What a busy year it's been and yet I know for certain that 2014 will be even busier. In 2013 I got to travel a bit - London for a week and San Fransisco for a few days, I finished my Photo365 Challenge, invested in some new equipment including a Canon 6D, spent a lot of time reading books & blogs and listening to photo podcasts, completely rewrote and launched the lastest version of the website, and most importantly hopefully have grown as a photographer.
The biggest project this year was my Photo365 challenge - the goal of which was to have my camera on me at all times and make myself take at least one photo per day all year long. The motivation was part journalistic, part learning but mostly pushing myself to stick with it and keep practicing. Surprisingly I didn't struggle until maybe October or November when I really had to focus to get something. It became harder to find something unique to photograph - commuting downtown every day and going through my usual routine made it difficult to branch out - hence the myriad of train related photographs. I took different routes to and from the train station but I was still in the city during the day and in my apartment at night. The weekends were a lot easier, but there were a lot of nights around 10 or 11 when I realized I didn't take anything that day and had to scramble.
Overall I am very pleased with how the project turned out. Having my camera on me every day allowed me to take some great photos that I normally would have missed but on the other side when I wasn't feeling very creative or was busy I had some absolute duds. I decided to be honest and put the bad ones up as well so I could see my progress throughout the project, the benefit being when I saw them mixed in I would remember why they didn't work or what went wrong. I also wanted to do as little post-processing as possible so the gallery stays honest to what was captured in camera.
To say that 2014 will be the biggest year of my life is a bit of an understatement. I will be moving to London in a few months for at least one year, there are a lot of things brewing for Gorilla-Studios.com, and even more things in my personal life. At my day job personal quarterly goals are set so we can track our progress as craftsmen and I would like to apply this principal to this part of my life as well - I highly recommend this to anyone, especially this time of year. These are the four areas I will be focusing on this year in terms of my photography:
Photo730 / Photo52
So I have one photo per day over the last year, but I would like to continue this. I want to mix it up a bit - I will be continuing the photo per day, but I plan on using my iPhone to document this year. This doesn't mean I am putting down my 6D though - I now plan to go out once a week to take more focused photos that might make their way into my portfolio. I think I'll get higher quality work by slowing down a bit, planning a little more, and being able to take time to capture what I want.
Gorilla-Studios technically turned 10 this year. I originally launched the site on December 12th, 2003 and thankfully don't have any screenshots or archives of it because I'm sure it was horrid. It has grown over the years, been torn down and re-written multiple times as I continued to grow as a photographer and web designer, finally becoming what it is today. However all this work will not cease - I have plenty of ideas for growing the site coming in 2014. Plenty to announce, but now is not the time!
The major shift in my life is that my wife and I are packing up and moving to London in just a few months. To say this is a great opportunity as a photographer is the understatement of the century. I spent a week in London back in May, but most of my time was consumed with a conference for work. Now that I have the opportunity to reside there for at least a year I am salivating at the chances I will have to expand my portfolio and meet some great new people. I want to focus more on street photography and learn more about telling a story with one photo, I have always admired photographers who have more of a journalistic approach. I will also share my experiences as an American photographer living overseas - it's a perspective that I haven't seen before so I plan on writing about it quite extensively. More details in the next few weeks about my plans.
Above all else I want to keep pushing myself as a photographer, learning new techniques, ideas, and perspectives. I am making the jump to Adobe Lightroom after 10+ years of a Photoshop-based workflow so this will be an interesting transition. I also plan to focus more on Travel and Street photography considering we will be in Europe all year.
I plan on keeping tabs on my goals every quarter to see how I am doing so I can make changes as needed. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings, and hope everyone has an exciting year as I will.