It's 19 August. It's World Photo Day.
Since 2009, 19 August has been World Photo Day. It was chosen because in 1839 the French government announced that it had purchased the patent to the daguerreotype method and made it a gift 'free to the world'. Whether or not you're convinced that we need an entire day to celebrate photography in a world driven by social media, it's a good excuse to have a look at your photographic achievements, intentions, and gear.
Last year we made five suggestions for anyone wanting to mark World Photo Day. All of them still hold good and are worthy of consideration. But we've added a few more ideas to the list this year.
1. Review your year so far
What have been your photographic successes so far this year? But what can you do between now and the end of December to improve your photographic skills? What needs some work, some practice, some attention?
2. Enroll in a class or course
Of course we'd recommend the Photocritic Photography School for anyone who's looking for a comprehensive photography course, but maybe you want to go further. In which case, check out not just online courses, but those at local colleges and community centres, nearby studios, and even clubs.
3. Develop a roll of film
There's no need to feel compelled to turn your bathroom into a darkroom; plenty of studios and labs have darkrooms for hire, and offer to teach you how to do it, too.
4. Assess your kit
Have you fallen into a comfort zone with a particular lens? Do you have an infrared filter in the bottom of your box that you had every good intention of learning to use, but never got around to it?
If you rarely switch from your 50mm, grab your 24mm and challenge yourself to use it. Are you ever really going to make use of the Lensbaby that you bought on a whim? Perhaps you should pass it on to someone who will appreciate it. And as for the infrared filter; give it a go!
Now get out there and take some photos!