Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What this project has meant to me!

I started this project to push myself to do something artistic everyday. I thought I wanted an artsy blog that was separate from my life, to go back to the college zone where art for art's sake was enough. What it quickly morphed into was a diary of my life. I have a few creative or interesting shots, but most are normal routine peeks into my days: my family, my goats, my chickens, my students, my yard...etc and I that is okay.

It was an amazing feeling connecting my 'real life' family and friends with my 'cyber' family and friends. Both groups kept checking in and really encouraging me. It was knowing someone was out there that kept me moving forward and pushing myself. I now know what people's kids, pets and husbands look like that I have been talking to online for years. Extended family around the world have been able to check in on the blog to see that things with mom were going well, and they were able to catch Athena's prom and graduation as well as Kayleigh's wedding plans and Nathan's new job and car.

This project has changed my outlook in subtle ways. I think I have 'looked' at the world like a photographer since highschool when I 'caught the bug', however this project brushed the dust off and reminded me how much I really enjoy capturing images from different perspectives. It has also reminded me how much I enjoy looking at photography. I have enjoyed the journey and peeks into the lives of the other 365ers even more than I have my own. I have to say the RSS feed lets me keep up with some amazing photographers. Even when I don't always comment, I am always checking in and being awed by the new ways each person sees.

I love the art of photography, everything about it. I think I am even going to find a local digital photography class now to go along with the online one I added to my RSS Feed. I think the mems and the assignments help keep me interested. Getting more of those this year will keep me improving I think.

I grew a lot emotionally during the project. I got upset, with myself, for a lot of reasons this year. One I was going to start with a mediocore camera and save for a good camera. Since I had never used it for more than capturing family events, I had to spend a long time learning how to use that camera. Then 1/2 way throught the year I lost that camera and family circumstances made saving for a new one just about impossible. Using my old 35mm camera was cost prohibitive as well as way more time consuming given the extra steps needed to post. That left me with a very old camera with sticky buttons, no manual anything and pretty low pixels.

I was feeling sorry for myself for quite a while, then I started seriously missing the project. I started getting inspired again by all the great pictures being taken, so I returned to the old camera. It was what I had, so it was what I was going to make work. In time I did get pictures I liked well enough to post.

Just as I was readjusting, my family suprised me with the exact camera I wanted. Now I feel like I am starting over from scratch, yet again! This time I know my pictures should start coming closer to my visions. Finally with a DSLR, I am learning how to blend my film techniques with digital technology. In one month I have taken over 1600 pictures. I am happy with about 100 of them and I have learned something from the others.

I know it is a cliche, but it is so true for me...waiting until everything is perfect to do what you want to do is just another way of pretending not to fail. To do anything properly you have to be willing to fail. I tell this to the kids everyday, but I often forget to take my own advise.

For the coming year I need to figure out how to find the balance between an online photo diary and my need to create art. I need a place were I have to limit myself to one photo day because it makes me seriously edit and evaluate my work, but I also need a place to feel free to post 5-10 pictures to capture the day for myself, family and friends. I am not sure one photoblog will work. I have a week to figure it all out!

Thank you all for an amazing year and bringing back to life my photographic passions!


julieunplugged said...

I liked reading your chronicle of the impact of the quality of your camera had on you. I would have had a really hard time keeping at it with a poor camera, so I totally get it. I'm really happy your family surprised you with just the right one! That's a wonderful gift and will re-energize you I'm sure!

Ampersand said...

Oh, it makes me so sad to remember you losing your camera on that %^&*# bus.

You have done a wonderful job with low tech equipment. I had a pretty good point and shoot and it stretched me to frustraion, so I can imagine your emotions.

I'm glad you stuck with it and are starting 2008 with your new toy!

Nicole Rae Studio said...

Thank you so much for posting this. It has been such a joy to get a glimpse into your life, your family, and your school and kids! I'm glad you never gave up.

Susanne B. said...

I understand plugging through this project with a poor camera -- mine is new but inexpensive and my photos never have the quality of Carol's or Nikki's or Sandy's, and it's bugged me. A lot.

You have encouraged me greatly to pursue this project. I feel like mine have also been snapshot-like, but that's just where I am right now, in the midst of kids, pets, and school. And that's okay.

Enjoy your new camera and keep on keepin' on....

Colleen said...

Like Susanne, I'm a snapshot kinda gal, at least at this point. When I started this project, I thought we'd all simply be sharing regular ol' pics of people and places. I was stunned when I realized how quickly people were taking and sharing these incredible photographs. Stunned in a good way, in that I appreciated the artistry. And in a bad way, in that I was (and still am, to an extent) intimidated. So you hit the nail on the head for me when you said, "To do anything properly you have to be willing to fail." Almost every picture I take inside won't be very good ~ and any of my outdoor shots that are good primarily thanks to scenery.

But I came to the realization that it doesn't matter. To me, anyway. I know no one will ever look at my pictures as a means of learning more about photography, and that's okay because it's just not me.

Despite that, I've totally enjoyed sharing of myself via this project, and even more so, I've enjoyed that friends like YOU have been sharing. What a treat it's been to get inside your lives. I've wanted to comment so much more often, but even when I haven't, I've followed each person's photographic journal. Thank you, Sandie, and here's to 2008! xoxo