Project 365: Week 36 (An Abrupt End)

Posted by CWade in Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments

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.
March

*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.

April

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.

May

June

July

So, for all of the aforementioned reasons, I quit- happily. My time is better spent on more meaningful photo projects.

Some More Thoughts:

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.

August

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.

Hell, I even shot an entire wedding this way.

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.

September

October

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.

I’m glad I have those images.

November

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.

Finally, to anyone considering a Project 365 in the future:
  1. Planning is important: Will your images tell a story?
  2. Good Luck- it’s a lot harder than it looks!

4 Responses to Project 365: Week 36 (An Abrupt End)

  1. Kyoudai says:

    I think you had a good run. I thought just taking a photo everyday for a year was hard but you were considering sticking to a theme! I'd want to attempt this just to force myself to learn more about photography

  2. Victoria Bennett Beyer says:

    I think you got some great stuff from this project, but at the same time, I think forcing yourself to shoot sounds like it undermines the creative spark. I work in bursts, though, and I'd rather spend days working and then maybe not pick up my camera again for a while. But, like you said, I can't think of anything better for technical proficiency than just making yourself do it. Then when you get really excited about a subject, you can shoot without thinking about it too much. Anyway, it was fun to follow you do this project but I'm sure you'll make more of the art you want to make now that you are off the wagon :)

  3. Julie Magers Soulen says:

    You can't force creativity but on the other hand it is good to step outside of your comfort zone. I commend you for doing so much hard work and am sure you have grown as a result. Well done!

    Cheers!
    Julie
    Julie Magers Soulen Photography

  4. Joey says:

    I can't wait to check out you 52 project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>