I am back uploading to DeviantART.com my photographs from my self-set 365-challenge last year. This ran the whole of 2011, but I’ve been so far behind uploading the resultant pictures, most likely because of so many conflicting duties that I have.
I don’t know if the 36-challenge is person-specific, with the task being delegated by the self- and, indeed, I am following someone who lived her life in specific ways each month for the year- but, being in a circle of photographers, I learnt about it as specifically a photography challenge.
To take (at least) one photo per day for a year. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, that’d be wrong. Sure, professional photographers, or people who have access to models or shoots, would easily be able to incorporate the challenge into their daily lives, but I am not one of those people; I am just an amateur, using the challenge to see the world in a different perspective whilst honing my camera skills.
One of my biggest challenges with the, well, challenge was to find three things. The first, my memory: every day, at the beginning no less, I needed to remember that I was part of the challenge, and I needed to remember to keep my eyes open. The second: a subject. As a student, it’s not easy. And once I had the subject, I needed to find time, amongst my lessons and activities (and novel-writing) to spend at least ten minutes arranging said object or finding the best view around the scene.
I guess I made it harder for myself too. I think the idea was just to take and improve. I tried to find a photograph that summed up each day. For some days, of course, this was easy, such as Halloween or Christmas or the Royal Wedding. On some days I was doing such significant things that my meaning was obvious to include:
on the night I performed my GCSE Drama piece, playing Eliza in Pygmalion, I took this picture of my dress-shoes on a school hymn book. They were nice shoes, even if a little tight! Yes, photography is perfect for reviving old memories; that’s one of the reasons I love it!
On other days, however, ‘unimportant’ days, or those that were just normal week-days, where you’d find me not venturing out, I was stumped. I attempted to make the pictures that come from those uninspired days as relevant as possible, but sometimes it was just that I saw something nice. Thus a photo came out of what I saw, rather than felt, but, to me, it was just a little off-principle.
To be fair, I knew a girl who dropped out of the challenge quite early in. The problem for her was that she kept getting her rolls of film mixed up, thus losing which picture belonged where, And, of course, for the photographer knowing which picture goes with which day is important. This I about the individual days, as well, as the bigger picture of the challenge.
But I completed it on New Year’s Eve 2011. Okay, I didn’t take one every single day- simply because I had forgotten or was in a depressive phase. Taking two on another day didn’t entirely help, as, just like my friend, I have begun to get confused about which picture is relevant. Sometimes it feels like I’ve lost a couple. So I stop uploading and have a root around. Sometimes I find them; lately there’s been a gap in my list.
Nevertheless, I know that my photography knowledge and skills have improved since I did the challenge, and I am glad for doing so.
On this day a year ago… 18thApril:
You can find my profile on the site here: http://goldenearthangel.deviantart.com/
What about you? Got any interesting photos to share?