Planning for a great 2017!

2017 is going to be an amazing year.  Help me make it even better and get a free preset pack!

I shot this sunset a few days ago.  I have no idea why I used a sunset photo here.  AT the start of a new year, seems like a sunrise is a better idea.  MAybe I shouldn't mention these things lest you think I am kind of a dumb ass.  ;-)

I shot this sunset a few days ago.  I have no idea why I used a sunset photo here.  AT the start of a new year, seems like a sunrise is a better idea.  MAybe I shouldn't mention these things lest you think I am kind of a dumb ass.  ;-)

As I mentioned in this recent post, 2016 was a great year for me.  I really loved just about every part of it.  But now that the year is in the rear-view mirror, I am spending more time giving thought to what lies ahead.  Sure, I probably should have done MORE planning earlier, but in my defense I have been on the road a LOT (I was home about 6 days in December, total) and I have done some planning already.  So I am not totally unprepared.  ;-)

What does lie ahead?  Well, I am not entirely sure - though I have a lot of ideas - and that’s where YOU come in.

As I said in that 2016 summary post, some things came my way last year that were huge blessings although they were completely unexpected (namely, doing a lot of video work for Macphun).  So to be able to sit here and accurately predict what I will do in 2017 is futile.  I will absolutely be wrong about some of it.  Maybe a lot of it.  But of course I am going to try anyway.  That's half the fun, right?  ;-)  And, it's always fun to look back at these things later and see what came true.

I know for sure that my focus in 2017, at least in the first part of the year, will include the following tidbits:

  • I am creating a new preset pack for Luminar based on my travels in France (as you can tell, I like themed preset packs, even though they are general in usage design).  I have about 20 or so of them done, just need to add a few more and finish some testing on them.  I intend to launch these later in January.  You can find my other preset packs here.
  • I am considering another new preset pack for Luminar, with a focus on cityscapes and urban environments (skylines, street scenes and more).  I have quite a few ideas that I want to employ here.  Cities are one of my favorite subjects and there is just so much I can do here with Luminar.  This is likely something for February or March as I have yet to start on it.  I have sketched out the general idea of many of these presets, but need to build them.
  • I have many more ideas for my YouTube channel for both Luminar and Aurora HDR which I plan to record and share.  I anticipate one every couple of weeks or so, though I am not entirely sure of the content and schedule (I would love your input - please see below).
  • I have quite a few longer articles I plan to write about Luminar, Aurora and how to get the most out of your Macphun products.  These are really fun for me, but take quite a while to write and edit, even though they are usually a <5 minute read.
  • I have an eBook about travel photography that I have been writing on for a while now.  It's been a series of starts and stops.  I really want to finish and publish that one, just to get it out of my head.  Hopefully I can do that in 2017!
  • Although nothing is currently planned, I do expect to have some travels.  I get so much inspiration when I am out in the world exploring, and I am way too twitchy to sit still for long.  We'll see where I can get off to.   :-)
  • Obviously, I plan to continue processing and sharing photos from my previous travels and sharing those here each week.
  • As far as social media goes, I intend to put more effort into my Instagram page.  I started getting into it late in 2016 and have really enjoyed it.  Yeah, I'm way behind there.  ;-)

A couple of other things I am thinking about and/or working on (these are maybes, and your feedback is certainly welcome):

  • Releasing a texture pack.  I’ve been collecting textures for a while now, and thought if I could get enough that were different/interesting and make it available for a low price, it might be interesting to some.  I’ve enjoyed using them on some of my images, and with Aurora/Luminar it is just so easy and it opens up a world of possibility.
  • Releasing a sky overlay pack.  This is another thing I have long collected, without really ever knowing why.  I just like skies and clouds, and I have a lot of them in my library.  As with the texture pack, if I found enough that were useful/beautiful/interesting and offered it for a low price, this might be of interest.

Are either of those two packs of interest to you?  Why or why not?


Here’s where I need your help (and this is your chance to win a free preset pack!):  

Obviously I create a lot of content around Macphun products, because I use them and love them.  That will clearly continue into 2017.  But the specific content I create can be fluid.  I want to create things that are beneficial to the community.  I have many ideas, but never really know if it's something of interest until I try it.  Some things seem to be well received, and others not as much.  But thus far, it's just been me thinking of stuff and creating it.  Now, I would like your input.

If you are a user of Macphun products (Luminar and/or Aurora HDR), please take a moment and consider the following questions: 

  • What do you need most to help you get the best results in Luminar and Aurora? 
  • How can I help you get there?  (Videos, ebooks, tutorials, etc?)
  • What is missing, from an educational point of view? 
  • What topics/subjects would you like me to cover in my videos?  Please be as specific as possible.
  • What tutorials are you in need of?  Feature-specific articles?  Video tutorials? 
  • How can I help?  Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Leave a comment below (be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win) with some feedback or other ideas, and get entered to receive a free preset pack of your choice! ($5 value)*

Please take a moment, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.  After all, I love to create stuff that helps us all (I frequently use my own presets on my images, for example).  And when someone asks me for help, it sometimes causes me to go experiment and I often learn something new, or re-examine something that I had forgotten.  

It gives me a ton of satisfaction when I create something of value that helps people get better at their own photography, so please let me know what you think would be most beneficial.  While I cannot guarantee that I will be able to do all of it, I will go through each suggestion and if I can contribute something valuable, I would love to do so.  

How can I help you improve?  What can I do to help make 2017 your best photography year yet?  How can I help you take maximum advantage of the power of Macphun products?

Thanks much and I am looking forward to a great 2017!

*Free Preset Rules: I will take all comments, put the name of each commenter in a hat, and randomly draw out one winner.  I will do that during the weekend of January 7-8 sometime and announce the winner on January 9.  I will then contact you via email and provide you with the preset pack of your choice.  If you aren't familiar with my presets, you can find them on my preset page.  If you already have them, you can get a free copy of my next preset pack which will be coming out soon, or choose to forego your prize and I will select a different winner via random drawing.  Thanks much!

If you don't yet have Luminar or Aurora HDR, you can get them via clicking on the banners below.