Reasons For Doing Project 365

by Jarvo J November. 22, 2009 8205 views

When I completed my Project 365 last week I rather rashly declared that I would recommend it to anyone. With the benefit of a week to ponder I can say that I wouldn??t recommend it to anyone: I wouldn??t recommend it to anyone who is already a brilliant photographer, I wouldn??t recommend it to anyone who had no desire to improve their photography and I wouldn??t recommend it to anyone who is already so busy doing other things that they couldn??t afford to spend a reasonable amount of time on it. That said, I still think that when those three groups are discounted there must still be a sizeable number of people who would both benefit from and enjoy undertaking Project 365. If you think that it could be for you, then the reasons given above are what I would expect most people would gain from it. Indeed I am that impressed with Project 365 that in January I intend to start another one. Though this time I will set myself some different ground rules, but enough of that I don??t need to think about it at the moment.

Coming soon on this blog: Tips on completing Project 365

To improve your observation skills: Every time you go out will be spent on the lookout for something interesting, beautiful or different to photograph. Not all journeys will be fruitful in finding a topic that would make a suitable picture, especially if you trudge the same route every day; but there is a mass of potentially good subject matter out there when you start looking. And if you look every day you are bound to get better at the search.

To improve your technical skills: I found that over the year I improved my general photographic skills, my understanding and handling of the specific equipment that I have as well as post processing skills. I’m sure that there are other more generic skills such as planning and timekeeping that can also be developed through Project 365. Of course the level to which anyone else would develop may depend on their starting abilities and on their willingness to treat it as a development exercise. If you just treat it as a snapshot diary, then you are less likely to learn as much as someone who experiments and gets involved in discussion about the outcome.

To improve creativity: There are days when (on the face of it at least) it doesn’t seem that there are any obvious choices for shots to take. On these days we need to exercise our creativity to come up with ideas. The more we practice creativity (mainly through combining different concepts in my case), the easier Project 365 becomes.

When the going gets tough, the tough start improving: There are days when getting a good photo isn’t difficult. Almost anyone can take a half decent photo when they’re on holiday in gorgeous surroundings, with great natural light lasting all day, surrounded by beautiful people doing interesting things. But if you want to be a good photographer you need to be able to take good shots when the going gets tough: When you’re stuck indoors, the day is short, the light is poor and nothing very interesting happens. The trouble is, those are the days when we are naturally less likely to try. By undertaking Project 365, you will be forced to take pictures on the days when it is most difficult, and that is likely to be when you improve the most.

For the great sense of achievement: This isn’t a once a year thing either – every day is a tangible step nearer to your goal. Every day that you get that picture is a day that you can feel justifiably proud of your achievements. Sure, some days are better than others, but ultimately they all count. For me the day that felt the most successful to me was in September when I took and posted a set on our local landmark Southend Pier []. I had deliberately held back on this as a set wanting to keep it in reserve as long as possible. When I did take that set, it was because I was worried that the opportunities to shoot the pier in good light were disappearing as the days got shorter. From that moment on I realised that I would have no problem finishing my project, and felt a real sense of elation anticipating a successful project.

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There are 14 comments , add yours!
Thebronzebow 9 years, 9 months ago

Love your illustrations as always. One of the other beifits of this is that you come up with your own "voice" in picture and words. Besides all of the comments above, the other thing that I have noticed is the diary/journal nature of people and places that id sometimes also lost with our familiarity with the people and places around us. I bet you have noticed more about the little changes in your nephew (?) over this past year.

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Carolinesimone 9 years, 9 months ago

hahahaha love this post... looking forward :)

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Brian 9 years, 9 months ago

I don't think I have what it takes to do 365. :) You are a true artist Jon!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 9 years, 9 months ago

You keep amaze us with your original creativity and clear statement of your intentions.
Great shots, as always Jon. ;o)

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Jet28 9 years, 9 months ago

So true!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Gonia 9 years, 9 months ago

the most I like the 1st one- super!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Gonia 9 years, 9 months ago

another handbook with smile! Great! we will wait.

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Jennye 9 years, 9 months ago

very creative! I love #2
Great post!!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Marsha 9 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for sharing all this insight into Project 365, Jon. It really is a very interesting proposition and you made your points very well....almost tempted me to take it on! What holds me back is the time factor - fearing stress, I guess. Love the shot of your son in front of the Wii Fit screen....I'll be on Day 20 tomorrow ;))

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Juan Regaldie 9 years, 9 months ago

Agree with many of the comments above, I have to admit that I probably belong to one of the exclusions groups above (that one of the stressed people XD )
So I can only promise to follow you as I fully support Ted's opinion

Another thing is that I have to admit to agree with smbunation regarding that roll of film on #2, as well as the stability of the tripod on #3 doesn't seem to be what you would like for your camera ;-)

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Michael Sakowicz 9 years, 9 months ago

I'm so glad 'Project 365' worked out as well as it apparntly did for you. I am however concerned with the state that roll of exposed film is in with regards to shot two...

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Stefan Fletcher 9 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for this insight. It's a significant motivator for making me start one (luckily, I don't fit into any of the exclusion categories above). Some questions, though:
Did you envisage these benefits before you started? How different were your original goals from the learnings of a photographer who's completed a project 365? What were the difficulties apart from those in No. 4?
I'm curious to hear the tips and pitfalls - preferably before January when, funnily enough, I was thinking of starting mine...

In this post, as in the 365+ before it, you demonstrate the same generosity and humour which will make us all enjoy the next project 365, Jon.

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Lynda 9 years, 9 months ago

Good post. I try and post each day and lately I've been stuck because of the awful weather and have been forced to be creative- looking at old photos and turning them into black and white, finding things inside to take. I am limited by having an old point and shoot but do the best I can with the zoom and macro function, angles and afterwards cropping or making the shot black and white. I continue because it's a challenge finding different subjects and because it makes me look at the world around me more closely.

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Ricardo 9 years, 9 months ago

Excellent! :)
I'm not exactly doing the project 365, but I'm trying to post pictures dialy! =)
My blog is my wildlife picture backup! I've posted the pictures of wildlife , places, etc, not just for share but also to backup, and have a place where I can put the things I like!
Being a photographer, and save the work only to him/herself, is like never be a photographer!
Alright, I'm still a bit far from being a photographer, But i'm on the way =)
On Each pic, we see something that we like, something that we run to snap!
Indeed doing a project 365, not just ''open'' your thirsty for pictures, but also helps you to enjoy pictures alot! taking at least pictures once a day, will make you ''pictureaddicted'' or in other words '' cameraholic'' =)
I cant now stop near a kinky and nice thing without snap it [as long as I've battery LOOOL]


9 years, 9 months ago Edited