Today’s prompt: What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)
Try, you say? You want me to try?
I’m not sure how I feel about that.
I do know how I want to respond to this prompt, though. I want to try to learn more about digital photography. I bought my camera (Canon EOS Rebel T1i) in January of 2010. I told myself I wouldn’t worry about how seriously I took it at first. I just waned to have fun with it. My plan for 2010 was to just intuitively get the measure of the camera while I took pictures of anything and everything around me.
That worked out okay for me, but I’ve gone about as far as I can on intuition alone. It’s time to cowgirl up and actually apply a little effort. I bought a couple of photography books this week, and I’m thinking about signing up for some online photography classes.
I would dearly love to do a Photo Project 365. It looks like I am going to finish my first 365 blog. I’m only two weeks away from the end of 2010, and I haven’t missed a day of blogging yet this year. Who knows what might happen in the next two weeks, but if I’m ever going to finish a full year of blogging, it will be this year.
Photography is another issue. Most of the time I only go to work and back. There isn’t much to photograph at work, and there are only so many pictures of the neighbor’s yard art one photo project can stand. Plus, it’s hard to carry a camera around everywhere you go. And don’t get me started on my lack of remaining disk space after flooding my Macbook with pictures this past year.
Regardless, I’m going to try to do a 365 photo project for 2011. I may have to supplement a good bit with iPhone photos. I may also need to find a cheap compact camera I can keep in my office for days I don’t make it to work with the Rebel and its battery. Lunch breaks are my best chances to snap around, after all. If I don’t get in the habit of using my lunch break to find my photo of the day, I won’t make it through two weeks of daily photography.
Of course, I’d like to inspire myself by purchasing a number of new lenses and maybe even multiple “play” cameras with different feature sets, but that would be in dreamworld. In realworld, I have a budget. A budget that grows stricter by the day, it seems.
I read in Scott Kelby’s book that digital photography is one activity in which the equipment does make the skill, and thus it is good and necessary to spend thousands of dollars on lenses. That may be, but the skill makes the skill as well. If you can’t play a Casio keyboard you picked up for 50 bucks at Walmart, you can’t play a Steinway Grand either.
I want to learn how to play the camera this year instead of just playing with the camera. That’s why it’s important to me to do a 365 project. I want to walk my way through photography lessons as I collect my daily snapshots.
The idea of posting at least one photograph every single day is really just a gimmick. It isn’t the never missing a day part that matters. It’s the discipline you get from forming daily practice habits. You want to play a piano, you play it every day. You want to play a camera, you play it every day as well.
I’ve done that this year with writing (sort of). Now I want to do it with writing and photography. And at least if I succeed with the photography part, I’ll have something to write about.