Alpacas, Nov 2017

The End of 2017, Hello 2018

Well here we are as the title says, in the final days of 2017.
With the passing of one year, marks the arrival of the next. What will 2018 bring I wonder? We all have those reflective moments when we lament the passing of the last 12 months and then look forward to the next 12 months. Perhaps some of us will make some new year resolutions.
Since this is a Photography blog, I will review the year 2017 and my hopes and aspirations for 2018 from my amateur photographer’s view.

General

Over the past 12 months, I have taken just under 15,000 photos, a good 5,00 taken on our Africa trip to Botswana and Zimbabwe. The trip was a long time coming and even though it did not go as anticipated (Visa problems) it still turned out the be a good trip and has left me wanting to go back there again. I still am occasionally looking and processing photos from that trip. During 2018 I will continue to review and play around with photos taken in previous years, it’s a good way to see if I’m getting any better.
I have this year made a more conscious effort not to take so many photos, especially at workshops. I have found that going through 1,000 pics after a workshop is just too time-consuming, especially when there are minimal differences in a lot of them. I have also been trying to concentrate more on my composition in camera, I’m getting better, but still a lot more room for improvement. This will be continuing focus in 2018.

Portraits

I have attended about 9 portrait workshops this year, and while they have given me some brilliant photos with gorgeous girls I have felt that my model direction is lacking and that I have made minimal progress on this this year. I have been pondering about what has been holding me back in this area. I think it is a lack of confidence in giving direction, but also it is the lack of knowledge about how to direct a pose. Many photographers say you need to get the “look”, well I just don’t know what the “look” is. After the workshop when I am looking at the photos on the computer I can see the poses that work, but during the workshop looking at the pics on the back of the camera I can’t see it so well. More work needed in this area, and perhaps a different approach needed for 2018.

Landscapes

Including sunrise and sunsets. After having reviewed my past pictures I can definitely see some decent improvements, mostly in the technical area of photography, the biggest improvement is from having better equipment, mainly my investment in the NiSi filters system, also better techniques means when I get back home to the computer I am not getting so disappointed with basic mistakes. For 2018 it is going to be about getting out there more and getting the shots.

Camera Gear (GAS)

In late 2016 I decided to go full frame and move from my Canon 70D to the 6D. As the 6D was an old model then and the 6D mark 2 was rumored to be coming out in late 2017 I decided to rent the 6D until the 6D mark 2 came out.
I was immediately impressed with the improvement in the images I was taking with the 6D. Using the same lenses, the images were sharper, more detailed and the iso performance was fantastic. But I did miss some usability aspects of the 70D, mainly the articulating touchscreen.
When the 6D mark 2 did come out I was a little hesitant about buying it. It was not getting many good reviews as it was not groundbreaking in any area. After reading and watching many reviews and even thinking about changing to Olympus micro 4/3, (smaller lighter system) I did buy the Canon 6D mark 2. I concluded that once you buy into a system it is just too expensive to change, secondly the missing features on the 6D mark 2 which everybody was going on about did not really bother me, i.e no 4K video and no dual memory card slots, thirdly, many people were putting it up against the 5D mark4 or mark3 or the Sony A7r2, which I did not feel is a fair comparison as these cameras cost twice as much and are aimed at professional photographers.
At the end of the day, it is a very capable camera, with an articulating touch screen and finally a wifi/bluetooth system that makes it easier to connect to your phone which is always a handy thing. For 2018 I am thinking about 1 lens purchase, Sigma 100 – 400 Contemporary which is getting very good reviews, it will replace my Canon 70 – 300 lens.

Social Media

This year I have tried to get more involved/active online. The result has been a negative experience for me overall, too much time wasted achieving nothing much with questionable results.
Earlier in the year, I read an article by Andy Hutchinson on how people are scamming the system, as he says at the end of the article if there’s money involved some people will do anything to get it. Jimmy McIntyre also wrote an article about this subject explaining the negative effects it was having on him personally. While I don’t pretend to be of the same class and skill level as Jimmy, the same effect was starting to happen to me, especially over the last couple of months. I was getting despondent with taking pictures, processing or anything to do with photography, and also getting bored with all the pics coming through my social media feeds.
For 2018 my social media activity concerning photography will be mainly this website, my Facebook page (Vincentcoxphotography) and maybe the occasional post to Instagram. 500px, or Viewbug or both may get the chop, Flickr, on the other hand, may stay. I’ve read that DeviantArt is an art sharing site worthy of having a look at.
Of course, there are many other things to look at, post-processing, long exposure, architecture etc, the list goes on…….
Looking forward to 2018 and all the best for everyone out there.

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