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Alan Brown's picture

Discussion topic - where do you spend your time?

Just opening this up for casual discussion and to get a feel for member activities. It might be interesting to understand how others spend their 'photo time' outside of the group, and outside of fstoppers in general.

How do you tend to use your time with photography - is it in planning and taking shots, processing, or reviewing the work of others (fstoppers, elsewhere), publishing on social etc?

I'd be interested to understand if others are spending time on other photo sites, or how they spend their 'photo' time in general otherwise.

Personally, I seem to spend more time experimenting with processing, learning from YouTube, searching for inspirational work from others and general image maintenance than I do actually taking shots.
I'm sure this varies wildly depending on the individual, and am looking forward to see how others work.

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At the beginning of this year, I set up photography goals for myself. I've kept up with them about 80% of the time. These were:

1). Learn something about photography every day even if it's only a few minutes.
2). Browse over a photographer/artist and their work every few days.
3). Take an image everyday and post online even if no one cares about it.
4). Create a short video of those POTDs (photos of the days) at the end of every week and post on Youtube - again, even if no one cares about them.

Goal 1: I achieved by just whatever came my way - a problem with my camera, a settings issue, a wondering about something - whatever it is, I look up articles or watch videos or ask questions on a forum. I even spent a few weeks reading through my camera manual and trying out all the settings.

Goal 2: This goal started a few months into the year because I found the The Photographic Eye Youtube channel where the host looks at photographers and their work. I moved out on my own search now and have a list of 22 bookmarked so far that I go back to and study. Still adding to the list when I get a chance.

Goal 3: I've done a pretty good job taking an image everyday which has really, really helped me in all sorts of ways. I just use my kit lens and normally just images from my neighborhood during walks. That has been a challenge because once all the exciting things had been photographed, I was left with becoming more observant and creative on the not so glamorous things around me. I also always take my camera bag with me on trips to family gatherings or wherever just in case. I post the POTD on my socials everyday.

Goal 4: I must've done pretty well because I have 50 videos on there so that's going to cover the whole year by the end of this month.The videos are only about a minute and a half.

In the new year, I'm hoping to go through Marc Levoy's free 18 lecture videos on Youtube about digital photography. They were from his Stanford courses (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7ddpXYvFXspUN0N-gObF1GXoCA-DA-7i). Other than that, I'm in the process of developing goals for the new year.

Looking forward to hearing what others are doing. Thanks for posting this, Alan. I appreciate it. Hope you are all having a great end of the year and holiday season!

Wow, you really ARE active Jennifer. Thanks for finding time to spend in the group.

It is interesting that you mention walking your neighborhood with a camera, and the challenges that poses. I think one of the joys of creativity is looking beyond the obvious and producing interesting content that the viewer may not see otherwise - keep looking!

I do watch the Photographic eye myself, and love the presenter's (Alex) perspective. I need to get back and view more.

Now you have presented me the challenge of catching up on your own YouTube channel - can you provide a link?

Thanks again for providing such valuable insight.

Hope others post. I'm looking forward to new ideas. Here's the YouTube link - nothing monumental, just something to keep me shooting ... https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6dyPLOr6Zb6x0KfOBmd22ntBsnSgqwzL

I'm not a professional. I don't take photos every day. To me, photography is recording the cool (and sometimes not so cool) stuff that life can offer. My thing is capturing accurately the amazing compositions and colors that are out there. This photo is never going to make the "best of" anything and I don't care - well, not much. But for me, the incredible subtlety of the amazing colors - which I couldn't really capture here - was great.

I really don't care much to spend too much time editing. Again, I just do adjustments to try to get as close to what I saw. I don't like over-enhancements. I would much rather be out taking the photos and then seeing how they came out on the computer.

I think you captured an incredible subtlety of BEAUTY in this scattering of leaves. The palette of shades is lovely, and the textures are wonderful!

Thanks for the positive comments. Great minds think alike! 😆

Recently retired so I have plenty of time to Think. As you may have noticed, this leads me to wonder what can I do with my camera.

I think of myself as a serious hobbyist and I subscribe to plenty of Landscape Photography YouTube channels. I think I started with Thomas Heaton, which lead to Brendan van Son, Greg Snell, Adam Gibbs, Nick Page, Mads Peter Iverson, and more.

Recently, I actually had a print made of one of my photographs in a 12"x36" (attached).

My most recent experiment is working with pinhole photography and I think I found a niche no one has tried before....New post to follow soon.

Outside of photography I am an avid reader and listen to audiobooks. I have a degree in English, Network Administration and Cybersecurity.

Nice photo. Is it near Sheep Springs, NM on route 491?

Pillars of Rome is in Malheur County Oregon and that is how the community of Rome, Oregon received its name.



I have followed Thomas Heaton for years, and connect with him closer as he lives in my home region (North East of UK) and can relate to so many of his images.
I do love Tom's attitude (don't worry about getting a great shot, just enjoy the experience...) which has become my mantra over the past few years.

Fun fact - I just retired myself from an IT job where I managed a small data and phone infrastructure team.

Fun Facts

My previous career 30+ years was installing Voice, Data, Nurse Call, Fire Alarm, Security and Audio/Video.

My previous hobbies included loom weaving and designing my own patterns.

Just over 50 years ago I read Johnathan Livingston Seagull my junior year in high school. In Art class I designed and manufactured Seagull pins: white enamel on copper and sold them for $5.

I was an extreme introvert in school, yet somehow was voted "Most Creative" my senior year.

Last surviving pin, that I know of.

Until the Covid pandemic, I liked to drive around on my "Pennsylvania Project." Before my strokes, I did this by myself. Then my wife had to drive. Those trips stopped when my wife decided it was too risky to stay in motels or eat at indoor restaurants due to the Covid pandemic. Since Covid is still mutating and even a low percentage of vaccinated people still get sick, her concern, perhaps somewhat excessive, is understandable.

Post-Covid, I was for practical purposes limited to taking pictures while walking Harry The Rescue Dog daily through the neighborhood. Since there are variations on only three building designs, and there is nothing unique about these designs, I have worked to find personality in decorations, fences, and other individual changes that seem to make statements about the people living here. There are a lot of flags and in-season political signage. There is plenty of Christian imagery. There are signs promoting their children's accomplishments. There are seasonal changes. Since our development adjoins a county perk which is undeveloped wetlands, we see deer in our yards almost daily, along with the occasional fox, hawk, groundhog, and even a coyote (I've never seen him, but neighbors have.)

As you might expect, I've taken the same pictures many times as the lighting and weather change with the calendar. And, with some very gentle prodding and encouragement from this group, the latest variants include multiple exposure, HDR, and fancy borders -- all the stuff I used to consider artsy-fartsy. To be fair, no small reason for this attitude was that I was not able to do much of this in a conventional darkroom back in the day. Photoshop makes it much easier (and less expensive) to experiment, and now I have the time.

Kudos for you Andrew for getting out there and continuing to find inspiration in your limited environment.

FYI - Covid is still about (both my wife and I are recovering from our first bout), but perhaps not as much in the minds eye as effects are no longer as serious (to most). Taks care when you are out there.

I tend to spend most of my time planning and taking pictures, but as my small business begins to take off, I have found myself spending more time on the administrative side of things I guess.

For example, this week I've spent about 7 hours taking pictures between my small business/personal shots and a photography company I work with, probably 1-hour editing, and close to 4 hours working on ads, my website, pricing, outreach, etc. for my small business. While this week had more admin work than normal because I've just been putting everything off, this is beginning to look more like a reality for my 'photo-time'. As my business grows and my skills grow, I need more time to keep everything updated.

As far as my time spent taking pictures, most of this week (6 hours actually) I spent on basketball games while only an hour this week was reserved for me to go out and do some nature/wildlife pictures.

I try to spend time learning more and playing with different techniques via YouTube, Fstoppers, or my peers, but being a full-time student and working two jobs outside my business makes it hard to find time to learn.

Also, it's great to be back on Fstoppers as a LONG break.

It's great to have you (and your input) back Chloe. I hope you continue to find use and hopefully inspiration from the group.

This past year I didn't get out all too-too much but managed to get some wildlife bangers. The past few months I have been exploring Generative Art... and starting to explore traditional painting. I did finish getting all the bits for my in-the-field macro setup; though mushroom season was extremely short this Autumn, unfortunately.

This next year I want to get out more, that is the main goal anyway. Currently in "stick season", meaning end of Autumn, and with most of the US hit by a massive snow storm, I ended up with just a little rain; so no snow yet to photograph. Soon though, I'm sure. Might try some frozen bubbles.

If you do shoot frozen bubbles I'm sure the group would be interested in your setup and results.

Of course since I made this post temps haven't dipped below 40f. :-/