Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reflections on My 2010 Project365

January 1, 2010: Pump Me Up
As many of you know, I started a project on January 1, 2010: I set out to take a photograph each day. Collected together these 365 photographs represent my Project365 for 2010.

I have been journaling for nearly two decades, something which became a daily discipline in 2000. So in some ways my Project365 became an extension of that discipline. And it changed the way I look at journaling, too. Suddenly writing each night was also illustrated by an image... it was a rather profound pairing some days.
July 7: Five Years of History
But as with a written journal, there were also those days when finding a subject -- any subject -- became the task. What to shoot today? I tried to shoot things that were beautiful, things I would want to remember. But then I decided that that was too editorial. Life isn’t always beautiful. And sometimes there are really ugly parts that lend a distinct beauty to the whole. So, I stopped swearing off broken windows and begging men, and started to include them as well.
August 5: Angel of Death

I also took this on as a technical challenge. Somewhere in February or March I decided that I would only shoot in Manual mode until I’d mastered it. It’s funny, but now I have a terrible time using the preset modes on my camera -- those little images of a face, a flower, a landscape, etc -- because I spent the rest of the year shooting in Manual.

I didn’t spend a lot of money on my kit, either. I already had my Canon Rebel xTI. I occasionally took photos with my cell phone and decided that they counted,too. Total purchases for my Project365:
  • a Timbuktu bag which I now use as a purse so that my camera is always with me 
  • a pinhole lens with which I have not experimented enough 
  • a tripod which I bought for another project and used a lot for this one. 
March 5: The US Capitol Building
I disciplined myself: the camera was always in my purse, the tripod was always in the car, and I almost always had one extra lens along. Invariably, if one of those things was missing, I missed it. But I didn’t take my tripod to Washington DC and learned to improvise. The top of my cousin’s car produced one of the best photographs of that trip! And I found myself absorbed in capturing light and angles -- giving my travel a new and interesting color.
December 1: Sunset in San Francisco
In the end my Project365 chronicles the preparation and sale of our house and our move to San Francisco... the life and death of my friend Becky's daughter, Elle... trips to Washington DC, Ireland, England, Wales, Minneapolis, Dallas, and Philadelphia... days at the beach with the dog... meals I ate... sunsets enjoyed... drives along highways and country roads... the change of seasons... visits from friends... and so many of the extraordinary and mundane pieces which make up a life.
May 24: Dots

I am so glad that I embarked upon my Project365. I am now in the midst of collecting those images together into an album, and I’m proud of my body of work!
August 29: Dragonfly on a Fence

After a year of taking photos, I have a few tips for those of you who are thinking about starting such a project:
  1. If you miss a day, keep going. I chose to post a photo for every day, even though I did miss 3 days -- days I just forgot to take a photo. 
  2. Put aside your perfectionism. This is a project about growth and change. If a photo doesn’t turn out well, move on. You have hundreds more to take! 
  3. Take photos of people. Since I don’t have children, I ended up with lots of pictures of my dog and things in my house. But people like to be photographed. Take photos of people. 
  4. Don’t give up! You’ll be so glad you didn’t! 
December 31: Oh Gosh!
Here's the slideshow of my entire Project365 in chronological order:


Interested in doing your own Project365?  I give instructions as well as links to other Project365s here:


So, you ask, am I doing a Project365 for 2011? You betcha! There are some exciting days ahead, and I’m not about to miss documenting them.

4 comments:

kbea831 said...

I enjoyed reading your tips and thoughts about your experience with this project. I just started my 365 project 28 days ago. I love family history and often saddened that my ancestors left so little when I know they contributed so much.

Angela K. Nickerson said...

@kbea831: How delightful! That will be a fantastic legacy for your own ancestors, too. Thanks for stopping by -- and best of luck with your Project365. :)

wandering educators said...

i loved seeing posts from your 365 project. what FUN! and it reminds me to get that camera OUT.

Anna said...

What a great idea for a project. I suspect your subject for photos might change at bit in the coming months!

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