2012 in Review

Back in 2011 I set myself a list of goals for my photography. It has been two years now, and the goalposts have obviously moved as I have strived to reach them. How well do I feel I have done?

relax, don't be in such a hurry
I still work pretty quickly, especially in post-processing, but I think I spend more time on each shot. Of course, film slows me down and the new large format camera will slow me to a near standstill.
use humour
it's fair to say that most photo shoots I've done with people have involved a fair amount of hysterical laughter: Miss Mina, tajasel, Jules, weddings, at gigs, at home, outside
don't do what everyone else does
I still very much enjoy using low-ISO bulb exposures at gigs, and get some stunning results; but I still take film cameras to training courses or weddings when the rest of the world is shooting digital.
One of the more scientific experiments I did this year was my Tri-X stress test, but I also shot expired film, used high contrast developer, infrared film.
get it right "in camera"
I think being ballsy enough to shoot hand-developed film at a friends' wedding counts as striving for in-camera results.
put things in front of the lens that aren't the subject
I have used my filters more this year, but haven't really done much with this theme
in the race for technical elegance, don't forget the artistic
but don't forget the tripod/monopod
composition is more than just framing the picture: remember lighting, depth of focus...
direct your model(s) and be more confident when doing so
I did several shoots with completely novice models, including a few for Apocalypse Girls. The zombie events at Zed have required a fair amount of direction too.
accept artistic input from others, including (perhaps especially?) from models
Late last year, tajasel and I began a collaboration/commission which has turned into a really fun, personal art project. At times this has encompassed some of my themes, and at others it has been based on her ideas.
remember the rules, but also remember to break the rules
When I accepted two wedding commissions this year, I did a lot of homework beforehand, researching the various styles which have been and are currently in vogue for wedding photography. In the end my style for these erred towards journalistic, with some posed shots where it was appropriate.
stretch yourself a little beyond the comfort zone
I tried hard to push myself at every event, shoot or opportunity; and to try to convey the people in the image as I saw them.
get more flash power
already achieved in 2011
free-for-all "Facebook Profile Shoot"
I ran quite a few of these in 2011 and early 2012, but the workload made it tricky to run them later in the year.
more male-modelled photographs (paying, for a moment, attention to the "gender binary")
try and do at least one shoot completely "in camera" with no post-processing
plenty of film photography this year, but a shoot in Ordsall Hall was mostly SOOC DSLR work
explore the machinery/nature boundary
do more street photography
actually, I don't think street is my style really
do more photography on film
definitely have done this, and it has expanded into multiple developer and film combinations.
do more black and white
do more "high key"
I have been looking at more bright shots, lower contrast and saturations, but really the dark and contrasts are my familiar style
done in May 2011
Norfolk Broads
done this a couple of times, but will want to revisit
nature (bird or otherwise)
mostly horses
Pott Shrigley and Ladybower Reservoir and Rivington.
more studio stuff
some latex in my lounge and high-fashion headshotsand plenty of portable-studio-setups at various events throughout the year.
Goths in Space
a bit of a hiatus; todo
gender-bending and patriarchy-smashing
a bit of a hiatus; todo

So what else happened this year? 2012 was the year that:

  • I was approached by people who wanted me to photograph them as part of commercial commissions.
  • I was invited to cover even more events, and would be offered photo- or crew-passes for them.
  • I shot lots of video, including trailers for action events.
  • I became a photographer for Apocalyse Girls.
  • Half my fridge was film, half was food.
  • I improve my scanning capabilities.
  • I started hankering for large format, and took the plunge.
  • I wondered about developing colour film, and finally did it.