For the past few years, I’ve been deliberate in my efforts to improve my photography skills. Probably the most obvious way to do so is to take more photographs. Although my output this year is a bit lower than in years past, I feel like the quality of my work has actually improved.
But, I’ve also taken some even more concrete steps. I’ve bought more photography books and tutorials. Looking at other photographers’ technique and results is a sure-fire way to improve my own work. I’ve visited more and more photographers’ web sites. Seeing where other people visit and watching what they distill out of the same locations I have visited is another certain way for me to feel challenged. I’ve even bought a bit more gear that allows me to accomplish certain specific tasks that often result in better images. Of course, visiting new locations is exciting but it is also a challenge to photograph those locations in a way that captures the essence of the location.
Another exercise that I have undertaken for the past few years is to look at my work from the last calendar year and decide on my best ten or twelve images. It’s an exercise recommended by many photographers far more accomplished than I am. And, it’s a difficult exercise. To comb through thousands of images and decide on just a handful as “the best” is like deciding which one of your children you love the most. It just can’t be done. So, I’ve picked some images that are beautiful to me. Perhaps I haven’t succeeded in publishing “the best” but it’s a start!
Enjoy the images and have a happy new year.