2009/02/27

Wish List and Prioritizing

DaGoddess @ 04:00

It’s silly for me to be making my birthday wish list so far in advance. Heck it’s over two months until my birthday. But here’s the thing, I’ve begun to prioritize some of the steps I need to take in order to get to the next level professionally in photography. I figure if I put these items on my wish list, I’m that much closer to making the big leap. I keep my goals close at hand at all times. They’re reminders of how close I’m getting to where I want to be and they serve as my blueprint for making this happen.

Here’s a quick look at some of the things I’m looking at:

  • I just discovered a great class that’s coming up in two weeks. It’s being taught by a world class photojournalist. You better believe that goes on the list! I may need to ask Dad for an early birthday present. Or I just may wait until next year. Decisions, decisions.
  • There’s also a weeklong workshop this summer, but it’s expensive and out of my range. It will remain on my list until next year, when I hope to be able to fully fund it myself.
  • I have to redo my photography website. It’s not at all effective in its current state and it doesn’t reflect what I’ve been doing lately, what I’m capable of doing, nor does it give me the ability to sell my art prints. It also doesn’t function well as a promotional tool. Technically, this is at the top of the list, but it’s a higher ticket item than the first class I listed, but much less than the second, weeklong workshop. I guess I’d list this item as second on the list.
  • Software. I’m looking at Noise Ninja in particular because I shoot so much in very low light situations. It’s critical that I have the software to back up what I shoot. I’ve just upgraded my Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 to the Ultimate package, which included Painter 4. Nice, but not entirely what I need. My friend and I are considering purchasing Noise Ninja for us both to use because we’re often shooting together as a team. Seems reasonable to go in on it together. We just don’t know if the software that ships is different if we’re running two different operating systems — she’s Mac, I’m PC. Further research is essential.
  • I’m looking at a 100 or 135mm prime lens, too. The ability to shoot in low light is aided by a good prime lens. I just got my 50mm f/2.8 macro, but again, it’s macro and it’s not the best lens for me to use if I’m not right up at the edge of the stage. Precious (the macro lens) is wonderful in all other respects, though. It’s glorious. For macro work and for portraits, it’s beautiful. For getting in a bit closer to the action on stage? I need something with a bit more oomph.
  • Eventually I’m going to have to commit to a good computer, too. I’m working on a borrowed laptop. I won’t have it forever and it’s really not meant to handle graphics or the software the way I need it to. For now, though, I can work with this and will until I’m able to make the big leap.
  • A flash unit is becoming more and more of a necessity. I never thought I’d be in a situation where I’d need it. I’m so anti-flash, I thought I’d be able to get around it indefinitely. That’s not how real life works. It’s not the highest priority item, but it’s there and it’s an eventuality.
  • My own car would be nice. It’s the most expensive item on the list and it’s a long way off. It’s there, though, and I’ll know when it’s possible, I know where to go, who to see, and I’m patient enough. If I’ve learned nothing else in the past four years, patience is where it’s at, baby.
  • Really wishful thinking — full access at Doheny this year. B.B. King is slated to appear, along with several other great acts. I want to shoot and groove, y’know? Drool!

It’s funny how I can list these things, see what needs to be done, and not feel rushed or panicky. I see the path I’m on and see results in everything I’ve done thus far to get to this point. I see progress and promise. Even at those times when I feel the most impatient, I take a step back and remind myself how much I’ve learned in the past year. I see how much more I have to learn and I know what I can work with and what I need to do to make certain aspects work better for me. That’s the real growth.

Sometimes I’m just so damn grown up and sensible. Makes me want to go run into the bathroom and make sure it’s really me who’s thinking this way.

What do you want to accomplish in the next few months? What’s on your list? We may as well share so we don’t feel so alone in our quest. C’mon. Tell me. Maybe we can help each other, keep each other focused. That’s what friends do, right? Right.

7 Comments

  1. I don’t have a list. And that’s a little sad.

    Love that you have one, though. Goals you’re working toward… :thumbs:

    Comment by Pam — 2009/02/27 @ 06:30

  2. Be sure to check out Overstock(dot)com for your computer needs. I’ve bought 5 PC’s from them over the past year for work, and have a total of $1500 invested in all 5. They’ve got all kinds of refurbished units with varying specs in regards to processor speeds and memory, and you can still get “New” units with XP rather than that God-awful Vista operating system. You can pick up a decent unit for $300-$400 (depending on your needs), and standard shipping has been free on several of them, and only a few bucks on the others. Our computers get used 10 hours a day 6 days a week and are left on 24/7 – and they’ve all worked like a champ. :thumbs:

    Comment by Stu — 2009/02/27 @ 08:05

  3. Canon’s 135mm prime is only $300, which isn’t too bad. I was looking at that myself a few months ago. I also want a fisheye, but damn they’re expensive!

    I prefer NeatImage to Noise Ninja.
    (Ignore the color shift, it’s a demo version glitch.)

    Comment by jan — 2009/02/27 @ 08:14

  4. Thanks, Stu. I shall keep them in mind for when the time comes. I know that Dell still lets yuo build computers with XP (several manufacturers do because so manpy people hate Vista). But it’s nice to know where to go for less outlay of cash.

    Comment by Da Goddess — 2009/02/27 @ 12:06

  5. Jan, there’s been a change with Noise Ninja. Recent tests (according to Shutterbug) have it pulling ahead of NeatImage. I’m going to download trials of both, though, to verify for myself.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/02/27 @ 12:40

  6. you’ll have pc / mac issues with shared software. You sometimes CAN be given both but that’s usually the low-end software.

    Excellent list. As you heard me say ad ad nauseum, flash unit is high on my list – and a wide open lens, 1.4 as well.

    You’ll make a few. I’d say workshops, with rare exceptions would be the least useful to just keep on shooting, learning from others, as far as bang for $$$ goes.

    Onwaaaaaaaaaaaard!

    Comment by Temple Stark — 2009/02/27 @ 22:16

  7. I think these workshops go above and beyond the standard “workshop” in that they offer in depth discussion, training, and critique. The big, expensive one is actually done through the West Coast Photographers Association and the mentoring is first class.

    The smaller, less expensive workshop would be worth it to me just for the simple fact that it’s time spent with a good mentor and his input would be valuable to me.

    I’m in no rush. I can wait. Sometimes. :zombie:

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/02/27 @ 22:22

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