Two months into my daily photo project, I have both good and bad things to report.
First, the good. Without question, I feel more knowledgable about my camera and lenses than at any point in history. Decisions occur faster. Results are better. Should I change ISO or shutter? Shutter or aperture? Most amusing are the shots taken in daylight after opening both the shutter and aperture for a nighttime shot the day before. Find a subject. Frame the shot. Click. See the result: A frame of solid white, blown out beyond recognition. Oops.
Given my numerous mistakes and failures, I can’t imagine suffering through this process in the days of film. Each of those blown out mistakes would cost far more than time, and who knows how many shots you might take before realizing you hadn’t changed your settings.
Overall, I’m thrilled with the process. I’m toying with different lenses. I’m excited for springtime and summer to get more use out of my wide angle lens. Winter skies in Illinois are rarely photogenic outside of sunrise or sunset. And I’ve got my eyes on a f2.8 75-200mm lens. We’ll see. For now, I mostly make do with the 50mm.
The bad news I mentioned really isn’t bad. Let’s instead call it a complication. Or a challenge.
The challenge: finding interesting shots when routine is painfully mundane. I work from home. There are only so many interesting things to shoot at home. There’s a lamp I love, and I’ve resorted to shifting objects near that lamp to alter subject matter. I could resort to endless macro shots, but variation is still tricky. It seems the most difficult aspect of this project is to shift routines to find new subject matter. I’ve pulled over my car in a few parking lots during fog. I’ve taken several walks. Most of the houses around here are painfully similar in shape and color. If you’ve shot one in the snow, you’ve shot them all.
So I need to get more creative. Thankfully, warmer weather will bring a new batch of colors and variation. Dull winter colors seem to work better when shooting people. I’m a bit depressed that I’m no longer in Chicago’s Loop multiple days a week. Not a lot of humans out and about round these parts during a suburban winter. Add in my inherent shyness, or unwillingness to have people think I’m taking their photo, and I’m basically a lost cause.
It doesn’t help that I follow professional photographers on social media, because many of these people live in mountainous areas or urban areas, or they travel frequently, posting photos of such diverse settings. They make a concerted, time consuming effort to get those shots, and it’s fantastic, and one shouldn’t compare his own rudimentary attempts to theirs, but it can’t be helped.
Anyway, I remain excited about the project, and I’m pleased with the results. Hopefully, throughout the year, I’ll find new ways of varying my subjects, and, if I do things right, I’ll force myself on new adventures worthy of bringing along a camera.
Check out my Flick Daily Photo Album here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsksk9QUv
Also published on Medium.