Thursday, October 31, 2013

Clearing out cobwebs

Since it's Halloween, it's appropriate to refer to dusting off this blog as clearing out the cobwebs.  It's something I've been thinking about for awhile, but other life priorities have taken precedent. Things like, oh, having son number two. We remodelled our kitchen. We both changed jobs at work.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that, my heart has been calling me to spend more time connected to my camera to document daily life, milestones and to share that gift with others. Over this last year, I have seen my photography grow so much. I've had my beloved Nikon D90 for almost 4 years and only recently have I graduated from shooting in P or A mode to full manual.  (I abandoned Auto almost immediately for P or A, but was so scared for a long time to try to control all three points of the exposure triangle. I still have a lot to learn. 

And that is one reason why tomorrow I am beginning my very first Project 365 .  The idea is to commit to taking one picture each day for 365 consecutive days.  When I told the husband I planned to do it, his response was "I thought you already do take pictures everyday."  He's obviously used to seeing me with my camera or iPhone in hand clicking away.  The difference is that I am intentionally commiting myself to taking at least one photo every day. 

I'm really excited about this. Part of that excitement is that it's being led by Courtney of Click It Up a Notch and three other photographers.  I don't know Courtney in "real" life, but I've followed her blog and FB page for about two years. I have learned more from her articles, tutorials and way of explaining things than I have in the other 20 plus years I've casually taken photos. The community she has helped to create through her blog is very supportive, positive, encouraging and energetic.

There isn't a set structure or daily assignments yet.  It has an organic feel to it. One thing I know about myself is that I tend to do better with structure.  So, the first 30 days is a two-for-one-deal.  Courtney of Click It Up a Notch (@clickitupanotch) and ShutterBagUSA (@shutterbagusa) are collaborating to lead the #30thankfuldays challenge on Instagram. 

My goals for my Project 365 are:
1) Learn more about the technical side of photography.  I want to become more comfortable with manual mode, learn to use my speedlight better and utilize what's currently in my camera bag to the fullest. 
2) Learn more about editing. I've used Lightroom 3 more in the last six months than ever, but I just cannot get the hang of the adjustment brush or graduated filters. And I would like to learn how to create a subtle matte look for some photos. 
3) Encourage others in their photography journey.  Sharing knowledge, supporting others' efforts to be artistic and challenge themselves is one way that I want to make a positive impact in this life.

I am committed to taking photos everyday and I will most many of them here and on Instagram (@jleecee).