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Setting Goals to Improve Your Photography

Now that Christmas is over its time to think about setting goals for the new year.  Setting goals for photography is no different than goal setting for other areas of your life like work, self improvement, or improved health.  

Goal setting can improve your photography skills and help give you the drive to get where you want to go.  So this year, why not set some goals to improve your photography?

When setting goals, it is important to set challanging but achievable goals.  If you set goals that are not achievable or that you won't have time to complete, you will be more likely to become frustrated and give up on the goal.

Here are some ideas for photography goals for the new year.

Start a Photo a Day Project

Shooting a photo a day for 365 consecutive days is a great way to improve your photography.  This type of project forces you to pick up your camera each day and get creative to get a different photo every day.  You don’t even need to post it online, just put it in a Lightroom, Aperture, or iPhoto folder for you to review.

Set a Goal on How Often To Get Out and Photograph

Practice is the best way to improve your photography.  You have to get out and shoot.  There will always be other important things that need to be done.  Try setting a goal for how often to get out of the house and practice your photography.  Whether it's twice a week, every weekend, or some other frequency, setting a goal can help to get you out and practice your craft.

Improve your Post Processing

Taking a photo is only half the work in digital photography.  There are many tools and techniques in digital photography post processing that could improve your photos or give them a different look.

There are many ways to improve your post processing.  Here are a few.

  • Buy a book on post processing.
  • Subscribe to Lynda.com.  There are many post processing tutorials for Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, and other tools on Lynda.com.
  • YouTube.   Don’t want to pay for tutorials, YouTube has a surprising amount of videos on photo post processing.  When searching YouTube its best to be as specific as possible when searching for a video.
  • Buy and master a Post Processing Plugin from TopazLabs,  Google (Nik Software), or AKVIS.  This plugins are powerful tools and can save you a lot of time.  

Learn a New Technique.

Here is a list photography techniques to try.

  • Black and White
  • Panorama
  • HDR
  • Star Trails
  • Studio lighting
  • Shooting Silhouettes
  • Photographing Fireworks
  • Slow Shutter Photography
  • Compositing

Pick a technique and focus on mastering it.

Try a new type of photography  

There are so many types of photography.  Try a new type of photography like:

  • Macro photography
  • Portraits
  • Street photography
  • Night photography
  • Photographing birds
  • Time lapse photography
  • Food Photography
  • Still Life Photography
  • High Speed Photography
  • Tilt Shift Photography

Set a goal to grow the skills and improve this type of photography.

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