The Road Back

It's been quite a while since my last update. There are a number of reasons for this, primarily some health issues that kept me in and out of the hospital for a couple of months. I'm currently in the process of a slow, but sure recovery. This experience has given me a new perspective on things, including my craft. Honestly, I had been stuck in a bit of a rut photographically even prior to my wardrobe change to a lovely hospital gown. I realize I had been taking the same sorts of pictures and needed change of pace, so I've set some photography goals to help me branch out and take advantage of being well enough to get out there and make some new images.

Here's my list of goals:

  • Shoot more horizontals! While looking through my body of work, I noticed that I take a hell of a lot more vertical (or portrait) photos than horizontal (landscape). I read on the remarkable Dreamscapes blog that men tend to take more vertical orientation shots than women, something to do with our more aggressive nature. I think it's more about compositional laziness on my part, but I'll use the excuse that I'm just too darn manly! Plus, landscape orientation tends to make slideshows so much prettier! So there's that...
  • Intimate! I've been so obsessed with getting the grand sweeping vistas that I've lost sight of the smaller details, the hidden beauty that I trudge past on my hikes. The photo at the top of this post is an attempt at this goal. There are so many beautiful shapes and patterns that get lost when approaching things from a grand scale.
  • Panoramas! On the other hand, huge sweeping panoramas are pretty badass. This is when you take multiple photos of the same location and stitch them together to get a view nearly impossible to get with one shot. The other benefit is that, because you're getting so much more resolution, these can be printed HUGE. There is a lot of technique to master in order to make a good panorama, so that's a goal of mine for the tail-end of 2012.
  • Astrophotography! This is a big one. Those who know me well, know that I'm an astronomy nut. The first time I saw the Milky Way with my own eyes on a moonless night was as close to a religious experience as I've ever had. I've longed to capture the stars as a backdrop to night landscapes for quite a while. There is a lot to learn and a great deal of experimentation involved in getting anything usable, but It'll be worth it.
  • Stop lusting after new camera gear! As challenging as it can be, I need to remember that the latest camera and most expensive lenses won't make me take better pictures. It's also a fantastic way to accumulate debt! Some of my best photos were taken with a 6-year-old Nikon D200 and a kit lens. Focusing on the craft is worlds more important than going bankrupt for a few more megapixels. This is a tough one, as I'm generally quite the gearhead.

That's it for now, quite a lot to accomplish and a great way to kick my butt into gear photographically. You can follow my progress on these goals here on my website and I'll be featuring these topics on future episodes of "The Adventure Book" show on Youtube. Let me know in the comments what sorts of goals you have!