126 days

006/365: Haiku self portraitAt the beginning of the year I decided to join a "picture a day" group on Flickr, Project 366-1. I'm not a "photographer," nor do I aspire to be. I joined the group because it seemed like a fun way to get myself documenting the things around me. I view it as a visual diary, which should be quite fascinating to look back on. I'm now just over a third of the way in to the year, 126 days, and it is interesting to look back so far. In January I was pretty fired up so I kept on track. Keeping up with a picture every day has been hard at times. For February and March, I didn't manage to do it and there are some gaps in the calendar. I redoubled my efforts in April though and managed a complete month again. The calendar archive view on Flickr pulls from all of my photos, so I set up a collection of monthly sets so that I can see what I thought was the most important or "best" picture each day. As you can see, some days were just a mark of desperation as I took any old picture, just to meet my deadline.

Through this process of playing with my camera, and the limitations it has, I am definitely learning more about capturing things visually. I still don't take great pictures, but I am appreciating the art and I have been making incremental improvements. Often I learn after I've taken the shot, once I get back to the computer and load it up to take a look. Many a day I see how I could have made it a better picture and I long to go back to make the adjustments. Sometimes I remember these lessons the next time I go out, oftentimes I don't, but I do feel that the experimentation and review is giving me a better eye, even if that doesn't seem to show up in my pictures. :-) For some of my pictures, I do actually just like the shot, like Home, Inside the cloud, and yesterday's Crosswalk, but for many of them I just enjoy being more aware and capturing the day, even, or maybe especially, the mundane. The lessons I am learning about my life, the people in it, the things that catch my eye or attention, are more valuable than getting a pretty picture.

Comments

I've been following your shots all year; you've really had some great ones. It is a challenge to try and take something every day (so much so, that I've pretty much given up!) I can imagine with all the travel you do and all you've got going on that it's even more difficult to keep up with the project, so "kudos" for doing so!

You've got a lot of great shots in there, you've got room to lower the bar for your potd :)

I joined the project365 & project366-1 groups on flickr when I found out about them from you on twitter. I've been keeping up every day so far but my choice for the day aren't always great photos.

My goal was just to form the habit of picking up the camera and following through all the way to publishing and that's working out pretty well. The quality of my photos hasn't improved that much but I enjoy them a lot more now.

Thanks for mentioning project366-1 and getting me motivated.