Make 2014 the Year You Soar!

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Happy New Year!

I would like to thank you all for a fantastic 2013! Your support of Lightroom Secrets is greatly appreciated.

Time marches on and now we have a new year ahead of us. In these early days we are renewed with the hope and promise of a fresh start, new adventures, second chances, undiscovered talents. It's time to look back over your photographic journey and look at the highs and the lows. What are you most proud of? What areas need work? What's your plan for 2014? There's so much to see and do it can make your head spin.

Start with the annual housekeeping tasks. Mundane, sure. But still important.

  • Check your batteries. If some are getting old and not holding a charge as long as you like then it's time to replace them. Not just your camera. Remember your flash, external trigger, GPS units, and so on.
  • Go into Lightroom and update your metadata presets to reflect 2014. No sense adding 2013 copyright notices for your new creations!
  • Make an archive copy of your Catalog to preserve all your work prior to 2014. Once that's safely stored away you can continue to add to the master copy. One Catalog is still the best option for Lightroom (with a few exceptions).
  • Do some cleanup on your drives. Clear out any temporary or duplicate files. You'll want to have room for this year's masterpieces.
  • If any of your drives have been acting up now is the time to replace them.
  • Inventory your flash cards. Make sure you've imported all your images and have sufficient backups. Then run them through your camera for formatting. Start the year with clean cards just screaming for new images!

Now that you have that done you can move on to the more esoteric tasks. What do you want to accomplish this year?

  • If you want to do a 365 project then you'll need to start today!
  • Try your hand at an unfamiliar photographic discipline. If you're a studio photographer, add landscapes to your portfolio. If you are a nature photographer, try macro. Venture into some untried or little visited corner of the photographic universe.
  • Take a course. There are many online options. Workshops are abundant. Local Adult Education and Community Colleges offer classes. There is always something new to learn.
  • Perhaps a personal project. Sometimes having a theme can make you stretch your creative muscle or help you out of a slump.
  • Volunteer. There are many charities that need photographers to help at events or document their activities. You can help your community and hone your skills at the same time.
  • Get involved. Whether it's a local camera club or an online forum on Lightroom, get involved and meet new people. Share ideas. Ask questions. Photographers in general (and Lightroom users specifically) are a good bunch. Don't be shy. I've met some wonderful folks over the years. I count many of them as friends even though we've never met face to face. For every nasty troll on the internet, there are a hundred great people so don't be discouraged.

These are just a few ideas. Whatever you decide to do let's make 2014 the year you SOAR!!!

Have an absolutely wonderful time this year and thanks again for being a Lightroom Secrets reader.