2012 Accomplishments

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A few days ago, I sat and wrote down 25 accomplishments from 2012.  It was quite satisfying to end up with a list of 34, quite a change from several years ago where it took several tries to get a minimal list of accomplishments that I could feel good about.

In the review of my 2012 goals, I commented on how my accomplishments veered off from my goals – which was a good thing.  The goals were my intentions for the year and were never meant to be all-inclusive or even to all be done.  I accomplished many of them, but I also jettisoned the ones that did not work or appeal to me as the year went on (the discussion of how I set and use goals is here;  my game plan for accomplishing my goals is here, and my 2012 goals recap is here).

So what were my top 5 accomplishments from 2012?  They were:

  1. Lingering in the moment more often
  2. Learning new photography skills
  3. Improving my post-photo processing
  4. Redirecting my blog and keeping it going
  5. Traveling for photos

Lingering in the moment – I wrote earlier about how I was lingering in the moment versus savoring it (here).  It was an ah-ha moment into the enjoyment I was getting from stretching out the small pleasures of life.  I relaxed and enjoyed myself more when I lingered, however briefly it may have been.

The Trellis Restaurant in Colonial Williamsburg

The Trellis Restaurant in Colonial Williamsburg

Learning new photography skills – this one probably most impacted my goals, along with next one of improving my post-photo processing.  During 2012, I started shooting in raw.  This helped me better capture the red and yellow colors and have a better chance of improving my photos if they were less than perfect out of the camera.  With a jpg, the camera makes the decisions for color balance, lighting, contrasts, lights and darks.  With raw, I make those decisions.

I also started bracketing my shots, so that each time I took a photo, there was one where I thought the setting should be, one a little lighter and one a little darker.  Usually the first setting worked out fine, but in quite a few situations, the lighter or darker one saved a photo from being deleted because it didn’t work out right.

What else did I do?  I learned how to do night photographyI shot in the rain.  I practiced self-portraits, focusing manually (on a tiny spider), backlighting, taking a video, and using my iPhone.  The more I practiced, the better I got and the more keepers I came home with.

See the other photographer on the right side?  Oh wait, that's my husband!

See the other photographer on the right side? Oh wait, that’s my husband!

Improved my post-photo processing skills – because I’m now shooting in raw, I have to adjust most pictures before I publish them.  It’s not hard and I’m not doing a lot of adjustments.  Still, it took quite a while to learn how to use Lightroom and what kinds of adjustments I would typically need on a typical picture.  I also learned how to watermark my pictures and export them from raw to a jpg to publish in my blog.  It doesn’t seem hard now, but it took me quite a while to master the various sliders and buttons to a good workflow that I could do quickly.

Redirected my blog and kept it going – I wrote about this when I reviewed my 2012 goals (here).  In 2011, I posted everyday using a randomly selected word, along with a fellow blogger who posts at KittyHere or There, Anywhere.  It was a great accomplishment, but in 2012, I wanted the freedom to blog whatever I wanted.  Unfortunately, that took me a while to figure out what that was.  In April and May, I was visited by a massive load of discouragement that I worked through.  It was a big effort accomplishment, but I was glad I did it.

Traveling for photos – I also did a daily photo challenge in 2011.  One of the pieces of advice I read was to do field trips for photos, both to find things to take pictures of and to remain interested and interesting.  I continued this in 2012, even though I didn’t do a daily photo challenge.  My favorite boy toy, who is a professional photographer, loved it as we took a number of daytrips and overnight trips to take pictures together.

My 2011 list has some similarities to the 2012 list.  2011 saw me starting to adventure into these things; 2012 saw me refining and improving my skills considerably.  Overall, I’m pleased with what I did in 2012 and the joy it gave me.

Riverfront in Savannah, Georgia; taken with my iPhone

Riverfront in Savannah, Georgia; taken with my iPhone