I’ve a confession to make: My 365 Project has been neglected since the second week in November. I said I wouldn’t quit prematurely*, but hey- I lied.
These are the final images from the project.
All in all, I shot
- 251 out of 365 photos,
- which is 68% of the year
- from March 1st to November 7th.
*So. Why did my 365 project die an unholy death?
There are a few reasons, but the final nail in the coffin was my continual frustration with the project’s lack of cohesion. None of my 365 photos, for the most part, belong together. Sure, they’re snapshots from my daily life, but I feel that’s a fairly weak unifying thread. Most 365 photo projects are far better served if they explore a specific idea or subject, such as the 365 Days of Danboard, or the ubiquitous (and, let’s not lie, usually narcissistic) self-portrait 365, or even Joey Celis’ 365 days of documenting his family.
I’d have done well to pursue this route instead of saying welp, I’m going to take a [random] photo every day for a year, Woooo! Even committing to 365 “days” of night photography would have been more cohesive, although probably would have required an intense amount of dedication.
The obligatory posting of sub-par images was another reason for my project’s abrupt termination. While I made some good photos in the 251 days, I also created some complete garbage (See May 6th & Sept. 16th, for example). My internal editor cringed every time I had to post an inferior photo just for lack of anything better in the requisite 24-hour period.
Finally, picking up the camera began to feel increasingly like an intrusive obligation. Any photographer will tell you this isn’t a good feeling.
So, for all of the aforementioned reasons, I quit- happily. My time is better spent on more meaningful photo projects.
I don’t regret attempting the project. In fact, I got a lot out of it. Looking back at my photos, I feel that my shooting skills improved noticeably in specific areas.
Metering a scene instinctually while shooting in ‘M’ mode is suddenly second-nature for me. I don’t remember the exact moment this happened, but I do remember being mystified by the concept of metering when I first started out as a photographer.
It was also during my 365 Project that I acquired my Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and Tokina 100mm f/2.8 lenses. Just shooting with fast primes instead of zooms has totally revolutionized the way that I photograph. Even more, I had no experience with artificial lighting when I began in March. Many of my 365 photos were experiments with the Nikon SB-600 – in the hot shoe and off-camera- and, as a result, I feel a lot more competent supplementing photos with flash.
While gear-related revelations likely would’ve occurred independently of 365, the project gave me a great reason to practice shooting with the equipment, and I probably adapted to new techniques faster as a result.
Lastly, I now have a very few notable photos under my belt, which if not for 365, I’m sure would never have been made. For instance, I really like March 6th. It’s among my best night work, and will probably spawn an entire photo series/project of its own.
There are also smatterings of similarly-executed/themed photos within my project that hint at what a cohesive project could have looked like. I’m referring to the diptychs which first occurred in March, but continued throughout the project, most heavily in June.
Similarly, October contains three indoor double-exposures which, coupled with other similar “light pattern” (ex: Oct. 8th, Sept. 28th) shots, fit nicely together. Series of shots like those provided enough inspiration to keep the project’s head above water- at least temporarily.
So. That concludes my Project 365 saga. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along.
I have tentative plans to begin the much more manageable 52 Weeks Project (one photo per week) on 1/1/2011, providing that I thoroughly plan and commit to a unified theme [meaningful to me and my body of work as a whole]. So, M45 readers may or may not look forward to that.
- Planning is important: Will your images tell a story?
- Good Luck- it’s a lot harder than it looks!