Life & Other Stuff

Project 365

Project 365

Day 366 (1/2/12)
Done. Finito. Completed.

Phew, I got really tired toward the end of this project using mostly my iPhone. I loved shooting with the iPhone because it almost always came out clear with brilliant color capture. Getting it uploaded on the website was SUPER easy. I could do everything at one time.

I'm incredibly proud of it. It took a lot of discipline and for a girl who generally has a hard time finishing things, I finished! I saw through to the end and never missed a day.

I wrote a final "letter" on my last day. Check it out!

Not sure what the next project will be but maybe I'll do a 52 week project. Haha! For sure, I miss it already. It's become a habit.

Day 190/365 (6/30/11)
Snap, click, snap, chrk chrk, snap snap...

I still haven't started my photo book but it's heavy on my mind.  I've started participating in a meetup for women photographers.  Only been to one even thus far but being around creative minds was inspiring and I learned so much from the conversation I had with these experienced photographers.  Can't wait to do it again!

Something is changing in me.  This project, though slowly, is moving me out of a rut in my life.  It's filling me with a strange sense of confidence I have either forgotten or never had.  I'm starting to consider and imagine pipedreams for future endeavors.  So much fun to having something so creative to think about.

I've loved some of my photos, I've been annoyed by some, and frustrated by others.  There is still so much to learn.  In general, I think my photo strengths are in my composition but I still can't quite figure out how to do action shots in manual mode and how to get my photos to evoke the emotions that I feel when I see something to photograph.  It's that conflict that causes me frustration.

I'm now thinking I should take a Photoshop class nad participate in more events where I'll rub elbows with other photographers.

Something is churning within...

Photo 164/365 (6/5/11)
I'm still doing this project.  Not sure where the motivation is coming from but I haven't given up.  I've definitely had days where I have no idea what my photo will be and nothing creative is coming my way.  Come 10pm and I get desperate for a photo.  There have been days where my creative mind says "what does a photo of 'nothing' look like?". 

A GOAL.  I want to bind this project into a book when I'm done with the year.  I heard Blurb is a great site for just this purpose.  Better get a move on because uploading 164 photos is easier than uploading 365.  Haha!

ENCOURAGEMENT.  I feel blessed to share this project with family, friends, and the world who might view it.  I have had a few people come alongside me with encouragement and compliments that they are impressed with my creativity.  This is fuel for my fire.

ACCESSORIES.  I've picked up a couple of minor accessories (lens cap strap, UV lens protector, and a bag).  I felt like a giddy school girl in a candy store.  I'm not anxious to start splurging on a lot of "stuff".  Unlike other crafts I'm involved in, I seem to be fine with the slow build of growing this hobby.  I suppose it's because I have so much to learn and ever accessory is an investment.

SKILL.  One thing I'd like to learn how to do (amongst the long growing list) is spot color and thing on a photo.  For example, I'd like to learn how to color the bench red, only the bench nothing else. I'd like to learn to shoot action/movement in manual mode.  The learning continues...

Photo 102/365 (4/10/11)
100 days plus!  I'm amazed I've stuck to a goal for so long.  AWESOME!

Reveal.  This project is revealing parts of my personality that I'm not totally sure I like. 

ONE.  I'm competitive.  I look at the number of people following me and I look at how many people follow other photographers.  I have 30.  I just hit 30.  This is worth celebrating.  But, yet I keep thinking "what do I need to do to gain more followers?" as if having a certain number of followers connected to my site has meaning.  Doesn't it?  Doesn't it provide some validation that I have some talent?  Or, does it?

TWO.  I'm not forgiving of myself.  When I post a photo that I don't totally like, I'm pretty tough on my own evaluation of what I think of my photos.  Must be the "Asian" in me.

THREE.  I do like that I persevere.  I haven't given up.  There is still so much to learn and I'm only skimming the surface.  But, with this comes impatience.  I want to be better NOW!  LOL!

FOUR.  I seem to live a boring life.  This is my perception, I understand.  But, when I see amazing photos from around the world I can't help but think about the subjects I take photos of.  I'm authentic and real in what I capture.  They are representative and snapshots of my day or feelings or experiences.  But seeing this gap between my life and what I see from other people's lives, I can't help but be amazed out how much more there is to experience and see.  Motivation!

FIVE.  There is much to learn regarding the technical aspects to a camera, lighting, manipulating a situation for my creative benefit, post processing skills.  It's overwhelming how much information there is.  So, I am challenged to focus on specific things to improve on rather than try to do everything that my mind drives me to do.  More to learn...

Photo 76/365 (3/17/11)
WOH, it's been 76 days.  Did I take all those photos? 

I love this project.  I get frustrated that I can't always come up with a creative idea everyday (Lucy gets her moments of fame on those days) but this site is fantastic.  With members literally from all over the world sharing their photos each day I get to take a few seconds and jump into someone else's life.  Some days I'm in Australia or France and on others I'm in Alaska or some African village.  Where else do you get to see that kind of personal exposure to global cultures on a daily basis? 

After 76 days and picking up my camera every day I'm only slightly better at using my camera than when I started.  I have fun thinking of and creating the shots, "Bubbles" being one of the most fun.  With Gimp, I have a little bit of a handle on what will happen if I select certain effects but there is so much more to learn.

Perhaps my favorite moments is connecting with the other photographers, especially the ones I don't know.  Everyone has such a unique insight on the world and when something happens, like the Libya conflicts or Japan's earthquake or crisis in Egypt, this odd little community comes together in support of one another.  Photo comments and responses are full of prayer or reactions from everyone.

Today, I came across an entry about Japan and how people might be able to help.  It started of with comments about donating money and sending thoughts.  But, when someone started saying they would offer prayer the author of the post said that prayer is only hurtful and of no help.  It came across as such a negative and angry comment I was actually taken aback.  I wanted to comment in support of the person who offered prayer but chickened out.  I didn't want the author to get angry.  Why am I fearful?  Why are prayerful people sometimes looked down upon.  Is it fear from the non believer?

It's all fascinating to me!  Whomever created the site was ingenious to start it.  I wouldn't want to be anywhere else on this project.

Photo 53/365 (2/22/11)
My fascination with the project has slowed a bit this week.  While I've kept up with daily photos, trying to think of what my photo for the day will be is usually a challenge.  The thought process sometimes begins from the moment I wake up in the morning.  "What photo will I take today?"  I try to be thoughtful in my subject, choosing something that was important or meaningful to me that day.  But I've begun to realize that there are some days when I just don't want to think deeply about anything.  I simply want to wake up in the morning, do my thing, go to work, come home, rest, and go to bed.  Then there are days when I wish life was richer and deeper and all I did was routine.  And then there are days when I realize my life is mundane and boring.  But, magic happens and I have another day where the creative juices flow and some fabulous shot happens making this project totally worth it.  I LOVE those moments.

I've started doing some post processing through GIMP (a free online photo GNU Image Manipulation Program).  I don't really know what I'm doing yet, but it's interesting to play around with it a bit to see how it affects the photo.  I've been able to enhance colors and objects as well as brighten or contrast certain aspects of the photo. 

What I love about this project is it helps me slow life down a bit.  It forces me not only to think creatively on a daily basis but makes me consider what part of my day meant the most to me.  It also fills me with anticipation for what exciting experiences or activities will occur the next day, bringing excitement to my life. 

Here I go again...

First Week (1/8/11):
I am finishing up my first week of this project.  It's been a lot of fun to wake up in the morning and think "what will happen today that will be meaningful enough for me to take a photo of it".  Trying out different functions on my cameras, especially the T2i, I found myself really frustrated trying to get it to do what I envisioned.  Sometimes it would be better than I had imagined but often times it was a journey to arrive at a photo that was attractive enough for me to post.  I have hope that as I get to know my camera, this process will open more windows for creativity.  In the meantime, I'm limited to what I know and what I am beginning to know.

A new thought about photography is to consider HDR (high dynamic range imaging). I have much to learn about HDR but the photos using this technique are quite magnificnet.  I'm not there yet as I would like to first become proficient in using my camera.  But, certainly, I would imagine, I'll eventually want to dive into HDR. 

So much to learn.  This will take a lot of discipline and consistency to keep posting each day with some days being more stressful than others trying to find the best photo to take.  There have been days when I've reached the end of the day and thought "I should have taken what happened this morning and now I must come up with something to photograph". 

My two tips to myself from this first week is (1) start taking photos earlier in the day so by the end, you get to pick what you want and (2) don't always worry that the photo you took that day is perfect.  Some days you just have to snap and post.  The daily practice will do wonders.

The journey continues...

The Beginning:

I've been hearing about this project for awhile now and have been daydreaming about doing it. The goal is to document a year of your life by taking a photo a day. I plan to document important events that happen to me in the next year as well as the most mundane activities that simply keep life going. You can find my project at Julz's 365.

Likely, I will be using my Canon T2i, my Canon SD770 IS, or my iphone for these images so it will be interesting to see how different technologies, toting convenience, and daily practice of photography will help me grow as a photographer. I'm an amateur. I've been told by many that I have a creative eye. To me, a good photographer is one who is well versed in their equipment but its their creative eye that gets them the best shots. Let's see what I can do. Maybe nothing. Maybe something.

Right now, my iphone is my most convenenient tool as it is always with me, but it is also the lowest in photo quality. I love my SD 770 but it's my T2i that has the most power. The again, the T2i is bulky and will not fit in my purse.

A few tips that I got from Project 365 to help me along the way:
Here are six tips they provide and my thoughts on how it might be for me.

1. Bring My Camera Everywhere
My apologies to those who are camera shy. I will likely be in your face or somewhere around it. Please don't complain. It's all part of the fun of this project. No harm intended. If I take a photo of you, it's because you or something you are doing means something special to me.

2. Make Posting Easy
This is going to be a challenge because sometimes its posting the images online that are most time consuming or easy to forget.

3. Vary Your Themes
Interesting. I see the challenge already. Just thinking about today, I'm not sure what was my most important moment. Actually, I know what it was (getting molds made of my teeth for Invisalign) but I didn't think to take out my camera and take photos of myself gagging on dental tray wax. YUCK!

4. Tell a Story
I'm inspired. I can't wait to look back at the photos and see the story of my life over 365 days. How will I change and grow?

5.  Don’t Stop, No Matter What
Help! I'll need your help! There will be days when I won't want to drag a camera around or remember to take one out. Please make me!

I can't wait to see where all this photography is going to take me, whether it be a lazy day at home or an exciting trip somewhere. I plan to make sure it is something important to me. I will aim to take a photo of just about anything. And, I will try not to stop. I'll need your help with this one!

Oh, and I'll try even harder not to take 365 days worth of photos of my dog. There will be a few, though, I'm sure! LOL!

Follow my photo blog. I'll need your encouragement to keep me going.

6. Post early, post often
I may not post my photos every single day as it is time consuming but I plan to post at least once a week if not more often.

Here we go. Let the adventure begin!