Tag Archives: new year

At the year’s end

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This time of year seems to be one for reviewing the past twelve months, and looking into the twelve to come. I find myself sitting here on Christmas Day, feeling very much at a loose end for numerous reasons, so introspection comes easily to me. I’m not going to bother to look outside my own sphere, as there are plenty of outlets for that kind of depressing stuff as it is.

I do have family, but we rarely get together for Christmas these days. It’s not because we can’t, it’s more we don’t really need to added to the fact we’re scattered around the country. We see each other fairly regularly, and we chat on the phone, or by email, so we keep up with each other. Christmas is a time for family, but it’s also a time for children—since we don’t have any littluns in the immediate family, there’s no real joy in it: just a bunch of middle aged and elderly folk eating and drinking themselves into a stupor in front of some rubbish television programmes. Christmas 2012 is just me, Best Beloved, our moggies, and a friend who is popping in for lunch.

While, for me, 2012 didn’t turn out quite so badly as it might have, it could have been better. I’ve been job-hunting for ages, and I even managed to score a few interviews over the year—which was more positive. None of them ended with me scoring the job, though. At least I was getting interviews, but I was obviously too good for them. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I think 2013 will see me applying for jobs that don’t require the skills I actually have. Such is life.

Between job-hunting I tried to keep my head above water without resorting to claiming benefits. The freelance world turned up one or two little jobs, which helped the bottom line, but it’s fair to say my heart really isn’t in it any more. It does rather look like I will throw in the towel in the new year, and sign on. I’ve not “signed on” since 1981. It feels like admitting defeat, which I suppose it is.

On the photographic side, I’ve had some fun. I got off my arse and organised a local photowalk group. Still in its infancy, I want to get things moving properly in the new year. I’m happy to say I’ve made some new friends through it, but I am finding the whole process a little daunting. I suppose I really want someone else to offer to help, so I had better ask them!

There still has not been any progress on the “model photography as a job” front. I had some images published earlier in the year, and I was commissioned by the ScaleSeven Group committee and newsletter editor to photograph a layout. It’s still a hard world to break into, for some reason, and it’s very annoying.

I’ve always wanted to go on a photography workshop, and the chance popped up today. Chris Marquardt, of the Tips From The Top Floor podcast, has organised two UK workshops for the late summer in 2013. I was keen to try and attend the one nearest me, in Farnborough, Hampshire. Sadly, the price is beyond my means. I am very unhappy about this, and it’s rather put the mockers on the rest of my day.

I have some more commissioned models to make, and I hope that I may be able to get a little more trade in that direction. It’s pitching things at the right prices, and getting my name out there. There are lots of others out there doing the same thing, so I need to find my niche. That is going to be hard.

So, 2012 was a bit hit and miss, and it rather looks like 2013 will start out the same. They say life is what you make it, so I guess I’d better really get myself organised and make something of my life, before it’s too late!

I don’t make resolutions, as such. As I tend to begin a new year with good intentions, only to be knocked down at almost every turn, there seems little point resolving to do something that ends up unattainable. I’d like to lose weight, I ought to get out on my bike more regularly, I should tidy the house and finish all those unfinished projects, but that’s as far as I will go with my good intentions. I know full well that most of those I have listed will probably never happen.

I’d better go and make myself sociable with our lunch guest, even though I am really not in the mood. A very merry Christmas and best wishes for the year to come from Snaptophobic Towers!

Let’s try it and see

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I’ve had a think, and I reckon I am up for a 366 challenge. Starting tomorrow, 1 January 2012, I will attempt to take one photo a day for 366 days.

To make it a little easier to work with, I have decided to work around a theme. I have chosen to work with something I can pretty much rely on to happen every day. I will take a photo of my breakfast.

It won’t be earth-shattering, but I think it will be fun to try and make an image of my breakfast look either interesting or different—especially as I tend to have the same breakfast every day!

I hope the challenge will be fun. I will post here, and on my Flickr photostream, every day if I can manage it. 

Here’s to the future now…

I recall hoping 2011 would improve on the utter disaster that was 2010. I have to admit to being disappointed. 2011 hasn’t really been much better. I wonder what 2012 might have in store for me.

Yes, it’s that time of the year when I sit down and review where I have been over the past 12 months, and where I want to go over the next.

Not having a regular income to speak of has rather curbed my wanderlust, so any photographic expeditions in 2011 have been closer to home. Apart from a couple of sallies beyond the confines of Kent—model railway exhibitions earlier in the year took me as far as Wigan and York, and a brief day trip to Shropshire a few weeks ago took in the RAF Museum at Cosford—I have had to be content with places that don’t cost a fortune to visit.

I made a couple of exploratory visits to places during the year. Dungeness and the Isle of Grain have been earmarked for further exploration. Faversham piqued my interest, and warrants a longer visit. Trips to flesh out my “Margins” photo project were relatively few, mainly incorporating the north shore of the River Medway, which has turned into one of my regular haunts. I suppose I have managed to get some good images during the year.

Gear-wise, selling off some other hobby items enabled me to upgrade my DSLR from the Canon EOS 400D to the 7D. I also added an ƒ/2.8 70–300mm lens, and a few accessories like a remote shutter release and memory cards. There’s not a lot more I want to add to my gear, although I have one more lens I would like to acquire in the ƒ/2.8 17–70mm-ish range, and more memory cards and so on. My MacBook Pro will celebrate its fifth birthday in summer 2012, and it is just beginning to show its age. Aperture 3 gives it cause to struggle, and sadly I cannot add any more RAM to the machine to help. I’m looking at options such as a new, faster, bigger internal hard drive in order to eke out a little more life from it.

Looking to 2012, what do I wish for? I am ignoring the real world here, just looking at my own life. There is only really one thing I want: a proper full-time job. I need a nice regular income again. Life out here in the freelance artworker world is totally dead. The lack of a job has meant I have had to let another fantastic opportunity sail by without my boarding it. Later in the summer 2012, I had hoped I would be going on a photographic safari to Svalbard. Circumstances in 2011 meant I simply couldn’t commit to buying the flight tickets. So much for adventure.

I would also like to push to try and get some freelance model railway photography gigs. I’ve already blogged about that, but in the new year I intend to keep pushing at that stuck door. I am fed up with letting life pass me by. 2012 ought to be the year when I make every effort to get life moving again. 

If I don’t blog before, I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas, and my best wishes for the new year.

Resolutions? I’ve had a few.

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I don’t do new year resolutions. My life is dull enough without adding a burden of more things I resolve not to do, or to do, or whatever.

One thing I do, and I think everyone does around this time of year, is take stock. I take a look back and see if there’s anything of which I could have done more, or at which I could have been better. The past twelve months, frankly, have been a wasteland of disasters and missed opportunities. It would take me a year just to review them before deciding to make amends.

Better to just move on, closing the door on the old year, if I can.

One thing I noticed while reviewing my blogging in 2010 was that I was pretty regular at it. The thing I also noticed was a drop-off in photography and hobby related posts in favour of barbed rants on politics, society and the media. While I feel it’s important to draw such things to your attention, perhaps 2011 ought to swing the balance back a little.

Therefore, I am making this one resolution: I will endeavour to talk more about the things that bring pleasure to my life, and less about the things that make my life a misery. 

I don’t make any guarantees this will last very long, but I am going to try. I am going to try and be more positive about my life, and to fix the things that have gone wrong as best I can. I am going to stop being such an ardent member of Team Grumpy.

Wish me luck!