Thoughts on a year in photos

I know we are a couple of weeks into the new year, but I have been really trying to process my 365 project. I have to say I am so glad I did it, so much so that I am continuing on in to 2012.
A few thoughts on my year…. In December 2010, I had been following quite a few people in their journey to shoot a photograph a day for an entire year. I actually attempted to do the same thing with self portraits, but quite about 1/3 of the way through the process.
 day 4, happy
I really wanted to push myself photographically in 2011. I wanted to become more brave with my camera and to learn more about how to use it and the post processing of my images. So on December 31 of 2010, I took my camera out and about with us and snapped a bunch of photos and you know what, I kept it up every single day, except for one or two, for an entire year. I had one day where I forgot my camera but took a photo using a friend’s instead. I had days where I forgot to put my memory card back in after uploading them to the computer, but I still took a shot once I got back home.
60:365, monkey see monkey do

I ruined more than one purse by lugging around my DSLR every day, but I always had my camera with me. I probably bumped the kids in the head more times than I liked to admit with my camera or lens, good thing I usually only had the 50mm on there. Speaking of the 50mm, it got broken just weeks before the end of my project. I had set my camera on the couch and O bumped into it and knocked it on the floor.

78:365, pouring

This wasn’t the first time the thing had been banged around or even dropped (what?? if you have done this project, you totally know how easy that is to do.), but it was the last straw for my poor little nifty fifty. Good thing I have a good Santa Claus because I asked him if he could fix it and when he said no, I asked for a new one, upgraded please! I am loving my 1.4 50mm. It really is easy to see the better optics in the lens and I like being able to shoot in even lower light than before. It is especially helpful during the dark days of winter when not much light but the ones in the house are available.

106:365, lemons

So why did I do this and why am continuing on in 2012? Because I love what I have learned. Here is a quick run down of what the project gave me, taught me and why I am keeping on keeping on into the new year.

 137:365, 8 years

A few things the project gave me…

It gave me a reason to get out of my desk chair at work ,take a nice lunch time break to stroll around and get some fresh air.
It gave me confidence to shoot photos in public and not worry as much about what other people thought or wondered what I was up to.
It gave me time to myself to just zone out and see things, see the light, the shape the colors, the lines, and the textures in this world.
It gave me a pretty awesome documentation of how big and how much the kids have changed in just one year. I love being able to look back and see that evolution and growth.
157:365, backyard bubbles
A few things I learned…
I eased my way into shooting in fully manual mode. I started by moving to aperture priority and then around May or June I just went for it and put the dial on M. I think I started to understand more and more about what I was doing once I got over that fear. It felt really great to get to know my camera like that.
I played with editing. We had a very old copy of Photoshop elements, but I read and read, and found tutorials on editing using Elements and I pushed that old software as hard as I could. In May, I started to play around with Photoshop CS at work and really had fun editing and playing with curves and layers. I finally broke down in June and decided to get Lightroom and an upgraded version of Elements. I have been stumbling along in Lightroom ever since. It is quite the piece of software. I am getting the hang of it, slowly. I do hop over to Elelments every now and then, but I am wondering if I really needed it or not. While prepping for my slide show, I realized one thing Elements can do that Lightroom can’t is make a slide show with multiple songs. I also like how it organizes the photos in an actual calendar format. Makes sifting and sorting a lot easier!
195:365, he's home
A few things I still am working on…
I really wanted to find a ‘style’ of photography. You know, a signature look and feel to my images that you could instantly see. I don’t think I have it yet. I attribute this a little to all the post processing learning that I have been doing- I find something and play around and then find something else and play around with it. I am hoping the next round in 2012 will help me solidify my style a little bit more.
I still am not as brave as I would like to be with my camera in public.
I shy away from shooting people, even if I know them. I guess I worry about them not wanting to get their picture taken. As with any art, there is always, always room to grow and learn.
216:365, is this thing on...
So here it is, the slide show...
Thank you for your support, your comments.
And if you were near me last year, for letting me stick my camera in your face.

1 Comment Thoughts on a year in photos

  1. Cathy January 17, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Just got a chance to sit down and look at the slide show of a YEAR’s worth of effort–such a joyous celebration of daily life! I’m glad you are putting in the time for memories and the learning experience. (We’ve been gone to Santa Cruz and just got home)



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