365 Project Retrospective

May 26, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

in January of 2015 I was getting fed up.  Between the day job and dealing with the nastiness of winter in Michigan I was not finding any time to focus on photography.  So what is the most logical course of action when you have too much to do and not enough time to do it?  Start a 365 day photo project, of course!  

There's a lot of different ways to do a 365 project, some people pick themes and try to shoot in line with that for a week, month, or some variation.  I just wanted to wing it and shoot whatever I found interesting.  I started out with the idea that I would kind of document my day to day activities but it didn't quite pan out that way as I'll explain later.

First of all, the only rule I was going to follow was to take at least one photo every day.  No themes, no elaborate set building, no posting to every insta-face-twit every single day.  Those are for people who don't spend 50 hours a week at a day job, own a house and have dogs that need to poop every 2 hours.  If I was out shooting for any reason, I'd use one of those photos.  If not, take a little time and shoot things I find interesting throughout the day.  Edit and post to my blog and Flickr as time allows.  Other sites can wait.

So on February 1st I began this ambitious project and quickly came face to face with an unfortunate truth.  My day to day life is boring.  Get up, deal with winter, go to work, come home, deal with winter, go to bed, and try to squeeze a little bit of photography time into there.  Rarely did anything interesting catch my eye during my commute and when it did I was usually stuck in traffic or late for work and missed the moment.  If I didn't want 365 pictures of the same thing I was going to have to go out and find them.  So I began to take a break from work during the day and go out for a short drive or walk and look for things to shoot.  And for a foggy morning sunrise, well, I would just have to be late for work. Day 39: Gateway to a Mysterious Land

Day 39: Gateway to a Mysterious Land

 


 

The Good, Bad, & Ugly

I managed to complete the project some 7000 photos later and missed just 1 day.

So did I become a super expert master photographer after all that?  Well, no.

During the project it felt like I wasn't learning anything or improving, especially on those days where I found myself at ten to midnight without taking any photos and having to rush around and shoot a light switch or something.  But a few weeks after completing it I went on a trip to the Florida Keys and found things had changed in subtle ways.  Focus, exposure, and compositions were coming more intuitively.  I spent less time thinking about the camera and was acting more instinctively.  

I also came up with quite a few ideas for new projects, but the 365 project didn't leave me anytime to pursue those.  Good thing I wrote them down, eh?

And more than photography, I learned two other things:

I really, really, hate winter.

I need more adventure in my life.

 

Time to rest my brain and let my heart take over for a while.

 


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