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Project 365

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(I’ll begin by saying this is a massive post.  I can’t believe how long it’s taking me to put it together.  I suppose it is a massive trip down memory lane, a reflection upon not only a year but also a journey in a hobby and skill.  If you are stopping by I hope you’ll enjoy clicking on the links (I deliberately didn’t actually put the photos all in and your click will open a new tab so you won’t lose this page) and taking a little trip through the year with me!)  Friday I posted my 365th photo on The Fair View. My enthusiasm for the project on January 1, 2010 was pretty high, and I have to say that I did enjoy it all year long.  Some days more than others, and some days it was difficult to find a decent photo (some days I took one photo at 11 o’clock at night in order to have something to put up), but on other days I had trouble choosing just one (especially beach days).  It has been a great way to chronicle the year and improve my photography skills.  When I looked back at all the pictures I honestly felt like some of my very best were taken in the first two months, which is a little disappointing-did I not improve? How could that be? It could be the excitement of a new project challenged me every day to find something.  It could also be that there were many things I particularly wanted to photograph that once I did I felt I couldn’t go back to them (such as these horses and donkeys.   Choosing which photo to have be the photo of the day was most difficult when I was trying to decide between a photo that was wonderful in terms of photographic quality and one that was not necessarily a great photo, but truly evocative of the day and captured a moment.

Here are my very favorite pictures of the year:

  1. Hen Hen Hen Hen An early photo of the chickens, I felt like everything came together just right for this-subject, light, funny chicken fannies.
  2. Wintry Park I couldn’t believe my good fortune with this one. Walking around the park in Boston, thinking it scenic and lovely, and then these winter shadows and silhouettes of frolicking dogs on the frozen pond.
  3. Blizzard I took a lot of pictures of snow and a lot pictures of our tree, and this was definitely my favorite-the contrast of snow and dark, the geometry of the tree, the quiet of winter, I just loved this.
  4. Ladybug, Ladybug Another instance of Nature arranging herself just so for me-bright red ladybug against yellow flower. I loved the natural bright contrasts of color.
  5. Beaded Rain I loved how this natural sight somehow looked like a manmade beaded object.
  6. Diamond Web another picture focusing on small drops of water.
  7. Orange You Glad I seemed to often take pictures of orange things and here I really loved how the color stood out and the background was soft
  8. Happy Birthday Clark the exuberant leap, the bright colors (orange!), this was one of those ones that was both a good photo as well as a photo that had significance for me in terms of emotion and capturing the day.
  9. Floating another one that was both a great photo and a great moment for me. Tabby’s serene smile and closed eyes really went straight to my heart
  10. Evening Toe Dip This one made me feel very National Geographic-y.  Subject just happened to be there, but I composed and clicked!
  11. Toast the warmth of color, the object, the stacking, this picture practically made me smell toast every time I looked at it.
  12. Early Evening Begonia I thought the lighting on this begonia was incredible

Those were my most favorite (it was going to be top 10, but as you seen I ended up with 12) but there were many more standouts that I was either very proud of and/or were very dear to me.  And they don’t get short shrift by not being on the list, because I’m going to talk about them now!

There were many days that I would email friends the “runner up” photo. Often, I ended up putting those photos into a post here on this site.  Sometimes my favorite picture of the day wouldn’t be the one I chose to post for a variety of reasons (i.e. inappropriate.)  Here are a couple of runner up photos that didn’t get to make it anywhere:  I loved the water and shadows in this one, but it was runner up because I felt I had to pick this one (even though it made me scream.)
One winter day I took many pictures of these donkeys and horses and a little windmill and snow.  I loved them all and chose this one to post, but looking back this was the picture I really liked:
Another runner up:

How I Photographed:
Composition and lighting were definitely some things that I worked on.  Sometimes my photos were very deliberately composed still lifes, or staged objects, and other times they were objects (or creatures) already in place and I worked at framing them just so.  I played with focus and angles on this crazy mirror picture and was very pleased with the outcome.

The afternoon light in our living room is something that I notice most days as being very lovely and especially warm.  There were many days where I tried to take pictures of things in that light.  One of them was the link above (“staged objects”), and another is the runner up above of the nativity scene (or, as I fondly called it, “the holy family bathed in light”).  The very late afternoon summer light is also lovely in my room, and I was delighted with this picture of Tabby talking on the phone.

I didn’t often choose pictures that I’d taken in black and white, or ones that I used effects in, but Winter SteelSteamtown, and Blue Skies were ones that were standouts.   I especially liked Winter Steel because I played with the angle of the picture so that an ordinary object ended up looking so foreign.
It’s also worth noting that midway through the year I got a new camera! Here was the Rebel’s inaugural photo of the day.

What I Photographed:
I had a bunch of different categories (including the month) and probably could have tagged or added more.  It wasn’t long before I felt I should have included a category for sewing, for example.  It was interesting to look back and see how many pictures were in each category.  I was so happy for camera shy Pippin that there were several photos of him this year, as well as several of Liesl. Remarkably and uintentionally there ended up being the same number of times for each child, and several of them were of them together.  The chickens and flowers and food were all very frequently photographed things. I really never tired of food styling or taking extreme closeups of flowers.  I notice I also like pictures of water in action-dripping, splashing, spraying.  As I look back at the past 365 photos I feel like it really boils down to: I like taking pictures of my kids and nature.

Kids.  I suppose everyone likes pictures of their children, and these days every proud parent with a digital camera can and does take nice pictures of their kids.  I do like to think though, that I’ve taken some really great ones of them.  Interestingly of the pictures of Tabitha (this was almost in the top 10 for the year) there were quite a few of her hands. (Apparently I like a scene of objects to have a touch of human in it reaching in from the side.)  And as for Clark, well quite a few of the pictures of him are of him in motionleaping, jumping, flying!  Of course I took photos to commemorate special days, such as starting kindergarten and preschool, but I really love best the photos that capture the essence of them and their childhood.  There were many sweet and funny moments of them together and with friends.   I don’t only want to see my kids through a viewfinder, so rest assured that as much as I easily snap them doing the most ordinary of activities, I do put my camera down.
It seems like I infrequently took pictures of adults, but this one was a real favorite for the setting, the mood, and capturing us all together.

Nature:  When it comes to nature photos I loved taking closeups of the frog in our pond (R.I.P. Big Green Froggie), things just emerging in the garden (especially when the spring green looked fake against the grey brown soil), and super closeups of either weird things in plants or botanical anatomy (and I love how in flower macros you get a large area of intense color.  Of course sometimes I just liked pretty things , fantastic things, and colorful flowers.  In May I swear I could have posted a picture of a peony every day for two weeks straight. But I didn’t, so here are two favorite peony photos:

Combining both kids and nature–the beach.  Seemed like every time we went to the beach I came home with between 100 and 300 pictures, and I either liked or loved most of them.  On those days it was difficult to choose just one-I often ended up putting up a bunch of photos here at Sew Buttons This one I really liked and even had made into stickers! It seems like the bright blue skies and happy smiles just made all the pictures great.

I had a few favorite subjects-things in my neighborhood that I definitely wanted to get pictures of like the shaggy cows, our backyard birds (I was never able to get the cardinal in the forsythia, although every time it was there I noticed its pretty bright red body in the midst of it) , and of course the rivers and bridges. It also almost goes without saying that I took a lot of pictures of chickens throughout the year.  So many that I’m not even giving a link-they have their own category! There were some seasonal things I liked, such as apples and pumpkins in the fall. Here it is not only one of my favorite subjects, but also one employing the favorite technique of a close up of an object in the front and a big field of the objects in the background.

While I had many pictures of ordinary things, I also chose pictures of interesting/significant/unusual objects.   Still Life With Oranges was significant because it ended up being the basis for a painting Paul did that I believe is his best yet.  I loved the colors of white, blue, and orange in this.  Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree is a great souvenir photo-I’ll always remember seeing this unusual living art in the sculpture garden across from the Hirshorn. I was so excited to take pictures at a real rodeo, and the day we saw hay baling in afternoon sunlight I had trouble choosing just one. And even though in real life I dislike seeing large quantities of small things, I loved taking those pictures.

There were definitely many times I just could not get the picture I wanted-either due to lighting, zoom, or seeing something as I drove past it–but I did go through the year very consciously noticing things around me in a new way. A nice way! I’ve grown to know what sorts of pictures please me most.  I have tried to also be mindful, as I take thousands of pictures each year, of making sure I also see things, as Liz says, “the old fashioned way-with my eyes”.  Sometimes when you miss a good photo, it’s good enough to have seen it with your eyes and put the image in your memory.

So here we go again with day One! And, to spice it up this year, I’ll be doing a scavenger hunt of 101 things that Liz and Eleanor came up with. One of the items is “Egg”, so I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.


About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

3 responses »

  1. Congratulations on finishing your first 365! You’ve taken so many lovely pictures this year. Looking at the “Sunny Days, Sweeping Clouds Away” is not a good idea in January with snow on the ground. I’m like, “I want it to be summer!”

    I’m excited to hear you’re going to keep going with another year, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with for our scavenger hunt!

  2. Big mega congrats to you on completing a 365! A number of my friends have started them this year, and I haven’t quite convinced myself that I’m up to the challenge. I think that someday I’ll invest in a really nice camera (my current point and shoot works great, but somewhat limited in terms of functions) and that will be when I’ll do one.

    I’ve really enjoyed seeing the world through your camera lens this year. Thank you!

  3. thanks everyone! All the comments throughout the year have meant so much to me. Of course I’m happy to have the pictures for myself, but it helps to have feedback from others and it’s fun to share and I’ve really appreciated knowing there were followers. Anne, you should do it regardless of camera! You take great pictures of your Blythe already!


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