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your photographic ambition?

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dCap View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: your photographic ambition?
    Posted: 10 January 2021 at 22:09
Do you have a photographic ambition?

A short term goal?
Complete a specific project?
A long term goal?
Something entirely personal or perhaps business related?

Or, perhaps learn or master a specific type of photography?
Win a competition?
Travel to a specific place?
Switch to (or learn) the very different skill set for video?

Do you want to turn pro?
Do you want to be in print? (is print still a thing?)
Or want to exhibit or make a book?

Or do you want to make non-personal broader 'industry' changes?
Things like:
- make Instagram square again
- make flickr relevant again

anything really?

Edited by dCap - 10 January 2021 at 22:16
Walk out if it doesn't feel right
I can tell you're only lying
If you've got something better tonight
Then don't mess up my mind with your crying
Just Walk Out In The Rain
Eric Clapton, 1978
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2021 at 23:21
Well, I used to want to be a wildlife photographer but now the idea of competing with a bunch of other guys sitting for hours in hides etc, hoping to a shot of a lion or tiger or the like that nobody has already taken, seems to demand a lot of time for a very unlikely return.

I used to have a smaller goal of photographing every waterfall in the Waitakere Ranges (near Auckland) but that got thwarted when the tracks all got closed down to protect the Kauri trees.

Now I'm hoping to get deeper into seascape photography and sell more prints/images.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bigsi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2021 at 10:11
Good topic! I've been lucky enough to tick a few boxes over the years, selling prints and even being the photographer filling in for a pro not turning up at a horse jumping events being the highlights.

But that was a few years ago now and I really should plan for the next few years. I don't think that I'll ever turn pro, but it would be nice to earn money as a part timer with exihibitions and more print selling in the long term. Short term goals are to take more photos and get organised enough to enter a big competition like the "landscape photographer of the year" (and win it ).

That was a good exercise..
You win or you learn....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2021 at 13:13
I am project-minded (who knew!) and have a few under my belt. A couple I've started/stopped as they weren't fun for me. And a couple I've failed (so far).

Landscape, street, and portraits - these three topics interest me the most and are areas where I am weak. I have plans and thoughts about changing all/some of these. Having lived a 365 I know that (for me) just getting into and on with that field is the way that I'll resolve my desire. Challenge and ambition both. Most my street shots have zero people in. I'm not sure if that is truly street? I moved to a coastal town so that I could walk to places a landscaper would enjoy (by stealth I hope to see differently).

20 years ago I was 2nd photographer at a wedding, did two weddings solo, did one 'corporate' shoot, and have done some 'pack shot stuff' for someone's website. I didn't enjoy any of it. So, decided back then not to pursue it. I shoot for me.

I also got three images published in a photo magazine (2003, I think) and kinda thought, okay, done that then, what next?

Wildlife photography used to be my main topic - but I quit and sold all my long lenses over 10 years ago after getting the 3-4 images that were the result of 20 years of field tracking. Wildlife, not parks/zoos. I knew it the day I got the shot that I'd been trying to capture for all those years. I continued for another year and got two more keepers. Then sold up.

100 strangers - this is the ultimate to me. It is NOT candid images (a lot of people, most people, misunderstand this). These are what I refer to as 'permission portraits' of strangers on the street, you are supposed to get their name and a little back story and a posted portrait (on the street). This is as much blog as photo project. With the huge popularity of smart phones and selfies now I think this project is more approachable. It is my ultimate photography goal - something likely to take 5+ years to do well. It is also the reason I will make an Instagram of some of my images, to use as an introduction to that conversation.

Edited by dCap - 11 January 2021 at 13:16
Walk out if it doesn't feel right
I can tell you're only lying
If you've got something better tonight
Then don't mess up my mind with your crying
Just Walk Out In The Rain
Eric Clapton, 1978
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2021 at 14:48
My main ambition is just to have fun with photography as a hobby. I am retired with a good enough pension that I don't need and want to make any money from my photography.
That allows me to spend all the time I have for photography on things I like to do. When asked I will make (and have done) photo series of events for organisations, like dance/music performances, exhibitions and corporate events. I promised myself to never do weddings.

In order to maintain focus I will participate in challenges (here on Dyxum and other sites) and develop some projects. Next to that I will also try new techniques and methods (eg. focus stacking, "non gory" HDR, panorama)

The last quest is to become better at creative use of all the techniques I'm trying to learn and make photo's that are better understood and liked by others. This is however hard to measure but it's still a main driver to continue to keep developing and not get stuck in a rut.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2021 at 16:14
Originally posted by dCap dCap wrote:

Travel to a specific place?
Made me laugh
I was planning a trip to Texas in 2020, maybe in 2022.

I decided to share a film picture every Friday on Insta: #filmfriday.
I also have a project planned to photograph significant (to me) streets, but I would like a website to post the pictures. If anybody has tips for that, I am interested (Squarespace does not offer .nl or .eu sites)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2021 at 20:56
Originally posted by pegelli pegelli wrote:

My main ambition is just to have fun with photography as a hobby. I am retired with a good enough pension that I don't need and want to make any money from my photography.
That allows me to spend all the time I have for photography on things I like to do. When asked I will make (and have done) photo series of events for organisations, like dance/music performances, exhibitions and corporate events. I promised myself to never do weddings.

In order to maintain focus I will participate in challenges (here on Dyxum and other sites) and develop some projects. Next to that I will also try new techniques and methods (eg. focus stacking, "non gory" HDR, panorama)

The last quest is to become better at creative use of all the techniques I'm trying to learn and make photo's that are better understood and liked by others. This is however hard to measure but it's still a main driver to continue to keep developing and not get stuck in a rut.


Quite a bit of overlap with my 'ambitions', although not yet retired .
Having fun (and clearing my head now and then) are my main drivers.
Shooting for money might put some more pressure and take away part of the fun.
You may have noticed that I tend to make a macorlesn of many lenses I own.
I'll try to do some more landscape nd maybe street shots too.
Would love to do portraits as well, but I have no room (yet) for a 'studio' and finding models is another hurdle to take.


Edit: I signed up but totally forgot the Film challenge for 2020. Still have some film, so need to catch up in 2021!

Edited by Fred_S - 11 January 2021 at 20:59
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2021 at 21:03
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

Originally posted by dCap dCap wrote:

Travel to a specific place?
Made me laugh
I was planning a trip to Texas in 2020, maybe in 2022.

I decided to share a film picture every Friday on Insta: #filmfriday.
I also have a project planned to photograph significant (to me) streets, but I would like a website to post the pictures. If anybody has tips for that, I am interested (Squarespace does not offer .nl or .eu sites)


Locations - I've always wanted to see Hong Kong or Japan. Been to mainland China, um, including to Wuhan 21 years ago! Japan would be lovely. A return to Iceland without a work bag would be pretty special too.

- - -

website/portfolio - some of many options to consider:
1$ - WordPress a)dot COM or b) dot ORG
2 - Blogger, free (still a thing?)
3 - Tumblr, free (still a thing?
4$ - SmugMug? [not tried this, but is designed for photographers to make websites]
5$ - type the HTML code yourself and rent a folder on a server

Pros/Cons to each of those - I've dabbled in most of them. Perhaps that is a new topic though?

In a few months time (say June/July) I'm planning to put a couple of really simple 'blank' HTML pages on the net to show how the very few lines of code work. Perhaps a couple of 5x image portfolios to show the navigation too. Will post it in here if there is interest.

Edited by dCap - 11 January 2021 at 21:09
Walk out if it doesn't feel right
I can tell you're only lying
If you've got something better tonight
Then don't mess up my mind with your crying
Just Walk Out In The Rain
Eric Clapton, 1978
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2021 at 06:44
I'll play....
I have a few ambitions some more achievable than others which is also important to consider but when making ambitions good to aim (a little) high

Set-up a website and "portfolio" - very achievable just need to find the time to do it. this is really for myself just as I do my own printing (which was an ambition I have partly achieved already)

Set-up personal gallery or "photo wall" - also very achievable, just need to buy own house first
This is mostly to share with family and friends plus of course personal enjoyment/satisfaction

Teach photography - not really for money but for the social aspects of it to keep the art alive as it were. For the right student(s) I'd do it for free. Not sure how achievable this is....

Pass it on to my child(ren) - of course depends on their interests... but if they are then this should be easily possible

Sell fine art prints - now this is what I call highly ambitious
If someone is really willing to pay their hard earned cash for your shots in large prints then you've really made it (IMO anyway). its more for the feeling than the money but the money will help too
I am not holding my breath on this one
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2021 at 11:33
@nandbytes - interesting set there, and as you say a mix of achievable and difficult.

Have you considered submitting images to an image library? Sure they take a cut but they are doing the hosting and 'marketing' for you - passive income. I think a few of them have 'wanted' lists of types of shots (probably a lot with a focus on 'tech').

As for selling prints / stepping into the fine art zone / yes, this appears to be a lot to do with reputation, perhaps brand, and exclusivity. I've seen people aim far too high (vs the appeal of their image to 'my' eye) and I've seen people aim for the $30 zone and work on volume. It is the 'do you want to sell one image a year at $1,000 or 10x images at $100' - one is gonna be easier to achieve but if you can land in the $1k zone a second sale is more exciting! And then there are limited editions, one offs, signed prints - which I imagine is a tough place to get into.

I've seen a few local cafes (artsy fartsy coffee shops) put 'local artist' photos on the wall, framed, priced, and ready to take-away with your coffee. Then a few months later a different artists work appears. Back when drinking coffee indoors was legal. Could be their sister's images or just someone they know. Will likely be a commission ... but this might be an option. But I've seen gaps on the wall which indicate a sale.
Walk out if it doesn't feel right
I can tell you're only lying
If you've got something better tonight
Then don't mess up my mind with your crying
Just Walk Out In The Rain
Eric Clapton, 1978
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2021 at 11:50
Some interesting replies here. My ambition is simply to be a better all round photographer. My plan to achieve this is to get a recognised qualification. Not for the letters after my name as I already have those from studying for my former job, but with the aim of improving my photography. I think it will make me think more about some of my weaker areas of picture taking and get out and about more with my camera (when we're allowed). I'm not retired yet. Possibly a year or two to do yet. I've joined my local camera club and have entered the PDI competitions with little success so far and I'll be having a go at print competitions when the club meets face to face again.

Ian
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dena Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2021 at 20:58
I think about new goals each new year. Last year they were:

1) Start a photo business to sell prints and make portraits.

2) Work on my off camera flash

3) Work on B/W, particularly portraiture

4) work on long exposures on tripod

Did get a business started, but not many sales yet. Only did one portrait session due to the pandemic. Still setting up my site for selling, but have it started. I spent the vast majority of the time preparing my solo exhibit, which was completely unexpected and a huge opportunity that rarely comes along. I was fortunate in that my entry in the photo contest at the museum got the most public votes out of 70 photos displayed. Part of this was the subject, as it is a popular spot seen in a way most have not. I thought I had until 2022 to prepare the exhibit, then the museum had to change schedule and asked if I could do it early this year. Preparing it in 6 months was a challenge. In a kind of mind blowing note, my photo mentor, a very well known and beloved nature photographer in Arkansas, had a solo exhibit at this same museum last year. He has been pro over 40 years. He's winding down his career now. He has some specialized equipment he offered to give me last month and I'm pretty excited about it.

So, my exhibit ready now and the museum has the digital info and is picking up the actual 65 photo display next week. I hope I sell some from this (entire exhibit is for sale) and it opens new doors. Just have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, it's back to work on the above list again this year.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2021 at 22:04
Photographic ambition? Thhinking about my photographic ambitions would be very frustrating for me, at the moment (too much work - Corona crisis). The earliest point of time to think about them will be the day when I will retire (fortunately not too far off).

I would just like to return to "normal". That would imply:

- get rid of a bookshelf (including the books) in my study - so I have a wall to hang some photos (no, not only my photos - but some of mine as well which I have printed/which I am going to print myself);
- teach another course on photography. I taught one last some summer together with a (professional) photographer friend and enjoyed it immensely (even despite Corona and doing it all online);
- save some time to go out and take photographs (e.g. with my Toyo 45A).

I hope for summer.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2021 at 23:57
What a brilliant question dCap. I'm just reading a book on measuring success and (re)learning the importance of setting goals, but never consciously considered them for my photography as it is very much a hobby. I think this should be split into things I want to photograph and things I want to achieve, so we'll go for the former first:

Things I want to photograph
1. the northern lights is top of the list, and a trip to lapland last December (officially for the kids to meet Santa, but partly for dad to take photos) was unfortunately cancelled through covid. It's rebooked for this coming Christmas so hopefully will take place.
2. closer to home, and theoretically imminently more achievable, I want to get a decent shot of a barn owl that hunts near my home. I've so far only achieved the 'look, I really did see a barn owl' photos, but I want a few 'look at this stunning image of a barn owl' photos. Very much work in progress. I've found where best to stand for the best back lit image, and been out there numerous occasions at dawn and dusk these last 9 months of lockdown, just got to get the darn owl to play ball!

Things I want to achieve
1. I produce an annual photobook of family photos, which I get printed three times once completed. On the 18th birthday of each of my two sons they will receive their 18 copies of the family photo albums, plus my wife and I have a copy too. Every year it takes me 6-8 weeks to produce (Going through the 15,000 or so pics across alpha and iPhone pics and curating, dating and describing each page) and it's hard to keep it going, but my main goal is to keep it up for the coming 15 years to have those 18 books ready for each of them.
2. As with most hobbyist photographers, I'd love to have my images published, have someone buy prints of my images and/or have an exhibition of my pics. But aside from snapping and editing, I'm not actually doing anything to progress on any of those fronts. I'm always blown away by the quality of other peoples' work, I guess I just don't think my pics are worthy of the effort of trying to achieve those things yet.
3. In retirement (a long way off yet unfortunately) I'd love to be a photography tutor. Nothing formal or as part of an institution, but perhaps photography walks or similar as an opportunity to impart some of the things I've learned and inspire and help budding photographers of any age to progress their photography journey.
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