On day 69, I took a photo of my fridge with loads of paintings my kids had done at school and nursery. I took this photo at about 23:55....just in time. I think in my head, I knew this was the beginning of the end for this project, but I continued....up until day 140, when I missed a shot.
Ironically, the day I missed the first shot was when I was travelling, which is generally when I try to make sure I'm shooting a lot.... It's kind of important when you label yourself as a travel photographer!
After that day, I tried to recover, but in all honesty, I found it too hard. January was really tough, but I had enthusiasm, February was harder, but I had a few better days of weather, but not much. As I moved into March, I found family and work consuming so much of my time that this project simply took a back seat.
But then I kind of always said that this wasn't necessarily about taking 365 photos, but more of a foundation for stuff I wanted to achieve this year.
When I look back at January, I made a list of what I was trying to achieve during this project. Here's some of the highlights.
- Improve developing skills: I'm pretty happy with the consistency I've been getting lately, certainly with my black and white work. I need to shoot more colour in 35 to nail this, but I'm getting there. I learnt a lot simply by shooting more. I got rid of scratch marks on the negatives through changing my process, I found a hairdryer on the reels made loading the film so much easier, which meant I could concentrate on the critical stuff....temperature and timings. I believe this project was a foundation for that and while I don't take a shot everyday, I continue to shoot more and develop my skills in this area.
- Portraits: I've done a couple of shoots and been really happy with the results. I think it's a confidence thing and shooting more will help. I hope to have a shoot in September to continue with this, but I've made progress, and so far, I'm content with this.
- Print More: I've been getting a lot more proof prints with my pro lab developed stuff, and continue to get prints through a variety of sources. Printspace is still my go to lab for quality prints but also really like Artifact Uprising for some cool square prints. It is still special to see stuff taken through to final print, especially work I've shot and developed myself.
- Finish Twelve: OK, that's not done yet, but we set some new ground rules to help us complete it faster, which should help. I'm still confident we can do this, and still confident in the 12 photographers we have lined up, so as ever, watch this space.
- Continue to enjoy photography: Do I like what I do...? Absolutely! Do I think I can improve...? Always! I know my work is not groundbreaking by any stretch, and I know I often dabble in gear, more than is probably healthy to pursue excellence, but I actually don't care. For me, I have a decent balance of challenge and fun. I'm trying to devote a bit more time to my Stock photography, which is helping to fund my obsession of film, but I'm also just enjoying what I do. I think I've found my niche, something I actually think I'm pretty good at, and I'll continue to explore this throughout the remainder of this year. I've got a few ideas for projects, which are based around this niche and something I'll have a go at when I get some time...for now, I'll enjoy what I do, when I can.
So, back to the original question. Success or failure? Well, I didn't shoot 365 shots...didn't even make it half way. I love seeing the work of the other 365 projects which continue to deliver, and totally respect what they are trying to do... I tried too, but this year was simply not for me.
But I've learnt so much, about me, about photography, about what I like, what I don't like, what I'm good at and what I'm crap at...so, in my mind, I'm pretty happy.
I'll let you make your own mind up, and would love to hear your thoughts. For now, I'll just leave you with a few highlights.