It’s the start of a new year and with it comes New Year’s resolutions for many people. I have rarely made New Year’s resolutions in the past because I know I probably won’t make it to March before my commitment has waned and the resolution becomes only a faint memory at best. But this year, I have decided to try something different: to make a New Year’s resolution that will be simple, attainable, and most importantly, fun. No promises about eating healthier, getting in better shape, or getting rid of some bad habit. All noble goals to be sure, but not something I am likely to achieve. Instead, my resolution will be photographic in nature.
My goal for 2014 will be to shoot at least 50 images a week. Just seven pictures a day! How easy and fun can that be! Why am I making such a simple resolution? Because I have found, at least for me, that if I don’t set such a goal, I won’t get out and shoot. When I took a 5-day vacation to the Smoky Mountains in 2011, I had no goals. As a result, I came back with probably less than 50 images. Less than 50 images! From the Smoky Mountains! How disappointing! So, when I went back for another five days the following year, I set a goal of 100 pictures a day, or 500 for the trip. I didn’t quite meet my quota, but I came within 25 to 30 shots of achieving it. And unlike the 2011 trip when I probably only had five or six keepers, the 2012 trip added significantly more images to my photo library. I set the same goal on my trip to St. George Island, Florida, this year, and my results were once again markedly improved as I came home with over 600 images compared to less than 100 from my 2011 trip.
Setting this specific goal did not cause me to resort to taking the typical vacation snapshots to meet my quota. Rather, I opened my eyes to the numerous opportunities around me that I had ignored on my quest to capture the “perfect” image. I was able to capture the above image of Grotto Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park because I had set a goal that allowed me to see an opportunity I would not have seen before.
What is your New Year’s photography resolution?
Settings: Canon 5D Mk II, 14mm, 1 sec, f/22