First up, we begin production of a new coffee table book on Papua New Guinea, then it’s off to the annual travel writer’s gathering in Sydney, before launching into my assignment schedule for the year which, at this stage, sees me heading off to at least the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Singapore and India.
As you may detect from the destinations I’m heading to, my business model for 2019 has changed slightly with my return – at least in part – to doing a bit of travel writing (for those who don’t know, I was a travel writer in another life).
While the majority of my work will continue to be by commission, this new tack will see me travelling further afield on new adventures to expand my on-line photo library (www.davidkirklandphotography.com) which – I’m happy to report – is gaining momentum. I’m signed up to provide parcels of pics and stories to several prestige travel publications in the year ahead, with the understanding that I’ll travel outside of the South Pacific to a few places that I’m particularly interested in shooting.
Otherwise, January saw me largely laid up, recovering from shoulder surgery (I’m told I’ll be able to lift my camera again by March which is a relief).
The respite hasn’t been all bad though as it’s given me a chance to concentrate on improving my craft by wandering my archives and “having a play” with a few of my old images (it’s the commercial photographer’s lament that he/she never usually has time for this). Apart from putting into context the incredible advances that have been made in camera technology since the days of film (changes to cameras, image size, picture quality, accessories etc etc), it was also an opportuntity to spend a bit of time improving my knowledge in post-production – an area which is becoming increasingly important if you’re a photographer keen to produce images that stand out from the crowd.
While I’ll save the things I’ve learned for the tips I post on my Instagram feed at www.instagram.com/davidkirklandphotography), the biggest lesson I’ve taken away from the process is the importance of saving – and backing-up – your raw files.
In photography, changes abound in terms of new technologies and new techniques but – equally as disruptive – is the way your sense of aesthetics changes and your skills evolve as a photographer. I look back on photographs I captured 10 years ago and think “Really? Is this the best I could do back then?” (though the composition was fine, he hastens to add)
… And you only get the chance to correct it, if you have those raw files.
Here’s a couple of photographs I captured in Samoa nearly 10 years ago, which I had a bit of a play with in post production while my shoulder was out (to see the difference between this pic I the one I did a decade ago, click on the view full post link below):
What a difference a decade makes.