PAD Project Experience... Day 90 Review.

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Brian Mosley, May 17, 2010.

  1. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

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    Hello everyone,
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    following on from our Day 60 Review, I'm hoping that we can share our thoughts and feelings here as we reach Day 90... this was my own personal goal, and as expected, I now find it quite easy on a mechanical level to find a few minutes each day to focus on my photography.

    The challenge for me now, will be to take this positive habit and direct it towards a new goal... I'm thinking that I'd like to dream up some new projects which would lead to a series of books or exhibitions.

    I would encourage anyone reading this to join in the PAD project for your own 90 day commitment - post your experience in the 30/60/90 day reviews and let's inspire each other to become better photographers!

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  2. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

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    Well, inevitably it had to happen... my (consecutive) PAD project has come to an end - I ran on to 128 days in the end, and although I will continue to use my camera every day, I won't post to my PAD every day unless I feel the image is worth sharing.

    Over the 128 days, I've established hugely useful habits... never to leave the house without a camera, always be on the lookout for interesting things to photograph... improved my quality of post processing... enjoyed the camaraderie of the PAD group... truly enjoyed the consistent high quality feedback from the viewers.

    All in all, I think it's been one of the most important projects to advance my photography I could have done. Again, I highly recommend you give it a go for yourself.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
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  3. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

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    Congratulations Brian and we'll miss you in the blog section. I hope you will find many post worthy images. I have to write here as today is my day 90 but I'll do that later.
     
  4. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

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    Thanks Lisa, I'll still post anything worthy there... Congratulations on your Day 90! can't wait to read your thoughts on the process, and I have really enjoyed your work and company throughout. :friends:

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  5. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

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    Well, I'm somehow speechless. It was a great pleasure to share your images day after day, and a privilege to be dragged by the example you set.

    I turned myself 100 today, and don't feel the impulse wearing out at the moment, but who knows, it may not last forever either. I hope you'll somehow come back from time to time, at least for a welcome C+C. Your experience would be much welcome.

    On a broader scale, maybe now would be a good time to trawl some newcomers into starting their own PAD, don't you think ? I feel some previous followers are drifting away at the moment, most because they reached their goal, but they are not replaced. Any idea on how to breath a new life into this adventure ?
     
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  6. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

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    90 Day PAD Experience

    I just scanned my blog to see overall what I have done in the last 30 days. Many of my photos were flowers and others outdoor scenes, a few personal photos of things going on in my life but very few people. April through June is always good for flower and garden photography and I have been having alot of fun shooting macros in my garden. I have found that this time of year it can be fairly easy to shoot something everyday as long as you don't expect to shoot a masterpiece everyday. I try to shoot something everyday but if I don't particularly like anything from that day I may resort to one from a few days back that I prefer.

    I have found it is best to post photos on the morning of the following day as that gives me more time to process them without feeling rushed and the images get more time in the Today list in the Blog/PAD section. We could use some new Padders but regardless I am having fun doing this and I know I would not have shot many of these photos without the regularity of the PAD.

    I think the M 4/3 system is really good for a project like this as the cameras are small and easy to almost always have one (or more) with you. I don't know how long I will keep going I really don't have a goal. I will just keep doing it until I no longer feel like it.

    adding:
    I was thinking a bit more about this and what I think counts most is the body of work as something you can look back on re-live your photography and that time in your life and look back on how you are changing and developing as a photographer. Sometimes the photos should be trivial, simple storytelling, others can be more artistic but like life, everyday should be a little different.
     
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  7. Jamus

    Jamus Mu-43 Regular

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    I hope to start my own PAD soon, however my main concern is that I can't drive... How big of a factor was driving in your PAD campaign?
     
  8. Christilou

    Christilou Mu-43 Top Veteran

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    Jamus

    Jamus, please don't be put off by the fact that you don't drive! I am "at home" mostly and although I drive, it's mostly very mundane ferrying of people here and there :smile: I have reached day 75 and managed to photograph something each day. If not the garden then objects around the house. It has actually forced me to be more creative. I hope you will join us in our PAD project and look forward to seeing your photos. Give it a try and see how you go :biggrin:
     
  9. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

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    I don't drive either. Most of my pictures were taken around my apartment.

    You don't need to go out of your way to get on board the project. The idea is to build a strong photographic habit, to think of taking your camera with you every time, and to improve your graphical sense. But nobody expects a stunning pro-quality extraordinary picture every day. Your neighbour's door can do, if you don't think of anything else.

    My own PAD project at a glance (there are a few 'extra' that didn't made the cut to the PAD, but mostly it's the same base) :

    Picasa Web Albums - m-viet - OLYMPUS E-P1
     
  10. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

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    I am sure you could come up with interesting photographs regardless of if you drive or not. I am certain some photographers could come up with good photographs never leaving one room. Photograph your neighborhood, room, street anything that interests you. The point is to be involved and to contribute both photographs and feedback.

     
  11. Ian_Holmes

    Ian_Holmes Mu-43 Regular

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    90 days. 90 blooming days. Actually it's 93 days now.
    A couple of my favourite books are by Minnesota photographer Jim Brandenburg. "Chased by the Light" and "Looking for the Summer" They are basically 90 day PAD projects. I wondered what it would take to see something like that through and now I know.
    There are days when it's as easy as falling off a log then there are days when you want to tear your hair out in desperation. All in all it was a wonderfully rewarding experience that has improved my knowledge of my camera and my ability to see pictures. It has even taught me to experiment. "Blur-o-graphy"? I would never have thought about intentionally taking a blurred picture but at the moment every scene I look at I think "Would that blur?" Even last night at the Split rock lighthouse lighting I intentionally switched off autofocus and threw the focus so far out the lighthouse beam was just a circle of light. Just to see what it was like. I liked it too.
    90 day PAD what a brilliant Idea. Everyone should do it.
    So after 90 days I'm wondering can I make it another 90?
     
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  12. Christilou

    Christilou Mu-43 Top Veteran

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    It's Over!

    Well finally the pressure is off:smile: Yes, there have been times when it was difficult to produce something at the end of each day and I would get later and later with my post. The upside of this is that looking back at all those photos I can see what a journey this has been.

    I've experimented much, much more than I ever would have if I hadn't joined this terrific project and I can say that even I am quite satisfied with some of the pictures that I have produced :rofl: I've learned such a lot from the other bloggers too. Their opinions on my own images and also reading their comments on each others photos has taught me to look at things I never would have previously. I've received much encouragement from Brian and others whenever I have flagged a little and I'm hoping to continue to post from time to time and also offer my own input to the next wave of bloggers whenever I can.

    I've learned that it's okay to have differing opinions and everyone has something valid to add. I think that this is one of the best things about the project, the freedom to experiment without fear (well not too much anyway:wink:)

    Try it, I think you'll like it!
     
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  13. pdh

    pdh Mu-43 Top Veteran

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    - he does what he can -- 90 days at the coalface

    Today I posted my 90th consecutive daily image to my PAD blog - he does what he can ... a project I started with encouragement from Brian Mosley more than 90 days ago of course, with an interruption due to a "mishap" with my E-P2, and I was able to pick up and start again because of Brian's support again ... so ... here are some thoughts ...

    It's been good to make a commitment over something that's ultimately trivial, and stick to it. It's forced me to look at how I use a camera and what I look at. It's also allowed me to realise that 3 decades of looking at abstract art has changed what I see when I look at the world ... so thank you to all the Cornish artists living and dead, and the Blessed Rothko of course. Lots of thanks also to the owner of the Flickr moniker the incredible how, who has also taught me (perhaps more than anyone in fact) a lot about how to see ...

    What's been disappointing is how little company I've had along the way, and I suspect it's because Brian hasn't been around on the forum to whip up more enthusiasm for the PAD ... mauve and Briar (perhaps particularly Briar) have been very supportive ... still, could quite easily have started a "join me in the PAD project" thread so I'm not going to whine (much) ...

    I think I am a better photographer for having to discipline myself to look every day for an image to post ... someone on the forum has something like "If you can't see a photo you're not looking hard enough" in their signature, and I've had to look hard sometimes ... not always successfully, but what has been interesting and rewarding is how often, when I've really started to look (whether by narrowing my vision, or broadening it, or finding a theme, or a colour, or a shape), there has been so much to see I could have burned my way through 3 batteries and 2 cards ...

    I've also started to learn how to postprocess, even though I almost always forget to denoise, and it's less a workflow than a worklimp ... however, I do understand some basic methods of producing images that look like I imagined they would when I grabbed the shot

    I kept a sort of "commonplace book" of snap-related thoughts over the months of the PAD, here's a selection:

    The only person who cares if someone else sees me taking a photograph is me. Stop being so self-conscious.

    Look properly - look at the frame, look at the left, the right., the foreground , the background and the subject; look through all those things as well; then look at the bits I haven't looked at. Then think about pressing the shutter release.

    Not everything can be a masterpiece.

    I am not Cartier-Bresson. Man Ray, Bill Brandt or Ansel Adams; They're just better than me, were or are more practiced, and were or are artists. So I need only be satisfied with what I produce.

    Be patient.

    Find out how the camera works properly. This takes time. It took me about two years to learn how to fool my Canon IXUS into taking the photographs I wanted, And my E-P2 is several orders more complex.

    Make sure I have accidental damage insurance on my personal possessions.

    I will not lose anything by taking 30 or 40 extra seconds to make sure nothing is going to leak all over my camera.

    My eyes work differently to my camera.

    Crop in the viewfinder, not in the editor

    I will only have a few chances to go back; so make sure what I see gets recorded how I see it.

    Not everything can be rescued by making it black & white

    Stop rushing.

    I can try the monkey-and-typewriter approach and at least some shots will be fabulous; however I will also take a lot of shitty photographs

    Learn how to post process properly

    Read something about composition and light and so on. I can't learn it all just by experience on my own at my age. Plus I have to sleep and go to work sometimes.

    Light is a bugger. Sometimes there just isn't any. worse, sometimes there are no shadows

    A snap is OK

    A friend asked "How many photographs of a wave do you need?"; good question, wrong question

    Just because someone else doesn't like my crops or compositions, it isn't a personal attack; ; alternatively give it a go and see if they're right. Mind you, no-one bugs John Hoyland or Luke Frost for having big flat areas of plain colour do they?

    Buying another lens will not make me take better pictures; on the other hand, buying lenses is less harmful than crack cocaine, although no less addictive.

    Go outside, the birds will not photograph themselves. And learn some more fieldcraft.

    Decide what I want to do: I can't go birding and walking and photographing all at the same time; they're different activities and I won't enjoy any of them if I try to do them all at once. If I want to take photographs, go out and do that; watch birds? - do that; walk - just walk - if I want to take snaps of the landscape, keep the Canon on my belt

    Look all the time, and always have the camera near; The more looking, the more seeing; the more seeing, the more better images.

    I've really enjoyed using a variety of different lenses; I like the range of the 14-45mm; using a prime forces me to look differently. I admire the Lumix 20/1.7 ever so much but I just somehow want to use the 17mm pancake more, even though the images are less crisp ... I heart my 50/57mm Hexanons ever so much ...

    Don't push, squeeze ...

    Make an effort to get out of my pit and out of the door ... there is no substitute for morning light

    Don't forget to denoise
     
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  14. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

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    Congratulations pdh and thank you so much for your thoughtful and introspective review. I have no doubt that the 90 Days has been of great benefit. Well done - and I know there's more to come - with your photographs.:bravo-009:
     
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  15. Briar

    Briar Mu-43 Regular

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    90 days in pictures

    Well, what a trip PAD turned out to be. It had its high moments, its low moments and its Doctor Who moments ... have a flick through to see:

    PAD Project - a set on Flickr

    Has it improved my picture taking or photo editing skills? Not sure about that, but its certainly got me out there enjoying life. Not following Kevin Spacey's advice, I've found this project has made me more of a tourist, visiting wonderful local places/events I'd normally have missed. Its also cost me a small fortune as I've added more lenses and cameras to my kit for my PAD adventures :redface: but its been fun!

    Will I continue on the PAD project? Sadly work is getting in the way just now so I'm finding less time to get out there with my camera. Rather than risk photography becoming a chore during this busy time, I'm just going to post an occasional picture a day in my blog.

    Would love to see more people taking up the PAD challenge!
     
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  16. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

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    Thank you so much for adding your personal review, Briar. Although having experienced a lesser number of PAD days, I always appreciate reading everyone's experiences.:drinks:
     
  17. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

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    pdh

    thanks for posting a really good summary with lots of interesting and thoughtful points and (pointers)

    Cheers
     
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