365 Days Later
I ask so little in life. Good food. A place on the couch. A few hours of quiet to write. An occasional chat with a friend. And right now, to go an entire day without taking a photograph.
"Really?" you ask.
Oh, my friend, you simply have no idea.
Day 1, 1/1/2013
One year ago, I began my 365 Project. Stars in my eyes, hope in my voice, I looked forward to the quest of taking a single picture every day and compiling them. "It'll be epic," I said. "I'll learn something. Just think of the memories, the precious moments for me to remember for the rest of time."
But now, leftover dregs in the bottom of my glass, my hair in a muss, my slightly stained and patched jogging pants on, I say, "Dear, God, not another photograph."
I just want to go one day and not have to find something. What will yet another Christmas ornament shot mean to me ten years from now except to relive my frustration the night that I took it? It's simply remembering how I woke up at nine p.m. only to realize I hadn't photographed anything.
Day 123 , 5/3/2013
Three hundred and sixty-five days later that's what it comes down to. Snapping anything at all just to say you did.
Not to say I haven't learned something in the process, the biggest of which is determination. Anything you set your heart on, you can achieve. I said I'd do it, and I did. I'm proud of myself in a sense. And disappointed in myself at the same time. I could have strived for something better, not photographed the dog again. Not forgotten my camera one, two, three times.
I could have made the shot I wanted to take. That's lesson number two--a good photograph is the one you enjoy. I mean, you can take the best shot ever, have people blown away by it, get one thousand likes on Facebook. It can tweet all over the world. Yet if you were meh when you took it, it really isn't that good. Photography is meant to make you happy, and a picture you took just to be doing it generally only relieves the quota. Tick, another one down.
Day 200, 7/19/2013
Which brings to mind another lesson learned--all the shots I've missed. I have my shot for the day, so why bother to go out again? My husband calls in the door, "There's balloons overhead." Big deal, and I don't get up.
It isn't that I learned not to be lazy, that I'm getting out once a day, taking a photograph, breathing in fresh air, and exercising. It's that I've moved my laziness around. It's like having a plate full of food but you've already eaten. So instead of insulting your party host, you rearrange everything to look like you took a bite. I looked brilliant. I looked busy. I got lots of comments, but I really just walked out and pressed the shutter.
Day 365, 12/31/2013
Hauling in my dirty laundry now, I have a new vision for 2014, to return to my roots and focus on skill and settings and lighting, all the things that made me love this hobby in the first place. To take the best shots I can, to love each one, and let them say for me what my words always fail to do.
In my thinking, that's a pretty good New Year's resolution. One I look forward to.
To view my entire years' worth of photographs visit my Photobucket album (and feel free to leave a comment).
Other Articles on Steve's Digicams by the Same Author:
- Tools of the Trade: How to Get the Perfect Shot
- The Power of a Photograph
- Me & F8
- Then Light Came
- All The Things I'm Not
- Diary of a Mad Photographer
- Dust on My Lens; Day 17 of a 365 Photo Project
- Photography Most Fowl
- Seasons of Change
- Romance in Photography
- Working with Shallow Depth of Field
- The Aperture Effect
- What Happened to Photography?
- Ye Olde RAW vs. JPEG Debate
- Slow Growth Photography
- What I Learned Joining A Stock Photography Site
- Being Yourself
- Photographing The Sunrise
- How to Be a Beginner
- Becoming A Great Photographer
- The Rules of Photography
- How Does Your Camera Work?
- Learning Light
- Point of Focus and Depth of Field
- Horizontal or Vertical Format?
- So You Want to Take Portraits?
- Tips For Taking Holiday Photos
- What I Learned About Travel Photography
- More Compositional Elements