Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

Sometimes giving up is the right thing to do

I've decided to abandon the 366 project. It's not that I can't take a photo every day. I can, and I could continue to point my phone at something and take a shot and upload it day after day. It's just that I've decided there's no point in taking photos just for the sake of taking a photo.

Back in 2010 it was different. The 365 project I did then taught me a lot. I got interested in photography in my teens when I bought my first serious 35mm camera. Not an SLR, I couldn't afford one of those, but it had a good lens and enabled me to learn about aperture, shutter speed and depth of field. I had a separate light meter which I used to work these out. No automatic settings and autofocus in those days! Rolls of 35mm film came with either 20 or 36 frames. So when I switched to digital in 2000, it was wonderful to be able to take as many shots as I liked, just like the professionals had always been able to do, and then pick out the best.

In 2007 I did the OU's digital photography course, which came as a kick up the bottom because I had become complacent and was taking what were really just snapshots, though I still fancied myself as a good photographer. The OU course led to Flickr and buying a DSLR and becoming more serious. Back then I would take lots and lots of photos of a scene and then spend hours deciding which of the umpteen subtly different shots was the best and then processing it in PhotoShop Elements.

So, on to the 2010 365 project...

It soon became obvious that if I was to take, process and post a photo every day, I had to speed up a lot. Instead of taking umpteen photos of a scene, I became more discerning and would just take a couple of shots of what I thought were the best compositions, with just one or two backup shots in case something was off with the focus or there was any camera shake. I learned to see a photo more quickly and also discovered some quick, simple and effective photo processing techniques. I also learned how to find desperation shots when the weather was awful or I didn't have time to go out in search of interesting things to photograph.

So, as I said, I could carry on doing this all year, but I've decided that it's pointless. I already take photos if I see anything worth photographing, so why fill up my hard drive with pictures I don't really want? The project is not taking up a lot of time each day, but it does take some that could be spent doing something more useful. I'm not even joining in with the commenting as much as I should if I want to get the most out of the project. I've realised I'm not going to learn anything new and it's already feeling very much like going through the motions, whereas making videos is a big challenge and what I need to be concentrating on.

I will, of course, keep on with the weekly alphabet photo and I'll take photos whenever I see or do anything interesting, but re the 366 project, I'm quitting now before I fall into the trap of thinking, "I've gone so far, it would be silly to stop now."

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