What a year 2013 has been : )
This is a review of my third consecutive project 365. I think I want to make it to five consecutive years, although easier said than done I suppose!
Just to clarify a Project 365 is where you take a picture every single day for an entire year. I did my first in 2010, but gave up around October time after I got mad at myself for accidentally deleting a couple of weeks worth of shots from my SD card which weren’t backed up. I bought an SLR on 01/01/2011 and I have taken a photo every day since then.
The aims of this year were as follows:
- Create more black and white photos
- Create photos which are more like ‘art’ (though at the start of this year I wasn’t even sure what I meant by this)
- Take more portraits, including at least one self portrait a month
This year I knew I was carrying on (Last year I think was an accident), so I went to bed early(ish) New Years Eve and got up to go for a stroll and take some snaps in the hope of getting off to a good start on January 1st. Came back with a nice shot, and got Explored for the first seven or so days on Flickr. It doesn’t mean anything but it’s nice to get lots of favourites, views and comments on your photos.
I played with having an ‘abstract Tuesday’ theme, and managed to stick at it with food colouring for the whole month. It was very messy to set up, and a massive hassle as you could only snap a few shots before you had to change the water – but a lot of fun!
February saw me looking to expand on the ‘abstract Tuesday’ theme and I spent a lot of time looking for unusual photos to take, stumbled across some fantastic levitation tutorials, and February saw my first ever attempt at a levitation.
The actual theme for ‘abstract Tuesday’ was smoke.
Treated myself with my birthday money to a 1:1 macro lens. It was love at first click.
March saw a lot of low key work. Probably influenced by the fact it was still dark outside, so it was easy to create dark shots and the fact it was another style to tick off the list. I can remember taking the asparagus shot and being really pleased that my flash guns attached to the studio light stands … and then bashing my camera quite forcefully lens first down onto the table. Both camera and lens were fine, although I did have palpitations whenever I used my camera for about a week after.
I also, started work on one of my year targets, which was to take more portraits.
The ‘first’ for April was wire wool spinning. I got myself into a bit of a flap about it wondering if I would set myself on fire, but it turns out that it’s not as bad as I was expecting (still dangerous though, what with it being fire and all; see August).
To contrast with March I tried to include more high key work this month. Still ended up shooting quite a lot of still life.
This month saw me try the opposite to the month before, and a lot of the work was high key. I still spent a lot of time photographing still life.
Total splurge on a manual focus 30mm 1.4 lens.
Despite never attempting any kind of photography along this vein, or even being inspired by anyone I ventured out to take my first full body shot of me.
Through doing this though I did end up spending a lot of time at other peoples self portrait work, and ended up stumbling across a lot of fine art / surreal work, though lacked the confidence to try anything like that myself.
June for me marks a big turning point. kB persuaded me to do surrealist June after I had probably bored him to death showing him surreal / weird photos that I kept looking at on Google. He’d been mentioning it for a while, but I kept insisting that I wasn’t a good enough photographer, nor good enough in Photoshop to do it at all.
Weirdly, I went for that attitude to the attitude of ‘I WILL DO IT EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH’ and this ‘surrealist June’ was born.
I can remember thinking around about day 3 that there was no way that I would be able to keep up this amount of editing for a whole month.
Turns out I could.
Not every shot was a winner, and some (about 3) were posted and then hidden/deleted because well. Just no.
Some shots were more digital art than photography but it was a massive learning curve and for this I thank kB for persuading me to do it 🙂
Having enjoyed editing so much I decided to carry on with it for as long as possible. I didn’t manage to do a whole month of it but I kept at it as and when I could; trying new things all the time.
Doing a photo a day for three years leaves you needing to grasp photographic opportunities as and when you can. Getting to this field was a bit of a mission, and it was over looked by a farmers field so I was a bit wary of being shouted at, but I’m glad I got there and did it!
I was still working on portraits too, although I think by this time I’d realised that I wasn’t too bothered by black and white photography in general.
Some of the surreal work took a turn for the … weirder
After we broke up for the six week holidays I decided to embrace the time off and get up super early to photograph the sunrise. I broke my lens this morning; my parasol got stuck around the leg of my tripod and the whole thing went down lens first into a rock. Same lens as earlier in the year. This time I was not so lucky.
I decided to embrace August by going outside of my comfort zone and posted online that I was looking to work with people (not models) to create some shots.
I was contacted by Photography Week to ask if they could use one of my shots in their magazine…
I spent more time in August creating ‘nice’ shots rather than just weird shots (still had the weird shots though!), including a rare appearance of both me and kB.
I went wire wool spinning again with some photo friends, and decided to plonk myself in the shot. I promptly go singed.
At the end of the month I went on holiday to France, so pictures ahoy there! My mum is adamant that she was in this shot and I edited her out (something which happened last year) but that is not true. She was behind us! That’s my dad in the shot.
This month was quite mixed in terms of style.
It also saw my first ever attempt at focus stacking.
I made it to the front page of Flickr for the second time.
I also became somewhat concerned about the nights drawing in so made sure that I made the effort to go out and take shots outside when I could.
A lot of my favourite shots from the year were taken in October and November.
Not a lot to say about November really. It was in November that I decided I would buy a new camera next year. I was also taking advantage of the fairly OK weather and getting out as and when I could.
I also realised that my studio lights could be used in the garden…
I started to get a bit of cabin fever in December. I’m not very good at stopping in the house at the best of times, and there is nothing I love more than wandering around with camera in hand – even if it is only a 30 min trip out. I felt a bit trapped and really started to get fed up of having to shoot indoors. I also had a week or so where I had man flu so I couldn’t be bothered either.
In terms of photography 2013 has been an amazing year. Another 365 in the bag, but also lots of other achievements from a learning and business perspective.
Bring on 2014!