Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back on All This...

There's a photography to-do list I found in a blog post a while back. Since it's the last day of the year, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect back on this year in, what else, photography. :P

I'll just go through each of the 30 points and see where I stand at the end of 2010...

1. Don't Leave Your Camera
While I had my Nikon point-and-shoot, I did have it on me pretty much all the time. It was lightweight and easy to carry around. Now that I've upgraded to an SLR, well, it's been a bit hard. The 7D is a little heavy (a lot heavier when compared to the Nikon Coolpix) so it hasn't been easy taking it around with me. Also, I've only had this camera while at home, which makes it even harder, since I've recently been taking it to some places with me, now that it has a camera bag for it. (and no, I don't take the bag with me. It's just reassurance for my parents that the camera will be safe while not in use)

Since I won't be having a small camera on me now, I do hope to have more planned photo trips and such in 2011, compared to the spontaneous pictures I took in 2010.

2. Shoot a Photo a Day
My answer is really similar to #1. While I had the point-and-shoot, (and a not so stressful schedule) taking a photo a day wasn't too bad. (Yes, I got a little lazy with the uploading at times, but I did take pictures) Now with school and a heavier camera, it's a little more difficult.

My hopes/plans for 2011 is to change the three photos a day to one a day and have ONE blog post each week for them (at minimum). Unfortunately, I don't have the time to go out and take pictures as often nor the time to post. :(

3. Smile: Photos in Your Daily Life
Looking back, it really was a hard year for me. (at least a bit better than 2009) But nonetheless I've tried to make the most of it at certain times.

It'll get better for me one day... :)

4. Prioritize Your Goals
Sadly this is the exact reason why I haven't been taking many pictures lately. School has a lot more priority, so I have to hold off photography for a bit. :(

Not really much of a plan but I'm hoping to go on random photo trips (walking-distance) when I'm stressed. School has not been the best experience, especially after coming to Berkeley. There really isn't much I can do but to hope for the best and keep moving forward.

5. Read a Photography Book a Month
Sad to say, I haven't done this at all, unless photography magazines count. I've gotten a few to just glance over in my spare time on what kind of pictures to take, what techniques to use, etc. Beyond that... uh... yeah, I haven't read any photography books this year. :(

The magazines are a little expensive for me to buy monthly, but I'll try and get them when I can in 2011.

6. Join or Start a Photo Club
Haha, I started one in high school, and wow, that didn't work out well. As for joining one... if I have the time, maybe. :(

Sadly, I don't really have any plans for this in 2011.

7. Subscribe to 5 New Industry Leader Blogs
I don't know about industry leader blogs, but I did start following some photo blogs this year. They have been interesting reads... when I have the time. :(

I guess my goal in this area is to at least follow the blogs that I already read more often. Not too sure on taking on more blogs to read, at the moment.

8. Compete!
I can't remember exactly, but I did submit a picture online for a contest. (which didn't do so well, but I wasn't expecting much since the photo was a little over exposed) Besides that, I have been trying some of the weekly/monthly themed contests, although I'm not submitting. For now, these contests give me a theme to work off of and lets me try and shoot subjects I normally don't shoot.

I'm hoping to be more consistent with these. And maybe actually submit a few time to the actual contests themselves.

9. Plan a Formal Shoot a Week
Since I did no formal photo shoots this year, my plan for next year is hopefully have another lens or two in which I'll be comfortable with and be able to use for shoots. I'm setting the minimum number of shoots to at least 1 for 2011. Gotta start somewhere! ;)

10. Share Online
Well, I think getting my blog up and running again (sorta) is close enough to sharing online... I normally don't put up my pictures to share that much, so trying to keep this blog up has been an interesting challenge for me. (I still have old posts I need to put up, but my goal for this year was 150 posts... so I actually don't know if I met that goal or not)

Anyways, since next year is going to be a busy year, my goal for this blog is to have weekly posts and hopefully at least 100 posts for 2011.

11. Learn a New Slideshow Program
Uh... I was nowhere near slideshow programs this year. And I don't think I have any plans for this next year. O_o

12. Create a Photo Book a Month
Uh... no on this one too. I have been thinking of compiling a photo book, but I think my problem is that I don't have a specific subject that I concentrated taking pictures on. I don't know about a photo book a month, but maybe, just maybe, ONE photo book in 2011.

13. Build Your Website
Ok, so this has definitely gone... not out the window, but not moving anywhere. (I guess it's not "gone" then) But my coding on the website has definitely been pushed further back on the list of priorities. If I cant get my coding to work, I may consider those "easy-to-put-together" website instead. (Assuming I have a budget as well as an income to stabilize it)

14. Challenge Yourself With Flash Lighting
Ok, so the Nikon Coolpix wasn't exactly that great when it came to using the flash. Just like any other point-and-shoot, the quality of the image that came out when using flash... well, could have been a LOT better.

So my goal for 2011 in this part is to familiarize myself with the flash on my DSLR and hopefully get some awesome shots with it!

15. Get a Photography or Business Mentor
Since running a photography business is nowhere near the top of my priority list, I'm going to ignore that one. As for a photography mentor, that is a good suggestion/idea. But considering my time restraints this upcoming year as well as my lack of experience, I'm going to try and build that up a bit more before finding a mentor. I need to take it one step at a time!

16. Inquire At a Newspaper
After my experience at working with the Daily Cal, I have learned that photojournalism is not my area. However, newspaper photography isn't always photos about the top stories of the day. This I am aware of, but with my hectic schedule of "school-first policy" I'm not sure if I will have the time to go and take pictures worthy of newspaper material. So this goal will definitely be towards the bottom of the list for now. :/

17. Display Your Work
As of now, this blog is pretty much it for "displaying" work. I really don't have to time to make prints, sell, photobooks, etc. at the moment, so the only display of work I do is with this blog. I have a small "winter break" project to do, which is to set up my computer to display a mini gallery of my photos. (Yeah, it's not much but it's at least a small step) On top of that, I'm not too sure yet. I haven't really thought that much into this.

18. Get Published
Yeah, I was nowhere near this one too. I feel that since I lack the experience, there really isn't much to publish. Hoping for A photobook by the end of 2011.

19. Take Monthly Photo Walks
Well, this was going on daily/weekly when I picked up blogging, but definitely died down during the fall. I'm hoping for at least once a month photo trips somewhere to take different pictures. (Maybe SF, Oakland, or others)

20. Plan a Monthly Calendar For Next Year
Yes, I should! And sadly, everything will have to be planned around school. :( Hopefully I can get #20 accomplished with this.

21. Follow a Regular Photo Blog-Posting Schedule
Hahahahaha... ahem! So I was on top of this before fall semester started (yes, I know I missed a few times) and then WOOOOSH! it just went downhill form there. *sigh* Like I mentioned earlier, I hope to get, at minimum, 1 post each week. (this is especially for the spring semester) During the summer I may become active again with posts.

22. Teach a Class
Uhh... unfortunately I don't think I have the skillz (:P)/experience needed to be able to teach. I can probably do a small talk on dark room photography, but not so much on digital, since I feel like I'm still learning. Although they say that the best way to learn is to teach... hmm, I don't know about this one yet.

23. Promote Your Work in an Online Gallery
Yes, I should spam my friends more! Just kidding! But I may ask around for more critiquing and get the "word" out. ;)

24. Give Away Monthly Desktop Calendars
Hmm, to be honest, this is a good idea! Uhh... I don't know if I can get something whipped up every month though. I'll keep this though in the back of my mind.

25. Reach a Hand
Since I've done a lot of volunteering, this wouldn't be too bad. It's just contacting the right people, as well as finding time to take the pictures for the organization. I'm not too sure of this being on my priority list, but I'll keep it on the list of stuff-to-do/consider anyways. :)

26. Develop a Post Processing Workflow
Ummm, since I don't post process at all, this is something that I really should try and look into in 2011. Playing around with Lightroom 2, ordering prints, etc. Hopefully this one won't be at a standstill this year.

27. Create a Business Plan
As nice as this sounds, I think the website and the photos come first. I don't think I'll have time this year to establish a business and be able to earn money from doing all this. :/

28. Experiment With New Presets
I have experimented with my Nikon presets... but there are presets that I didn't try out. Hopefully I can get this one done and all of the features figured out!

29. Make Personal Postcards to Send Friends
This is an idea that I've been thinking of trying out for a long time. The only issue right now is that I don't have the images nor the money to print the postcards. (The cheapest deals I found are close to $60) I'm hoping to look deeper for better deals and get this one checked off in 2011.

30. Take a Workshop
And again, this one is dependent on time once again. I have taken quite a few workshops on photography, but in the end, I feel that experience is the best way to learn. Someone can regurgitate the ISO number and shutter speed, but I think trying it out is the best way to understand cause and effect with camera settings.

And last but not least, HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Last Second X-mas Present To Self

So the DSLR I got didn't have a camera bag, which was the main reason why I didn't take it back to Berkeley with me after Thanksgiving break. In the spirit of the buying season, I got myself a black camera bag on Christmas Eve! (it comes with a UV lens and an extra battery which sadly isn't for the EOS7D model) :(

Ignore the Nikon and the two lenses!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rain Rain

It was a rainy day today, but also a good day to take pictures. I always have fun trying to come up with creative ways of reflection, water droplets, etc. especially on days like this. :)

Definitely loving the 7D!

Note to self: I should definitely get a macro lens!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Moving Car

One lone care off to its destination...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

En Route to Exam

I had to wake up early to get to SFSU for an exam. And to top it off it was raining, how wonderful! Typically I don't mind rain... when I don't have to go outside... -___-