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Author Topic: My thoughts on the new year  (Read 3466 times)

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« on: December 31, 2006, 08:40 »
As we enter into 007, I wanted to take a few minutes to share my thoughts and experiences on photography in general and microstock in particular. Forgive me if this runs a bit long, but besides being a photographer, I am also a writer (at least there I know where my work is being published.)

I have been a photographer on and off for years, but just ventured into trying it professionally and selling microstock since February. I was fortunate enough to sell my first image on my first day, and Ive never looked back. In the past year, I have met many wonderful people online and talked to a few in person. I have learned much, but as has been the case in my full time job, the more I learn, the more I understand what I dont know.

My plans for the new year are simple. Continue to learn, continue to shoot, and continue to grow as a photographer. This, for me, will involve following two main courses. First, raising the bar on my microstock work and portfolio. This will mean taking more time planning and shooting my images, becoming both better and more judicious in post-processing, and more discerning in what I submit.

Does this mean you wont be seeing more stuff from me the everyday and mundane? Not at all. It is still a fact that I have a full-time job, a family, several part-time pursuits and obligations to consider. So I will still be doing a lot of my shooting in the hour before and after work, and during lunch. What I hope, however, is if I take a picture of a fork, it will be the best damned fork I can produce.

I also hope to spend much less time in post-processing. This has also been a learning curve for me. When I learned saturation, I over-saturated; when I learned sharpening, I over sharpened. And lets not even talk about noise reduction. As we are continually told, I want to get it right in the camera, and then learn a few basic tweaks that are needed by most shots taken by a DSLR camera, and leave it at that.

The other photographic direction I hope to take this year, falls under the general heading of everything else. I dont know what that means yet, but I am going to pursue it anyway. I was fortunate enough in 2006 to get a few small jobs as a result of my stock work, and I will work on more of that in 07. This may mean taking work that you veterans wouldnt touch, but at this stage, I can benefit as much from exposure and experience as I can from income. So hopefully, I will be branching out more and taking more chances. Perhaps even taking pictures of (should I say it?) people.

Much has been said in these forums about * it all and going full-time. Just close your eyes and jump into the deep end of the pool. Well, Ive jumped more times than most, and I can tell you, Ive reached a point in my life where the deep end of the pool is just too damned cold, dark, and scary.

I will commit to spending more time on this craft. I will take more chances and branch out. I will raise the bar on what I find is acceptable work. And yes, I will even make some decent money at it. But once the light is gone and the day is done, Ill sit here in my big comfy chair, in my big comfy house, and leave the deep end of the pool to those younger and braver than me.

Happy New Year, everyone

« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2006, 10:08 »
I am very interested to see how this industry shakes out. Right now there are too many sites. At some point there will be contraction and consolidation. With six big sites and more and more other sites I wonder just how many will be viable in the next two years.

« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2006, 20:01 »
dbvirago, wow! you really know how to write...!  Very inspiring.
Some points are more than mere thoughts, they look more like resolutions, and they are very good and inspiring ones.
Thank you for sharing  :)

« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2007, 07:07 »
thanks for the thoughts dbvirago.  Good luck in the next year and the pursuit of stunning photos :)

« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2007, 10:43 »
Thanks for those thoughts db.

I, too, am a writer/photographer, like you. I've been taking photographs for years and years and years - from Africa to the Arctic - and I've never known what to do with them other than enter the odd one for a competition, and stash the rest away in boxes.

Then, in late 2005 I discovered that I could put  them up for sale through various agencies and ... better still ... people actually wanted to buy them!

Since then it's been a steep learning curve. I wince at some of the things I was submitting at first.

My photo-resolutions:

1)  Like you, db, get more right in the camera and rely as little as possible on post-processing.

2)  Get a really decent scanner and start digitizing my best trannies from Africa, the Arctic, and elsewhere.

3)  Learn how to manage a web site, and set on up.

4)  Be really, really, really critical of my work and chuck out anything that isn't top-notch.

That's enough for now. Happy New Year everyone.


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