Photography Resolutions for 2015

Ha, you thought you wouldn’t get one of these resolutions post from me this year. I tricked you *evil laugh* That or I’m late to the party as usual… To be honest, I don’t generally do resolutions, but there have been a few things I’d like to improve or change when it comes to my photography habits. I thought I would list them here as a reminder to better my skills throughout the year.

Tiny little girl running in Piazza San Marco

1. Integrate people in my pictures

I don’t think I’ll ever be good at portrait, I tend not to be able to make people feel at ease and I’m not always sure what one person considers their best profile. I generally think that people are pretty anyway. But, with that being said, I would love to bring more life to my pictures and catch little moments, more often than not, a person’s expression or action tells a lot more about a place than a landscape.
What I generally do is wait for a place to empty from the crowd to take a picture. But recently, I was on Piazza San Marco and as anyone who’s been in Venice know, to see the square deserted is akin to see 3 blue moons in a row, unless you like to wake up really early… and clearly that’s not how we roll here. Between my fellow tourists and the selfie stick sellers, it was a bit of a struggle. Here I was standing, losing my patience and profusely cursing when all of a sudden a little yellow dot appeared in my peripheral view. I quickly snap this tiny little being running around in the thousand year old square and somehow liked the contrast. It’s not a great picture by any means but I feel like that day I made a step towards my goal.

2. Invest in a new lens

I’m exclusively shooting with a 50mm lens, which I still love dearly, don’t get me wrong. But I sometimes find its zoomed-in frame limiting especially when I’m in a small room and would rather shoot the whole space than close-ups of details. Also, it’s not the ideal lens to film with when moving. The cropped frame amplifies the movement and make the footage extra bumpy. I’m no connoisseur but I would love to try the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. A bigger frame while keeping a nice depth of field sounds like the best compromise to me, but if anyone has a good recommendation, I’m all ears.

3. Make a cinematagraph

I absolutely adore Jamie Beck’s work and ever since she revolutionized images as we see them online, I’ve been wanting to try to make these extra extra swish moving gifs.

4. Shoot in RAW

Switching to the RAW format is the grown up thing to do when you’re into photography, innit? It would be nice to have more control on the image during the editing process but I’ve been putting it off as I’ve been getting slower during that phase this past year (see why in point 6).

5. Edit in Photoshop

I don’t edit in Photoshop, I edit in Paint.net . Here my dirty secret is out. I don’t think it’s such a big deal but I’m feeling so much shame typing this. The thing is, I do know how to use Photoshop (at least the basics) but I didn’t have it on my laptop for the longest time and got comfy with good old Paint.net. Now I have it, I’m too set in my old ways and can’t find the strength to switch back. Especially as I’m not sure I would do something different with Photoshop, all I use is Curves, add a white layer, grain and increase sharpness. But surely putting Paint.net on a CV must be a major faux-pas?

6. Be consistent with the editing process & style

For a long while, I edited my pictures to make them look like they were snaps out of a Canon AE-1 camera. I’m not saying I was succeeding at it but that was my general aim. I got to a point where editing was very mechanical and fast enough. Then it slowed down last year when I started being influenced, like many people, by Kinfolk-style pictures which are darker and sharper in nature. It got worse when back in November I opened an Instagram account and felt mostly attracted by bright, very contrasted and sharp shots. I feel like my editing is all over the place now and because I’m in that awkward transition between styles, it takes so much time. I’m hoping for more homogeneous pictures in 2015 and less of a confused patchwork (both for this blog and instagram).

7. Light, pattern and colour awareness

As a fairly ‘young’ photographer, I still focus mainly on the framing and tend to forget what’s inside the four corners. I would like to make more of a conscious effort to work with the light, potential patterns and complementary colours.

8. More videos

This is not a photography resolution but it has do with my camera so I thought I would chuck it in here. When I started this blog, it was to supposed to be a complement to my Youtube channel. I had set the goal to film one video a week and consequently failed. Actually fail is not a strong enough word in this case.
I want to pick myself off the floor and take another go at the whole video thing, I feel like there are changes that will have to be made (possibly technical, see point 2) until I find a way to make it work for me. But I will get there.

Well that’s a lot of resolutions but hopefully now I’m accountable to you, I will make them happen. Do you have anything you’d like to improve or change on your photography? I would love to hear your thoughts, snapping buddies x

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My Top 10 Travel Bucketlist

Bit of a rite of passage for a travel blogger, sharing your ultimate travel wishlist, right? Well, here is mine, the 10 (I may have slipped a few bonuses) destinations that are filling my wanderlust dreams.

Studio Ghibli Museum

1. Ghibli Museum (Tokyo, Japan)

Ever since I first saw Spirited Away some 6 years ago, my obsession for Ghibli has been growing stronger and stronger. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every single Anime feature released by the Ghibli studio. Last week, I was so ecstatic after seeing The Wind Rises in the cinema (such a treat to see Miyazaki’s work on big screens). I can’t even imagine what state of bliss I’ll reach the day I get to visit the museum dedicated to my favourite studio. /Picture source: Brian Lopiccolo’s Flickr

Frida Kahlo { Serie }

2. La Casa Azul (Mexico City, Mexico)

I can’t really pinpoint the first time I encountered Frida Kahlo’s work, I think she’s one of those artists that has seeped into the universal’s unconscious like Andy Warhol or Van Gogh. But I do remember seeing the biopic Frida, starring Salma Hayek, and I was just floored to see how much this giant of a woman had been through. I would love to see the place she called home, if only walls could talk… /Picture source: Angie Ravelo’s Flickr

Positano

3. The Amalfi Coast (Salerno, Italy)

I often look at pictures of the Amalfi Coast (or Cinque Terre, I could have swapped one for the other really) and think quietly to myself: IS THIS EVEN REAL LIFE?!
It’s one of those instances that I deeply regret not to have bothered learning how to drive as I can imagine that the only way to properly enjoy these coasts is in a convertible, wearing a fashionable headscarf . Cliché, much? /Picture source: André Russcher’s Flickr

California Honeymoon

4. Hearst Castle (California, US)

Hearst Castle is the product of Randolph Hearst’s megalomaniac mind. He was a press magnate at the turn of the 20th century and his life inspired the film Citizen Kane. The estate looks so grandiose with its numerous swimming pools, pieces of art crammed everywhere and lavish reception rooms that held many parties with the Old Hollywood set. I can just imagine them looking like the Great Gatsby’s on steroids. /Picture source: synthsis’ Flickr

Twin Peaks - Double R Diner

5. Twede’s Café (Washington, US)

Needless to say, coffee and cherry pie(s) will be duly ordered. (ps: If you can’t recognise this café, who are you?/Picture source: Antonio Borba’s Flickr

Deyrolle

6. Deyrolle (Paris, France)

I first heard of this taxidermist/cabinet of curiosities when the fashion label Opening Ceremony used it as a backdrop for one of their collection. I was instantly smitten, I love the idea that there’s a veritable Noah’s Ark hanging out in a chic Parisian flat. /Picture source: Olivia’s Flickr

Moominworld - vintola photography

7. Moomin World (Naantali, Finland)

I nearly crossed that one out of my list when I went to Finland 6 years ago. I went to Naantali, reached the pontoon where the boat leaves for Moomin Island, only to realise that the theme park was closed for the winter season. It hurt. Still does.  /Picture source: Tauno Vintola’s Flickr

paris, day three.

 8. Versailles (Paris, France)

Versailles and the rococo style have been on my mind ever since I watched Sofia Coppola’s Marie-Antoinette. I visited Queluz Palace earlier this year, which is said to be the Portuguese Versailles and I now wonder how they compare. Queluz was so magical, hands down one of my favourite places I ever visited (post to come soon, keep your eyes peeled for that one!) /Picture source: Mariell Øyre’s Flickr

Castle Howard @ Sunset, Winter

 9. Castle Howard (North Yorkshire, UK)

This huge stately home is the setting of one of my favourite series ever, Brideshead Revisited and also don’t it just look spectacular? Love me some stately home! Actually, it was close between this or Highclere Castle (aka, Downton Abbey) ( /Picture source: Rick Harrison’s Flickr

Coober Pedy.

10. Coober Pedy (Southern Australia, Australia)

When I was a teen, I saw this documentary on the people of Coober Pedy. This town, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, stands on an opal deposit. Or rather is in an opal deposit as the dwellings are dug underground, killing two birds with one stone (no pun intended…..maybe), more digging means more opals. I remember wondering if Coober Pedians were digging extra closet space every time they were short on cash. Fifteen-year-old unanswered question, that one. /Picture source: ttwf’s Flick

Well that list has totally busted me out as the textbook armchair explorer. So many of these destinations are inspired by TV or cinema, oops! It was hard to cut it down to 10 to be honest but if you’re interest to know what other destinations are on my radar, you can follow my inspiration boards on Pinterest.

What about you, what destinations are on your list?