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Focus Awards - Where to from here?

What a fantastic night at Dee Why RSL for the 2014 Focus Awards. An amazing group and a very talented group of photographers gathered for their 3rd annual awards night. It was extremely entertaining, professionally done and the awarded images are truly sensational.

Thank you to the Focus Committee for all your hard work this year in organising all the shoots, trips away and the awards night. The vision is certainly coming true. The website looks fantastic and will certainly be a great resource for the future.

I found it interesting that quite a few of the winning images were "spur of the moment" images and not planned beforehand. This indicates that the winning photographers are excellent in the technical aspects of photography - composition, lighting, camera settings, postproduction - and are therefore able to "get the shot".

I left the awards with two questions?

  • Can i get to that level?

  • How do i get there?

There has been a lot of pondering on the first question. I definitely want to improve my output quality and would love to be recognised as having achieved the standard set by some of the photographers within the Focus Group. Can I do it? I would like to think I can, but it won't happen overnight.

How do I get there?

  • Spend more time on composition when I am actually out shooting and not shoot for shootings sake

  • Look more closely at how light interacts with the subject I am trying to shoot.

  • Find the "emotion" and shoot for that

  • I need to look at other great photos more and see in much greater detail what it is about them that I like

  • Post production (PP) skills - I have some basic skills but definitely need to get better at post processing

  • Match the PP to what I am trying to achieve in the image - enhance the light, composition and emotion

  • Gear - maybe moving to a full frame camera will help the quality of my images, but I think I need to push myself to other limits first before this happens

In the last twelve months or so after joining Focus and then being brave enough to go out on a shoot and interacting on Facebook, my photography has improved, I think, markedly.

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