year. First up, a little on the way I deal with my photos:

In 2010 I'm going to take more care key-wording my photos on Flickr, to make them more visible to searchers, in terms of literal descriptions - its a "banana" but also with terms like "healthy" or "nutrition". I'm also going to start uploading images to Istockphoto and Bigstockphoto again. Stock photography means creating technically "better" photos (for my 350d that means low ISO's and using a tripod), but if I can create a nice little pool of images that can't be a bad thing. I will of course share all my experiences in my Istockphoto diary.

Also on Flickr I'm going to make sure that every photo goes into a set dedicated to the particular lens I used, so those sets in themselves will become a resource for anyone wanting to see what you can do with these different lenses, real-world test images instead of the boring examples you get on lens review sites.

Next up, the Blog, Flickr Group and Podcast:

I've got a long list of videos / articles and reviews I want to post on the blog and talk about on the 'cast, so I shouldn't be short of material. I'm going to be including more link articles to other photography sites - cool things I hear or read, sometimes I think it's all a little inward-looking just talking about me most of the time. The list of photo genres we've come up with on the Flickr Group are brilliant, people are already submitting great images on all sorts of subjects, so that will be a great source of inspiration and ideas for the year ahead, so thanks to everyone over there, and if you haven't already, please check it out!

I'd like to pick up a sponsor for the Podcast this year (and maybe the blog too), so I'll be contacting companies whose products or services I admire to see if we can get something going, so if you know of any organisations that may be interested, drop me a line.

This blog could probably do with a newer theme, but I'm not sure. I had a few problems when I upgraded to Wordpress 2.9, so I don't want to mess with it anytime soon. I need to do some research to see if I can have two or more themes uploaded at once so that I can flick backwards and forwards between them. Again, if anyone knows about this, send me an email on how to do it.

Projects For 2010:

An easy one first - Coins. I was really pleased with the Macro shot I took of a 50p the other day, so I'm going to work through our currency, then foreign ones too. End result will be a book from the target of 36 photographs.

Next up, a film project. I'm going to get some black and white c41 film, then use it for a specific series of shots. The project will be: "Around Gosport" (Working Title). I want to come up with 24 exposures from around my home town. I'll be revisiting old locations and I'll be trying to get the best shots possible. The end result will be a book, complete with descriptions, and some large prints.

Next up, a digital project. "A Fortified Town" (Working Title). Shots from all around Gosport, somehow including the various fortifications that speckle the borough. 36 images, leading to a book and some large prints.

Next, a digital project. "Caught In A Moment" (Working Title). Photographs of people in their environment, taken "street photography" style. 36 images, leading to a book and large prints.

These photos and books will then form my portfolio of images I can show to potential clients.

Technical Stuff:

I want to understand how extension tubes work, and most importantly about colour management. I avoid colour photography not because I don't like it, but rather because I often get it badly wrong in post. I want to get a real grasp on white balance, colour temperature, calibration, etc, so my colour photographs look real. I also want my colour photos to "pop", so I need to learn about that too.

Kit:

I've got a great collection of M42 manual focus lenses, but my EF lens collections has a few holes. I've got the 28mm and 50mm primes, and the 75-300 zoom, but I haven't been very impressed with 28-80mm zoom, probably because the AF keeps sticking, so I'll need a replacement for that, I'll be keeping an eye on eBay!

I need another battery for my 350d. I do have two, but one seems to be running out of steam too quickly. A strong ND filter, with a 52mm thread, for my EF 28mm and 50mm primes, for those silky water and skies shots.

The big piece of kit that I really need is a good photo-printer, preferably one that prints A3, but I'll have to wait until we get a sponsor on board for that, I just can't afford the paper and inks.

Marketing

I want to make this blog and the podcast more popular. I'm a bit stuck on this. My usual method is just to keep adding content, writing about what I think is interesting, and then waiting for the Search-Engines to do their magic and send people this way. Reviews are always popular, guides and how-to's too. I think I need to be more interactive with other blogs - commenting, writing articles for them, that sort of thing. Maybe you've got some ideas?

Start With The End In Mind?

So what does that mean? Those of you familiar with Stephen Covey's work will recognise the phrase. Its a goal setting tool you can use to focus your mind on what you really want. Think about what you want to achieve, say in two years time, and visualise, in your mind, what it would feel like to achieve it, what you would be doing, and what others would think about you.

Here's what I want to see:

I'm getting up really early, pre dawn. The rest of the family are still asleep, so I make the packed-lunches and bring a cuppa up to my wife so it'll be there when she wakes. I quietly check my gear then jump in the 4x4, heading to the coast to get some shots of the Sun rising over the South Coasts beaches.

I'm back for breakfast with the family, downloading my images and backing them up. They're part of a book project I'm working on. Some will go in the book, others for prints for sale, and maybe some for stock too.

I check my emails, comment on some photo's submitted to the Flickr group, queue up some images at the Stock sites, then head out to drop off some large prints at the local arts store for display, and hopefully, sale.

I missed the post this morning so I go to the sorting office to pick up a package that's come from the States, some new device for calibrating your monitor, and a smaller parcel from Germany with some different Photo Printing Paper, both that'll need reviewing on the website this week.

I've got an assignment this afternoon, off to Winchester to shoot some interiors for a design magazine, I've got to hurry because I need to get my lights and gear loaded and be on the road by 1230.

After the shoot I make a detour to The New Forest to get some photos of twilight in the woods, then it's home to work on the shots, get them sent off to the editor and write a blog post about today's work. The photo-news site needs some work, and I need to record a chapter of my "Guide To The Canon 9d" audio guide.

After a nice family evening meal, a little late because of my trip to Winchester, we settle down in front of the TV. It's time to relax. I'll check my mail later, but for now I can forget about being a full-time photographer, blogger and podcaster for a couple of hours.

Cheers, Rob.

Reader Comments (3)

Rob,

It might be helpful if you put together a short promo for your podcast. I have noticed that some of the other photography podcasts I listen to seem to exchange promos with each other and play them near the end of each episode. Just a thought. I really have been enjoying your effort here and I look forward to listening whenever you post a new episode.

Thank you,
Scott

January 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Van't Land

Hi Scott!

Great idea! I'll definitely follow up that thought!

Cheers, Rob.

January 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Hi Rob,
Enjoyed the article and podcast (and no it did not feel long at all). You certainly have 2010 planned out, which I find interesting...I tend to 'float' through the year! I suspect you will achieve a lot more because of it!

By the way, you forgot to mention, on the way to the photo shoot in Winchester, to stop by Southampton to pick up your photography assistant! You do need someone to carry and setup all those lights etc!

Looking forward to 2010

Cheers, Maurizio

January 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMozuk

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