I wasn’t sure quite what to expect last year when I started my photography project 365. I really only had two goals, first to just to complete the project, secondly to become a better photographer. As I post up my last image today I would like to think I have achieved both.
1) Take a photo each day for 365 days.
2) Post up each photo on the Internet, not necessarily on the day it was taken.
This sounded so simple at the beginning, I definitely did not realise quite what a commitment I was taking on. Even on a quick night I would take at least 30 to 60 minutes to upload select, process and post up a picture. That doesn’t even take into account the need for stopping in busy, awkward, public spots to capture each days photo. There is no time off for being ill, tiredness, hectic schedules, being on holiday or out for a romantic meal. The rules state a photo a day, and I’m proud to say I have stuck to that.
What have I achieved?
• I now have my own website http://prophecyblur.com that gets regular Google traffic and is currently on the first page if you search for “project 365 photo blog”.
• I’ve had several hundred comments from both my Blog and Flickr postings. Some of whom have become both friends and or inspirations (evolution of rayzr, Brian Palmer, Greg Mcmullin, eahNC, Fedora365, Adrian Park, Hewlbane, Jacob Schere, DevilFishMak, Timbo and Phil Roeder to name but a few).
• I’ve found some great groups and places to share my work with the Londonist (an amazing online magazine) and 365 Community (the best Flickr group bar none) standing out in particular.
• I’ve leant to experiment with my camera better using Aperture, Movement, Shutter Speed and generally better composition.
• I’ve discovered new techniques, my favorite being ‘Intentional Camera Movement’ that was introduced to me by my good friend Ray Rhodes.
• I’ve become much more confident and deliberate in both my photography and my post processing.
• I’ve had fun playing with Fake Polaroid’s, Cartoon(ifying) Images and making Diptychs and Triptychs forever changing the way I view photography.
• I’ve had a photo in a London gallery, and run what was described as a multimedia installation on my very last day.
• Finally and most importantly I genuinely feel I am a much better, more interesting photographer as a result.
The last stretch of the project was tough (really tough), I felt at times like a marathon runner just wanting to get to the end. I’m really pleased through the peaks and troughs of the project there are very few photos I am ashamed of. I have done this all (bar 2 photos) with my trusty Canon S90 which takes images that truly exceed its compact size, proving that the best camera really is the one in your pocket.
Definitely nothing involving regular posting on Flickr or my Blog, I need a gap to re-find the joy of photography again. I may look to reward myself with a somewhat more serious camera, although I still think I will ere on the side of compact. The front runner at the moment is waiting for the new Fuji Finepix X100, but then I have been hankering after a GF1 all year so who knows what I will get!
To all those who have followed me (including my mum) thank you for all the comments and support that have kept me going. I can only apologise to my most loyal commenter’s that I have been so bad at reciprocating recently. It has taken all my will power and energy just to get to the end of this project!
Once I have recovered, maybe enjoyed a Christmas break, I’ll be looking to get back out there taking photos again, but I definitely won’t be starting another Project 365 again anytime soon (if ever)! That and the fact I have a nice backlog of ‘almost 365’ images that I can start posting up now the project is done.
If you are thinking of doing a Project 365 I would still say go for it, with the caveat that if you really want to get the most out of it, you have to be prepared for the commitment both on yourself and your family to make it through to the end.