New Year's resolutions from our photo pros

We asked our panel what they hope to achieve in 2010

01-06-2010 // NWF Staff

©Rob Sheppard photo of California chaparral Each month, we ask our panel of professional photographers to answer a question for our readers. In this inaugural column, they tell us what they have resolved to do--or not do--in the coming year.

Got a photography question for our pros? Email us and your query--technical, philosophical, or otherwise--may be answered in a future column.






I’m not one for New Years resolutions but I have decided to give myself more time to play with my camera versus work with it.  It seems that I pick up my camera to shoot something for an upcoming book or article versus just playing. The other day I saw some lovely winter berries along the side of the road while driving somewhere.  The thought went through my mind that they would make a great photo so I went back the next day and played with them.  It was fun and very stimulating.  I also played with the video feature on my new camera. I’m hoping this idea of play keeps my creativity alive in the new year. -- Kathy Adams Clark


My resolution for 2010? To broaden my story telling abilities by developing an eye for motion. I’m excited to now have the opportunity, using the new high definition video functions in DSLRs, to blend stills and quality video capture. With the same camera, in the same underwater housing, on the same dive, it's now possible to flow back and forth between stills and video, reacting to changes in subject behavior and lighting conditions. With practice, I’m hopeful this hybrid strategy will add depth to my marine life portfolio and help me bring back even more magic from beneath the waves. -- Brandon Cole


Here's one I am not going to break: I will stay abreast of my digital shooting with editing, applying metadata, and filing my new images! I've also been inspired by some of our tour participants' macro images, and I hope to spend more time working our gardens and surrounding fields, photographing insects and spiders. --Joe McDonald


I have a two-fold resolution. First, to get my digital images edited and put into our files within two weeks after returning from a trip. And second, despite our hectic travel and workshop schedule, to keep in touch with friends and family, especially the ones whom I haven't contacted in at least a year. Life is too short and I don't want to lose touch with those special people in our lives. --Mary Ann McDonald

I’ve decided to have two. Practice is a very important aspect to the photographic process, and I would like to spend 2010 practicing more.  This will mean saying “yes” to saying “no,” and making time and boundaries in my own photographic journey.
Secondly, I would like to live the words of Margaret Mead: "To the extent a person makes, invents or thinks something that is new to him, he may be said to have performed a creative act." In 2010, I would like to try creative acts that I’ve never done, although it might take leaving my comfort zones.
--Nancy Rotenberg


I have a few goals in mind for 2010.  First would be to photograph a swift fox in the snow. Having only seen one once in the winter, I would love to find a den when snow is on the ground.  Second would be to get some golden eagle shots with a photo trap at a nest site. Third would be to let go of the financial end so I can continue to work on my passion. --Rob Palmer


First: Relive the moment! I realize that all too often I am rushed and I just look at the images as content. I do not give them the moment they deserve. So I really want to make the point of looking at them and remembering the time I photographed the image: the surroundings, the smells, the weather, the sounds of nature. This after all, is the reason why I do this job.

Second, I want to mentally go through the year and remember what shots went well and which ones did not. Some might be of technical type, others the approach of how I document a scene or animal, where the biggest mistake might have been not to take a picture at all. When you ask yourself if you should take the image or not, take it! There is a reason for your temptation. Instead of wondering if, rather wonder how.

My third resolution is to try to be in the field as much as I can. The great moments are happening, and you've got to be out there to capture them. -- Florian Schulz


I am not one for setting resolutions or goals that can't be met. But what might I hope to do? I will try to do what I can to help increase awareness about our natural world and not be depressed about problems I cannot control. I plan on working to help photographers better understand and photograph nature so that more people can share this wonderful world with others. I plan on developing a number of projects involved with nature and photography, including more books and other media about nature, nature photography and digital photography.
I also feel very strongly that the chaparral (photo, above) is an important part of California's nature, yet it is one of the most underphotographed ecosystems in the country, so I plan to get out and spend more time photographing in the chaparral as well as encouraging others to do the same.
--Rob Sheppard


I resolve to start working on and complete at least one of my three book projects in 2010!  I would also like to get rid of all the camera gear that I’m not using anymore and upgrade a few pieces of equipment, like a new lighter tripod.  I’d also like to grow my workshop business that seems to be going really well, even in this down economy.  And lastly, I want to continue to write and illustrate magazine stories for even more publications then the past years.  That should keep me busy for 2010! --Lynda Richardson



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