About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

New Year Photography Plans and Goals

New Year Photography Plans and Goals

At the start of the new year, I like to outline some of my photography related goals and plans for the upcoming year. Some of these are aspirational, and some are more practical. Many won’t get accomplished, but its still a useful exercise to write things down. While some are more longer term goals, I also have a couple of more short term projects that I want to talk about too.

This post is kind of as much for my own benefit as it is for you, the reader, as it’s a way to put down on paper what I’m thinking. It’s also a way to hold myself accountable at the end of the year! Anyway, it’s a bit of a rambling article, but here it goes…

New Capture One Guides for Fuji and Sony Sony shooters.

As I mentioned briefly on my New Year’s post, and on my store blog, I’ve discontinued my old Capture One for Fuji Shooters guide while I work on a new one. This was actually the first of my Fuji guides that I wrote, and so it’s getting a bit old. While I had continued to update it to address changes in newer versions, it was a bit messy because of this. I also wanted to approach it a little differently.

The new version is a completely new guide, written from scratch. Actually, I will be adapting some of my blog posts for parts of it, but most of it will be entirely new material. This is the current plan for it:

The guide will be broken down into a number of areas. Firstly, it will give you an overview of the interface, for those new to the software. (This part I haven’t 100% decided on yet) I will then discuss how to process a typical shoot. Next, the guide will cover ways of setting up Capture One to optimise it for working with Fuji Files, as well as some other tips to help your workflow. It will then discuss Fuji specific topics, such as setting the film simulation modes, and how to approach sharpening and noise reduction. Finally it will cover some tips for editing your images, with specific attention given to ways in which Capture One might be confusing or trip up users who may be familiar with other software such as Lightroom.

That’s the current plan, but it may change. I’ve already started on it, and I hope to get it completed as soon as possible. I’m still deciding if I should make this a complete beginners guide, or make it for people who know the basics but want a next step - and make it more specific for Fuji shooters. Let me know what you think?

I’m also doing a version of this for Sony Alpha shooters too (and possibly one for Canon and Nikon shooters). Most of it will be generic, but I will adapt certain chapters to be specific to the idiosyncrasies of certain brands.

Putting the “Blog” back in “Photo Blog”

Over that past year, my site has become more of an article based collection of information, which is both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand it has served me well, as its attracted a lot of readers, but on the other hand, I think it’s become more impersonal.

I want to try and counter that a bit, by returning to posts that are more personal, more blog like. Don’t worry, I’ll still have lots of articles, tutorials and similar content, but I want to try and add more of a personal touch too. Starting with the very next post!

Get back to enjoying photography and taking better pictures

This is one of my longer term goals for the year. Lately I’ve found my own photography increasingly frustrating. I find a lot of the times when I go out shooting I’m only going through the motions. Combined with a bad case of imposter syndrome at the moment, I find that I have lost some of the spark that I had for shooting photos.

I know what much of this is from. I have spent a lot of time lately shooting for my blog - so that I have something to use for a specific writing topic, and not necessarily for the subject of the images. This often puts pressure on me to capture anything, and it’s not necessarily the right way to go about it. I need to decouple both of these tasks, and get back to shooting photos purely for the photo sake. I need to go back to focusing on the image, and not some unrelated outcome.

To do this, my plan is to set a series of photo projects. I will come up with a list of things to get photos of, and to try and get photos of them in a new and interesting way. I might even make it a public challenge that anyone can take part in. Let me know if you think this is a good idea?

Either way, the goal will be to make the “photography” side of my photography blog more prominent. I actually have a whole separate blog called “Photo Journal” which is purely about images, and I want that to become, if not my main blog, then at least equal billing with this.

Do more video

I’ve mentioned on the blog before how much I like doing video, and in the coming year, I hope to put more energy into producing better and better videos, whether they end up on YouTube or elsewhere. I grew my YouTube channel quite a bit last year (well, relatively speaking) and I hope to grow it even more this year. I also want to expand the type of content that I do. I will still keep shooting “Street Photo Diary”, and editing tutorials, but I also want to produce more documentary type content and more artistic content.

I also want to look at ways to incorporate more of my motion graphics skills into my videos. What way this manifests itself, I don’t really know at the moment, but it’s something I want to try and do. I have a couple of ideas, so hopefully I will get something going on those soon

Consolidate and update my camera gear

I’m pretty agnostic when it comes to camera brands. While I have written a lot about Fuji over the past few years, it’s not because I’m a die hard Fuji fan (sorry to disappoint you if you thought that) but more because I find it interesting. I actually use a lot of different cameras which I’ve accumulated over the years, and a lot of these are getting quite old.

A lot of the time I wanted to try a different model for one reason or another, and I’ve dipped my toe into various systems, but never fully committed. I think my Nikon setup is the most complete, but my Nikon camera (A D700) is the second oldest of all my systems. While most of these are still working, some are getting a bit long in the tooth, and are showing a few problems or other issues. But more than that, I want to move to a single system, if for no other reason than I don’t spend ages deciding what to shoot with. (And, it’s taking up a lot of space) I haven’t really decided which way to go yet, but I’m seriously considering either the Nikon Z6/Z7 or the Canon Eos R.

The latter may seem like an odd choice given that the Eos R might be the most bashed camera ever since its launch, but of all the recently released mirrorless cameras, it’s selling the best. The other reason is that I still love shooting with my original 5D and I have a good bit of Canon glass, including my all time favourite lens, the Canon 100mm macro. But I haven’t decided yet. For what its worth I will have a separate blog post soon on my thoughts on the Canon Eos R and why a lot of the criticism of it may be unfounded. The newly announced Raw video for the Nikon Z series is very tempting too.

Update the rest of my store or look for alternative platforms

There’s lots of other grunt work that I need to do in the coming months too. A lot of the products on my store are getting old, and I need to update them, or replace them with newer products. I also want to look at the store in general. Running it has settled down lately, but it’s still quite a headache. I am always looking out for other or better platforms, but I’ve yet to come across something that does everything woo commerce does. There are a few that come close, but just aren’t quite as good, or are missing a few key features.

Either way, I’m conscious that the experience is less than perfect for customers wanting to buy from my store. In an ideal world, it would be hosted on a dedicated platform, rather than with my own hosting, but as I said, any one I’ve investigated has one problem or another, or gets very expensive.

Do some good with my Photography

This last one is quite aspirational, and kind of a bit “out there” but I want to find a way to do good with my photography, or my wider skill set. I’m not really sure what this entails yet. Whether it’s working on a documentary feature to raise awareness of a topic or something else, I don’t really know. It’s something I really want to achieve this year one way or the other, even if it’s just in a small way at first.

What are your goals?

So enough of my rambling, what are your goals for 2019? What do you want to achieve? Have you any plans or subjects you want to focus on? Let me know in the comments below.

Help Support the Blog

This blog is pretty much my day job now and I work to bring you my own take on photography, both tutorials and tips, as well as inspiration from my own art. I support this work, and my YouTube channel entirely either via sales of my eBooks and Lightroom presets, or the kind support of my readers. (I also have one affiliate ad). Running all this isn’t cheap, and so If you like what you see and you want to help keep this all going, there are a number of ways you can do so:

If you like this post then you can see more of my work on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I also have a YouTube channel that you might like. You should also check out my other Photography Project: The Streets of Dublin. If you want to get regular updates, and notices of occasional special offers, and discounts from my store, then please sign up for the Newsletter.

I really want to stop getting annoyed by stupid photography articles, videos and comments

I really want to stop getting annoyed by stupid photography articles, videos and comments

Happy New Year

Happy New Year