Photography Goals for 2014

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I have a few photography goals for 2014 based on lessons I’ve learned in 2013 and years prior.  No, traveling to Iceland or Patagonia is not on this list but those would be cool places to see.  My goals are a bit different.  In no particular order, here they are.

1.  DON’T DROP A LENS IN THE OCEAN – While photographing tide pools 2 years ago, I was changing a lens while standing on a rock.  I accidentally dropped a 50mm into the salty pool.  Ruined.  Lesson learned, change lenses in a safe place or not at all!

2.  STOP DROPPING LENS CAP/ND FILTER – I won’t stop doing this, I’d just like to do this less.  I’ve ruined a few filters this way and watching a filter bounce off the sandstone is not a pretty sight.

3.  DON’T FORGET MY CAMERA – I was meeting some people for a photography meetup and rushed out of my house.  I arrived at the meeting spot only to find I left my camera at home.  This is a sure way to guarantee you won’t get a good picture!

4.  BE MORE PATIENT – Sometimes light changes fast and I’m left scrambling to find a composition or change exposures.  I’ve been practicing being in the right spot and being patient for the light, anticipating the image BEFORE so I’m not left scrambling.  Luck favors the prepared.

5.  TAKE LESS PHOTOS – I want to not click the shutter as much but make more images.  Taking less photos encourages me to be more selective of the images I seek and that’s a good thing:)

6.  LISTEN TO MORE MUSIC – I often have headphones with music pumping when I’m out taking photos.  I also rarely edit photos without music playing, often loudly.   I plan on continuing to do the same and I’d like to start listening to different types of music.  I’ll have a blog post about this sometime soon.

7.  PRINT MORE PHOTOS – Computers, smartphones, tablets…they are NOT what photography is about.  I began enjoying photos by shooting slide film and having something I could touch.  An image in print is infinitely more satisfying than a bunch of pixels on a screen.  I have many images I’m dying to see in print and I plan to make that happen this year.

8.  EXPERIMENT MORE – Complacency makes the creative mind go numb.  Photography has an incredible capacity to communicate place, emotion, memory and inspire.  The methods to communicate this are endless.  A college professor told me once there was no new idea under the sun.  I STRONGLY disagree with this and it still sticks with me.   The camera is just a tool I use to disprove this notion.

9.  SLEEP MORE – I think all photographers have this as a goal every year!  No need to explain this one.

10.  TAKE MORE WINTER PHOTOS – Basically, my previous career kept me VERY busy in the winter and the years before that, all I wanted to do was ski in my free time.  I have very few winter images yet it is my favorite season of the year.  This winter has already been different and it’s just getting started!  I love the cold, snow, winter storms, skiing and basically everything else outside in the winter.  I see no reason to not take more pictures!

Thank you to all who follow my blog and I look forward to 2014 personally and photographically.   I have no travel plans, no adventure plans and no bucket list.  That’s the best way to enter the new year that I can imagine:)  EE

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43 thoughts on “Photography Goals for 2014

    • That’s a good question, I’m not sure I have the complete answer. I think music helps me find the emotional connection I get to a place while photographing it but it doesn’t dictate the mood of the image. While editing, I often find words distracting and focus on the transitions and balance in the music. This can be found in all types of music and sometimes it’s bold, sometimes it’s smooth and subtle. This is reflected in my edits for sure. I think that broadening the music one listens too give you more ways to view balance and composition in an image. This works for me and I’d love to hear from other photographers about this. Also, when backpacking or camping, I never listen to music nor do I bring headphones. Music gets in the way of my thoughts. How about yourself? I’ll write about this in an upcoming post as I sort out my thoughts:) Thank you, Eric.

      • To be honest no, we hadn’t thought to listen to music while editing because between the two of us there’s always quite a lot of “is this ok?” “no a little more like that” etc… so when I read your post it got me thinking quite a lot. Maybe a good soundtrack will help us stay on the same page? We’ll have to experiment I think.

        Totally agree about no music out there on location, camping or backpacking. Rum yes, but mostly it’s just quiet nights and VERY early mornings :-)

        -Dee

  1. Great list, I dropped then lens cap from my 18-55mm kit lens about the 3rd time I went out with my first DSLR, and watched in near horror as it bounced off the tip of my trainer and into the river I was standing alongside. What kind of music do you currently listen to? I may have some suggestions as I listen to almost everything.

    • Thanks, that’s funny about your lens cap. I drop mine all the time! As for music, I mainly listen to electronic, house, rock and hip-hop. Anything that makes me happy or calm I guess:)

  2. Excuse me, Eric. I didn’t read clearly – you said photography goals not just goals. I hope you achieve all your goals!

  3. Worthy goals Eric. It would do me no harm to adopt a few of them. The only one I couldn’t try would be to listen to music when out with the camera. I love landscapes, but also wildlife and nature shots, and I find the headphones isolate me from what’s going on around me. Paticularly wildlife which you can often hear before you see it. I have friends though who wouldn’t dream of a walk with camera withoug music. Good luck with the goals.

    • Aidy, thank you for the comment. I prefer the natural silence and the sounds on nature when I’m backpacking, camping or hiking on a trail. Music is distracting in those situations. When shooting around home or in a wide open setting like the beach I like some good beats! Basically, it’s whatever makes you get in the zone or fully aware of your surroundings! That’s when the good pictures are made:) Thanks again and happy shooting to you. Eric

  4. some of your goals whisper of “experience”
    I chose a word for the year, it was “experience”
    and I think it must be the one for me because it
    keeps showing up…
    Great goals…I haven’t set but one….
    a blue feather pointing the direction of where I go from here…
    no it probably won;t make sense ..LOLs….it does to me….it’s from a book
    “Sacred Feathers by Maril Crabtree” she has three others of the elements…
    I am not sure why I thought of them as I wander,
    perhaps because you capture the elements so beautifully…

    okay..rambling done….long day tomorrow, working in the greenhouse…
    So Have a wonderful evening where you hang your hat(camera?)
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    BlessedBe
    maryrose

  5. I’m excited to follow you as you reach number 10. Living in Norway I live in a winter wonderland most of the year and I love to see what other photographers see behind their lenses. I just posted a few photos I took while on a Sunday walk that you can check out if you’d like.

    Findyoursilence.wordpress.com

    • Kristyn, I definitely will check out your site! I too am always interested to see what others see. I also walk a lot around here and I’ve been posting many pics on Instagram @ericephto (or go to the bottom of my blog). I love winter and I can only imagine Norway is incredible. Someday….. :):) EE

    • Nice! Goals often arise from lessons learned! I’ll have to come back to this and do an update in a few months:) Thanks for the comment and happy shooting, hope you found the right lens:)

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