Stumbling into a 365
How I got started with Project 365 was quite by accident – literally. I’d been unfortunate enough to badly sprain my ankle whilst out cross country walking and had been told to work from home as I was perceived to be a health and safety hazard in the workplace. As I couldn’t get out and about with my camera I decided that I should channel some of the lost time into reading and learning as much about photography as possible.
Whilst reading everything I could get my hands on I came across some posts by Scott Bourne and decided to follow him on Twitter. A few days went by and he posted his congratulations to Tasra on taking his suggestion to take 1 photograph every day to improve her photography by 300%. I was instantly intrigued and read back through Tasra’s time line and then followed her on Twitter. My aim was to join her in the challenge as soon as I was back on my feet walking again.
No More Excuses
A few days went by and I awoke to the realization that, although I couldn’t walk, it was no excuse not to start Project 365. I started that day using items around the house as my subjects – in fact on day 1 I created a tale of war between two tribes of Smarties – with a little twist around the shadows.
What have I achieved? Well, apart from posting one picture every day and increasing my right brain and beginning to find my style, I’ve entered a few competitions; one that’s run by my local council has chosen my work for the front cover for three consecutive editions, with a circulation of around 60,000 copies. More recently I’ve been lucky enough to donate 5 images for the “Images without Borders” Haiti appeal. Most importantly though, I’ve found my first real outlet for my photography where other people are enjoying and commenting on some of my work.
Spread the LOVE
One of my biggest delights was when Tasra linked to a pasta triptych photograph that I’d created for one of her Twitter challenges. I was amazed when I saw the statistics stating that several hundred people had checked it out. My only disappointment was that no one left a comment.
More importantly, I’ve amassed over 100 new followers on Twitter who regularly view and comment upon my work. This alone has been enough inspiration for me to keep going, even when it’s been hard. I think one of the main reasons this has been so important to me is that before Project 365 I was struggling to find an outlet for my photography and find people who didn’t really know me to critique my work and hopefully give me honest feedback.
Well I’m now more than 160 days into the challenge and although I’ve yet to miss a day, I can honestly say that recently the challenge has become harder. In the early days I had several good ideas every day. In fact at one point I even started a list just to make sure I always had something to take daily. I guess I’m one of the people that like to plan things.
If you’re wondering whether I post-process my images, I can confess to post-processing all my images – I shoot in raw plus large jpeg. I have a general rule not to spend more than about 5 minutes on each image although it’s usually less as I tend to make the same adjustments to most images and have created the odd action in Photoshop or an Adobe Raw Preset. I’ve also learned the keyboard shortcuts for my common tasks which I’ve found to really speed things up.
The Future Looks Bright
I’ve secretly started my own offspring project; I’m calling it Project 12. The idea is to take 1 good seasonal photograph every month that you don’t publish or show people, then come Christmas there will be a set of 12 good unseen photos for a Calendar that I’ll gift to friends and family.
I’m hoping that spring will bring some new inspiration, the last few months in Britain have been fairly bleak and grey, and it’s not too inspiring travelling to and from work every day in the dark.
A Warning & Challenge for YOU
For anyone that’s reading this and thinking about following Tasra in her challenge, I’d say go for it! It will truly improve your photography, but – isn’t there always a but? – I’d also like to warn you that it can be hard work and a real challenge some days, but those days can also be the best days. I’d also like to say that to get the most from the challenge I’d recommend you search on Twitter for #tasra365 and look and comment on other peoples work that you like. Leave a link to your website or blog and I’m sure that people will be more likely to come and comment on your own work. Give it a try – it can be a real inspiration. And don’t forget you can also chat to fellow #tasra365 people on Twitter.
Oops nearly forgot – Tasra – Thanks for sharing your project 365 with me and thank you for the opportunity to be a feature Friday guest.
Special thanks to David for sharing his story & images. Stop by his site and give him some comment love!