Guest post by Steve Gallow, sharing his insights on successfully completing a year in photos.
In January of 2009 I was listening to the “This Week in Photography” podcast episode 63, in which the hosts were discussing their New Years Resolutions. In one form or another many of them stated that one of their goals for 2009 was to take more photographs. While listening to these great photographers, I began to think about a method of inspiration for me to take more photographs.
I decided that on May 1st, 2009 I would take photographs every day for a year. From those photographs I would select a daily photo that I liked the best, and publish it on the internet in a blog. This revolutionary idea was going to help me improve my photography.
Shortly thereafter, I launched the blog Steve Gallow – A Year in Photos. Very quickly I discovered that thousands of others were already doing this. At first I was a little disappointed that the blog wasn’t unique. Disappointment quickly turned into elation as I began to find inspiration from the tips, lessons, discussions, and the community of others who had embarked upon a similar journey. In addition to many online people, I also began discussions with others in my local community that also enjoyed photography. This has led to the formation of a local photo club where local photographers and wannabe photographers meet once a month to learn through discussions, photo shoots, and guest speakers.
The journey for me began with learning how the settings in the camera would effect the photos that I was taking. At first I was spending lots of time with a tripod taking photos of the same subject, but modifying my camera settings. I would then load all the photos on my computer using Picassa to analyse the results. I began reading more books, magazines, and online material including Scott Boune’s Photofocus for tips on how to improve.
As the year has progressed, my skills have improved so that I can now quickly change the settings on my camera create the desired results. I have also been working on developing my eye for interesting, and creative photos. I realize I still have a lot to learn, and am constantly looking for new methods for expanding my knowledge.
One section of the daily blog that many people have commented on is my “Lessons Learned” section. With every daily post, I would attempt to write about something that I learned that day. Some of the subject repeated themselves, this has allowed me to reflect on my techniques and experiences.
Top Lessons from A Year in Photos…
- Photograph your interests, or what catches your eye.
- Have fun!
- Be Observant.
- Learn how to use your camera.
- Carry your camera with you whenever possible.
- Try photographing the subject from many angles.
- Watch for interesting light, weather, or seasons.
What would you add to the list of helpful tips? I may start a post with all the tips I’ve read and heard over the last 260 days and include your ideas!
Special thanks to Steve for sharing his success and insights!