Reflections on Project 365

I started this project, thinking of it as a way to share our lives with each other, via images. I also liked the idea of committing to do something daily for an entire year. I had a notion that I would enjoy photography as a creative pursuit, but really, I had no idea how much!

As the year wore on, my shots became less about sharing my life, or finding interesting situations to capture, and more and more about how to create different images. I became captivated with macros and abstract shots (Yes, I was fond of shooting Diet Coke bottles). My Nikon Coolpix did particularly well with these type of shots and I enjoy these types of images.

By about September, the project was wearing on me – not in terms of picture taking, but in terms of my creativity. I had come to the point of caring about things such as depth of field in my images, and my point and shoot had severe limitations. These were the days of grinding it out, with a fun and satisfying image here and there. And there were always the sky, trees and windows to fall back on. Speaking of FALL, it saved me. The glorious colors, and close up leave shots spurred me on to the arrival of my NEW CAMERA.

Of the entire year's shots, I am most satisfied with my December images. I feel like they are the culmination of everything I learned through the year – like the way my little camera forced me to work on composition – and I think that learning came through more and more as this last month wore on and I got the feel for my Canon 40D. I love the way it feels and sounds. I love it like the smell of a new book. Thanks Jeff for the advice!

So, I’m continuing on in project 365, as I cannot imagine a day without taking and viewing photos.

The relational and community aspect of 365, that was part of my original motivation for the project, more than surpassed my expectations. It has been unbelievably cool to see the lives of friends through their daily images, and their eyes. Altogether unexpected was finding another community of 365 people and getting to know them and to have a sense of who they were without even knowing them IRL or in another online context: Scrivener, Billie, Liane, Overread, Jayfish, Zerodoll, B*, Cloudscome, and Ianqui. Over the course of the year, I found myself subscribing to the written (non-365) blogs of my new friends. (Mazel Tov, Ianqui!)

Who initially linked these peeps to the Trapdoor/Lamppost crowd? Beth?

Oh and speaking of written blogs, I’m not sure how I got to Jo(e) , but she combines images and words in ways that make me laugh, cry, and stay motivated to become a better writer and photographer. Through her, I’ve seen the power of image and storytelling.

Which reminds me that Cloudscome and her main blog, A Wrung Sponge, has been my inspiration for trying my hand at haiku.

Who first linked Jo(e)? Was that you, Julie?

And, then there's Sharon...who is the most faithful commenter, ever. I think I was googling to find other 365ers and saw a pic of her Boston Terrier, Augie. I commented on her blog and then she commented on mine and so forth. Or was it the other way around, did she find me that way?

It’s funny how once these viral connections are established, it’s so hard to remember how and where they originated.

And then, in Fall, Mike showed up, commenting on my blog, and I began to see pictures of London and enjoy his cheery, regular comments. I commented back on his pictures and was impressed to see what a large community of bloggers he was a part of.

It’s these ever expanding, surprising connections, that I hope 365 brings more of in 2008.

Well that, and more bokeh, of course.

Here are my favorites from my 2007 shots. Interestingly, when I selected these shots, after I had written all of the above, I found myself drawn to the pictures that evoked a certain feeling and memory for me, as much as the ones I thought were the best images.

However, my favorite image for 2007, above all, is the paper towel macro. It makes me so happy that I noticed, and captured, something as insignificant as the textured, wavy edge of a roll of paper towels. That was the turning point for me, when I began to really SEE.

Next, I'm going to post my favorites from all you guys! Can you tell I'm a little carried away with this year-end reflections stuff?

But seriously, this project has meant so much to me and so have all of you.

Thank you Lauraliz, for without you I would never have known about this project.


julieunplugged said...

It was me! I linked to them first. Scrivener found my blog and starting posting comments. I then linked to his blog and started going through his blog roll. That led me to linking to the whole lot of them. I have been so happy to get to know another group of photographers!

What a great reflection on your year. I think the growth in your skills is especially apparent. I'm glad you'll keep going.

julieunplugged said...

And about Jo(e) - I think she linked to me before I linked to her. I think she stumbled on my blog through the Scrivener blogroll.

Btw, my favorite of yours for the year is the window with the blues and greens. It is STUNNING!

Scrivener said...

Hey, Julie's claiming credit for my work then! If I found her and started posting comments there, then it's me who linked the two camps, but she's trying to muscle in on my territory. ;)

It's been a pleasure watching your photography unfold, Amp. I'm glad you're going to do it for another year. Hopefully very soon, I'll be a much more regular reader and commenter again, too. :)

my15minutes said...

Ampersand, I've enjoyed your shots this year, and the passion with which you've explored the possibilities. Great reflections here. I haven't commented much lately but I had to tell you that your corkscrew vine is one of my faves. BTW, you might enjoy this blog:http://paulashouseoftoast.blogspot.com/ -- nature macros are her specialty.

jo(e) said...

What a wonderful reflection. And it's been great to get to know you through your photos ....

Ianqui, Bright Star, and Billie were the ones that pulled me into the 365 community .... I've read their word blogs for years.

SusansPlace said...

I have watched you grow in leaps and bounds this year. You have truly mastered so much in the area of photography! I to have enjoyed glimpses into the lives of my friends, as well as the record I have of my own tumultuous year. ;-)
I want to put my photos in book form but am unsure how to do that. Any ideas?

I am also thinking about doing a 2008 Photoblog.

Merry Christmas!

LauraLiz said...

You can't imagine how it feels for me to see the way this project progressed! Even though I was not able to take part in as big a community as some of you did, it was always amazing for me to watch it all unfold. I have learned so much this year...some of it even photographic! I'll never be without my camera again.

Sharon said...

I have really enjoyed seeing your pictures, and also reading your other blog for the past few months. To be honest, I can't remember how it came about but I'm so glad it did. :) I'll be continuing on too, I can't imagine doing without it...it's become such a part of my life and my routine. Hmmm...I guess I need to change my name to Sharon730! ;)

Dalissa 365 said...

Great retrospection, Amp. Of course, I was sad to see that you didn't mention me personally because you know that I am all about that but, you know, I forgive you.

Anyway, I think it has been incredibly exciting to watch your creativity and expertise grow over the course of this year. I am looking forward to a new year of your photos!