My plans for 2015

Wow, 2015 is already here - I better get busy!

Like my recent post about 2014, it’s fun to sit down and apply some thought to this photography thing of mine.  It’s actually cathartic in some ways to write about things, even though technically this blog is about photography.  But I do enjoy writing up longer posts, and so far it seems my readers have enjoyed reading them.  

If you are interested, you can find them all under the “Musings” category on my blog index page (click on Travel Locations at the top of the blog, then click on Musings), or you can click here to see them all in reverse chronological order.

Anyways, after writing that 2014 wrap-up post, I turned my attention to the year ahead.  What does lie ahead for me?  Truthfully, I’m not really sure, and how can you be anyways?  But, it’s fun to speculate about, so here it goes:

More photos

Ok, that may be a pretty obvious goal for 2015, but it’s an important one.  I have taken literally thousands of photos during my travels over the last few years, and most of them are still in my Aperture library, unprocessed.  So as I have been doing for a few months now, I will continue to share multiple photos per post.  It makes sense to group things together, and it allows me to get more photos published.  And I definitely want to publish many more photos.  I’m no Thomas Hawk (whose stated goal is to publish 1 million photos – what an inspiration he is to me – high volume AND high quality), but I do want to get many thousands of mine published in my lifetime.  No, I don’t have a specific number in mind, but “many thousands” is the goal – whatever that means.

Specifically in 2015, I want to take my Flickr portfolio (which has around 2275 photos in it currently – which includes iPhone shots) and grow that to over 3500 photos in 2015.  A stretch goal for myself is 4000 photos by end of year.  That’s a lot of processing I need to do!  I also want more photos out there because Flickr is very search-friendly, and selfishly I want folks to find my photography.  This is a business for me in some small ways, and I want to grow my licensing portion of it.  Someday it may be larger than it is now, and the only way to grow it is to invest in creating more.  So I am doing that.  (Wish me luck.)

I also plan to continue taking and sharing my iPhone shots, most of which are ending up in this set on Flickr - though I put some on Instagram.  I’ve been doing more and more with my iPhone over the last few months, and now have about 350 iPhone pics out there on Flickr.  But I have so much more that I can add there.  So hopefully with these shots plus my “real photos”, I will exceed the total of 3500 photos on Flickr in 2015.  I feel pretty confident, though that is an average of nearly 4 photos per day, all year long.  I hope I am up to it!

Regarding my portfolio site (where you can buy prints, etc) over on SmugMug, I want to take that from roughly 1250 photos today up to over 2000 photos by year-end.  While I don’t sell a lot of prints, I do want to make them available, and that’s my chosen platform (and one that I really like).  I also find SmugMug is search-friendly too, and frankly I use it as a form of cloud-backup for my finished photos.  So it serves multiple purposes for me, for what I consider a reasonable yearly rate.

More product reviews

I really enjoy writing up my thoughts on various software products that I use.  Just this year, I published several review of products from Topaz Labs (Simplify, Impression, and just recently Glow) and also Intensify Pro from MacPhun.  People seem to find them and end up on my site, which is great.  But also I really want these reviews to inspire folks to try new things and experiment.  That’s what I love about trying out new tools.  But no, this won’t become a review site.  I only want to review things I use frequently and enjoy, and when I feel like my review can add some value to what is already available out there.  I have several ideas on this front, so time-permitting you will find more of this stuff published here in 2015.

Just like the software piece, I enjoy sharing thoughts on various items I use in my day-to-day shooting.  In particular, since switching to a mirrorless camera this year, my entire arsenal of gear was swapped out.  That has given me lots of fertile ground for exploration, creatively speaking, but also things to consider building content around in the future.  I reviewed my Olympus OMD EM-1 camera and the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens this year.  I also reviewed my MeFoto travel tripod, which has proven to be a fairly popular review.  I recently picked up the Panasonic/Leica 15mm f/1.7 prime lens (you can read about that in this post) as well as a fisheye lens (which hasn't even made it on the camera yet).  So those are two intriguing possibilities for me. 

While I don’t plan to review everything I have, there may be a couple more reviews this year.  There’s also some learning for myself in the review process, and that leads me to the next point.

Invest in myself

As I said in my 15 Tips for Better Photos post recently, I think it’s important to invest in yourself, and for me that means reading, researching, and practicing.  I plan to continue to do that as much as possible in 2015.  Even if the practice is just me holding up some fingers to frame a subject without a camera, that counts.  It’s being creative, and that’s the direction I want to continue to head in.

More travel-related content

No, I wont be doing any hotel reviews (at least, I’m not thinking about that sort of thing).  But I do enjoy writing up lists of the best places to take photos in certain cities (there are 15 of those on the site now, and if I get the opportunity, I will grow that in 2015), as well as posts like this one entitled 5 Things I Love About London.  Stuff like that is really fun to create, and gives me a nice break from the standard sort of “I went here and took photos of this” type of post.  Nothing wrong with those posts, as they make up a huge percentage of my blog, but variety is good.

More musings

Lastly, I want to continue to write more posts about stuff in general terms: travel, photography, social media, etc.  That style of post allows me an outlet for expression that I really can’t do anywhere else.  Sometimes, people actually stop by and read my ramblings.  LOL

And on top of that, I will likely do some more posts like this one, wherein I take a single photo and process it using various software products, just to compare how different things can be.  I may do more things in that vein in 2015.  It’s a lot of fun, and a fabulous creative exercise.

I also have a list of blog posts on various topics that I want to get to, so I will continue to write these things up and share them when they are ready.  They just take a while longer than a normal post, but as I said above, it’s rather enjoyable for me.

So as I mentioned in a post here way back in 2014, this blog has changed for me, and will continue to change and evolve.  These are iterative changes for me, mirroring the changes that I am going through creatively and photographically.  I'm finding more and more that I get satisfaction from certain things, and not from others.  I've essentially quit posting here 5-6 times per week, which is what I did in the beginning - each post with a single photo.

I find it much more rewarding to post 2-3 times per week with a group of photos per post.  That actually gives me more to write about, and I get more photos published each week too.  Plus, that gives you more to look at, which I assume is a good thing.  So I will continue down that path in 2015 - and I sincerely appreciate you coming along for the ride!  Hope you have a wonderful 2015, and thanks for stopping by!

So that’s it.  I am focused on creating and sharing what I create.  I am focused on a higher volume of photos, and hands-on reviews of stuff that I use.   And I am focused on travel and photography specific content, just because I love those two subjects.  Lastly, I plan to have a great time doing it all!

I think 2015 is going to be a wonderful year!  Thanks for your support!