I finished my 365 project last week. I had chosen the theme “A Year of Mornings” after discovering this Flickr group, which was inspired by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes’ year-long photo blog, that eventually became this book.
One of my reasons for choosing mornings was that I owned the book, and I knew that I could flip through it if I ever got stuck for material. Another reason was that I had done a month of mornings the previous September, just for kicks, and found that I really loved the beauty of the late summer morning light. It was so inspiring, and it made me want to explore the rest of the seasons of the year in the same way.
This was my second 365 project. Some of you may remember the first. I saw a marked improvement in my photography skills between the first and last weeks of that year, and this time around I think I have made some progress as well (although it was not nearly as dramatic).
It’s funny. Back in January of 2008, when I embarked on my first Project 365, I had my doubts as to whether I could maintain the enthusiasm and discipline required in taking a photo a day. As it turned out, I’ve really enjoyed the process, and I like having a loose theme to guide me. Without a doubt I will do a third 365. I plan to start on January 1st next year, but I have yet to figure out what I want my guiding principle to be.
I’ve considered going back to the Project 365 roots and making it a self portrait experience, but I’m worried that I’ll get tired of seeing myself every day, or that it will start to feel awfully narcissistic. I would never do it if it had to be just my face, but if I can use my hands, feet, shoulders, etc, then I might enjoy that.
I’ve thought about exploring macro photography a bit. I’m loving that shallow depth of field look that is the signature of so many images in the Shutter Sisters flickr group, and while I’m a little bit limited by my photo equipment (read: I don’t own a DSLR with interchangeable lenses) I find that I can often get close with my camera and then the rest of the way with some post-processing. I have a couple of accessories (this and these) on my wish list that should help my camera achieve a more shallow depth of field, and if they find their way into my Christmas stocking, well, I’ll be one heck of a happy camper, and will be all over a 365 theme like this. Actually, this is the idea (or a variation of it) I am really leaning towards right now, even if I don’t get any new toys.
The other thing I thought of is to do monthly themes, or maybe just a more broad “signs of the season” kind of thing where all of the photos should reflect the cyclical nature of the year, and where I currently am in all of that.
I’ve also considered a collaborative project, but I hadn’t thought of what or with whom. It’s all just knocking around my brain right now. I’ve still got a few months for something to gel. For now I’m finishing up Picture Fall, and I’ve got Picture the Holidays coming up in December. That leaves November empty. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to come up with something to fill it with, or take the month off…
Ok, so that was just one long brain dump, the point of which was really only to say, “I finished my project and haven’t decided precisely what’s next.” (Maybe I shold have said that – it would have been a lot quicker for all of us…)
Any of you doing/have done/planning on doing a 365 project? Do you have a theme, or thoughts to share?