Into the New


We are about a week into a new year—well, that is for those of us who live by the Gregorian calendar at least. Usually entering into a new year is a time when a lot of us make up status for ourselves and formulate new goals for the year to come. However, New Year’s resolutions are easy to put down on paper, but much harder to follow up and actually put into life. As such, every new year is but a trail of broken resolutions left behind.

Nevertheless, personally I think it’s important to make up status for ourselves and make some goals for what we want to achieve over the next year. Having learned by repeated experiences how hard it can be to follow various New Year’s resolutions, I believe in positive goals.

Making yourself exercise more when you hate to exercise or eat healthier when you would rather not have salads at all or don’t want to abandon sugar, is going to be hard to follow up. In order to make it happen it’s important to find ways around the goals so that they come out as something positive, as something you would actually love to do, rather than forcing yourself through a regime you only hate, anyway. The latter approach will only last so long before you abandon it.

As for myself, I exercise quite a bit and eat quite healthy so that’s not a problem for me. Luckily, I could add. One of the problems I am facing—as I wrote about in a post last year—is a media business, which has faced and is still facing big structural challenges. As a photographer working for various magazines and publications, I feel this very much, with fewer assignments and less work. This disruption—as economists talk about—is by far new, but really hit me for the first time at the end of last year.

My usual solution would be to work harder, put more energy into fighting the tides, because I am sure this is only tide, too, albeit a whopping one. However, this year I have decided to go down a different path. Instead of fighting against the tide, I will rather let go of the reins. I am going to do things I want to do rather than things I think I need to do to keep my business running. I want to explore various creative paths, let myself have fun and find ways to my most creative self. Maybe in the end it will also result in a more stable business for me, but, of course, it’s not given. However, I don’t want to waste my life—or at least this year—doing tasks that I feel is not worth spending time on. At the same time, I see that I am fortunate in that I have sufficient funds and savings to be able not to worry about a loss of income, for a period at least.

One of the goals for this year is putting more effort into writing books about creativity and photography. This is not a new thought, but after the encouragement a lot of you, my readers, gave me last year, I have decided it’s really time to do more than think about it. Thus, I want to thank you for pushing me in this direction.

Talking about the blog, over the next couple of months I will restructure this blog, and launch new ideas and thoughts for it, which I hope will make it more interesting to read and enjoy. Over the holidays, I have had a couple of weeks off from blogging and it’s been good. There is always some pressure in keeping a blog alive, and taking time off, have brought back the inspiration and lust to develop it in new directions and adding new substance to it. I hope it’s going to reflect my new approach to let myself be more creative.

As an extension of what I write here, I want to thank you all for the patience during the time I have been away from cyber space. It’s time to get going again, and I hope we can have a fun year together exchanging thoughts and ideas. I wish you all the best for the new year.

Facts about the photo: The photo was taken with a Panasonic Lumix LX-100, the lens set at 10.9 mm which is the equivalent of a full frame 24 mm. Shutter speed: 1/250 of a second. Aperture: f/13. The photo was processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.

109 thoughts on “Into the New

  1. Happy New Year Otto – making time work best for us is a balancing act – good luck with your endeavours – the importan tthing to remember is to enjoy it!

  2. yes! Happy, joyous, creative, New Year, Otto!! I’m glad you have a financial cushion that will allow you to explore creativity in the way you want to; in the way that makes your heart satisfied… Can’t wait to see what you do with this blog!!

  3. Love the image (and Happy New Year to you too. Otto).

    I think it is important for everyone to have breaks from blogging. Many of us spend way too much time online and gradually it becomes too structured interrupting our creativity and spontaneity.

    Look forward to seeing which direction you take.

    I vowed to do more Photography (and less blogging) in 2017, but it’s been too hot to go outdoors for the most. But I have been very successful in reducing my online time and getting back to reading (not an easy thing for me these days).

    1. You are quite right in that the internet seems to suck out whatever time we have. But of course, it can also be an outlet for creativity, as your blog is an example of. I wish you all the best for 2017, Vicki.

  4. It’s so nice to have you back, Otto. What you say about your plans for the new year sounds intriguing and wise. As you’ve already seen, it’s only January 9, and I’ve accomplished two of my goals for the year: the new blog template, and the revision of my “About” page. I can’t remember ever keeping a resolution, so this is quite an achievement. I think you’re spot on when you say that resolutions that provide a pleasurable outcome will be more easily kept. It certainly was true with my first two goals.

    I’m looking forward to the new year, and clearly you are too. It is going to be fun to see how all of us grow and change, and to see what surprises lie ahead.

  5. Love the photo. It is has everything, the frost, the snow, the rising sun, the beauty, the crackling cold….

    I also applaud your new strategy of working for yourself rather than chasing elusive paying gigs. It is a blessing that you have a rainy day fund. Hopefully, during this self-development period, you will stumble into a new avenue of commercial success. I say stumble, not because I envision you as awkward and bumbling, but because it has been my experience that new avenues often surprise us when we allow our gaze to broaden. I hope that will be your experience.

  6. Gorgeous photo – makes winter look appealing😉. It is a difficult time out there for journalists and photojournalism Otto. I like your attitude and look forward to hearing more about your changes and responses to this challenge.

  7. A stunning photograph Otto, especially since I must live “Winter” vicariously. I appreciate very much your inspiring words, It is wonderful to read your enthusiastic outlook on life. Wishing you good health, happiness, and prosperity in the New Year.

  8. Like Heartafire, the picture you have here is gorgeous winter scene. I just love it. For you next endeavor, I wish you the very best for whatever you decide to do next. Cheer!

  9. It is nice to see you back, Otto! And with new vigor, willingness and means to follow the path you feel is right for you. I believe that when we do what we love, there will be success.

  10. I applaud you for taking a creative leap and trying something new. Go for it!
    You’re inspiring me to try something new also. I’ve considered starting a second blog, in my own voice, about life on the farm where I live. Looking forward to seeing you grow, Otto.

  11. Beautiful photograph, Otto, and whatever direction you decide to take, I will see you there.
    I wish you all the most wonderful things in the New Year, my friend.

  12. You have such a gift for inspiring others and teaching, that I think you will be very successful. Even though I don’t have as much time for photography anymore, I continue reading your blog because your posts don’t just apply to photography. Good luck!

  13. Such a thoughtful, reflective and positive post…i wish you a happy and fulfilling new year….also a large helping of gratitude for your wisdom and your images….i look forward to your posts from the northern hemisphere …Trees from down under 😊

  14. I enjoy your posts and your honesty, Otto. Always good to reset, rethink and find new paths. Your posts have helped in my creative pursuits which I appreciate including your recommendation of the Lumix— your landscape shot is wonderful. Wishing you a creative and fruitful 2017. I look forward to the next step.

  15. Such a beautiful picture..I can “hear” the quiet and feel the air…I wish for you and yours a very Happy New Year filled with love and wonder. Sometimes we “try” too hard to create what we want. May many magical “happenings” fill the New Year!

  16. Otto, what an exciting time for you. I have always enjoyed your posts for the way in which you search for the meaning behind making a photograph and the questions that you raise about the creative process. My sense is that you have opened a door to new ways to see for your readers, and that is no small thing. I wish you every good thing as you “drop the reins” and range wider and deeper on your own creative path – a wonderful new year to you!

  17. love the photo.. so serene and breathtaking… in my country there is no snow so i really find it appealing.. happy new year too and looking forward to your future posts…

  18. I feel like I’m living a different version of the same kind of challenges you’re facing lately, but coming up with similar conclusions and plans. Here’s to hoping that this year proves profitable for both of us!

  19. Good luck with your goals – I’m not going to say ‘resolutions’ because no one ever keeps them! 😀
    Finding time to blog regularly is a problem for me and I went through a phase of feeling that it had to be done; as you say it creates an unnecessary pressure that can ultimately stifle ourselves rather than drive us on.

  20. Otto you have a gift for inspiring others and for challenging lazy thinking. I have no doubt that your new venture will enable you expand your creative influence in different directions. Very good wishes as you go!

  21. Happy New Year, Otto! It does sound like you have a sound plan for you and your business to evolve into something you will love. I wish you only the best as you walk down this path which will sometimes seem scary. But, you aren’t walking alone. Every one of us who enjoys an appreciate you sharing your words, ideas and photos will be walking along to see where you go.

  22. Great to read your plans for the New Year, Otto. I’m just an amateur photographer but when, a few years ago, I decided to stop being competitive and stopped looking for the next exhibition acceptance etc and decided to work entirely for my own pleasure and not to follow the latest fashionable idea to get credit, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders and am now a lot more relaxed, and I think more creative with my own work.
    I’m delighted to hear you are considering a book about creativity. Your writing on this difficult topic has always inspired me and I quote you regularly (properly attributed) when I speak to Camera Clubs. All the best with your plans.

    1. Thank you for those encouraging words. I feel honoured that you are quoting me in various settings. As to what you write, I think this change of attitude or approach from pushing towards external goals to try to align with yourself is the only way to go if you want to become as creative as you can and create expressions that are able to touch others. And that’s what I will try to emphasize more this coming yea, too.

  23. I actually prefer bloggers who do not overwhelm me with posts. That way, when I see one of their occasional posts I’m excited to see what they have to say, what they’ve discovered, what they’ve accomplished since the last communication. In fact, one of my criteria for subscribing to a blog or not is how many (that is, few) times a week I’m going to see a post!

    1. An interesting point. And I think in many cases we tend to talk too much, whether in “real” life on in the blog world. For me it’s less about quantity than quality, indeed. Thanks for your comment, Alli.

  24. Lovely Otto. It looks very much like home. Low sun, snow and water. 🙂
    And yes, explore what makes you happy. Life is too precious not to be doing what brings you joy.

  25. I say, go for it! You have a nice conversational tone in your writing – a good balance between the warmth of your voice and the didactic part. And a lot of material already exists, right here. Adhering more to that inner voice that wants to go in different directions will serve you well in the long run, even if it means less income for now.

  26. Helt underbar bild Otto. Önskar dig God fortsättning och lycka till med dina nya idéer och projekt.
    Väntar med spänning.
    Bästa hälsningar.

  27. Wonderful aspirations for the year ahead. I’m also not a firm believer in new year resolutions however I am in the process of creating a vision board and I do believe in following our passions. You’re obviously doing that. All the best to you this year Otto.

  28. Congratulations! It takes courage not to panic when things start to go differently than we planned. Your title “in flow” says it all. I look forward to following your adventure.

  29. Wow, snow, cold, ice, water, sun! Great starting for a new year! I really feel the winter in your photo!
    And I think you’ll find satisfaction in the new direction you are going with what you will do. Doing something you want to do can be very rewarding and could open new doors.
    Waiting to see the new changes in your blog wish you a 2017 full of health, peace, satisfaction and emotions, of course positive emotions!

    1. Thank you again, Robert. Yes, it’s always a combination of intimidating and inspiring when turning around and doing something different, but I do hope it will be rewarding. 🙂

  30. Very much looking forward to the New Year Otto and reading your wise words as well as enjoying your wonderful photography. I wish you a very happy and healthy one!

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