2011: A 365 Day Project

29 11 2010

I’ve completed a couple of photo a day projects, over the course of a month each. There have been days when I’ve been in total ‘can’t be arsed’ mode, and not wanted to leave the house, let alone take a camera anywhere. But that mindset is going to need some serious alteration in 2011, as I’m setting myself a photo a day challenge for the whole year.

I turn 29 on December 30th 2010. A day later, the year changes, and it’s the last year of my twenties. I intend to shoot one photograph every day, for the entire duration of 2011. Clearly, this is going to take a little planning, to get right, so here are my plans for hopeful success.

1. Buy a digital compact camera, small enough to carry with me daily.
I considered the option of buying a smaller lens for my Nikon D5000, which is pretty small, for a DSLR, but because the autofucos motors for Nikon low to midrange cameras are in the lens, even the 35mm prime isn’t a lot smaller or lighter than the 18-55mm zoom.

My second thought was to sell up my Nikon, and buy one of the new compact system cameras, like the Olympus Pen digital, or similar. Again, though, whilst they are absolutely tiny, the lens still makes them pretty big for something to carry around with me every day, all day, anywhere. I wanted something to use alongside my DSLR, on days I just don’t want the weight and bulk with me all day (most days, then), and something I have asbolutely no excuse to leave at home. I also wanted it to have some degree of manual exposure control.

So, after spending most of the weekend on Ebay, taking a look at what’s available within my approximate price range, and cross checking that with information from DPReview, I was pretty much decided on the Canon Powershot G series. Originally, I was looking between the G7 and thr G9, although the G9 ended up a little more than I want to pay for a compact. The manual overide option of the G series was what sold me, coupled with the various good reviews.

Looking back a little further, I researched the G5, and found that not only does it support RAW (the G7 does not, which was a major offputting factor), but the lens is also better than the G7 or G9 (f2.0-3.0 as opposed to f2.8-f5.6). It does have only half the megapixels of the later models, at only 5mp, but since my main reason for purchase is to conduct a personal project, posted to an online gallery, it’s perfectly adequete. The only thing that gave me pause was the small LCD screen, but it’s big enough to see easily, and frankly, nobody should be doing more in-camera than composing and checking anyway. Finally, at half the cost of the G7, it’s a hell of a lot friendlier on my purse.

So, G5 purchased and on its way, plus a 4gb compact flash card. Fingers crossed everything works as it should, and the camera lives up to expectations.

2. Create an album on Flickr in which to keep the photos.
Having a specific destination for my daily images will keep everything neat and tidy. I could blog them, but since I’ll also be blogging other photography related things throughout the year, everything would get mixed up, and it’d be much nicer to have somewhere that all the photos can be viewed in order and all together as the project progresses.

3. Update the photos online once or twice a week, rather than daily.
Trying to upload each shot by day is unlikely to work, since it would also mean carting a laptop, and probably a mobile broadband dongle, around everywhere I go. Setting a specific ‘upload day’ each week keeps things tidy, and means I’m far more likely to succeed at the project. EXIF data will confirm the date of each photo. Yeah, sure, things like that *could* be altered, if I really wanted to. But what would be the point? It’s a personal project, not a competition. It’d be like cheating at solitaire.

4. Keep reminding myself not to give up. Not to miss even one day.
It doesn’t matter if I’m ill – unless I’m actually in hospital (and even then, unless I’m totally unconscious, I can still fire off one shot, surely?!). It doesn’t matter if I’ve had a bad day, or I’m feeling depressed, or I’ve had an argument with someone I care about, or anything. One photograph, 24 hours to shoot it. It’s very little to do, in quite a lot of time.

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