The company I work for has something in common with all large companies in Corporate America…they want everyone to have a “career path” and an idea of what they hope to accomplish while working there. Several years ago a group I was working in got a new supervisor and during my first 1 on 1 with her she asked THE QUESTION: “Bill, what are your goals with the company?” Bear in mind this is not my first career but with any luck it will be my last. So being 20 years older than her I gave what I thought would be a simple answer: “I just want to put in my 10 years here and go fishing.” Her reply was “No…Really…what are your goals?” It took me nearly 2 years to convince her that goals at 55 are different than goals at 30.
I’m not one for a lot of New Years resolutions. I don’t think I’ve kept more than one or two during the course of my life. But I do tend to begin every year with some goals in mind for my photography. I won’t bore you with the standard “My goal is to acquire a new 1200mm IS lens” or some such nonsense. These are real goals and objectives. So sit back and let’s plan.
1. Improved post processing technique and work flow. I rub elbows with some very talented photographers and view the images of many more and one thing stands out again and again. I understand that my digital processing skills are probably adequate at best. Some of the images I see demonstrate processing techniques that I couldn’t do if you put a gun to my head. Whether I have to take some seminars or watch countless hours of online tutorials or simply talk to my friends, I need to get better.
2. Learn HDR processing and strike a balance between the images that are truly improved by HDR and the ones that appear cartoonish through heavy-handed HDR processing. I have Nik HDR Effex Pro and need to learn how to shoot for it and process with it accordingly.
3. Become accomplished at night sky photography. I’ve been looking at the work of Bret Webster and Grant Collier and their night sky images make my jaw drop when I see them. I’ve tried night shooting a couple of times and the results have been less than stellar to say the least. I really want to learn this.
4. Spend more time outdoors in the company of other photographers. One of the great pleasures of our avocation is being able to communicate silently when in the field with other shooters. It’s like going to a ballgame with your best buddy. If neither of you say a word during the whole game nobody is left wondering “He hasn’t said a word…is he mad at me?”
I’m sure there are more things to consider but in the interest of brevity I’ll stop there. More will be addressed as they come along.
So what are your photographic goals? And what are you doing to accomplish them?