Things to Do in the New Year

by | Jan 1, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”—Alfred Lord Tennyson

Oh, I really hope so and I’ll bet you do too.

It’s been a helluva year hasn’t it? I’m betting you’re joining me and hoping that 2021 will be a better year for many reasons starting with seeing some blue sky on the pandemic horizon. Here’s some suggestions for something to try in the New Year that may just expand your horizons.

Why not tackle some new photography challenges that can help you think out of the box, such as:

  • Take the time to learn about the history of photography especially photographers who paved the way for all of us. And not just icons on the Mount Rushmore or photography like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Look at the early work of Edward Steichen but take a look at another Edward, the fascinating Eadweard Muybridge. It turns out Muybridge did more than just photograph running horses and naked people walking, he led an incredibly interesting life as a landscape photographer, accused murderer (he was acquitted) and someone who actively documented the building of the Central Pacific Rail Road. Pick up a copy of River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West for lots of information about an amazing human being.
  • Infrared: Take a look at the filter options and the effects that are available. Find a photographer whose work you admire and ask what kind of filter that they use or take a look at the chart that Life Pixel has showing the different filters and effects they produce. But post processing also opens many new possibilities beyond in-camera effects, so poke around the Internet for software that expands these horizons.
  • Macro: I recently purchased an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens. Close-up photography, like infrared, opens up new worlds and if you live in a part of the country that has real Winter, like I do, it’s the perfect photographic pursuit for the pandemic and shooting indoors. For inspiration take a look at the work of Canadian photographer Don Komarechka. It will both surprise and inspire you as it has done for me. While at his site check please out his books.

How I Made this Shot: My Olympus E-M5 Mark I was mounted on an ancient but dependable and inexpensive Manfrotto tripod —it’s green—with the aforementioned M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens. Exposure was 1/6 sec at f/16 and ISO 1600. Shot as RAW+JPEG; the RAW file was processed in Vivenza to punch up the color a bit.

Final tip: Try to make time to shoot some new images each day. I know this is a lot harder than it sounds but give it a try anyway.

I’ve found that Life Pixel does a great job with IR conversions and they have done most of my Canon DSLRs and all of my Panasonic Lumix G-series mirrorless cameras. This is not a paid or sponsored endorsement, just my experience.

My book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is available from Amazon for $16.95 but used copies starting around eleven bucks as I write this. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon for $20 with used copies starting around two bucks, less than your next cup of joe at Starbucks.