Failure and the Return of 365

Self Portrait iPhone

Failure was inevitable. The first time, I started the project on a whim, inspired by friends, family and random artists in the blogosphere. All of whom took up the same challenge themselves, and flourished. I saw magnitudes of amazing photos, brilliant captures, along with fancy blurbs, captions and even entire stories that offered short glimpses into each person’s unique journey, and in some cases a peek into their life. I thought to myself ‘Psssh. One picture a day- no problem…’. This was about 8 months, and two 365 projects ago…

I’m a huge proponent of the saying ‘Everything happens for a reason’, this, coupled with a healthy curiosity to always seek out the ‘why’ in everything helps me understand things the way I want to- even if its a little more than I need to. I’m not bitter about letting my project falter, but maybe just a little disappointed in myself for not picking myself up quicker. Through my ponderings, I’ve concluded that I need more structure, more rules if I want to succeed with this project. The way I was going about it in it’s current form was not working for me. Initially, the project was intended to improve my photography, by simply taking pictures on a daily basis and blogging about them. This freedom, was short of any specific guidelines, and allowed me to shoot willy-nilly, with no specific end goal in mind. The goal of simply taking a picture, and writing about it later was apparently too broad for me. It left me questioning too much about my own entries and eventually I was stuck in this perpetual loop of deliberating every miniscule aspect of my post. The entire process became very cumbersome and long drawn, making me unwilling to do it on a regular basis. Finally, it became a chore and I ended up with dozens of images and drafts unpublished.

The great thing about failure is that, if handled properly, you can benefit from it. Like any other experience, it’s what you learn from it that matters most. So I went back and made a list of some of the reasons that lent a hand to my failure, and using that list, I’ve created a small subset of rules below for my third foray into a 365 project.

Goal: Improve my photography, and gain a better appreciation for life by taking a picture everyday and posting it.

Use Any Available Camera
My biggest issue was that my DSLR was not always the most convenient medium to snap a picture. This limited me in many situations where I would not have my camera handy, and was not able to take an image for that day. I’m opening up my project to permit images from point and shoots and mainly my iPhone, or someone else’s camera.

Minimum Post Processing
I would take hours trying to perfect the image in post processing. However changing gears here will help me improve on nailing the shot in camera, and also help reduce the time it takes to process any image.

Shoot in JPEG
Mainly to reduce the processing time- having to do conversions from RAW to Jpeg was adding a few extra steps to the workflow. This will also help me shoot it right in camera rather than relying on post processing.

Shoot First, Write Later
In many cases, I would have an idea for a post before it was drafted, or before any image was taken. This created somewhat of a “tunnel vision” approach to my shooting. At the end of the day, I would have so many images and it made me deliberate far too long which image to include that would fit my “pre-planned” post. Shooting first will help force me to shoot with nothing in mind and just shoot freely.

Detail Exposure Settings and Post Processing
One of the initial goals of this project was to help other who might come across my images. I always found it very useful to look at someone’s image from a technical perspective and understand what settings were dialed in to get the shot. Knowing how much post processing was done can also put things in perspective.

Written Content Not Necessary
I failed to post many images, simply because I could not put together any written content to accompany the image that I was happy with. Making the written portion of this a non -requirement should reduce the number of excuses I have for not posting.

There you have it! Hopefully this time around, I can stick it out and make the full 365. When I get there, I have hopes to publish a photo book of my 365 images to celebrate the completion of journey! Stay tuned!

One Response to “Failure and the Return of 365”

  1. [...] old saying goes, the wind from a door closing will open up another one. This time around I set a few rules for myself with this project, hopefully it helps me keep on [...]

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