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Digital Photographers United
I don't know if anyone else has a attempted or has a 365 project running but since I have one well on its way, I thought I'd share some thoughts about it.
First of all, on how I got started. I have no fancy story about this. I simply decided one day to try. I didn't really even have a serious intention to finish it. As it was just something I did on a whim the starting date was a bit less conventional (April 10th), most of these projects starting on January 1st. Part of the motivation was moving to a less familiar camera system as I moved from Canon DSLR to an Olympus µ4/3 and I wanted to thoroughly familiarize myself with it.
As an experience it's a bit hard to summarize it. I can honestly say that I've taken some of my favorite photographs during this project as well as some of my least favorites. Sometimes inspiration comes out of nowhere and sometimes other things take precedence and I've found myself desperately trying to come up with something to shoot at 11:30pm. Sometimes I've found myself well prepared and having more than adequate time for a photography session and the results are crap none the less. So has my quality remained constant. Absolutely not.
Would I recommend starting one? Absolutely yes! I've grown much as a photographer and as an observer of my surroundings during this project. It may show in the pictures only very intermittently but I have done some commissioned projects during the project and the experience gained during the project has been very valuable. Foremost I've learned to be more alert and quicker to respond to an opportunity. Lesson learned mostly with my adventures in the mysterious and fascinating world of street photography. Stealth has been one other of the valuable lessons learned during those adventures. Regardless of the fact that it's a major undertaking which if you have personalty like me will give you more grief than pleasure, I wholeheartedly recommend it. It's a few minutes of your day for a year and you'll learn things about yourself and your photography that you didn't think existed.
To summarize. My word of advice to anyone who's thinking about it. Don't think, just do it. Take it one day at the time and don't expect too much. Getting that masterpiece of photograph every day is a goal you'll probably never be able to reach and constantly being disappointed of your performance will kill your motivation quickly. Take it as it comes and don't look back. Don't try to reach the end but instead set some kind of milestones you at least want to reach. When I started my first was making it through the first month, then making it to triple digits, then half way and as a result I'm now on my 280th day. Now I have no excuse not to finish.
I have to level with you 365 project will not be always fun and it is mentally consuming but when everything falls into place it can be hugely rewarding. Some days you'll end up with dozens of good photos. Finally, carry your camera with you all the times, chances are your daily photo will find you without you having to go out to look for it. Then do some planned stuff every now and then for a change of pace.
If you're interested in starting a 365 project and have any questions about it, don't hesitate to ask. It'll be my pleasure to help you get or keep going if I in any way can.
If you're interested in following my progress I try to post photos in my
on a daily basis and update
in Fan Creations here at Asuki weekly.
Hm, I may want to give this project a shot myself. Maybe make myself and album on my page for it or something. Perhaps using this thread as a palce to link to the photos being taken.
So does the project jsut basically mean showcasing one favorite photo of yours you've taken each day? I guess explain it mroe to me.
The "original" form of the concept was taking a picture featuring yourself daily for a single year starting on January 1st. One of the later versions is the so called creative 365 project which was the formula I opted for.
It's basically as you described. It's a form of a photo journal where you end up with a photograph for each day. The rest is pretty much up to you. If you want to pick a theme, by all means do so. I personally didn't want to restrict myself too much so I opted to not confine myself to a single format.
Oh one more thing. As for places to showcase you photos I'd recommend something like Flickr, 500px or Google+ (Google+ has HUGE photographer community, it's probably the only group of people that have really adopted it.)
Here in Animesuki I'd recommend creating a thread in
sub-forum. It's a bit quiet nowadays but they're not going to kick you out for not posting anime related stuff. You might also consider posting some of your better work in the
thread in General Chat. It probably gets a bit more exposure than your Fan Creations thread will but I for one prefer not to post all the crap I've produced along this project there.
Edit: Hmpf... Seems I've really neglected this group for too long. It seems that posting images in social group threads has been allowed, which has gone unnoticed by me. I do feel a bit silly now. Sure you can post your photos here as well but since it seems that very few people follow this group at least for now I thing you're still better of with the options mentioned above.
I'll giove a few of those a check before I decide whether I go forward or not. thanks for the listing.
Okay I'm done with my 365 project. Here are a few thoughts I shared about it in my project blog.
As this year-long project of mine is drawing to a close, I suppose this is as good time as any to shed some light on my plans for the future and share a few thoughts on this first 365 project of mine.
First of all to answer the few of you, who have asked about whether I'll continue for another year.
No I will not.
I've been struggling quite a bit to find inspiration so I see no point in forcing it any longer than necessary. On the whole I can say that this has been a positive experience and I've managed to take along the way a few photos that I'm genuinely proud of. I suppose it was to be expected that this kind of project would bring out the best and the worst of what a photographer of my skills and vision can produce. I'll keep on carrying my camera around with me and capturing what ever I find interesting but without the added pressure of having to produce something on daily basis. Although I'm not ruling out the possibility that I might do another 365 project some time in the future, just not right away.
What I take away from this experience?
First I must mention a personal discovery - street portrait photography. I dabbled my feet in the water with it once or twice before but I never before gave it any serious thought or attention and in retrospective I can't really tell why not. I find it, now that I've seriously tired it, one of the most fascinating types of photography. I'm a bit disappointed in myself for not having utilized it more during this project.
Observing one's surroundings through a viewfinder does offer a slightly different perspective and there's something interesting hiding in many mundane places. Before I started this project I always used to go out with my camera armed with a plan on what I was going to shoot, often to come away with not much more than a mild disappointment. Over the course of this project the many of best shots I got were completely unplanned, I'd go as far to say almost random.
I have a bit mixed feelings about the whole thing altogether. I'm actually a bit surprised that I managed to see this through but my pride in the accomplishment is somewhat blemished by the realization that I could have done a much better job at it, especially towards the end. I certainly would have had the time to focus more on it than I did. Looking back I had quite a strong start, considering my skill level, so maybe the expectations got a bit of an unrealistic boost. There were some significant changes in my life during this project which ended up affecting the outcome in quite the opposite way I had initially expected.
Well I saw it through anyhow and I suppose that's something. Even if this kind of project isn't really my piece of cake I'm really glad that I did it. I may have some regrets about my performance but the positives far outweigh the negatives, considering that this project has in its early stages opened to me a fundamentally different approach to photography. Furthermore I've taken some of my best photos during this project so overall, despite of things said before, time well spent.
A few words on gear.
This project coincided with me changing camera systems moving from Canon APS-C DSLRs to Olympus micro 4/3, first to PEN E-P1 and then OM-D E-M5. So this project served also with quite thoroughly familiarizing me with the new system. I've had a Canon DSLR since 2004 so this one year's crash course in mirrorless workflow worked out nicely. More than half of the time I found myself using the fantastic Voigtländer 25mm F/0.95 Nokton lens, which served as a throwback to my film days being fully manual. The performance of this lens from F/2 onward is quite spectacular and I really like the 50mm full frame equivalent focal length. Fast 50mm equivalent prime lens was something I never had with on my Canon DSLRs and was something I used almost exclusively on my Canon AE-1 film camera. So there was a clear gap in my lens collection. I've always wondered why there's a lack of reasonably priced fast and well performing 35mm lenses for EF or EF-S mount. Well - for the price of the Voigtländer I would have had quite a few options actually. Anyway I'm very happy about the OM-D as my primary camera. It's small, light, versatile and performs really well. It was the first micro 4/3 camera that could compete with similarly priced APS-C cameras and it still does. With the Panasonic 20mm F/1.7 pancake the combination is absolutely tiny and still offers loads of performance. Although I have to say 20mm Panny is quite slow to focus. The in body image stabilization in OM-D is absolutely astounding especially with shorter focal lengths and in video mode.
Photos of my figurines: 33
Photos or videos of my own cats: 25
Photos of myself or parts thereof: 11
Photos with my older E-P1: 23
Photos that aren't photos: 1 (Read here what that means.)
Black & White: 81
Selective or partial color: 8
Street portraits: 19
Photos or videos shot with manual lenses: 198
Would I recommend 365 projects to others.
Definitely! You're going to come out a bit wiser having done something like this. If you're anything like me you'll find yourself more than once banging your head against the wall trying to come up with something interesting or you'll find yourself frantically collecting some random items at half past 11 pm to shoot or chasing after your cats or whatever pets or better yet just going screw it and take a photo of something completely uninteresting just to get it over and done with and then of course photoshopping the living shit out of it to make it "arty" and therefore "interesting". None the less you'll get quite a few good and a couple of great photographs as well.
Thanks for the write-up. I've heard that if you can make it to day 90 then you have a very high likelihood of being able to finish the entire project. Supposedly it takes 90 days to form a habit; thus, anyone getting started should be aware that the first 90 days (approximately four months) will probably be the most difficult to stick to.
I can see how these types of projects would be good for people who want to do more photography but perhaps can't bring themselves to get up and get out with their camera. I guess I never really saw why it would be useful for anyone else, though. Just as an example, I always want to go out and take photos, but my major limitation is time. Sure, perhaps I could use a 365 project to prove to myself that I do have the time to take photos, but what good would it be? I enjoy photography in part because it forces me to slow down and take in the world around me. If I'm pressed to find a photographic opportunity and then process it before midnight it somewhat defeats one of the joys of photography. (But that's just me griping about a lack of time and a desire to do more photography...)
If nothing else, it's a major showing of willpower. To be able to do something every day for a year, even when you don't feel like it and can't think of anything new or creative? I think it's very impressive.
The project helped me to discover new approaches to photography. I've found that I do my best work under pressure and deadline. It worked for me with this project for a while. Since loosing my job and thus having much more time for photography the quality started to decline quite drastically.
Anyway looking at the stuff I ended up with I find myself with quite a bit of stuff to draw inspiration from. So even as I intend to cut myself quite a bit of slack with photography for a while and the end result not perhaps being what it could or should have been, I'm just as inspired with photography as I was before I started, perhaps more.
I've now directed my creative efforts towards a subject I'm far less familiar with. I started writing a sci-fi novel. I've tried creative writing a few times before but this time I've got a good feeling about the subject matter and genre I've chosen. In fact I've already over two days come up with more than in my previous attempts over several weeks.
However no worries, I'm not abandoning photography or this group. I still have quite a bit of photos to sort and process from my trip to French Riviera which I'll be posting to my FC-thread as soon as I'm done and once the weather around here improves a bit I'll hit the ground running with my camera again.
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