I love how all the photographers I follow make a blog post on 31 Dec each year of their top photos and talk about what a great year it was in photography.
2019 was not a “great” year for me in photography. It was definitely a year in learning, but more learning about myself and what I want and where photography seems to fit in my life. Many of the folks I follow on blogs or youtube or facebook all have singular focus. They live and breath photography, or camping or canoeing or travel etc…. but it is almost always a singular focus. I just don’t seem to have the attention span for one thing. I have had years where I spent all my hours taking photos, editing, blogging but not this year. This past year was almost like a photography hiatus for me. Yes I took photos, yes at times I was passionate about it and yes I took some photos that I am very proud of. But I rarely took the x-t1 and prime lenses out the bag instead I used the X100F for most everything, only taking photos when something struck me. I was letting the photos come to me, instead of me looking for them.
I think I burned out a bit in Australia in late 2018. For 3 weeks I photographed very heavily and I was very pleased with the results but when I got home, the camera went in the cabinet and was barely touched until some UK travel in Feb. That trip to the UK was good as I visited the Don McCullin gallery. His photos are so brilliant to me and something I would strive towards but my life is very different then his.
So what was I into? I went back to some very old interests that I had put on hiatus for many years. Plastic model building I had not looked at in over 35 years and my passion for canoeing and camping has come back strong. Even today, looking outside at the snow I have a hankering to get out on the land and practice bush craft and go back to basics in my life. I look around at 53 years of accumulation of possessions and my mind says “throw it all away and get back to basics”. But I also remember 10 years ago laying in a tent freezing my ass off asking myself “wtf am I doing?” That was the last time I went winter camping.
Summer canoeing and camping had ramped down as no one would travel with me and a busy life gets in the way. It is also easy to find a reason not to go. This year I fixed that by buying a solo canoe and have started learning how to downscale my equipment load so I am comfortable going solo. 2020 will see me doing a lot more paddling and camping. I “need” to do this. I have to get back out on the water and on the land to clear my soul, get back to those basics. Kinda like my photography, back to basics with my X100F and little to no processing.
2020 will be my last year working full time at my regular job. But I still plan lifestyle changes that will see me do more paddling, camping and as an extension – photography. The goal is to find the work life balance, get away from the computer games and get back out into the world. Nothing major planned at this point although I am working potentially paddling the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson in late summer. I might be getting back to Australia but that is not a reality yet. But even as early as this week, I hope to get back into the bush scoping out a spot for a bush camp.
In the bush and in the canoe I can think and this year will be thinking about 2021, the year I “retire”. What do I want to do with retirement? Follow my passions of camping, photography, reading, gaming, modeling, etc….? Or move into another career part time? Is there ways I can make a living doing my passions without ruining he joy I have of these hobbies? 2020 will be a year of decisions.
I have included those photos from 2019 that I am the most proud of, there are many more throughout the blog posts of the past year, but these are the ones that touched me at the time of taking them or as they came out of the camera.
Have a great 2020 everyone and I hope you all chase the things that inspire and motivate you.