In case you missed it, 2017 has been quite a year. I, for one, can hardly recall a year filled with as much commotion as this past one has been. For better or worse, though, the days march onwards, and we find ourselves once again preparing to turn the last page over in our calendars (or not, for you 14- and 16-month-calendar folks out there).
In 2017, I had the great fortune of spending five months in Glasgow (plus a week in Romania), three months in Los Angeles, and the remaining four in New London and Boston. I had the privilege of meeting many new friends in photography, of course, but also across a number of other fields as well — biologists, audio engineers, physicists, visual effects artists, philosophers, cider-makers… The list is a long one, and each member so much more than a single title can relate. To all of those friends who may be reading this, thank you for everything you brought to my year; I can only hope that yours has been as amazing as you have made mine.
And to all of the old friends — thanks for another one, as always.
I have spent this year thinking more about my photography than perhaps I normally do (that is to say, I finally figured out that I should be thinking about my photography), and a couple things about practice have crossed my mind.
Consciously habituating a “get it right in the camera” philosophy has done wonders for my work, and not because it slows me down up front — in fact, I would wager the opposite: I may work faster with the camera now than in years past. But the biggest benefits, I believe, have come from closing the gap between vision and technique, and the real speed boost has lately shown up in my post-processing. This year, I have noticed that I spend significantly less time working on individual images, but I have at the same time been getting better results than ever. I think this is due to a few key factors:
I crop a lot less than I used to. Sometimes I still instinctively go to crop something before ultimately deciding it was way better as-shot.
My “look” is a lot more natural than it used to be. All I’m going to say is that if you like your eyesight the way it is, don’t dig too deep into my archives.
At some point I began to realize that pretty colors and exquisite processing can’t save mediocre photography, and this may have been the first entire year where I can’t think of a single time that it crossed my mind as a concern (and maybe it did wonders for my skills in post, but it still threw me off track for a while in the past!).
Maybe I’ll write a bit more to expand these thoughts soon, but the gist of it is that it’s been a great year for improving my approach to photography. Next year the trick will be to put it all into practice all the time. There is always room for improvement, so sometimes it can be good to take stock and adjust course accordingly.
One more thing — this year, I am offering a very special opportunity: the inaugural edition of my New Year Print series. This year’s print is from my time in Glasgow, and is of the light from the Glasgow Tower, golden in the sunset, abstracted in the waters of the River Clyde. A little on the nose, as far as metaphors go? Perhaps. But I hope that it might inspire some to see, in looking back upon this year, the light and the hope that we might find in the next one.
The image is printed, signed, and numbered at 16″×24″ on Kodak Professional Endura Premier paper, then matted, framed, and delivered directly to you with a proof alongside. There won’t be too many of these printed, and they will only be available for three months, until the end of March 2018. You may purchase your print here.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you this year — it’s been good, despite all the challenges, hasn’t it? Catch you on the other side, and keep looking for the light!