Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Project 365 photography

Happy new year everyone !

I've decided to start a 'photography project 365'..
This type of project means someone takes (and posts) a picture every day, for a year long. 365 pictures. Using a camera often should make a person a better photographer (or show the world how bad someone really is..)

A friend of mine, John Wart Jr had posted last week on facebook that he'd start such a project. It reminded me about photography, and that I should also start practising more.

About 2 to 3 years ago I had a similar idea. I even started to take a small camera with me to take snapshots - sometimes you encounter things of which someone says 'wish I could take a picture of this'. But after about 2 weeks I stopped with it, as most of them were just bad snapshots and I didn't encounter much interesting opportunities. It did inspire me to open my eyes, and actively look at the world around me, search for photo opportunities, appreciate the beauty everywhere around, ..

2010 is over, and reflecting back on the past year I noticed that I had again too many things planned to do and just didn't do them in the end. Since last summer (until next summer) I work only 4 days a week. That extra day at home was meant to work in the house, get things fixed, do things I want to do (like repairing pinball machines), so evenings and weekends are free for my family.

Partly I succeeded in these objectives. The whole summer I spent every tuesday with my daughter. I (almost ?) didn't do any jobs then - daddy at home during the holidays was for spending time with her. When school started for her, these days off were used to do a lot in and around the house.. everything that needed to be done was always planned to do on that one day, so the rest of the week I don't have a list of things to do during the evening or weekends. We also remodeled the living room, which took more than a month, at some point it seemed the list of things to do never reached an end.
But now it finally has. Although new tasks always pop up, the majority of them is done.

As from next week I plan to find more time to do things I want to get done for myself. Repair pinball machines :) I still have a Williams Cyclone to shop, a Funhouse and Black Hole to repair, .. I have an ultrasonic cleaner I want to use, I have sandpaper and metal polishing stuff I need to test. And about a dozen of other ideas I want to do some time..

But back to photography. Last year I got me a new camera, a D90 with a lot of lenses (Sigma 10-20mm, Nikon 18-105 and 70-300). This summer I also bought a Metz strobe.
Most pictures I take during holidays, or when we go out on a trip with the family.

My wife gave me a small white lighttent/mini studio set as a gift for Christmis last year, and I haven't used it yet :( Despite studio photography (esp. of objects, where you control all light sources) interests me a lot. On my todo list there's still 'take pictures of Cactus Canyon and Majorettes pinball machines'. I play these games often but haven't taken nice photographs of them yet. I should take good photos of all my other pinball machines as well and update all their descriptions on my site.

Reflecting on all this, a project 365 sounded like a good opportunity to do more with photography. But as there are days I hardly have time to even check email in the evening, I'm sure taking a picture every day is something I won't succeed in. Therefor I give it my own twist - I'll make and post 365 pictures in 2011. Every picture is maximum 1 week old. This means one day I could take 7 pictures and use them for the next days, or when I run behind (as I'm not sure tonight I'll have time i.e.) I have max 7 days to catch up. That's a goal I should be to keep for this year.

It should make me a better photographer. At least force me to use my camera more. And also try to get a 'good' picture. Not just a series of snapshots, but make sure I have at least one that's worth of showing to the world. I will also start to review my photos better (now I dump too many on my harddrive and leave them there), searching which are the best and critisizing myself to see how I could have improved them). It should allow me to put everything in practice of which I read the theory of.

You don't want to know how many books and magazines about photography I've read the past 3 years. That's how I am - I like to read, gather knowledge. Photography mags bore me nowadays - their tutorials are nothing new to me - I understand how I have to shoot each subject, how to set the camera and light, .. I can explain it. It all makes sense to me.
But I just haven't done most of it (maybe because I understand how it's done it's no challenge anymore, it all seems obvious). So it's time to tackle some projects, find some challenges for myself, keep me motivated, interested and produce some great results.

Now for those people that come onto this blog post from my pinball website, sorry, this year you're going to read a lot about photography here and see non-pinball related photos. I don't want to start another separate blog. As my hobbys are mixed I'll probably post a lot of pinball machine pictures here too.. (I got interested into photography after all when I wanted to learn to make better pictures to use on my website).
These picture posts do have '365' in their title and only have 'photography' as label, so they can be easily identified from other pinball-related posts.
Hope you'll enjoy them..

No comments:

Post a Comment