Tag Archives: 365project

Projects… get going on your photography

After Christmas – rested and ready to go..

A happy new year to all our readers and followers! How wonderful, a whole year to do more photography. Here are a few project ideas you might like. Get them up and running for the new year. There is nothing like a good project to crystallize your vision and get your photography off to a great start. A great project will also help you improve your photography and to think of ideas about the best photographs to take.

Panda by kevin dooley, on Flickr

Panda by kevin dooley, on Flickr
Panda by kevin dooley, on FlickrExternal link - opens new tab/page

Panda to your passion

If you have a pet passion then photography is a great way to express it. If you love the rainforests, relish a good book or are passionate about people you can find a way to express your enthusiasm. The best way to make your photography work for you is to focus it on something you are really motivated by in your life. Even if your project is about the rainforests and you won’t be going there, why not make your project about selling pictures to raise money. Love books? Create great scenes that depict the story, or a part of it. Your ideas will help you to develop your photography and really give your photographic story-telling skills a work out. If you really love something then expressing it through your photography is both compelling and exciting.

Photo-diary

Lots of people would love to keep a diary – but somehow it gets lost in the words. Pictures on the other hand say so much. There are lots of ways to express yourself with images. At the same time they provide you with a great way to tell the story of your activities. You can do it day by day or focus on the best times.

There are a number of ways you can do a photo diary. Some people just do a photo-blog. There are lots of possibilities. Have a look here for a few inspiring ideas: 50 Wonderful inspiring photoblogs. You can start a blog for free at WordPress.com.

Another possibility is to try a 365 Project. This is where you post a photograph every day for a year. It is a bit of a commitment. But you soon get into the swing of things. There is nothing better than carrying your camera with you every day, every where, to improve your photography. The project I recommend is 365project.org. I have been posting on that site for nearly two years now. What a great community. You will be welcomed with open arms and there is plenty to do there to keep you interested and focussed. You can try it out with a free daily account. Many committed 365ers go on to take an ‘ace’ account. For a small payment you can have three albums, photo-editing facilities and options to extend your account. There are great learning opportunities and most of the users are starters. So you are all getting going together. It is wonderful to see pictures made by people you become friends with. People post from all over the world and you will see some places you never thought you would. Its a great place to get your photography off to a flying start.

Photo-sharing websites

Another popular choice for getting your photos out there to be seen is on photo-sharing websites. Flickr, 500PX, Instagram and dozens of others provide opportunities for you to store your pictures where others can see them and comment on them. Of course what you post there is up to you. If you make friends and comment on other peoples images they will often comment back. You might already know people there who will be happy to look at your pictures too. Have a look at all these possibilities on Google.

Getting started

There is no doubt that the start of a project is down to you. You can choose some of the ideas above. When it comes down to it however, it is up to you. You need to define your ideas and get on with your project. You can make as much of it as you like or as little as the time you have to spare. Whatever you do, start with a little planning. Write a short paragraph about what you are going to do. Say how many photos you hope to achieve. Not total shots, but the top keepers. Say, “I will have completed this project when I have [insert number of images] top quality images of [your subject here]”. By giving yourself a defined target you are helping to set your boundary and your scope. Make your goal achievable but a challenge. Never let it be said you underperformed! Your project should be fun. It should also help you to enjoy and improve your photography. After all, we would all like to make our pictures better.

A productive 2013…

If you do a project – have fun. If you decide to be more general in your approach… still have fun. Your photography is all about having a great time.

Let me wish you all a happy and photography filled new year. Be productive and most of all enjoy your photography.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
See also: Profile on Google+.

365 Project

365Project - a great way to get your photos seen and to see the photographs of other people.

365Project - a great way to get your photos seen and to see the photographs of other people. Sharing and commenting is a effective way to learn.

Getting your pictures seen is what its all about

Photography showcase websites have been popular for some years. Flickr, Photobucket, and 500px are examples of popular social/sharing photo-sites. There are many more. However, some social-networking photography sites are a bit intimidating for the photographer who is just building up confidence. It is sometimes daunting to post your shots when you unsure. Getting started posting online is easier if you are with a friendly website where the community is supportive and helpful. 365project is one such site.

365 websites provide a challenge for users to post a photograph every day for a year. The idea is simple. Photographers challenge themselves to produce photographs daily just for the fun of it. You have to provide the self-motivation to take a daily picture and to become a part of the site community. Beyond that pretty much anything goes. There is no agenda as far as the site is concerned. Do as you wish (within the bounds of decency and legality). If you become a part of the community regular posting is important. Your ‘followers’ miss you if you don’t post, so you feel obligated to keep your photos going. The community spirit is very strong. Everyone helps each other. It is astonishing how friendly the site is and how helpful everyone is when you need it. The 365project is definitely about community.

Great things, bad things, wonderful things, exciting things, tragic and the mundane, the 365ers are there for all of that. Believe me it is tear-jerking sometimes. The community all rally around and help out, congratulate, support or just provide {{{{hugs}}}}. It’s fun supportive and enjoyable to have people so focused on your interests and theirs and you get to share intimate insights into peoples lives.

Regular commenting on peoples photographs will bring in return comments on your shots. 365ers are really positive about the photos they view. People do not make bad comments. They may refrain from comment, but will definitely talk about the good aspects of your shots. If you just pick up on the positive comments and repeat good ideas in future shots you would learn a great deal. If you ask for advice people make really helpful and useful comments. Not every one agrees with everyone else. But, its all about understanding your photography so accepting different approaches to a shot is all part of the learning process.

As your skills progress some shots may prove to be crowd pullers. The site has a ‘popular page‘ where pictures that have caught wide attention get posted. The popular page helps pull new visitors to your project helping you make new friends.

A daily photograph is a challenge and lacking inspiration sometimes is part of the journey. The project has members all over the world. Normal and everyday for you is totally new for some of them. So just take a shots that you like – even if it is your cat, and post it on the site. Er… actually, take a picture especially if it is your cat. The ‘Awwwww’ factor is big on the project (cats on 365 project). Appealing pictures are very popular.

If you like a photograph ‘Fav’ it with the button at the top of every daily picture-page. ‘Favs’ are stored in your fav pages which keeps your favorite pictures. You can also look at other people fav pictures. This is great for developing your ideas about what is a good picture. It’s helpful to look at good photographs every day. It develops your skills as a photographer. Favs are the pictures that influence your photography, give you ideas and help you improve.

Camera carrying becomes a habit. You get to know your camera intimately. 365project is also a great place to get to know post-processing. Helpful comments, ideas, tricks and tips are shared everywhere. The site also has lots of articles, discussions and help groups.

There are some really fun things to try out during your project…

  • A 30 day challenge on a theme (black and white; mobile shots; abstracts…)
  • Taking a photo and link it to a music track every day
  • Two weeks of abstract shots
  • A photo each day that starts with a letter of the alphabet from A-Z
  • Photograph the seasons throughout the year
  • A self portrait week, or month, or whatever.
  • A regular timed photo every day, say, taken at 2.30pm.

There are lots of ideas like this on the site and a weekly theme for you to follow, among other things.

Using the site is free – just register and start. There is also an ‘ace’ membership for $19. For that you get two extra albums and access to online editing software. There is a lot more to the site – more information can be found on the site. You can use any camera – its about the shots, not what equipment you own.

Seriously committed to your photography? Want to be a part of a committed photographic community? 365project is for you. It’s an excellent way to build your skills and confidence. And, I can tell you, it is quite an achievement to finish the year. Enjoy!