Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Half Way Point...

Well, it's official: I am half way through my One Year Until 30: 365 Days of Photos project. I have taken a minimum of one picture every day for 183 days. I have to say, I am loving this project!

In the beginning, it was exciting. I found to have no problems composing shots every day. About a month or so into the project, I started having days where I had to force myself to take a picture...of anything...just to fulfill my obligation to myself. Many of these days, the shots were mediocre at best and nothing I would post anywhere publicly. However, I maintained that it was important to uphold the promise that I had made to myself. I knew that had I missed even one day, that I would regret it. I had to persevere.

Very early on, I had to abandon posting the pictures by number, or even keeping track of the number picture I was on. I have no mind for details and trying to keep track of which pictures were taken on which days and what number corresponded with that day was just way too much for my big picture mind. So I simply eliminated that from the equation. I put the entire emphasis of my efforts on making sure I was taking pictures every day.

Most days, taking pictures was something I wanted to do. My only problem was not having enough time to take all of the pictures that I wanted to take. Now, getting my camera out at least once a day is pretty much second nature. And on the days where it feels like it just isn't in me to  "compose" a shot, I take a picture of the kids...doing anything...or I take a walk outside where I'm bound to find something beautiful. I have found that flowing with {instead of against} my creative ebb and flow has been the key to success in this project. In doing so, I've learned so much about my personal creative flow, what triggers a rush, what precedes a low, and how to cope with it all. I'm also learning how to get myself back into the creative groove when I feel like I've fallen out of it completely. I'm realizing how natural and inevitable it is to have these artistic ups and downs and, where at one time they would cause me to question my eye and my ability, I now see them as just a part of the process.

Not only has this project been teaching me about my creative self, I have learned so very very much about photography, cameras, and picture taking. In the past 183 days, I have learned how to shoot manually with a digital SLR. I've learned about lighting, lenses, aperture, exposure, composition, tones, focus...I could go on but I get that you're catching my drift.

During this last half of the project, I'd like to get a bit more in depth in my study of photography. This first half, I spent learning by experience. In this second half, I'll be reading some photography text books and expanding my knowledge of the art in general. Where I've learned a bunch of 'hows' with regards to taking pictures, I hope to learn a bit more about the 'whys'.

I also hope to curb my dependency on the fact that I can take literally hundreds of pictures in an attempt to get a perfect shot. I'd love to try my hand at {dare I say it?} FILM and work on perfecting my shot in the viewfinder. This is all about challenging myself, right? And if I'm to grow, I need to continue to push myself beyond my current comfort levels.

Also, there are areas of photography in which I need to develop my skills and techniques. For example, portraits, including self portraits, are not one of my strengths but I really want to develop my skills in that area. I would love to acquire a macro lens so I can really explore the possibilities it offers with regards to nature photography.

So, there we are! I so love that you've all been along for the ride thus far. So many of you I have met on Flickr as a direct result of my devotion to photography. I could not be more thankful for this gift, the art form, in my life!


kk February 17, 2010 at 7:11 PM  

I can't believe we started on the same day...
so cool! :)
So glad we are on this journey together....

HeidiH February 17, 2010 at 7:33 PM  

You are awesome! I think I am on 365-try #3, it's still early, but I'm determined to make it stick this year. It is such a challenge, so super congrats on your half-way point! Btw, I totally want a macro lens too.

shelly February 17, 2010 at 7:34 PM  

i love your pictures. i just got a new camera and have been trying to challenge myself to take a picture everyday also. i am not brave enough to post them yet, but will get there :) i love seeing yours tho!

Jamie February 17, 2010 at 7:45 PM  

Congratulations on reaching such an amazing milestone. Your photog skills have grown so much in the past several months!

Johnna Riddell February 17, 2010 at 7:54 PM  

you are just the coolest, deepest person, I just love reading your blogs and reading about your take on the 365 was just incredible. what free-spirited, creative and open-hearted way to go about it.
You know how much I adore your photos, and your way of showing us all your world, I'm so glad that you are doing this project, and I thank you for taking me along for the ride.

All the photos in this post are delightful! :)

t does wool February 17, 2010 at 8:04 PM  

wonderful project~~I am enjoying it as well!

melanie February 17, 2010 at 9:29 PM  

Congrats Maegan, on reaching the halfway mark... I felt like I was reading my own thoughts in your first few paragraphs, ha!
So glad you've stuck to it, I will too, even though some days I have nothin'! Did you post everyday on Flickr, or just keep the crappy shots for your eyes only? :)That's what I'm struggling with now..

jodie February 17, 2010 at 10:35 PM  

kudos to you! what an exciting time...i am now halfway through my "year of discovery" and reflecting on how much i've learned as well. i love your creative eye, what an inspiration!

i can't wait to follow along on the second 1/2 of your journey. i just posted the first photo with my new "big girl camera" yesterday, so i have a lot to learn!

casual friday every day February 18, 2010 at 9:50 PM  

Now that is truly dedication. I thank you for taking so many photo's because they always inspire and touch me. Always, always making me feel something.


Amy February 18, 2010 at 11:21 PM  

Good for you...half-way there is awesome and something to be very proud of.Your creative genius behind the lens inspires me daily so I can't wait to see what happens in the other-half!

Kim Klassen February 19, 2010 at 12:40 AM  

oh i totally love this post.... i just started my 365 on jan 1st and already i am having trouble numbering my pics... this post has given me "permission" to quit...haha...

i'm just going to take the pics and post them in my 365 more counting... sigh.. THANK YOU....

congrats on all your accomplishments....

xxo, kim

rachel awes February 19, 2010 at 8:10 AM  

found you in artful blogging (yay!!) your pics & pretty things (like cookies & mug warmer!!) & sweet spirit! best & sweetest soft white clouds billowing your way...

Jill February 22, 2010 at 2:16 PM  

I think you're wildly talented so I can't wait to see where you go next. Enjoy your journey, and thanks for sharing it.