Well, either the world is going to end in 2012 or it won’t. In either case, it’s no excuse to not work on your development towards becoming a stronger photographer. And, naturally, we’re all different and we all learn in different ways. Some get what they need from a book. Others turn to videos. For me, I love practical education – in the field trial and error.

One of the ways I try to grow is to ensure that I go out shooting for at least one hour every single week. That’s the minimum. Given that I live in a new location and have found a fantastic new friend slash awesome photographer in +Jeffrey Yen, I don’t think this goal will be hard to maintain.

But we should go further beyond the basic walkabout with camera in-hand. Issue a challenge to yourself for each walk. The challenge can be a theme or a limitation in what you’re allowed to use, etc.

The other day, I was shooting around NYC and I issued myself a challenge to spend an hour shooting nothing but repeating patterns. It wasn’t so much about getting shots that had repeating patterns, but rather to train my mind and eye to focus on a particular theme and to help render out static in thought. I saw this large office building and was immediately taken by the beauty of the repeating patterns found in the glass. That was the kick-off shot that jumpstarted a series of other similar patterns. It was great and it was just what I needed to get my creative juices to flow for the rest of the shoot.

I know my limitations. I know that I am spastic and have a very hard time concentrating. The only way I can get to that special zen place is to ensconce myself in a particular theme. Doing this helps me block out other distractions and lets me grow to achieve whatever the challenge is at hand.

We all have room to grow here. That’s why I think so many of us are on this particular network – we’re all looking to each other for help on how to grow. So let’s make 2012 a new year filled with challenges that are issued and, more importantly, challenges that are met. I look forward to doing it alongside all of you!

Best wishes for a safe and successful 2012, filled with health and happiness!

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (101 photos)


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