My daily walkabouts sometimes uncovered beautiful images.  This image was captured just after the snowfall ended.

Post an Image a Day x 365

An image a day; sounds easy doesn’t it.  You capture one image each day and post it the same day, for a year.  My goal, when starting this Project 365, was to capture several images each day and post one of them the same day.  As you will see, accomplishing such a goal is much easier said than done.  Life gets in the way; more on that later. My goal transformed very quickly to posting an image each day taken from images captured that day, the previous week, the same month, the same year, or past years.  My priority, of course, was to post the image close to it’s capture date.

Early in the project I decided to post images I like to shoot without any particular theme.  These images came from my daily walkabouts, work travel, vacation, photo trips, and general daily routine.  Although the majority of the images posted were landscape, wildlife, people, and aviation images, some were fine art, architecture, flowers, and seascapes with a few simply off-the-wall snaps.  Also, a few vintage images were scanned from years gone by.

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Wildlife

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Landscapes

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Aviation

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People/Pets

The Challenges...

Seemingly easy you say; let’s just chat about the challenges for an amateur photog.

Working, commuting, errands, housework, yard maintenance, children, and family all take time leaving precious little for capturing, post processing, posting, and printing images.

Keeping a camera, suitable to capture the images you like, with you most of your day.

Carrying heavy camera equipment and, possibly, supporting gear.

Watching the weather.  Weather can make a nice easy image capture into mission impossible.

Keeping the internet available most of the time.

Stealing a few minutes each day to capture images.  Then, more time that night to process and post the images.

Finding the types of images desired in the local environment; particularly dramatic landscapes and wildlife.

Choosing the daily image and writing a short message.

The Results...

An image was posted every day; not always was the image captured that day.   Yes, that’s 365 posts with 373 images posted daily in 2013.  In order to post an image each day, the photographer must make capturing and posting images one of those “things we do no matter what” each day.  Sounds good, how can you post each day no matter what?  I’m not sure about others; the following approach helped me:

Purchased camera equipment that fit my lifestyle as well as met my standards for handling, functionality, and quality.

Streamlined my post processing infrastructure and image data base to post an image in 15 minutes.

Left time in my schedule to process and post each night.

Carried a camera with me much of my day.

Learned to post varying quality of images.

Found additional walkabout routes.

Metrics

  • Same Day 35%
  • Within a Week 35%
  • Same Month 3%
  • Same Year 8%
  • Past Years 19%

Date Captured vs. Posted

Although these statistics are not a surprise to me, I am elated to see I posted an image on the same day or within a week of its capture 70% of the time. It may not sound like a great accomplishment. Looking back at how difficult a year of postings can be, I feel good about it.

My original goal of capturing and posting an image on the same day appears almost impossible, given my work schedule, personal lifestyle, and desire to post mostly wildlife, landscapes, and aviation images.

Quality Measures

Judging the quality of an image is always a non-exact process.  Certainly, my quality structure looks much more qualitative than quantitative.  To me, a snapshot is a quick click capturing the moment.  An image to be posted also contains interest in a subject many folks might enjoy; yet it may lack a bit technically.  The real quality measure of an image becomes evident when it is printed.  The printable image must be technically fine with good composition.  To find it’s way into my portfolio, the image must have outstanding technical quality and captivating composition.

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Snapshot

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Postable

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Printable

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Portfolio

  • Nikon 1 V1 57%
  • Nikon D300 20%
  • Nikon D3x 13%
  • Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR 40%
  • Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 ED VR II 15%
  • Nikon 1 VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 13%
  • Nikon AF-S 50mm f1.4G 12%

What was in my bag?

What equipment did I use?  What are the best cameras and lenses for this project?  Although these are questions frequently asked, I firmly believe the quality of the captured image is directly related to the vision and skill of the photographer and only indirectly related to the equipment used.  That said; we all know that certain images can’t be captured at all without certain types of cameras and/or lenses.  The graphs show the equipment used for the majority of the project.

The statistics on equipment used should not be surprising.  The Nikon 1 V1 with it’s light weight and 2.7 crop factor mated with the AF-S 70-300mm f4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR makes an excellent combination for daily walkabouts looking for critters with a maximum 810mm lens.  The 70-300mm is known to be a very sharp lens at a reasonable cost.  Add the 1 VR 10-30mm f3.5-5.6 and the AF-S 50mm f1.4G  in the day pack and be ready for the majority of images encountered on a walkabout.

Reflections

Completing a Project 365 is not for the faint of heart.  It’s the marathon of photography.  More than once I considered quitting the project early. The project clearly improved my camera discipline and post processing skills.  And, it forced me to capture images way out of my comfort zone.

It was a year like all years, filled with those events which alter and illuminate our time.  The images chosen for this project reflect the events in my life without necessarily being images of the events themselves.  This project has been my first project 365; hopefully more will come.  Now, it’s time to look forward to next year.