Take some time for yourself

Posted by on Jan 6, 2013 in Adventures | 0 comments

Take some time for yourself

I have a tradition, each year I head out on January 1st and take photos. I know that this sounds funny for someone who teaches photography and takes thousands of shots each year but the 1st of Jan has become quite a special day to me. Normally on these days, I have no work commitments and the family commitments are fulfilled following the Christmas break. This gives me a full day just to take photos for me, quite often I am out trying something different or just relaxing into the hobby I love so much. I also find this time a great period to reflect and refresh, giving me a strong positive outlook for the new year.

Taken 1st Jan 2013 by Ken Dickson
ISO 100, f8 @ 1/250 sec
Canon 7d with 17-70mm Sigma Lens

Each year I try to pick a different location to shoot and sometimes I might even invite someone along to share the encounter. In the end though, these things do not matter; what is important is a chance to immerse myself in the creative side of photography fairly uninterrupted by outside influences.

This year, I invited Tony White along and we went on a road trip that reached well down into Northern NSW and back again. We ended up traveling down the Lions Rd starting near Beaudesert in QLD and ending in Kyogle NSW. For this leg of the trip we were looking at the old rural areas particularly old barns and buildings that might look good in Black and white or infrared. On the way back we stopped at one of my favourite beach locations for some surfing photos.

Taken 1st of Jan 2013 by Ken Dickson
ISO400, f4.5 @ 1/1000 sec
Canon 7d with Sigma 100-300mm lens

It was a great day and although we covered hundreds of kilometers, keeping focused on the photography ensured that we had frequent stops on the way.

Whilst taking a full day out your schedule might not be be possible, I recommend looking for chances to set aside sometime dedicated to your photography passion. Even a period as short as an hour or so, free from the stresses of work and away from the family and kids will yield some great results. Making it a dedicated period e.g. once a week or once a month or once a year even, helps everyone to see the importance that this event has for you and the anticipation factor alone will give you immense enjoyment.

Taken 1st Jan 2012 by Ken Dickson
ISO 400, f5.6 @ 15sec
Canon 7d with Sigma 17-70mm lens

In the end the 1st of Jan plays a number of important roles for me; it allows me time to dedicate to my photography art, I get uninterrupted time to practice techniques or help develop my creative eye, I help set a tone for the year that hopefully leads to better creative picture taking and most importantly I come back refreshed to take on the new year.

Taken 1st Jan 2011 by Ken Dickson
ISO 100, f6.7 @ 1/45sec
Canon 7d with Sigma 105mm macro lens

So try and carve yourself a small piece of time, set aside all of the worries and background chatter, pick up your camera and get out there and shoot. Both your art and your soul may reap the benefits.