I’ve always loved taking photos. I took one course in high school and one in college, and enjoyed snapping away. However, I despised developing in claustrophobia-inducing darkrooms. Fortunately, digital has put an end to all that. I’ve also received an injection of new motivation recently. I was fortunate enough to get an iPhone 6 for Christmas. Now, I have an easy-to-carry lens with me wherever I go and no excuse not to take photos.
It’s one of the many rides I went on that day. I even braved the rollercoaster for what may have been the first and last time. The amusement park is a photographer’s dream, as there is an array of colours, lights, and the interesting juxtaposition of man-made whirling machines and the serene natural surroundings.
I garnered some very kind votes from friends, family, coworkers, and strangers, but lost out to a photo of a cute child. My niece and/or nephew will have to star in some future photo contest entries!
In the Christmas television classic, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, there’s a song that always rings true to me. It’s called, “Put One Foot in Front of the Other.” The crux of the lyrics is that change can come from just standing up and taking a few steps in a new direction. And, that’s what I tried to do in 2014 with my blog.
I continued to enter contests that would win me cash and prizes, but I also entered those that would challenge me. There were three examples of this.
The first involved taking photos of public art in Port Moody. I had hoped that one of my photos might be chosen and featured in the city’s 2015 calendar. Unfortunately, none of them were, but I learned a great deal in the process. I realized that I wasn’t aware that there was so much art in this city. Also, the act of going out and taking photos from multiple angles and trying to capture the best light was really enjoyable, as was the editing process later. Thus, photography has become an even more important part of my life than it was before, and learning Photoshop has certainly helped with that as well.
The second contest that challenged me was the DAVIDs Tea Contest, which I have blogged about at length and I invite you to reread my post here, if you haven’t already. All I’d like to add now to what I wrote before was that enjoyed stretching my creative muscles for this contest. I’m not a huge fan of puns and this naming challenge made me think outside of my comfort zone. That’s a really great exercise for a writer and something I resolved to do more of.
Consequently, we have reached the third contest: National Novel Writing Month. Again, I wrote about this at length here. Writing a 50,000+ word novel in a month is a huge task that I think I am still recovering from! Yet, I’m proud that I stuck it out. I’m happy I learned things through the research process and even waxed nostalgic about the early 1990s! In the end, I did win ten free ebooks from Kobo that added up to almost $50. I will really enjoy reading these in the coming winter months, especially as some focus on how to become a better writer.
So, that’s it. 2014. Not a year that I really enjoyed, but certainly one filled with lots of learning and adventure. I’m looking forward to 2015 and more opportunities to become a better writer, editor, and person. All the best to all of you!
*Total cash and prizes won in 2014: approximately $240.00