Photography school: the only way to do it

As a storm approaches and a headache rises to the challenge I upload my last Project365 photograph of the month.

2 of 365

Day Two: the first week of January was very cloudy and wet. Not even the cats wanted out (and they love to play outside). At some point it occurred to me that I didn’t need a remote to do self portraiture: the camera has a 10 second timer! I put on a hoodie and acted solemn to match the scene.

I was very eager to try Project 365 this year: take one original image each day and upload to the internet on that day every day of the year. While I did not upload while I was on a road trip the other week, I did maintain my photo taking duty and uploaded when I got home. Other than that I have been faithful to the project.

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Day 8: I had tried to get ice pictures before, but the texture never showed well in the final image (’cause the sun didn’t deign to show up and it was a hollow shelf). So I did some tweaking on the computer to see what could help. I was still very modest with editing at this point in the month.

Three years ago I got my first camera and a year later I got a digital SLR so I could delve deeper into the hobby. During these years I usually took hordes of pictures on a given day, maybe upload within a few days, and (apparently) not upload for months or…two…years…later…and meanwhile accumulate more pictures maybe a few weeks after the previous photography-dedicated day.

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Day 22: The bear wind chimes bothered me. I couldn’t get anything more than a blah picture during the day with the solid bears. However, at night the hollow bear illustrated a good use for flash. Finally, a good use for flash.

What I like about Project365 is that it changes all of this. I can’t take a bunch of pictures in one day—what if I use all my ideas well before the year is up and I won’t be leaving town anytime soon enough to give my lens a change of scenery? I can’t wait to transfer the files to the computer and upload them on social media until 2016—I have to do it by midnight!

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Day 24: This is when I started to delve into GIMP (an open source i.e. free “photoshop”) for editing. I had something slightly different in mind for my sun glasses, but the point is I followed a retro-vintage tutorial for this look. The steps involved enlightened me on how I might use the curves function, create vignettes, and more.

What became apparent this January is the weather sucks. I don’t mind clouds—I love cloudy weather—but a bunch of photos with flat light and brown-gray colors quickly get boring. This is a perfect excuse to become fascinated with ordinary objects, play with manual settings, take the time to stage a photo (instead of going for a walk and thinking, “Aha! I’m gonna try to get a good angle on that!”), and learn more about editing software.

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Day 30: This is when I tried that tutorial again but with modification–more feathering for the vignette effect, no “sunburn” filter and other slight adjustments. Again, I was tired of taking a shot that could be good but the landscape was brown and gray and the sun behind clouds. In hindsight sometimes I think I oversaturated this image, but overall it’s a huge improvement on previous photos.

The photos used in this post I selected as the ones I learned the most with. In the upcoming 11 months I cannot contemplate how much I’ll grow as a photographer. However, I am definitely overdue for the growth, and at least I no longer believe I will run out of ideas—it seems the more I experiment, the greater number of experiments that occur to me.

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5 thoughts on “Photography school: the only way to do it

  1. Pingback: Project365: February | Chestnut Leaf Media

  2. Pingback: Project 365: March | Chestnut Leaf Media

  3. Pingback: Project 365: April | Chestnut Leaf Media

  4. Pingback: Project365: May Wild Life | Chestnut Leaf Media

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