Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Standing Bare-Naked in the South Dakota Wind

wind turbines, 2013 goals, winter photographs, public domain photographs
Got your attention?!  The scary part about sharing your goals is that you are held accountable by a much larger audience, in a very public setting.  Because of that, you feel like you are standing bare-naked in the South Dakota wind!  In our December '11 article, Goodbye to 2011, Hello to 2012 - A Personal Journey we exposed ourselves to you because we wanted to be held accountable.  We built our goals to support the pillars of our mission statement and wanted to share our successes and our failures.   Today, we want to share looking back and looking forward...
  1. Passion
  2. Ability to Overcome
  3. Vision
These are the three pillars that our journey started with, and these are the three pillars we will continue to build around in 2013.  OK - let's continue on our journey of looking back and looking forward!

Looking Back: A 52 week photography project - Each week a letter will be represented, by something in the photograph or a concept portrayed.  These photographs are about the passion for learning, for making oneself a better photographer, and for pushing the boundaries that we are comfortable with.

We made it up to July 1 and almost all the way through the alphabet.  We owe you a 'Z' photograph yet to feel like we at least completely finished this project.  We didn't make it back down from Z-A, but we did learn numerous techniques and felt we have really grown from the project.  We highly recommend doing a 365 or 52 project to help you grow in your photography techniques.  And even though we don't feel that our Inspirational Quote post is the best of these projects, it is one of our Top 5 Most Read Posts for 2012!

Looking Forward: Post-Processing and Tutorials - While 2013 may be the year of the Snake, we are going to make it the year of Post-Processing!  Our goal is to learn a new post-processing technique every other week this year and include a tutorial to share with our readers.  Will our photographs go to the extreme now - No!  But what we hope is by learning these extremes, we will learn how to apply them subtly to our photographs to continue to make them better.  Software from Adobe Photoshop CS6onOne Software, Photomatix Pro, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 will be our main focus.  We hope you join us in this learning adventure and try some of these techniques.  We encourage you, in fact, to join us in each new tutorial and post links to your own photographs using the new techniques.

Ability to Overcome:
Looking Back: Move from web only to the 'Real World' along with the web - This means in both print format for sale in a gallery and within the cover of a printed magazine. We really needed to be more realistic with time frame on this project - this is not something that happens in one year.  We'll admit that.  We will continue to work with this, but need to get more well established on the web as well as spend much more time with the art world of the Black Hills.  We have submitted to magazines and actually had magazines ask us to provide photographs for free, but we have taken the position that we do want some revenue to occur because of this.  Hey, we have bills, too! 

Also, we have broke into a local tourist attraction to post our canvas prints, but we really need to stop and decide if this is in our best interest.  In looking back, this was probably a poor first choice.  The attraction was trying to get themselves established and is not really probably the clientele we want to peruse our photography.  We will be focusing on Rapid City and Hill City galleries in 2013.

Looking Forward: Continue with renewed vigor - We need to:
  1. Research the local galleries and pinpoint our target gallery including whether our photography meets the needs of that gallery and vice versa 
  2. Establish a relationship and pursue the request to place our photography in that gallery
  3. Grow, learn, adapt and overcome
  4. Repeat.
We are also going to focus on our relationships with online revenue streams.  We would like to continue our relationships and expand their usage while not becoming an advertising page rather than a photography blog.  Our foremost goal is quality posts and photographs.  We have entered into an affiliate relationship with onOne Software since we believe in their product so much.  We will continue to share more with you as we grow with Amazon, onOne Software and Google AdSense.

Looking Back: Our art and vision takes center stage - We continue to focus on landscape and wildlife photographs in the Dakotas.  It's our passion, it stirs our emotions, and it truly is our vision.  And most importantly, we flat out enjoy it.  We don't ever want to lose the foundation we are building this business on. 

Looking Forward: Continue to expand our our content delivery system, technique improvement, and focus on the core pieces of art we produce.  Nothing fancy, just plain old good-fashioned mid-western work ethic.

If we were pushed to admit it, we would probably have a fourth goal for 2013 - Accountability.  To share one's goals publicly sets you up for possibly exposing failure and increased scrutiny, while at the same time establishing accountability and renewed vigor to accomplish one's goals.  We choose to look at the positives in sharing our goals with you. 

So here's to you, and here's to us - and hopefully neither of us have to stand bare-naked in the South Dakota wind!  We wish you the best in 2013!

abstract art, photoshop manipulation, radial blur, distort filter, Sunset on Needles Highway

Watch for upcoming articles on a tutorial for creating abstract photography in Adobe Photoshop CS6 like the photograph above and an exciting announcement on our future relationship with onOne Software!  Don't forget to join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ , Twitter, or sneak a peek at our photography on Dakota Visions Photography, LLC. Until next time, we'll see you behind the lens...

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