Over recent years I’ve regularly blogged an update or review of the year just gone. For many years I was studying so the review was largely related to progress against academic targets but more personal considerations invariably crept in. Most of those blogs are now closed or set to private as they relate to areas which I am not currently pursuing actively.
This year though I’ve decided to break the cycle and rather than look back I am going to broadly look forward although in doing so will no doubt make a nod towards 2017 which has been quite an “interesting” year, especially its final four weeks.
As I have already trailed over the last sixty-three days I will be starting a 365-Challenge (365-2018) today having got a taste with the 63-2017 Challenge that ended yesterday. I hope to get the results of various medical tests next week and with at least two weeks of medication still to come I am anxiously looking forward to getting out and about with my cameras as soon as possible! I summarised my thoughts on the 63-2017 Challenge yesterday and as I sit here at 8am on 1st January 2018 I’m already wondering about an image to open my 365-2018 campaign.
One thing I really do want to achieve in 2018 is a step-change in my drone skills; both flying and manoeuvring the craft but also in the image quality of both stills and video footage. I made huge steps during 2017 and produced several images of which I am very happy and this is definitely something I am really looking forward to building upon over the coming twelve months.
Hand in hand with this is of course the use of video. I can look back on a good deal of progress in purely technical terms but less so in terms of creativity or story-telling. The same can be said of audio-visual (AV) sequences primarily driven by the use of still images. If I’m honest I’m unsure about the direction this will take in 2018. Will one start to become more important and push the other to the sidelines or indeed will both drift as I veer back towards my core interest of still photography? As of this morning I am still keen to improve my technical skills both in capture and post-production. On the video front I suspect the focus will move towards a greater sharing of how I approach a particular location or shot, what decisions I make and why. I am not making videos primarily for other people so taking a more introspective look at what and why I do things will help me better understand how my photographic development is progressing.
Personal musings, such as the Nikon-to-Fuji ramblings video (above), may well still feature but as of 1st January 2018 I can see them becoming less important to me. As for AV I really cannot predict where I see that going in 2018. I am still contemplating joining the Leeds & District AV Society this year and following attendance at an AV event in 2017 I am already looking forward to the next event in the series.
Time-lapse photography will remain a key interest I predict. Whether or not I will be able to incorporate movement, other than rotational, remains to be seen but that is the logical next step. I am busy putting the finishing touches to a blog post on the subject based on an article I wrote recently for the MENSA Photographic SIG newsletter and am indeed rendering a snowy time-lapse in the background whilst working on this blog post.
I made a few new contacts during 2017, some through this blog, and I am looking forward to catching up with what they were up to in December as my social media accounts have been largely neglected during the past four to five weeks as evidenced by the blog posts here. I will also find time to tackle some photographic challenges, such as Forty-Five, once my house arrest finishes and to hopefully get involved in some of the additional challenges that are part of the 365 group I have joined on Flickr.
In summary, I am hoping that 2018 will be a year of consolidation in terms of skills and knowledge in those areas which interest me. One thing I have been coming to realise more and more over the last 12 months is that I should do what interests and appeals to me rather than worrying about peer accolades and recognition. I took some steps along that road in 2017 so lets hope that 2018 is the year when I fully embrace the concept.