Sunday, March 7, 2010

Commencement



365/365
To have reached day 365 feels like my birthday, New Year's Eve and graduation day, all rolled into one! Indulge me for a moment, while I consider what it all means...

A year ago, I started this Project 365 with two goals. The first was simple -- to learn how to use my camera. Get out of "auto" mode, know what all the buttons & dials do, understand more about composition and how to make a nice photo. The second goal was more complex. I thought this project could help me get past my daily grind, and find myself again. It was a tall order for 365 photos, but that was my hope.

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One year later, I have to say that this project far exceeded my expectations on all counts! No longer do I fear the buttons, blinking lights, and clicking dials on my camera. I toggle blithely through the menus, adjusting exposure, flash, file formats and reading histograms. I understand ISO, DOF, HDR, Av, Tv, M, RAW and jpeg, among other acronyms. I engage (mostly lurk) in online photography forums, subscribe to several photography blogs, and know a decisive moment when I see one (well, at least my hindsight is 20/20).

Besides my newfound mastery of my gear, I have found other encouraging signs that my skills are improving. Whether its your comments, seeing my work hung up in the coffee shop downtown, competing in photo contests or earning money with my photography, each time something like that happens, I get a little thrill.

I thought the "finding myself" part would come from simply re-connecting to a pastime I used to enjoy, in a former life. But it is so much better than that. When I know that an image I created moves someone else, it is an affirmation like no other. And that is so powerful because, now, instead of simply recording a moment of joy or beauty or triumph... that image is a triumph in itself.

I'm not sure what comes next. My intention when I began a year ago was to be open to any opportunities to learn and grow that might crop up along the way. That approach has been working for me so far, and I'm going to stick with it. But first I'm going to allow myself a short break. I'm still not sure when the next phase will start, but check back soon!


Thanks for stopping by!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well done. Looked forward to checking it out every day. I cannot speak to the technical aspects other than 'the pictures looked pretty'. I more appreciated the story that the whole project told (even kumquats were interesting). My favorites were pictures with the kids (yours, mine, and Liz's in particular). You definitely got some of the best photos ever taken of any of them as you really captured their character, and I'm pretty sure none of the doohickies on you camera can teach that skill. Thanks for sharing.

-Bill

Nora said...

Great Uncle Harold would be proud.

PG said...

BRAVO!!

Well done and well written up. I am do hope that even if you don't commit to a daily shot you will still be active here at least some.

I am glad the undertaking exceeded your expectations. It really is a wonderful gift (even if there are days here and there that seem anything but).

Thanks for sharing your year with us! See you around!

Mr. CM said...

I so love you.

Joyce said...

You cannot leave a new fan out here dangling. Carry on somehow.I'll be waiting.....

Milkayphoto (Tracy) said...

Woo hoo and CONGRATULATIONS!! Well done and I'm very jealous! I still have a few months to go, and at times, I feel like I am limping towards the finish line. Nice to know there will be a smiling face already there when I do arrive.

I am so very glad I was along for the ride. I laughed, I smiled, I learned, I oohed and aahed. I look forward to what is to come for you - Bravo indeed!! :-)

shawn thornton said...

Congratulations, and well done! We looked forward to the daily postings, which were truly enjoyable, and a great way to chronicle the year! Hope CM isn't shut down for good....what will we do in retirement????
aka--M&D

recklessbliss said...

I found your blog through pioneer woman and I'm instantly hooked. If it's alright with you I'm going to add you to my blog love list on my blog!

Ms Mgt said...

Thanks, everyone! Knowing you all have been here looking has really helped me along this past year.

As for what's next... I am halfway through day 366, and I haven't taken a photo yet. I feel kinda itchy and nervous. So, Joyce, it won't be long... :)

Anonymous said...

It's a description, it's a photo, but together it is a story- thanks for capturing what is important in life. I think you might rethink the title- I saw no "crap managment" over the year but rather observations of how everyday life occurs- no mangaement involved!I am looking forward to the next chapter.
Thanks for a great year!

Marie said...

Congratulations!
Thank you for a wonderful year of photos and sharing your everyday life. When I checked your photos on a daily basis it always gave me a quiet moment of reflection in an otherwise crazy day.
I hope you continue your postings even if they are not on a daily basis. I'll continue to check back. Thanks for sharing!

rapunzel said...

Great job! I looked forward to your photos and enjoyed them very, very much. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent.

Ruprecht said...

I must say it has been a pleasure watching your entries grow day by day and see triumph after triumph.

You, madam, are inspiring. Period.

Applause to you - longly and loudly. Your break is well deserved. Please come back soon.

............. Ruprecht

Miserere said...

Well done! I can't imagine going through a 365, let alone having fun with it like you did, so congratulations for many epic wins this year.

Now rest for a whole 365 days to even things out ;-)

Laurie said...

Congratulations on accomplishing your goal! I really enjoyed seeing your photos as I logged in daily and learned to appreciate all that is right around me. Thank you!

- Laurie

Attie's Mom said...

Chris - congratulations on such an accomplishment. I loved checking in on your life, seeing your great pics and enjoying your witty humor - how will I get by without it? It was always fun to read your blog, it was something that I looked forward to Oh the disappointment when I went to check on CM and there wasn't a new update. Now what will I do now that 365 have passed? Looking forward to see what you do next!!! =)
CONGRATS!!!!!

toyfoto said...

Congratulations!

Scraps said...

I, too, echo the sentiments written here. You are an inspiration, your storytelling is captivating, and your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

bryan said...

congrats!i've really enjoyed your 365. it's tough to explain just what it means to someone who has never done one. but you did a heck of a job in your final write up. hope to see you back in the game sometime...

Stephanie said...

I have enjoyed all your photos tremendously and wish to congratulate you on completing the 365 days challenge. Hope to see more of your work.

Jeff M said...

wow - just found your site through a comment on one of my P365 images. Congratulations, 365 is impressive. I also enjoyed your closing write-up; I plan to go back and review your year. Hope you decide to continue.

Anonymous said...

I am going through CM withdrawal and it is tough. I got hooked on a quiet daily fix of beautiful pictures and your humorous and/or thoughtful take on the photos and on life in general. Your last blog was great and the picture said it all! Congratulations and thank you for the photos, musings and for the chance to tag along on your journey. Like your many fans, I look forward to your return.

Annie

jansmith2911 said...

Congratulations on your 365 achievement!!! I love your photos and especially love the way you communicate in words. Maybe I need to write more with my photographs, I don't know. I'm not nearly as eloquent as you.

I'm on day 231 of my journey and it's not been exactly what I thought it would be, but I do realize now that this is something I want to do with my life. I've just figured that out and I'm only 49.

With full time job, two teenagers and a husband that travels, I'm finding it difficult to get online as much as I want and to take photos as much as I want. But I do agree that just the satisfaction of creating something that I enjoy and other's like is wonderful.

I saw that you came back online after only a week. :) I think I'll be the same way.

Many blessings to you and your family and I'll be back to visit.
Jan Smith