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Planning 2022

January 12, 2022
© Jim Miller – Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

It has been said, and a mental health professional that I know agrees with the sentiments, that neurotic people build castles in the sky. Psychotic people live in them. And mental health professionals manage the property and collect the rent.

As long term readers of this blog know, I’m a planner. I’m not always a good doer, but I’m a hell of a planner. There are times it resembles building castles in the sky. I don’t think that I’m neurotic, but denial is often the first sign.

As things start to slow down a bit in the early fall, I start looking to the following year to figure out what I want to do photographically the following year. Much as my father often told me that when it came to dinner helpings that my eyes were bigger than my stomach, my desires of places I’d like to go and things that I’d like to do are almost always bigger than the amount of vacation days I have or how much my wallet can accommodate those desires.

There are certain things that I have planned that I’ve nearly always managed to pull off. A trip to the Rocking R6 Ranch has been an every year occurrence for nearly 8 years. La Lomita Ranch has happened every year that it has been open. I expect to make both of those happen again this year, too. It is planned and somewhat paid for and coincides with another reason that I have to be in Texas this year.

I have in the last five years always managed to knock at least one state off of my “Portfolio Image in Every State” bucket list. Last year it was in California. In 2020 I managed to knock off Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Wyoming (and maybe South Dakota…longer story). I have a couple of trips possibly planned for 2022 that will make that happen, but we’ll see how things go.

I contemplate local locations as well. Places I’ve been to that I want to return to. Places I’ve scouted, but never shot at. Places I’ve identified on the map but time has gotten in the way. And places so damned close to my home that there’s no reason why I haven’t spent more time there shooting. That goes into the plan as well.

I also look at what I didn’t shoot the previous year that I’ve said I wanted to shoot. That goes into the planning as well, depending on why it was I didn’t shoot there the previous year.

The plans are always grand. The execution… Meh.

I’m hoping to do better this year. I have put an additional reminder into my calendar to prompt me to go back and figure out what I still haven’t done yet and what I can do to make it happen. And I have a wide swath of places I’d like to go.

This is what I’m doing. I’d love to hear what you do, if anything, to prepare for the upcoming year.

About the Image
My bucket list add for the state of Nebraska on the 2019 road trip.
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Cherry County, Nebraska – June 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Canon 300mm f4 L w/1.4x teleconverter

ISO 400, 1/400 at f/13 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #1045
Image Size in Portfolio: 2768×3460

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2022 10:24 am

    That was wonderful. Really. I enjoyed it very much. I’m not a planner, so it was fun to see your thoughts written down. I get up and then see what happens. LOLOL I don’t make lists. I tried, but failed miserably. I could never make an outline in school because I could never figure out the story unless I wrote it first. THEN I could make the outline. Hahahaah. Even when in Paris or Italy, just winged it. Speaking of wings…the red-wing black bird is gorgeous.

    • January 14, 2022 12:54 pm

      Thank you. The younger me was very seat of the pants. The older I get and the less time I spend on passive entertainment, the more I tend to think and plan and the better I build those castles in the sky. My shooting companion was somewhat surprised at the level of detail I put into my planning for last year’s Texas photo journey, but it really paid off with some amazing opportunities and a few wall-worthy images.

      My buddy the Red-winged was a happy unplanned capture at Valentine NWR in northern Nebraska. The dragonflies and the turtles at a roadside pond was what I was going for. But he dropped in and stayed a while. Even with the shorter 300mm glass he came in good with a nice creamy background.

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