How to survive… December

12-2014That’s it! 31 more days and then there’s a full year in the bag 🙂

Sheffield City Hall // 17 12 13

Positives of December

  • The possibility of snow. And with that comes a snow day 😉
  • Christmas! Lights, presents, people – there is a lot to keep you occupied in the run up to Christmas
  • Sunrise and sunset. Again more achievable given the times they are at (although see negatives)
  • Frost and mist. mmmmm ❤ my favourites
  • It’s dark. Thus it is easier to do night time photography!

Negatives of December

  • Sunrise and sunset. Now they happen so late / early that the chances are you will be on your way to work when the sun comes up, and not leave until after it’s gone down! Bummer
  • It’s cold. Brrrrr, means you have to wrap up warm if you want to venture out
  • It’s a bit more wet. So probably pack a brolly too

Waiting for the end of the world // 29 12 13

How to Survive… December

  • Embrace the night. Car trails, star trails… All a lot easier when it’s dark by 430!
  • Don’t be afraid of adverse conditions. Prepare for the bad weather but get out in it. Remember that camera batters don’t last as long in the cold so pack a spare. It’s also a good idea to take a towel with you (just a small one!), just in case. Besides there is nothing like a drastic change in weather to spice up a landscape that you’ve shot 49304230 times this year 😉
  • Embrace the festivity. Even if you are Scruge, get out there and shoot the run up to Christmas. Christmas markets, decorations, embrace them! They will save your December if you’ve run out of ideas.
  • Bokeh. Bokeh is out of focus light, and given that there will be fairy lights pretty much every where, embrace the technique and come up with some interesting results.

December 2013

By candlelight // 10 12 13

December 2012

Korean Stone Hot Pot // 336

December 2011

Warnings // 31 12 11December 2010

After being mad at myself for giving up, I technically started taking a photo every day from the 18th December 2010…

Santa's Dirty Laundry (011 // 28 12 10)

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About to Bloom

About to bloom // 01 09 14244 // 365

New month, new school year.
Back to work after 6 weeks off. I know I can’t grumble! 🙂

How to survive … May

05-2015
May is month five, meaning you are pretty much half way there! Hurray!
By now you should have hopefully gotten into the habit of taking a photo each day.

Drifting Away // 22 05 13

Positives of May

  • Good weather – the weather is better, and somewhat more consistent. Use it to your advantage and go shooting outside.
  • It’s brighter – even if it’s not swealteringly hot, it’s brighter for longer. Meaning it’s less hassle to shoot, even inside. Natural light is your friend.

Negatives of May

  • Project 365 routine takes it’s toll – taking a photo every day, and the responsibilities which come with it can get a bit …boring.
  • Other people will have lost interest – it really does become a battle with your own will power at this point. “Oh your still taking a photo every day” becomes peoples response rather than a genuine interest in it. The novelty has worn off for them too!

Stationary // 08 05 13

How to survive …May

  • Mix up your routine – work taking a photo into your routine. Go out at lunch or break. Get up early to go out before work. Try to mix it up simply by taking a photo at a different point of the day.
  • Get quicker – people get fed up of waiting for the photographer. Challenge yourself to get quicker at shooting so people don’t get bored of waiting. I remember once going for a walk with my parents. I told them I’d be 5 minutes and I’d catch up with them. Luckily for me they decided to wait. Turns out I was 30 minutes and I’d not even realised I was so long!
  • Revisit old shots – look at shots from the start of the year. Look at shots from before this year. Revisit them and rework them in some way. Don’t try to take the exact same shot again, but change it up.
  • Rope friends and family in for a portrait – practice a technique and spend quality time with a loved one. Win win. Plus natural lighting makes this so much easier to set up (no fiddling with lights)
  • Document the fun – chances are you will be out of the house more, with people, and you might even be having fun. Maybe you’ve had a few beers at a BBQ. Document it. It will be a fond memory to look back on.

May 2014
05-2014May 2013
Staring at the sun // 26 05 13

May 2012
Dandelion // 23 05 12

May 2011
Sunset over the Fields of Sunshine (136 // 02 05 11)

May 2010
142 // 365

How to survive… April

04-2015

I love April, there is an optimism of things to come which I associate with April. The weather might not be super hot, and it might rain a lot, but by jove you know that summer is on it’s way.

Positives of April

  • Easter. OK so some years Easter is in March, but a lot of the time it is in April. Get creative with everything Easter related; bunny rabbits, chicks, eggs, chocolate…
  • Flowers. Get snapping, they should have popped up all over the place. Blossom, if it didn’t start to come out in March should be on the trees too now.
  • Landscapes. Now the weather is more interesting the landscape is starting to come to life. Team this with longer days and better weather and there is no excuse to not get out there.
  • It’s lighter and the weather is better. Hurray! Mix it up by actually going outside to take photos 😛

Negatives of April

  • Loss of enthusiasm. I as touched on last month, March, April and May are the months people are most likely to give up with the project on. There isn’t an easy way to keep the motivation up if you are losing it and will power is a massive player.
  • With better weather comes new responsibilities. Cutting the grass, going out to socialise, holidays etc etc. As the days get brighter and longer people normally become more active, so squeezing time to snap, edit and post can be difficult. Even the thought of having to take your camera with you on a social walk/outing can seem like a bad idea (Friends or family members get bored waiting for you to set up the shot, carrying heavy camera equipment around can become a bore)

How to survive… April

  • Get outside. Even if you don’t feel like it try to make yourself go outside once or twice a week, even if you only get as far as the garden. You’ll be surprised what a difference it can make just making yourself do (and photograph) something different.
  • Get creative. Whilst you’re outside try to think about thing in a different way. Maybe go on a photo walk with a lens you don’t normally use and only take that lens with you. Have a theme; colours, buildings, portraits etc – why not get a family member or friend to decide the theme for you. This way your being pushed by an idea you didn’t come up with, and have to think a bit more about how you will meet it. There are loads of ideas about themes here if you need something to get you started.
  • Use your compact or phone. If you’re going out but don’t want to lug all your equipment around with you then go minimal. Most smart phones have decent cameras on them now. It is better to snap on a phone than not snap at all.
  • Will power. Don’t be afraid of posting up bad shots, it’s still a shot, better ones will come. Keep at it! This is where those relationships will be worth their weight in gold 🙂
  • Try something new at least once a week. There are more opportunities for experimentation when the weather gets better. Stopping in to try something new becomes a choice rather than something you had to do. Digital Photography School offers some creative ideas for each month.

April 2014

04-2014April 2013

April 2012

April 2011

April 2010

Of ever expanding dreams

081 // 365

Isn’t it funny when we are our own worst enemy?
I rarely think any of my photos are ‘good’ and I’m constantly striving to get better, learn something new; ‘if I can just learn this…’ ‘if I can just go here…’
However negative this can be on your own sense of self worth, at the same time it is also a driving force to improve oneself – if ‘perfection’ can never be reached then we do not become complacent and we are constantly pushing ourselves and challenging ourselves in the vain hope that we better ourselves.

If I look at my photos now, and think back 4 years, I would never have imagined then that I would be like this now. I have come so far and learnt so much; but I still am not where I want to be.
If I am putting aside my own weird issues, 4 year ago me would probably have been pretty stoked with, well, most of the shots I am taking now. I look back on those shots with a fondness, a way of showing myself how far I have come.
I will never be as good as I want to be. I will probably never think my photos are ‘great’ or ‘amazing’ but I will constantly develop and learn and progress.

Here’s to constantly wanting to better yourself, constantly pushing yourself and learning new things!

How to survive … February

02-2015

Aaah February, despite being 28 I still have to think about it before I manage to spell it correctly.

I’m going to assume that if you are reading this then you completed January, so well done you! No really. 31 days of straight photographing is a big achievement… Just 11 more months like that one to go 😉

The Band Stand // 02 02 13

Positives of February

  • It’s a short month. It will be over before you know it!
  • It’s getting lighter. It’s not exactly summer but it’s a lot better than December.
  • There is a ‘holiday’. Love it or loath it (I hate it) there is Valentine’s Day to break up the month. Regardless of your opinion of it it will be everywhere so try to use it to your advantage, whatever your take on it is

Negatives of February

  • It’s still dark. Yes it’s getting lighter, but it isn’t properly light.
  • The weather. Will probably still be dodgy. And cold.
  • December seems like an awfully long way away. And it is. The optimism and enthusiasm of January will probably start to wear off throughout Feb (if they didn’t start to wear off in January!), so you’re going to be needing those goals to focus on and drive you forward.

In my dream smoke followed me // 10 02 13

How to Survive February

  • Maintain those relationships. This is where the novelty of the project starts to wear off and will power comes into play. It might not happen to you, but the chances are it’s happening to one of your fellow 365ers so make sure to keep up the comments, it might mean the difference between someone giving up and carrying on. You might need the same positive feedback later in the year.
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Try to mix up what you are shooting a bit. Routines are good (very good in fact for helping you complete the year) but they can also make it easy for you to not experiment and the whole project get a bit stale. Try to shoot something which is not in your style, or shoot something which you wouldn’t normally. There are loads of different styles of photography out there, pick one and go for it.
  • Have a theme. A theme per week, or for the whole month. Keep it easy, or make it hard. Having a theme will make you start to think more about what you are going to shoot. You don’t have to shoot on theme every day,  but it will get your creative juices flowing trying to meet the theme at least once a week.
  • Come up with a list. One list. Many lists… Things you want to shoot outside, places you want to visit, styles or techniques you want to try. Doing this will help you to look forward to the months when the weather is better, and thus you are more likely to see the darker months through to the end to get to the ‘better’ ones.
  • It’s not a competition. I have seen people start to get a bit … bitter … about other people’s shots as the project progresses. Other peoples work will be different/better/worse than yours, but it’s not about that. This is a personal project. It is time consuming and you have a life. If you want to take better shots then dedicate more time to it. If you take a photo each day then you have ‘won’, let’s not put others down in the process, we’re all working to the same goal. It might make you feel better to leave a sarcastic or negative comment on someone else’s shot, but just think about how you would feel if the boot were on the other foot. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all! (Unless of course it’s constructive and they are OK with that, but that is a totally different ball park)

February 2014

February 2013

Tree Nymph // 21 02 13

February 2012
The Odd One Out // 24 02 12

February 2011
Sheffield Skyline (051 // 06 02 11)

February 2010
032 // 365

The Silence006//365
Sometimes silence says a lot more than words. We spend too much time talking and listening to each other, or music, that sometimes I think we forget to appreciate just how precious silence can be.

If people talk too much it drives me mad. I like my own space, my own company, and my own silence.

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