First and foremost Happy New Year and welcome to 2018. I hope that everyone has had an enjoyable and relaxing holiday season. I cannot believe it is 2018. When I was a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, anything beyond the year 2000 was freaky to consider. That was THE FUTURE. I even remember watching a science show titled Beyond 2000 – it was all about future tech, science and civilisation. And here we are and yet still I have no flying car, no personal jetpack and no robot butler. Although the robot butler robots are rising fast.
For me 2017 was a really tough year. I have struggle considerably with my grief and subsequent depression. It has really taken its toll on me. And this has in turn sapped my capacity for creative thinking and creative output through my photography. Blogging has been fairly consistent which I am glad about. I guess have such a plethora of content from my August trip to Tokyo has made blogging very easy to achieve. And let’s face it, I love talking about Japan and sharing my experiences of my times there. In case you are wondering, I have not made any plans to travel to Japan in 2018….yet! I want to. Desperately. But I have some renovations to get completed on the family home and as a result I cannot very well run off to Japan. Can I?
So a year ahead with no immediate projects on the horizon. That is a little scary but it does create opportunity to seek new, local, projects. I have a wedding to shoot in a couple of weeks for a close friend. This will be a fun event as my friend is crazier than I and in her own words is a “loose unit!” I will be doing all the still photography and my eldest son, who is 19 and quite handy with a camera himself, will be shooting video. I will edit the photos and he will edit the video with some of the music played on the night. I will be shooting that with my Fujifilm X-T2 and primarily the XF18-55mmF2.8-4. I have also recently picked up the XF90mmF2 which an incredible portrait lens. The video will be shot in 4K on a Fujifilm X-T20 and again with the XF18-55mmF2.8-4. A cracker of a lens.
So what else does the year hold for me in terms of my photography? Well having talked to a lot of my friends on Facebook photographic communities, there seems to be a consensus that a lot of us want to focus more on the art and images and less on the gear. We all get a little excited about our gear and especially in our Fujifilm Facebook community. But I really want to focus on improving my street photography through getting out and shooting as much as I can. I also want to find some new locations for my street shoots that are not in my comfort zone. Perhaps seeking some themes to focus on in my street work will help to challenge me and allow me to explore street photography with some limitations.
Don’t get me wrong, I love talking gear and helping others get the facts on their options so they can make informed decisions. But more importantly I want to direct the gear focus more towards my Beers With Cameras initiative that I will be kicking off in January. You can read more about that here. So that will be one of my key focuses for 2018. To first run a trial even and then to hopefully hold an event every month or every second month. In essence it is a social experience for photographers to get together and share stories, connect, network, talk gear and enjoy some fine beer. Oh and I may from time to time write a product review about photography products.
Another area that I want to focus on more in 2018 is to change my use of social media. We exist in such a digital world where we paste our images, throughs and feelings to our social media and gain feedback through bland likes. It is easy to get caught in that trap with photography where you create and publish work for the social media love to come back and validate your work or art. I want to push away from that a lot more and have already trimmed down my social media presence just this week. I have left Twitter as it was a platform that I believe is just not suited for photography. I have also deleted my Flickr account as I was getting flooding with followers that were bot-accounts. It is a messy platform now so I got rid of that and deleted all of my images from it. Finally I removed my business Facebook page. I have opted for a simpler social media presence so just have my personal Facebook page, my Instagram account and this blog site.
One last focus for me in 2018 is to print more of my images. To see them in print is very different to seeing them in a digital format. And I want to encourage others in my photography circles to print and critique their own work and seek the feedback of others from their prints. I actually want to encourage this through the Beers With Cameras events too. Bring some prints and seek feedback from your peers rather than showing them tiny representations of your efforts on a phone screen. I will go into this in more detail in a future blog as I want to talk more about my findings and development in printing more of my work.
So that is the outlook for 2018 so far. I have some ideas that I believe will evolve into more refined projects and themes that I can work through and evaluate right here on my blog. So stay tuned. Whilst I am here, I wanted to thank everyone that has followed my blog throughout this year and enjoyed some of my journeys and experiences with photography. It is something that I love and thoroughly enjoy sharing. So thank you.