With my 365 photo-a-day project complete, I wanted to share some thoughts about it. Was it worth it? What did I learn? Would I do it again? I’m sure there are a number of you who have considered doing your own, so perhaps answering these questions will be useful insight to you.
One reason why I wanted to do this project in the first place was for practice. In the very first post I said, “Athletes practice daily. Musicians practice daily. If you want to be great at something and stay great at it, you need to regularly challenge yourself. This is just as true with your camera as it is with everything else.” A 365 project is one way to photographically exercise. It keeps you in camera shape and hopefully builds camera muscle. With each exposure there is an opportunity to learn. I do believe that I did improve my photography skills over the last year, at least a little.
If you do something everyday for long enough it will become habit. Picking up my camera and having it with me is now habit. Thinking photographically while I have my camera nearby is a habit. Capturing daily pictures is a habit. More importantly than all of that, taking note of the exposures I made and whether or not they’re good enough, and, if not, trying again a little harder to capture something better is now a habit. Those are good habits that I can thank this project for.
Something else that I gained from doing this photo-a-day project is I captured some pictures that I would not have otherwise captured. I forced myself to make some exposures “because I had to” and some of those pictures I quite like. I wouldn’t have made them if I wasn’t forcing myself to do so. This project increased my productivity.
My advice for someone who wants to do a project like this is, first of all, to do it. Actually decide to start and follow through. I took things one week at a time (which is why I called it “Weekly Photo Project”), so if I happened to fail at one week I wouldn’t feel like I failed the whole project. It’s easier to say, “I have just three days left” than “I have 147 days to go!” Taking things in small chunks was mentally very helpful. My advice would be to schedule breaks, perhaps once a quarter or maybe at the mid-point, to allow yourself the opportunity to guilt-free miss a day or week. I found that the winter, with its cold and short days, was the hardest. The second half of the project was much easier than the first because habits were setting in.
I’m not continuing this project because I have other things that I want to devote my time and energy towards. I will still be photographically exercising because I want to continue to build my camera skills, but it will be different exercises, such as the Film Simulation Challenge. It was great to do, and I’m very happy that I completed this project, as it was very beneficial to me, but I’m glad that it’s now over.
I’ve selected one picture to represent each week for the second half of this project. I did this already for Weeks 1-26. Some weeks I had several good pictures to choose from, and some weeks I had seven mediocre ones. That’s just the way it goes. I hope you’ve enjoyed following this project, and I hope that it has been an inspiration to you.
There are some really great photos in there. I’ve been tempted to take on a similar challenge, but I don’t think I would be able to follow through. Just the idea of capturing at least one decent photo a day is paralyzing. Maybe I should start with a photo per week cadence, and see after few months where it leads me 🙂
Thank you! You should do what you can, don’t be afraid to start small.
Excellent. Love the summary. Going back and pulling one from each week is a great idea. I am finding that by blogging I am paring down photos to just a few for each post. Going back and paring down even further produces such an excellent set.
You have a great collection here.
I’m traveling in Sicily right now. (Oh my God the photos). I’ve decided to use only two jpeg presets with my x100f. (Acros-R and Classic Chrome). The idea partly inspired by your current film challenge. -thank you. My photos all have a consistent look.
I’m also shooting film with two analogue cameras. …but,again, the photo opportunities here are awesome.
Looking forward to your next posts!
Thank you so much! I appreciate your encouraging words. I can only imagine how amazing Sicily must be. Enjoy your time, and I look forward to seeing the pictures of your trip.
In the past few years, I’ve done a 365 photography project, one with a DSLR and one with an iPhone, a 52 week project, and a 12 month project. I hope I learned something.
I think it’s a good idea for every amateur photographer, especially one who has just bought into a new camera system, to complete such a project.
There’s definitely something worthwhile in the process. You are brave for doing four of these….
Week 42 Treeline Impressions is my favourite. This is where this exercise showed its true value which is developing the ‘eye’. What normal people would usually not even notice turned out to be a very beautifully-captured moment, reminds me of a Van Gogh.
Thank you so much! What an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as one of the greatest artists! I appreciate your comment.
Thanks very much for sharing your all project.our skills improve with you.
All the best
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement! It means a lot.