Exactly six months ago, I began my 365 Project. For those living under the shell, 365 Project is where one takes a photograph each day for coming 365 days i.e. an year. I began this project with the sole aim to further develop & enhance my photography skills. It has been a joyous ride till now as I reach the midpoint of my 365 project today. I strongly recommend this is the best thing you can ever implement to hone your photography skills & polish your creative eye. However, the 365 Project comes with its very own challenges & I’ll briefly touch over them so you know what will be coming your way. The idea behind this post is not to make your challenges easy(and they won’t) but to help you recover & not leave your 365 project midway. With that in mind, let’s proceed.
As I began my 365 project, the first month or so was full of creative photographs which I had in mind since a long time. Making photographs each day was never a challenge as I knew already the previous day what I had to shoot the next day. However as days flied by, my creative ideas began to get all used up & then the 365 project set its real challenge on me. I had at the very start of the project decided that under no circumstances I would repeat/duplicate the technique/photograph used in my earlier photographs. Hence, I was forced to think differently. Maybe add in a reflector, maybe shoot in natural light, maybe purposely set a wrong white balance. I disciplined myself never to produce two relatively similar pictures again. Soon the good pictures began to flow again.
At times, I do get stuck in not getting a worthy photograph for the day(& eventually feeling low) but as they say, you’ve to experience low to ride on a new high. If you do not feel low, then its evident you’re not taking your 365 Project seriously. On such days, its best to post with whatever you have got for the day & move ahead. Also its equally essential to give your fellow 365 Project runners a good dose of motivation if they seem to be having a bad day. They will surely return the favor when you encounter a bad day. Bear in mind, all photographers have a bad day & its nothing which warrants a lot of your attention. Forget & move ahead!
Many Ideas/Good Photos in a Day:
There will be days when your creative vision will be at its peak. Wherever you go, whatever you spot, you’re in position to make a great photograph. At the end of the day, you’ve many wonderful photographs & picking one as the “picture of the day” becomes a task. On such days, I often pick up the best picture I feel I took on that particular day & post it in my 365 Project account. At the same time, I make a mental note of any creative photos/ideas I got on the very same day & plan to use them on the bad days I discussed above. You can call it as a backup. However when I shoot the backup photograph, I do make it a point to make it better than the idea/photo I thought earlier about.
Take it Easy :
In our busy lifestyle today, we often mark the photo a day as a daily task. I strongly advise not doing so. By marking it as a daily task, we deteriorate its value and suddenly it becomes a thing which most look forward to only slash off their to-do list. Even I used to do this earlier but overtime I’ve learnt to take it easy. Earlier I use to thing actively that I need to photograph each day. I would frantically be engrossed in searching for photographs in everything but often this would lead to poor pictures. The reason, because when a special thing becomes just a to-do task it loses it importance. I use to just think of filling that day instead of actively trying to come up with a wonderful photograph. Overtime, I’ve mastered not to think much & the results are showing. Everyday right from the morning, I take photographs but do NOT mentally tag any of them as “Pic of the day”(That’s what I call them). I continue taking photographs as per my normal routine & by the end of the day I sit down & pick the best from them to be uploaded on 365 Project. I now hold no worries in my mind as I go through the day that I need to make a photograph for today. The pictures seem to attract themselves to me. This simple thing has made my 365 Project more enjoyable. So I advise not to make fuss about 365 Project & just think positively that you’ll get a good photograph everyday(Thinking positively will surely get you a good photograph than getting anxious which amounts to attracting all negative things).
There you go, 365 Project is one of the best thing you can adopt in taking your photography to the next level. Just have fun during the project & you should be able to complete it. All the Best :)
P.S : For a start, you can begin a project 182 days(Half Yearly) beginning from tomorrow(01/07/12) onwards & whenever you complete half an year, you can always stretch it & go the full bounty.