Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
I can't believe that 2017 is over already, but what a year it has been! I have survived my first year in full time employment after uni, had some great adventures with friends & family at various gigs, festivals, and get-togethers, hiked up numerous mountains, and also travelled to some wonderful places in the world - including my dream road trip across the USA! It's been a jam packed year but why have it any other way - keeping busy means I'm always having adventures...
This time last year I wrote a blog post setting out some goals I hoped to achieve in 2017, so before I do the same for 2018 I just want to look back and see if I managed to stick to any of my resolutions!
My goals for 2017 were:
1. Reach a total of 100 Wainwrights - check!
Over the last 12 months I have not only reached my goal of hiking 100 Wainwright fells but I actually surpassed that and got my total up to 102! I am so pleased to have got this far, and I know there's a long way to go before I'm finished (112 more to be precise) but there's no point in rushing them or I'll have nothing left to explore! I've had some fantastic hikes this year with some of my favourites being Sharp Edge & Blencathra, Great Gable, and St Sunday Crag. I've also had some not so great walks mainly due to bad weather (Mungrisdale Common and my first Great Gable attempt spring to mind here) but despite that I wouldn't change anything. Each hike is a totally different experience and going up in all weathers means that no two walks are the same.
Although I love being in the mountains and doing the Wainwright challenge is not only fun but great exercise, I have decided not to set myself a target number this year. The one downside to setting myself such a big goal last year was that at every opportunity to go hiking, that's what I did. And why is that a problem for someone who loves the mountains? Well I also love other parts of the Lakes and because I was always on the fells last year I felt like didn't get much chance to do any lower level walks. There's so much that the Lake District has to offer that I don't want to get so distracted with climbing mountains that I end up neglecting other beautiful places. I will come back to this when I set my 2018 goals in a minute...
Other goals for last year also included:
2. Begin another photography project
This is one thing I haven't managed to do and I regret not making it happen. I had some ideas for a new project at the start of 2017 but everything else just got in the way (as usual) and I just couldn't find the time to sit down and properly plan and research a whole new body of work. I don't want to rush things and just take some photos, throw them together and call it a project. I want to go back to how things were done at uni and spend time and effort researching other photographers and finding out background information about my chosen subject. This is another goal I will come back to...
3. Get back into shooting on film
This I have managed to do but maybe not as much I would have liked. My vintage camera collection has grown significantly over the last 12 months and I now even have a cabinet dedicated to my collection. I do occasionally still take film cameras out on walks and I have also tried out a 110 film camera this year (which didn't give great results but it was worth a try), however there is still so much more I could do on film. One slight downside is that Poundland have recently stopped stocking film which means I will now have to pay towards £7 per roll from other suppliers - what a rip off!
4. Keep up with my blog
This was my last goal for 2017 and is one I kept up with fairly well at the start and end of the year, but had a bit of a meltdown in between! With going away for 4 weeks to the USA in April I could't blog for the whole of that month. I then came home with thousands of photos to edit and a film to create, and then add on photos from new hikes once I was home and various weddings and it all got a bit too much. I had a huge backlog of photos to edit and I just couldn't keep up with my blog at the same time. However, I feel I have successfully recovered and made up for the lack of summer blog posts by keeping things regular over the last 3 months or so.
So now for my new goals for 2018...
1. Do more varied activities in the Lake District - not just hiking!
As previously mentioned I obviously love hiking but setting myself a goal for last year made me obsess a bit too much over completing a certain number of Wainwrights. This year I would rather not set myself any targets like that and instead do a wider variety of activities. I'm a member of the National Trust so I would like to visit more of their properties and make the most of my membership. There are also some amazing low level walks in the area (including one to Cathedral Cave which I must do again as I lost my photos from my last trip there!) so I would love to spend a bit more time exploring secret little forest trails or lakeside paths without having to get up at 5am and carry a rucksack on my back all day! Greg and I also recently bought ourselves a dinghy which we still haven't tested on the water, so I would love to experience our maiden voyage in 2018 and get out on the Lakes to enjoy them from a different perspective.
2. Start a new photography project!
This is one that I really must do this year and as mentioned I have some ideas that I am serious about looking into, so I am going to force myself to sit down and begin researching ASAP - watch this space for new work emerging soon!
3. Buy a new DSLR
I'm putting this down as one of my goals but really it's more like a dream! I've been meaning to upgrade my kit for a little while now but just don't have the funds. A lot of my money at the moment is going into savings accounts for my next big adventure across the globe (more details to follow shortly) so it's not looking likely that a new camera will be arriving at my house any time soon, but it's potentially something I could try and work towards if at all possible. I'm toying with the idea of straying away from Canon and trying out Sony but it's a scary idea as I've been a loyal Canon user for nearly 7 years now, but it's certainly given me something to think about...
4. Spend more time with my family
A lot of people probably set this (or something similar) as a new years resolution but it's something I really must do. Everyone gets so busy wrapped up in their own lives that it can sometimes be hard to find any time to spend with those closest to us. This year I want to try and make more time outside of work to do fun things with my family - whether that be going out for a day or just sitting at home having a natter.
So those are my resolutions set for another year but how many of them I will actually stick to is another matter! I hope everyone reading this has had a great 2017 and spent Christmas & New Year with loved ones. Thanks for following my blog and sticking by me for another year - the reason I keep going is because I have such a great community of people who take the time to comment on my work, give positive feedback, and genuinely show an interest in my photography. I can't wait to share more with you - may 2018 bring many adventures for us all!