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Focus: New year resolutions for photographers

Plan your resolutions before the first of the year. Be ready to move ahead!Resolve to plan it now, don't wait until 2010.

You want to be off and running when the big ball drops. Here are some sample resolutions to help you take giant steps forward in your photographic journey. Select a few that you like and stick with them. If you miss a few deadlines, just press on, don’t quit. There’s a real payoff every step of the way.

Resolve to master the machine

Your digital camera has incredible power and a long list of Practice! Practice! Practice! features. Bring out the manual once a month. Resolve to master a feature of your camera that you aren’t familiar with.

Resolve to practice, practice, practice!

Practice using that feature until you can do it fluently, even if you think you’ll never have occasion for it. When a situation does come up, and it will, you’ll be a few steps ahead of the game.

Resolve to think in black and white

Great black and white images are more than unsaturated color photos. B&W has a reverent heritage in American photography. Good black and white means more than point and shoot. Learn to think in black and whiteThe black and white image begins in the mind of the photographer, not in the viewfinder. Extra attention is required to visualize light, shadow and mid-range tones. Composition and settings are generally more critical than the subject. 

Resolve to join a photo club.

Find an active, nearby photo club and get involved.

Be a learner, a mentor or both, but actively participate and contribute. You’ll even make a few good friends in the process.

Meetup.com is a good place to find all kinds of groups meeting in the real world to share ideas, information on any number of topics.

Can’t find a photo club in your area? Start your own! Interest in photography is at an all-time high because of low-cost, high-quality digital equipment. Again, meetup.com gives you all the tools you need to start your own photography club.

Resolve to use your photos in real world projects

Digital photos make great prints and gift items. Low cost photo printing is readily available online, offline and in the home. Print-on-demand (POD) technology makes it simple to print high quality hardcover or softcover photo books.

Make friends and build your portfolio with a photo clubResolve to make an album or print a photo-book.

Order enlargements, books, posters, greeting cards, T-shirts and calendars with your own photos. Photo sharing websites, blogs, social networking websites practically demand a high volume stream of fresh images.

Resolve to start Daily Photo Project.

Many photogs find it extremely rewarding to commit to simply take and post a photo every day of the year to a blog, web site or photo sharing site. Stick with this challenge and watch your confidence and abilities soar while you build a body of work and discover countless new techniques and approaches to basic photography. Some photographers take and post a photo of themselves every day.

This apparently simple project can produce interesting and profound results.

Resolve to build or upgrade your photo web site.

The greatest photos in the world are of little use hidden in your desk or your private web site. Start a public photo blog. Share your visions with the world.

Resolve to make money with micro-stock

Sign on with a micro-stock agency; create and deliver Sign on with a micro-stock agency to learn professional skillscustom images on a more or less regular schedule. With regular submissions you will build a valuable portfolio while learning professional techniques, as well as understanding the type of images in demand by stock agencies.

Resolve to upgrade your equipment

Have you been dreaming about a new lens, strobes, carry cases, more memory, better software or a bigger hard drive? Are you salivating at the thought of getting a digital SLR but wondering where the money will come from?

Resolve to make a plan to acquire that special something. Start a savings account. A few dollars on a regular basisand a goal date will make it real. Sell some unused household goods on eBay. You'll be surprised what people will buy! And when you get your new uquipment, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes in your photography.

Resolve to shake off the ordinary

Get out of your comfort zone and see the world through new eyes. Take a hike, hop on a bus, catch a plane or train; drive somewhere you’ve never been and take photos of things you’ve never seen! Shake off the everyday ordinary of your familiar routines and territory. It doesn't matter if it's an afternoon, a day trip, an overnighter, a weekend or a sabbatical, but let the focus be on photography.

Resolve to go for the gold

Enter a photo contest. There is always a fresh list of Show off your photos in contests to gain exposure, recognition and prizescompanies and organizations offering large and small prizes, awards and recognition for amateur and professional photographs. Do web searches every now and then to find the latest in photo contests.

Resolve to visit libraries, art museums, galleries and bookstores

Libraries and bookstores offer a wealth of books, videos and other material, old and new. Browse the stacks and you’ll be surprised at how many titles will catch your interest to educate and inspire you. Get familiar with the photo sections.

Make your own resolutions!

You probably have a better sense of what you would like to accomplish. Figure out how to get it done. Write it down and give yourself some activities and deadlines to get where you want to go.

Whatever your interest or expertise, you will find plenty of good ideas here to keep you busy for a long time. If you enjoyed this article, click here to be notified when new articles are published. Click here to see more articles on Allentown Photography.

Future articles will discuss each of these points in greater detail, as well as other important topics related to photography and Allentown. 

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