Reflections on 2011

Written by:

By Steve Russell

In the last few weeks, Tiffany and I have each contributed articles about photography wish lists and goals for 2012. While I didn’t actually write down goals for 2011, I thought I would reflect on what I did and didn’t accomplish, photography wise, in 2011.

For the most part, I’ve never been one for dwelling on the past. However, it’s difficult to know where you’re going without knowing where you’ve been. I’m also aware that with this article I risk coming across as a little narcissist, but it’s really not my intention to brag about what I did. I would rather write about what all of you did, but unfortunately I don’t really know what anyone else accomplished during the last year. My hope is that this article will encourage you to reflect on your photography accomplishments in 2011, and share them with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

My photography year began by taking a nature photography course through a local art institute. The course included four field trips to photograph sunrises, landscapes, birds and other wildlife. It was a great class and I was able to capture a number of good images.

March was unbelievable. It didn’t seem that way at the time, but as I look back on it I was very busy. The first week in March I went on a long weekend guided trip to Everglades National Park – an absolutely incredible place for bird photography. That weekend I took over two thousand photos. I wish I could say I took over two thousand great photos.

On March 17th I received my new Canon 5D Mark II camera. What a great piece of photography equipment. I absolutely love the camera and it takes incredibly sharp photographs.

Although we didn’t announce it until April, Tiffany and I acquired the ownership of Beyond Megapixels in March. It was a great opportunity when it was presented and I think I can speak for both of us that we’re really happy that we purchased the site.

Later in the month I attended a two-day seminar presented by John Shaw, one of today’s pre-eminent nature photographers.

Also in March I wrote and published the most read article on Beyond Megapixels. You would expect that the article gave away the most cherished secrets in photography but in fact it was an article about photographing the moon. On March 19, 2011, the moon was at its perigee (the point of its orbit when it’s closest to the Earth) at the same time it was in the full moon phase, an occurrence that won’t be repeated until 2029. I took advantage of that rare event and published the article the day before. On the 19th I went to a place on the Atlantic coast where I knew there was a boardwalk that paralleled the beach. There were close to two hundred people with cameras lined up along the boardwalk to capture the moonrise. The evening was made even better when I overheard two people standing next to me talking about the article I had written.

During 2011 I also attended a Scott Kelby seminar – Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it, Live. For some time I had been considering acquiring studio equipment so I would have my own studio and not have to rent or borrow one that belonged to someone else. This seminar gave me the push I needed. My first purchase was this studio lighting kit offered by B&H. The kit contained most of the studio equipment that Scott used in his seminar.

If I were giving grades, I would have to say that 2011 received an “A” for photography. I still tend to be an event photographer. In other words I have to have a trip, or an event or a studio session to get out my camera. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing but I would like to get out more with my camera(s). I know people that take their camera with them almost everywhere they go. Tiffany is more like that than I am. Whichever kind of photographer you are, remember that the more you photograph the better chance you have of discovering what works and what doesn’t work for you.

Because of all of you, our readers, the number of visitors to Beyond Megapixels doubled and the number of “Likes” to our Facebook page increased by over 10% during 2011. As you are probably aware, Tiffany and I are very passionate about photography, really enjoy writing about photography for you to read and really appreciate all of you.

Here’s hoping that 2012 is an awesome year for each of you and that you are able to capture that “one image” you’ve dreamed about.

All Photos by Steve Russell

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  • Gemma

    didnt realise the site was new to you both this year! I only really started photography (more than point and shoot) in october, and I find this site the most useful for tips and advice, so thank you, and happy new year!

  • Rick

    Well, let’s hope we can close out 2011 with a delightful batch of great images tomorrow!

  • Steve Russell

    Just to clarify, Gemma, Tiffany and I were already writing for the site but we didn’t own it.  In fact Tiffany had been writing for a couple of years and I had started in September of 2010.

  • Foto Clipping

    got some really nice pictures here :) Thanks a lot.