Like with most of my activities, heading into 2017, I had no particular goal for my photography hobby. I can’t be bothered to go back and check, but since few readers also won’t bother, just take my word for it. Anyway, I can thus lay claim I’ve met all of my 2017 photography goals.
But, what did actually happen with my photography in 2017? Well, the big event was me buying the Nikon P900.
The above is the very first P900 photo that I kept (#4). You can imagine how bad the first three were. The above is at full zoom (83x) and was taken prior to me reading anything or even looking at the manual.
Well, color me unimpressed. I had bought the P900 with the specific intent of utilizing the amazing zoom, but if that was representative of the output, I was ready to return it.
This, despite the fact that I could take these uncropped photos — the 11th, 12th, and 13th — of a ship that was four miles away as the crow flies.
OK, I was beginning to warm up to the camera following these next examples, roughly one hundred photos later.
By the way, these are all presented with minimal processing and close to what I got out of the camera.
The first few months, readers of the blog got treated to continuous updates about the camera (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE to mention a few). In less than a month, I cycled close to 1,500 photos through the camera on my way to deciding to keep it. Even with all the updates, readers missed out on many photos.
Of course, I didn’t forsake my D7000 and expensive lenses. Although, here too there are many photo D7000 shoots I’ve yet to share.
As I mentioned in the Christmas post, if I add the phone photos to the p900 and D7000 photos, I come up with 16,000 photographs for the year. That’s a lot of photos to take, especially when one has no specific purpose in mind.
Now, there are some readers who feel they have seen all 16,000 photos. They wish! I have a lot of stuff that I’ve yet to share, especially since throughout the year I included a number of posts covering photos from the pre-2010 years (prior to me having a blog). For instance, HERE and HERE, but there were more.
By June, readers would have been hard-pressed to distinguish between my P900 from my D7000 shots were it not for me identifying them. Also by June, I’d cycled over 3,000 photos through the P900.
What follows, is the advice I give to people whenever they say something like “I wish I could take photos like those!” — presuming, of course, that they like my photos.
Here’s the advice: Shoot. A. Lot. Of. Photos.
Now, I say that, but there’s a little bit more to it and I have a number of posts where I give away my secrets, but since they are secrets, I won’t link them here . . . because the secret boils down to Shoot. A. Lot. Of. Photos.
OK, OK . . . one also has to want to improve and to accept that nothing worth doing comes easy and that — along with shooting a lot of photos — one needs to learn the ins and outs of their cameras (less so than in previous eras of photography), needs the willingness to experiment, needs the fortitude and desire to learn . . . and to never stop learning.
To that end, even if you are only using a phone camera, do these things:
- learn the rule of thirds. Your camera likely has guide lines to help with that (literally: guide lines) and you can also read about it HERE, HERE, and hundreds of other photography websites.
- take photos with a purpose. Meaning before you snap a photo, have a plan as to why; is it a snapshot? Are you going to e-mail it? Print it? What do you want it to say? Note: I said above I took photos without a goal. I meant “specific goal”; I’m always planning on sharing stuff I shoot.
- get in the habit of processing your photo using something like Snapseed (phone camera) or Lightroom (PC) or whatever is available for the platform you’re using. Always present photos the best you can.
- plan on the occasional use of Pixlr or something equivalent to “jazz up” the photo.
You can certainly take snapshots for a quick “Hey! Look at me! I need attention!” or “Hey! Look at this: it’s what crap looks like before I eat it and passes through my digestive system!” but if you want to take photos that you can be proud of, that requires more just snapping away. By the way, you can still clamor for attention and photograph your food, but take some pride in what you share.
By the way, that comment about Pixlr, this is what I mean:
My food on Pixlr:
Now, that doesn’t mean that people necessarily want to see this but what they can’t do is say it’s not in focus, it’s not creative, it’s not a visual assault on the senses. They can say it sucks, but that won’t change the fact that I took some care in producing it and that’s I’m proud to have it out there regardless of the reception.
One thing that should be obvious from this post is that I have photos I aim to eventually share . . . and here’s a little secret: some date back to 2016. Shhh! . . . don’t tell nobody.
But the ones from 2017 include things like a trip to South Point on a day when some guys were jumping off the cliff . . .
. . . and — of course — a big chunk of photos from the Alaska cruise in September . . .
And, not just from the two cameras I had with me, but also from my now dead Samsung Note II (may it rest in digital piece) . . .
. . . there are not enough hours in a retirement day, I tell you.
The mention of the Samsung Note II brings up the question of the Samsung Note 8 which replaced it. I suppose I could link to THIS or THIS or THIS post, but that would leave out a lot of photos I took with the phone since those posts.
I tell you what, plan on soon seeing a post dedicated to the Note 8.
Meanwhile, here are two photos of the moon I took last year (three days ago) . . .
. . . this one was taken in daylight — meaning when the sun was still up — from the Costco parking lot as some dude was probably swearing at me because he wanted my parking place. I nonchalantly shot the moon.
Handheld and in not the best of conditions . . . I am pretty happy with that shot.
Later, another hand-held shot, this time at night, but still in full sunlight. Or, nearly full.
I don’t know if I like the above better or the one below.
They are pretty close, I think, and both had me notice something . . .
. . . look just above the nose of the “man on the Moon” . . . does that look like writing? I mean, it almost looks like someone is writing a message on the surface. It could be a stranded alien asking for help . . . if “help” in their language was written as “F1PY”.
Of course, it could also be a rude message equivalent to telling us to accomplish an impossible — and very acrobatic — biological act.
. . . it’s probably just my imagination running away with me . . .
Anyway, that is my brief and very incomplete update on my 2017 photography year. Now excuse me while I go and update the copyright message in the two cameras, set up my D7000_2018, P900_2018, and Note8_2018 folders as well as new Lightroom catalogs for each camera for the coming year.
While I’m at it, I’ll do my backups and do a bit of cleanup of my working directory as I prepare the transition from 2017 to 2018.
Wishing you all the best for this New Year, and happy shooting.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.
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