This was my first picture for Project 365, taken a year ago:
This is my last picture for Project 365, taken earlier tonight:
I did it. I completed the behemoth that is Project 365--and I didn't do it alone. Three other people who started this whole rigmarole with me also finished. Mad props to Alejna, Misty and Steve. I feel a bit like celebrating but mostly I feel burnt out. It's an impossibly hectic pace this taking a photo a day gig--especially when you start caring about your results and about actually improving along the way. That's when you end up taking as many as 200-300 pictures in a single day (e.g. droplet shots) in order to learn what you need to and to get the result you were hoping for. And furthermore, taking the pictures isn't nearly so taxing as looking thorough them, deleting the duds and deciding on a single winner for each and every day. Once that is done, there is all the finicky uploading and posting. Aye caramba! I will be so happy to reclaim those hours in my life.
But I am very happy that I not only took it on but also stuck with it 'til the bitter end.
Here are a few things I learned along the way:
1. I take most of my pictures between 6 and 7:30 pm b/c that's the only time my husband is home and this reality creates the illusion that I'll be afforded time and concentration.
2. THIS IS AN ILLUSION. Plus, it means that most of my photos are fuelled by the dinner-hour blood sugar crash.
3. It is very hard to take pictures with a 6 year old next to you at all times.
4. Thankfully, 6 year olds are about the most photogenic objects on earth. (93 of the photos are of her plus 3 or 4 of just her hands)
5. Your family will never stop to let you take photos which means you get a lot of shots of them walking on ahead.
6. White balance is a bitch.
7. Flowers taken with a shallow depth of field are lovely--so lovely in fact that you come to depend on them when time keeps marching hurriedly on.
8. There are more interesting things outside my front and back door than I ever would have guessed a year ago.
9. I fear I am house-bound.
10. Birds are everywhere and are stunning and quirky and, after a while you know exactly which bird is going to be on the feeder by its distinctive call.
I learned so much more but I won't go on about it all here. I did learn to use my camera with skill and intent and that's what I set out to do. I also learned that I have so very much more to learn--things that are impossible to absorb while taking daily pictures, working at a professional job and parenting a 6 year old. What I do know is that I want to continue my education.
Come fall I plan to start a P52 (weekly) or maybe even a P26 (bi-weekly)--wherein, I will set fixed prompts far in advance. Each prompt will force me to treat it as a photography tutorial. For my part, I'm hoping to have enough time to read up on technique and also look at how a handful of professional photographers and/or artist photographers approach the subject of the prompt. I'll post the results of that project here--sometimes a single photo; sometimes a group or series; but never a photo a day. That tank is now empty.
Want to join me? I am always happy for the company. If so, send me an email or leave a comment and we can start planning from there. In the meantime, I'm going on vacation and, yes, I will be taking my camera with me.
Now please allow me to leave you with a handful of my favourite shots from this past year.
Not a 365 shot b/c taken the same day as above.
Not a 365 shot b/c taken the same day as the 2 above. March 13th was a very good day.
And my favourite shot of the year: