Reflections on Project 365 (and some other stuff)…

Well, now that I am officially a third of the way through this project, I thought I would say a few things about how I think the project is going and what it is doing for me.  If you’ve followed my blog since the beginning of the project, you know that Project 365 was part of my New Year’s Resolutions.  I set certain goals for myself to accomplish in the year 2012 and now that the year is a third of the way over, I thought it might be a good time to reflect and see how I’m doing.

First of all, Project 365.  My goal in doing this project was to try to make myself a better photographer.  I’ve loved photography since somewhere around the age of 13 when I first talked my dad into showing me how to use is SLR Pentax camera on a vacation.  I love the idea of creating something beautiful, creating a moment, a memory.  I was once told that photography is the art of subtraction, and the more times I look through a camera lens, the better I learn this lesson.  To be able to reduce your field of vision down to the very thing that matters most is an absolutely stunning ability.  That being said, my skills at the art of  subtraction often leave something to be desired.  My hope was to improve my ability in composition, lighting, posing, and editing, among others.  I’ve realized how much I generalized my goal to “become a better photographer”, because I have realized there is so much to learn.  SO VERY MUCH TO LEARN.  To say I have only scratched the surface is the biggest understatement of the year century.  I’m realizing as I write this post that I need to be setting specific goals for myself, such as, focusing on the individual techniques I want to improve on.

I have also learned through this project I am very hard on myself.  I’ve always known that I am hard of myself.  I’m pretty much a perfectionist at heart and if I can’t do it, then why am I doing it?  Well, the pressure of having to take a picture everyday and the constraints of time, schedule and the general business of life (and at times my own laziness) have meant perfectionism has had to fly out the window.  (I hope it had a good flight, cause I don’t know when the return will be.)  But there are situations when I do find the time, ability, or whatever you want to call it to really take a moment and try while I am behind the camera.  Sometimes, those times are magical, fantastic and I am really proud of the work I did.  And there are other times where I just want to give up on myself and scrap it all because it seems so completely unworthwhile.  You knows those days where you feel like King Midas, only instead of everything turning to gold, everything you touch turns to absolute crap.  (I know you know how I feel.)  Those are the days where perseverance seems like the dumbest, most pointless effort on the planet.  And the truth is I could scrap this project on my worktable right now.  No one is forcing me to do this.  The earth will keep spinning on it’s axis if I stop.  My salvation is not determined by my ability to complete this project (thank goodness).  But doing so would mean giving in to those horrible feelings even more so than I already have, and lets face it, those feelings, those thoughts, those lies do not deserve to win.  So, perseverance wins out in the end.

Another wonderful benefit to this project has been an increase in my observance.  Let me explain.  There is so much beauty in this world, not just when you’re up on the mountain top, or at the beach or while canoeing in a lake.  I mean, beauty when you are walking from your car to your workplace, ordinary but yet completely extraordinary beauty that is to be found everywhere.  This project has opened my eyes up to this.  Last week I was just walking to the mailbox to get the mail, a completely ordinary, run-of-the-mill activity, but while doing so, I noticed how the evening light was shining through the trees and made the leaves just seem to glow.  It was incredible.  I ran home, grabbed my camera and started snapping away.  It’s things like this that I never noticed before, or if I did, I never fully appreciated them.  I’m grateful for that learning opportunity, the stop and smell the roses mentality that is being built into me.

I was planning on catching up and evaluating my other goals for 2012, but I feel like I’ve already written too much for this post and I don’t want to overwhelm people.  Thank you to all of you who joined me in my journey of Project 365.  I’m very glad and grateful to all of you who comment and like my posts.  It’s nice to know I do something right.  Have a wonderful evening and enjoy the ride!

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One thought on “Reflections on Project 365 (and some other stuff)…

  1. i love that one of the very first things that a 365 does is helps us to see differently. it’s happened to me each of the three years i’ve taken part and it’s so refreshing…keep at it, you will not regret that!

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