Friday, February 18, 2011


I don't think I've actually talked about my 365 project here, but I should, because it really has become a big part of my daily routine. I started in December, so today is my day 53.

A 365 project can be done with most hobbies, but for me it's photography. I've committed to take and post one photo a day for a full year, 365 days, 365 pictures. At first I didn't think I'd be able to manage that so I decided to do a 5/52, which is 5 photos a week for 52 weeks. After the first month I realized I was well on track for a 365 so I sucked it up and kept going. Every. Day.

My sweet hubby, taken the first week.

There are some keys to doing a 365. The big one is to remember that it's one picture a day, not particularly one masterpiece a day. One day I ended up with a cell phone picture of the straw in my orange juice at Waffle House. That was the day I knew I would be doing a full 365, because that wasn't a masterpiece, by any means, but I felt compelled to take a picture that day.

Another early shot. My Christmas wreath the day I took it down.

Another key is to haul your camera around. I'm not so great at this. I'll throw it in the van but having a DSLR means not wanting to haul it (along with my purse, Kaycie's diaper bag, Kaycie, and periodically a stroller or shopping bags) around. It does make it easier to get more variety in your shots, but I would do better with a smaller point and shoot. I've taken to using my phone when I find something of interest that I don't want to pass up. Like this shot:

This was taken the day I had two doctor's appointments, Kaycie got sicker, and we ended up with a third appointment for her to find out she had RSV. I was hanging out in my GYN's waiting room by myself and snapped this picture with my cell phone. Did some editing on my phone (Photoshop Express app can be handy!) and viola! I had a picture on a day when I knew without a doubt I would not have time or energy to break out the Canon and set up something.

The fountain at the library in Clinton.

I knew I would need motivation and inspiration to actually follow through on this. I set u p a photo 365 blog on Wordpress called Photopotamus. It's a private blog because these projects are pretty popular and I really don't want a lot of random people finding me via Google and offering criticism. I'm perfectly open to criticism, but I'm not a professional and I'm not trying to be. I don't need somebody telling me a shot would be better if I had set up a strobe and reflectors to reduce the backlighting and blah blah blah. When people I actually know want to see my pictures, I tell them to send me a Wordpress ID and I'll put them on the privacy list. But posting what I take keeps me honest. And frankly, I like blogging, even when I'm slug slime at it.

Remember that first big ice we had this year?

I invested in Photoshop Elements (the cheaper and much more user friendly version of Photoshop) and downloaded a few free basic actions to help me edit. This has been useful beyond my imagination, especially since I got in on sale 40% off.

I set up some rules for myself. I'm taking one self portrait each month, and one picture of the exact same scenic location (actually two different locations at this point) each month to compare differences in lighting and record the changes in the seasons. I ripped of a list of "scavenger hunt" items from a 365 group I follow online and am trying to use those items as inspiration. I also started following a 365 group on Flickr and subscribed to some good photography related blogs. A lot of the info is still over my head, but I'm learning. And that's the whole point. I want to be a better casual photographer when it's all said and done. Not a professional, but having taken pictures of something other than my kid, looked at the world in a different way, and learned a little something while I did it. And it's fun. And while I love being a Mama, it can't be all I do. I needed a real hobby that had a scope beyond my little Totapotamus.

One of my scenic locations I visit each month. This was my parent's back yard last weekend.


Allison said...

I think you're a fantastic photographer and a fantastic blogger! Keep it up - I love seeing the photos!

Susan said...

Glad you like them. If you have a Wordpress ID message it to me and I'll hook you up on the photog blog if you want. It's not exclusive or anything! HA!