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.
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%
- 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.
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.