Project 365: 11 Tips to Posting Daily Images

Post: Image a Day

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 my first Project 365, was to capture several images each day and post one of them the same day. Accomplishing such a goal is much easier said than done.  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 11 tips to posting daily images are based upon posting images in three project 365 years:

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Wildlife

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Landscapes

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People/Pets

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Aviation

Major Project 365 Challenges

Seemingly easy you say; let’s just chat about the main challenges for an amateur photographer:

☁︎ Working, errands, housework, yard work, children, family, etc. 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.

☁︎ Watching the weather; it can make a nice easy image capture into mission impossible.

☁︎ Finding the types of images desired in the local environment.

☁︎ Capturing, processing, selecting, and posting an image every day.  Grinding it out every day; making it part of your life.

My Three Year Averages

Date Captured vs. Posted

  • Same Day 26%
  • Within a Week 34%
  • Same Month 4%
  • Same Year 11%
  • Past Years 25%

Quality Measures

  • Snapshot 21%
  • Postable 46%
  • Printable 28%
  • Portfolio 6%

11 Tips to Posting Daily Images

After three daily image projects in 2013, 2014, and 2015, a few things to make the project a bit easier have become obvious.  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“.  How can you improve your ability “to post an image a day no matter what”?  

1. Make the project work around your lifestyle with a minimum of change.  Make it realistic for you and get into a daily rhythm.  In my case, I realized very quickly that I could not capture and post an image on the same day for the entire project.  So, I changed my goal to just post an image every day.  It worked for me.    

2. Carry a suitable camera with you during much of your day. When you see a possible photo, don’t hesitate; capture the image.  There’s no time like the present.  What was suitable for me, may not be suitable for you.  Mostly, I needed long lenses so I carried a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a long lens and a small pack with lenses in my vehicle or in my briefcase.  Occasionally, an iPhone worked fine.  On my walkabouts, I chose a lens for the hike and left the pack.  

3. When considering new camera equipment, consider equipment that fits your lifestyle as well as meets your standard for handling, functionality, and quality.  Or, you may want to change your lifestyle to fit the equipment you already have.  It’s just a bit harder; sometimes much harder.  I chose to purchase smaller, lighter gear to take on walkabouts.  

4. Streamline your image database and post-processing infrastructure to reduce the time required to process and post an image each day.  If you do not have an image database, you might consider one like Lightroom or Aperture.  They are relatively inexpensive and dramatically help keep track of your images as well as provide some nice post-processing tools.  Then, develop your daily post-processing steps.  Once I make the decision on which image to post, my process takes less than a half hour to process and post using Aperture with the NIK plugins and WordPress.  

5. Leave time in your schedule to process and post each night.  Sounds easy; it’s really important and sometimes not so easy to do.  If you can’t find a time each day to post, success becomes difficult.  Also, it is possible to schedule posting ahead of time. Still, you’ll need time most days.  

6. Learn to post varying degrees of quality in your images.  It’s natural; you want to show your best images. Sometimes, you may just need to post an image; any decent image.  

7. Find new faces and places to capture images.  Capture images way out of your comfort zone.  Keep yourself open to capturing images you usually pass up.  I started going to more events like polo matches and finding new routes for my walkabouts.  

8. Spend the time to improve your knowledge of your camera’s inner workings and settings.  Sounds boring even though it pays big dividends.  Many times you must be able to get the camera, turn it on, confirm the setting, compose, focus, and click; all in a few seconds.  

9. Monthly and/or weekly themes can sometimes help; sometimes not so much. Determine what works for you.  For my first three years, I did not use themes.  This year, 2016, I plan to employ monthly themes.  They should help me focus a bit better on what images are needed in the coming months.

10. Look for the nice light.  One of the easiest ways to begin capturing new types of images is to shoot the light. You can make the light the subject.  Or, let the light enhance your subject; no matter what the subject.  Some would say the light is always the subject.

11. Find a good weather app; aviation weather apps tend to be more accurate.  Bad weather can turn a nice photo shoot into mission impossible.  Or, the bad weather can be just perfect for the image you want to capture.

Finally, start now and have fun!

Many folks start these 365 projects at the beginning of the year, but they can start anytime.  And, have fun.  If it’s not fun, you’ll find it difficult to continue.  Change the rules, if you must; make it fun for you!

  • Nikon 1 V3 52%
  • Nikon 1 V1 30%
  • Nikon D3x 8%
  • Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR 36%
  • Nikon 1 VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 26%
  • Nikon AF-S 50mm f1.4G 12%

What was in my bag?

What equipment did you 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 to capture the image.

The statistics, taken from my 2015 project, on equipment should not be surprising.  The Nikon 1 V1 and the Nikon 1 V3 with their light weight and 2.7 crop factor mated with the 70-300mm lens (189-810mm equivalent) makes an excellent combination for daily walkabouts looking for critters.  The 70-300mm is known to be a very sharp lens at a reasonable cost.  And, the 30-110mm lens (81-297 equivalent) has very quickly become my “go to” walkabout lens.  Since they are not terribly fast lenses, you do need plenty of light.

Reflections

Completing a Project 365 is not for the faint of heart.  It’s the marathon of photography.  Although I have completed three of them, I considered quitting early in each project.  You can find reviews of each project at 2013 Project 365 Review, 2014 Project 365 Review, and  2015 Project 365 Review respectively.  Hopefully, the information in this post will help you successfully complete your Project 365.  And, somewhere along the journey, you will likely become a better photographer.

Looking back after three years, I find a certain amount of inspiration when viewing a year’s images.  The images reflect the events in my life without necessarily being images of the events themselves.  Some images are good; others not so good.  Most reflect the year’s past; a few are truly remarkable images.  They all give me hope … in search of … the next beautiful image.

2015 Project 365 Review: Post an Image a Day

The F-22 Raptor looks fast just taxiing down the taxiway at OshKosh.

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.  Since this project was my third Project 365, my goal this year, as last year, was to post an image each day taken from images captured that day, the previous week, the same month, the same year, or past years.  As you will see, even accomplishing my goal was much easier said than done.  Life gets in the way; more on that later.

Similar to last year, 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

%

People/Pets

%

Aviation

The Challenges...

Seemingly easy you say; let’s just chat about the challenges for an amateur photog.  The challenges this year continued to be much like last year’s.

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...

And, again this year, an image was posted every day; not always was the image captured that day.   Yes, that’s 365 posts with 367 images posted daily in 2015.  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 23%
  • Within a Week 32%
  • Same Month 4%
  • Same Year 10%
  • Past Years 31%

Date Captured vs. Posted

Actually, these statistics are a bit surprising to me. Certainly, I am happy to see that 55% of my posts were on the same day or within a week of the image’s capture; a bit of an increase from last year. My workload in 2015 must have caused the percentage of images from years past to go up, again.

Looking back at how difficult a year of postings can be, I still feel good about the results; given my work schedule, personal lifestyle, and my 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 V3 52%
  • Nikon 1 V1 30%
  • Nikon D3x 8%
  • Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR 36%
  • Nikon 1 VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 26%
  • Nikon AF-S 50mm f1.4G 12%
  • Nikon 1 VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM 7%

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 this 2015 project.  Except for the addition of the Nikon 1 V3 and the 30-110mm lens, it did not change much from last year.

The statistics on equipment used should not be surprising.  The Nikon 1 V1 and the Nikon 1 V3 with their light weight and 2.7 crop factor mated with the 70-300mm lens makes an excellent combination for daily walkabouts looking for critters with a maximum 810mm lens.  Add the 10-30mm and the 50mm f1.4 in the day pack and be ready for the majority of images encountered on a walkabout.  Finally, the 30-110mm lens has quickly become my walkabout lens.

Reflections

Completing a Project 365 is not for the faint of heart.  It’s the marathon of photography.  Although I completed similar projects in 2013 and 2014,  I considered quitting this project early.  The project forced my to rethink my image capture and post processing priorities.

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 third project 365; hopefully more will come, but I am considering a change next year.  Perhaps, I’ll consider using weekly or monthly themes.

Flying mostly behind flat glass, fight directors, and autopilots make for safer cross country flights. Flying a Piper Super Cub on floats make for better stick and rudder skills and a bunch of fun.