This is a time of the year when we reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the past year and start making resolutions for the coming year. What might that mean in terms of photography?
For me, reflecting back is an easy proposition: I just turn to my daily photo blog and, for any given date, I’m taken back to what I was doing that day or even how I felt: the big (and little) celebrations of life; interesting events I attended or people I met; scenes from my travels or simply from my neighborhood walks. Yes, there are also some entries that strictly moan about the bad weather we had on that day (too hot in the summer; too cold in the winter!) but overall, it’s a pretty fair account of my life.
A while back, I started my 365 project on a platform called ‘Blipfoto.’ A friend of mine had been posting there for a while and I saw his daily entries via Facebook. It seemed a cool idea at the time. And six years later (yes, six), I’m still posting almost daily.
Why, you ask? At the time, I had just started dabbling into photography. But really, most of the time, my camera just sat on a shelf gathering dust. Having to post a picture every day would force me to get acquainted with my equipment fast. And so it did. I now never leave home without a camera (even when it’s only my cell phone). And I can safely say that my photographic skills increased dramatically: something about practice making perfect? J
What also happened, and relatively quickly, is that I learned to “see” all over again. It’s easy enough to take a slew of images when you’re in a visually stimulating environment (exotic vacations, field trips, festivals, etc). It takes a bit more doing when you’re trying to capture an image as you commute the same old road into work and come back after dark. Pretty soon, my friends and family members became ‘spotters’ for me too: “Hey, look at this, wouldn’t that make for a great blip?” (a blip is what our daily entries are called). The mundane became something that could make for a pretty image.
Last, but not least, is the community of people who participate in these projects. You not only post your own image, but you comment on other people’s images too. And they give you feedback on yours – sort of like a competition, without the stress and disappointment. The platform in which I participate is worldwide and I have friends across the globe – some of whom I’ve met in person in the course of travel. There’s nothing like having a ‘local’ show you around their corner of the world, with both of you carrying cameras. There’s an immediate bond between people who share a passion.
So find yourself a platform and start posting. My favorite (a biased opinion) is that blipfoto.com is the best: it’s elegant, it’s easy to use, it’s community-owned and driven. Check out my own journal (www.blipfoto.com/Alsacienne) and if you join, let me know, so that I can follow you.