In Retrospect, a 365 Project

the Cover photo

the Cover photo

Here is the link to My 365 Project from 2013 Link

In the wee hours of Dec 2012 I decided to attempt a project that I had thought about for some time . . on Jan 1st, I started a journey that was exhilarating, challenging, exhausting, frustrating, boring and in the end successful.  My idea and premiss as well as subject morphed quickly to shooting from my kitchen window the primary subject each day, additional elements like the numbers were shot elsewhere and used only once per column if possible.  The few caveats to this project were the occasions when I had to be out of town away from the window.  A daily shot was made each day and when I was home they were posted the same day.  There were obstacles at every turn, family duties, other chores and general life which seemed equally impacted by my obsession after awhile to complete my goal(s) . . . I set some very high standards for myself as well as some very rigid rules, I met them and succeeded so I was happy in the end, in retrospect I had no clue what I was getting into and if I were to do it again I would not place such rigid goals and would have allowed for more freedom as to location.

Surprises along the way were how the subject matter evolved to be primarily bird-life / wildlife just outside the kitchen window in my little garden beside my house.  My limited use of only this vantage point and equipment choices proved invaluable to the view presented in the project.

The setup used

The setup used

The above photo shows the old Nikkor 300mm F/4 AF lens and 11mm extension ring I used for almost all the photos (trip photos used other lenses), I also used a tripod and the Nikon D7000 camera.  This setup proved itself and I made tons of photos each day, I did eventually limit the amount of photos taken daily to 100 or less to conserve space and processing time (mostly sorting), Still I managed to accumulate almost 2 Terabytes of photos used in the project.  The D7000 has a mean shutter life of 150K . . . my current shot count is at 135K about 87% of the mean value, I’d say that speaks highly of the D7000 and the Nikkor 300 f/4 lens.

It has been ten months since I shot, post processed and posted the last photo of that project.  I immediately took a welcomed break from my daily tasks . . . well I tried to stop immediately, that didn’t work, it took about a month to completely be camera free (that meant not shooting every day as I am never camera free).  Then the liberation of no self imposed deadlines or shoot was as refreshing as when I walked away from my steady 9 to 5 job a year earlier.  I was so relieved, yet deep down felt guilty, like I was playing hooky or something, I felt naked without a camera but at the same time I dreaded . . . almost loathed my cameras.  I had achieved burnout . . . Time heals, I had other life events fill my time and life, I adopted some new birds (parrots, which are just feathered children) . . I got re-married . . . and slowly I have allowed my photography to come back into my life.

I love to teach photography, I teach a few Landscape – wildlife / bird photography and a specialty Hummingbird photography workshops each year and have recently teamed up with a journalist photographer friend and we are teaching workshops in lighting and other aspects of photography, hopefully we both hope to expand and offer more workshops this year and the next.  It’s an adventure, life is an adventure and again I will say … slowly, my hand rests on a camera more and more, I am happy to be getting back into it as a friend points out, but I may wind up, winding down . . . I want to get back to enjoying my photography again, you know what I mean, that unbridled feeling of the joy of just creating a picture, and at times just letting the scene, subject, event be taken in by only my eyes, not once lifting the camera to my eye.   I grew over that 365 days of non-stop shooting, much as an athlete does when he or she trains for an event . . but when your done …. your done.

Just a glimpse, Black Chinned Hummingbird (male)

Just a glimpse, Black Chinned Hummingbird (male)

. . . . truly, you are never “Done” . . . one just pauses to reload.  I have begun again to explore and plumb the depths of my photographic abilities . . . I am 61 years young . . . and I fully intend to enjoy this life, be creative and continue learn.   Thank you for reading this post, if you enjoyed it do share it.  When I get that project in print I will post a link to it here.  There are tons of DIY publishing concepts out there . . . I just have not found the model I want to use for my book . . . there are a lot of decisions yet to be made.  I may also do an e-book . . . time will tell.

Enjoy . . now get off yer butt and go make some pixs

Tim . . . aka (DigiPainTeR)

One last look at my Summer Garden . . . dying from the heat and the drought . . but wonderful life still exists.

Mantis, Hunter in the Garden

Mantis, Hunter in the Garden



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