At 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.