So as we come to the end of 2010, I've been thinking about how far I've come this year and where my aspirations are leading me in 2011. I'd like to ask you, as an artist (because Photography *is* art as far as I'm concerned), where you want to be with your photography at the end of 2011. Do you for instance, have any aspirations to go photograph a place, location, maybe put on an exhibition, or dare I suggest it - start to make a living from what you love to do?
I think as artists, we have to remain inspired. Always having some goal that we want to reach.
For me, this year I set myself some 'dreams' of what I wanted to do, namely, go to Ethiopia and create some new portraits. I also wanted to make some new podcasts and not least of all, get that book I've been wanting to do for some time written. I've mostly achieved all that, but I still feel I have a lot I want to do, plans to go to new places (the list grows all the time).
If you want to improve your photography, the only way to do it is to go out and shoot more. But being aimless, directionless in what you do - won't help you. You need to have vision, a strong sense of what it is you want to achieve.
When I started out with this web site, I found that the content of it was a driving force for pushing me forward. For instance, when I looked at my portfolio a few years ago I noticed I'd been to a lot of cold places, but I hadn't ventured to many latin or Asian countries, so I decided that this is where I needed to channel my efforts.
Since I've now been running a Scottish photographic workshop business for several years, I've been really focussed on researching Scotland and photographing it as best as I could. But when I say this, it would be very easy for you to assume that I've made my latest photographs under contrived motivations. But that would be a misunderstanding. You see, in order to do what you do well, you have to believe in it.
I don't go around making pictures for the sake of it, I do it because I love what I see through my viewfinder. I have to be inspired by the possibilities of the final image.
So, as of today (I say this, because my aspirations and dreams change by the hour), I hope to do the following in 2011:
1. Photograph the Aurora and create a nice winter portfolio of the Lofoten Islands in Norway (I go in early March)
2. Photograph Tazmania & bits of Australia during the Summer
3. Return to Patagonia, Easter Island and Peru during the Summer (more information on that to come soon hopefully)
4. Continue my exploration of my own country - more of the Scottish Islands, where time permits
I know. It sounds like a lot doesn't it? And often what happens is that I achieve some of this and also do a lot of other stuff I never knew was ever on the cards, which I find very inspiring....
You just don't know when your next good image is going to happen, and I always like to think that the best is yet to come.....
So what artistic aspirations do you have for 2011?
I think we all need them. It's the only way to push us forward with our creativity and keep us focussed on the art of photography.