5-1-30 and Goal Setting

Learned of this method called 5-1-30, which is a goal setting process. You begin by doubling your age (if you’re 60+, think of your age at 90) and from there think about the things you want to have accomplished by then. At the same time, think about the things that you want to avoid doing at that age. 

From there, the focus here is to consider some shorter term goals to get to that point. Taking from the title, you imagine the things you need to accomplish in 5 years to set you on the pathway to your longer term goals in the first part. Make suer to be specific and measurable goals (for more detail look up SMART goals).

From the 5 year standpoint, look next to plan out what to do over to reach those long term goals in 1 year. Once again, look to plan out attainable and measurable goals. 

The last piece to this plan is to consider what you need to do over the next 30 days to put you on track for your 1 year goals. The focus for this goal setting process is to identify measurable and attainable goals that you set out for yourself over time.

I really like this method because it forces you to consider lofty, ambitious goals far in the future, and seeks to make that pathway more and more realistic by changing and shortening the time period to attain smaller goals as they relate to your current self now. 

I’ll definitely be using this goal setting process for my longer term goals; look out for those post(s?) in the coming days/weeks. 


Limitations and Learning from Them

I feel very strongly that our life is dictated by limitations, either those imposed upon us by society, culture, law, or other large bodies of power. Most of all, though, I feel that our self-imposed limitations tend to be the most stringent and taxing on our persons. Be they things like a diet which quite literally restricts the things that we consume and gain sustenance from all the way to the kind of persona we should be in certain situations, self-imposed limitations tend to be the final barrier to between our thoughts and our actions.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to have limitations, and within the scope of how I personally try to share my thoughts and feelings, I find that I have set a very distinct limit on myself for the kinds of things I allow myself to put online and on social media accounts.

Miminalism has always been a kind of goal for me, even when I was young and didn't understand what it meant (though, to be fair, I don't know that I have a much more precise understanding, but anyways..). That idea of "minimalism" has since taken root within me and grown into certain thought processes and ways of being that I am quite proud of today; things like owning fewer possessions like clothing, limiting my diet to certain "go-to" foods, and even a minimalist approach to my passion for photography in that I've moved away from owning a dedicated digital camera, to simply shooting, editing, and posting all from my phone.

This same sense of minimalism, which I would consider to be a limitation I've placed upon myself, has found its own place in how I choose to extend my thoughts to the world, specifically the kind of media and social media presence I keep. I'll save a discussion or deeper dive of my photography or fitness personas for another time, but for the sake of this blog, I feel that I've carried this limitation of not posting my "true" thoughts or "true" feelings on the web since they are easily viewed and reviewed. I'd add, if only peripherally, that minimalism plays a part too in that I often try to delude myself into thinking that not posting a lot of things that are personal to me online allows me some sembalnce of privacy.

What I'm slowly coming to realize, though, is that this limtiation upon my ability to share what I think for fear of social awareness holds me back in my ability to express myself. I've never been one to shy away from telling people what I think or believe, given that the situation is appropriate and calls for this. But putting myself "out there" online seems like a much more daunting task. I am, at my core, a very private person. I feel that my emotions are mine, and I highly covet my choice in sharing those emotions. But I want to change that, and I want to develop a dialogue between me and myself, and how I want to do this is to speak to myself in a forum that kind of scares me: blogging honestly.

Excuse this long-winded post all just to say that I want to be more transparent and honest, maybe not right away or at all with my direct, raw feelings and emotions, but at least with my thoughts on life, love, and literature (those three things aren't meant to reflect my current state of mind nor my goal for this blog, they just popped into my head and sounded nice). I want to be able to use this blog as a place for more of my long-form beliefs on the world.

Which is exactly what I will do.

New Horizons

Since my plan to start blogging more has started following yesterday's post, I thought that it would serve me well to talk a bit more about how I'll now be shooting only with a mobile device (iPhone). I sold my Fujifilm X100T recently and parting ways with it was a lot more sweet than I'd thought it'd be. 

The past few months with my X100T were strange to say the least; I had a turbulent time between moving away from my previous apartment, leaving a job of 3 years and starting a new one, being family that I'd not seen in so long, and being introduced to new people. In light of all these changes, I think my photography workflow has evolved. Maybe a better way to describe this is that my previous workflow of shooting with my small mirrorless cameras has gotten very long in the tooth.

I ended up selling my camera to someone I found on Craigslist but I was extremely pleased to find that the camera, along with the rest of my gear, would go to someone who would appreciate and care for the camera in all of the ways that I feel it should. I think that's what made it feel so final and so real; that the best possible scenario for parting with my camera, and parting with that part of my life, happened. 

It's interesting to think about... I've been shoting with different variations of the same camera for so long. Coming from my first camera, a small entry-level Nikon DSLR (the 3100 to put it into perspective), then moving to a X100S, then a X-T1, then going back and forth between that and X100T's, it's been the better part of the past 5 years of my life that I've been in and out of the Fujifilm and mirrorless world. 

A lot of my photography ability and prowess has been honed by that brand and it will always have a soft spot in my heart. I will say that the metaphorical "torch" that is being passed now to a purely mobile photography workflow isn't completely new. I've gone through this phase at least twice before by selling the then-iteration of my camera for just a phone-based photography existence. Suffice it to say, I didn't stick with it as evidenced by my previous statements concerning buying and rebuying cameras.

This feels different, though. I feel I've really passed the torch to someone who can bear its weight well. Now, I feel more prepared than ever to shoot with just my phone. Also, my lifestyle and needs no longer require something as robust as a dedicated camera system.

All in all, I'm glad for this change. It feels like I've been trying to shake off my camera gear obsession. I know I'm able to take and make great photos with anything I have on me, and an iPhone is more than enough for my needs. Its limitations will only make me a better photographer as I seek out better light, framing, and other conditions.

Not to mention that I'm now going to explore the wild world of film photography... but that's for another post :)

- Derek



D. O. T.

It's been a hell of a week. Adjusting to a new life has been interesting to say the least. Challenging as well, but I think that's more due to the effort of realigning myself to a new worldview. A part of that process is trying to get back into blogging. 

I've been trying to take more pictures too, some of which aren't very relevant for social media but since I know that this blog isn't followed, let alone known, I feel more able to post here.

Anyways, I just wanted to use this as a repository for some of the photos that I've been taking lately. 

2018-04-22 14.53.35-2.jpg

Planting, Blooming

I realize it's been quite sometime since I've posted here. A lot has been changing in my personal life and I think, in its own way, that's been affecting my photography. Much of my work is about self discovery though I don't actively look for instances to self discover; usually only after the fact can I see how my relationship with photography is affected by my personal life (and maybe vice-versa).

Forcing myself to get out and shoot more of NYC reflects a lot of what I see my life will become. Some recent windfalls and lucky breaks mean that I will eventually be back in the Big Apple. I'm looking forward to it. How this will relate back to my photography I don't know. It could mean a return to more portrait work since I, as of late, have been reneging on that side of my work. It will likely mean just doing more work; I think this is a given. It could also mean more conceptual work too, whatever that may manifest as. 

Mostly I think my life will see some changes, most for the better, and others unexpected. I always told myself that 2018 wouldn't be "my year". It'd be the year where I plant the seeds, of which I would then reap for the future. I am trying to curb my expectations with what feel like flowers blooming and try to remind myself to continue planting the seeds that will come in time to flower in the future.


Ninja Update: Pictures Incoming as of Mid-February

I've been procrastinating a lot lately and have been sitting on a lot of photos to post here to this blog. Looking forward to posting them later today, though I hesitate to post all of them in one past.

I think I've surprised myself with just how much I'm able to accomplish over the past two weeks in terms of the amount of photos. I'm not used to taking photos pretty much everyday but I'm glad for developing (or starting to develop) this habit.

Still not sure how I'll post all of these shots though... maybe I'll stagger them weekly? Pick the best 5-7? Not sure, stay tuned.

- Derek

My 2018 Workflow

Pretty simple post here, nothing crazy either. I wanted to document my workflow plan for the next year. This will help me to chronicle my progress as well as any changes therein. 

I also wanted to document this journey on the very slim chance that there is anyone out there who is impressed with my work (cough cough) and feels that it's too difficult to do work of a similar caliber. I always like to think about the entry costs to any kind of endeavor or activity, or the things that a person should be doing. 

Anyways, on to my actual tools:

  • Fujifilm X100T 
  • Fujifilm TCL-X100 (sometimes)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud // Lightroom
  • VSCO Film Pack 06 // Portra 160
  • Dropbox Account

That's really it! I obviously also have some accessories that I make use of and some smaller idiosyncratic workflows that I will likely detail in a later post, but for the time being the above 5 items are all that I use to take, edit, and post my shots. 

In terms of the actual workflow itself and how it makes use of the above tools, see below:

  1. Shoot image in RAW format.
  2. Import into Adobe Creative Cloud // Lightroom.
  3. Apply VSCO Film Pack 06 // Portra 160 filter + edits & tweaks.
  4. Export photo(s) into a folder locally which is synced to Dropbox.
  5. Save photo(s) to iPhone and post to Instagram.

I guess my real goal to posting this and making this process public is to make it clear that what I'm doing is extremely accessible if photography is something that you are passionate about in the way I am. When i started shooting photos and really diving into the world, there was a lot that seemed alien to me, from cameras and lenses to editing and social media accounts. 

All I wanted to do was just go out and shoot. Suffice to say, I still want that but now I have almost 10 years of background to back me up in that desire so it doesn't feel as daunting. I like to think I've put time into pulling back the curtain on individual photographers and their workflows to better inform me about how I should have my own. 

Now I want to give back for anyone with the patience to read into this.

Here's to hoping that you find it as useful as I've tried to make it.

- Derek