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Thinking of starting a project .....

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dornblaser, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I am thinking of starting a project on July 1st either a 365, one lens, or a 365/one lens. The purpose of the project will be to improve my eye, composition and post. I find that even though I often have a camera with me I am not "seeing" potential pictures in my daily haunts like a I should. For one lens it would be the O17 as I like that FL and it makes for a very easy carrying camera. I am looking for thoughts, advice and suggestions. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    If you are sure you want to go one lens, think about using 28mm equivalent, only because most phones have close to a 28mm and that gives you the option of the super tiny P14, the small PL15, or your phone. A 365 project requires commitment, and the option to somedays use the phone (when life makes carrying a camera difficult or inappropriate) would be something I would find helpful to keep the project on track. Or buy a phone that shoots with a 35mm equivalent ;)
     
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  3. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    ㅇtㅈyㅅr
    Doing a 365 is tough enough but a 365/one lens is even harder unless your type of photography is specific enough that it suits that one lens (i.e. street/urban/documentary). If you really want to torture yourself, you could do a 365/one lens/one theme. :biggrin:

    However, since you've stated the purpose of the project being that you want to improve your eye, composition and post, it does make sense to use one lens (one focal length) in order to master that focal length to the point where you can see the world thru that view. For me, the most natural focal lengths are a 28mm and a 50mm only because these are the two focal lengths that I've shot with for years on end and at times, exclusively.
     
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  4. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I probably will not do a one lens project now that I think more about it.
     
  5. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    One lens can be hard. If that one lens is a zoom, it's easier but if we're talking a prime then one lens = one focal length and that gets harder as tyrphoto said.

    If you're going to do one focal length then I'd suggest either a one month or a three month project (you can always extend the period) or perhaps a one lens for a particular purpose project so that every time you go out to shoot a particular sort of subject such as street, portraiture, landscape, or something else you always use that one focal length but you don't place the same restriction on other types of shooting. For example if you do a bit of urban photography (say a mix of street, architecture, and urban scenes) and a bit of bird photography you do not want to be limiting yourself to a short focal length like 25mm for the bird photography or a long focal length like 150mm or longer for the urban photography. I tend to do urban stuff most of the time but every now and then I go out and shoot birds. I have managed to shoot birds with a 25mm, for example when I was being mobbed by a flock of parrots who were after my cake at an open air cafe, and I was fighting them off while they were perched on my arm and attacking my plate but 25mm doesn't work if they're in a tree 100 yards away.

    Some people only shoot one sort of subject and they may be able to do a one focal length project for a long period but if you shoot a couple of subjects with different lens requirements, then link your one focal length to a particular subject for the project or you may find yourself giving up a whole subject area for the duration.
     
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  6. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    ㅇtㅈyㅅr
    You could combine several projects into your 365 project.

    As David A. suggested, try doing a 1~3 month with one lens, then you could move onto another sub-project by doing a single theme for a month, etc... This way, by having sub-projects within your 365 project, you can challenge yourself even further but also make things a bit more interesting for yourself at the same time.

    Also, since you stated you want to work on your post processing, you could do a one month sub-project of forcing yourself to post process every single shot you take for that month. This will aid in two ways. Firstly, it will force you to be more selective of the shots you take since you know you'll have to PP it. Secondly, by forcing yourself to actually post process, you'll end up doing more PP than maybe you're accustomed to.
     
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  7. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I could use a little clarification: Does a one lens project mean that the skies will darken, the camera will burn your hand, and you will be struck with lightning if you use another lens? Or, does it mean that you must use the one lens every day but are free to use other photographic equipment as well?
     
  8. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    ㅇtㅈyㅅr
    It could mean different things for different people and different situations depending on what the purpose of the project is.

    If the goal is to try and become better with a certain focal length, then it would probably be wise to stick with that one lens only for a given period of time which would make the exercise more efficient.

    If the goal is to do a photo essay with one camera one lens, then you stick with it for that project but outside of the project you use what you want.

    Set up your own guidelines that will challenge you to become a better photographer but make it fun since that's what it's all about.

     
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  9. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I think it's totally up to you, but I would understand a one lens project to mean using that lens almost exclusively, at least for personal projects. For example, if you used a wide lens exclusively, you could only use a portrait lens for, say, family photos.
     
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  10. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    It's YOUR challenge, so the rules are really up to YOU. If I were to attempt a "one lens" challenge, my parameters would be that the use of other lenses is fine as long as I got at least one image each day with the chosen lens.

    This post has some good challenge ideas. I like the idea of a Project 365 with a new theme/obstruction each month.
     
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  11. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I am in the middle of a 365, and my overall rules are pretty loose. The one unbreakable rule is shoot and edit one pic a day for the project. Within that framework, I have been trying to focus on one particular focal length (around 75% of my photos so far), but the loose rules helps it stay fun and not turn into an obligation. I have maybe 5% iPhone selfies from busy days (or just disengaged days) where I couldn't shoot a more creative photo but still wanted to keep the continuity of the project. Overall its probably 25% iPhone stuff, and the rest are from proper cameras. I guess you have to know yourself... If I would have made the rules too rigid, it likely would have have ended up feeling like a burden, and I might have dropped it because of that. My project keeps me shooting, and keeps me trying to see, so I would say its been helpful. I would suggest creating an overall framework that will keep it light and fun (you will have plenty of uninspired days over the course of a year). Within that framework, you can add or subtract additional rules without compromising the whole project.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
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  12. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Regardless of what you decide, might I also suggest an alternate way of improving your eye and composition? Try shooing with a focal length that you do not normally use (or like) for a bit of time. This will force you to see and compose differently than you normally do, and that might be a good "exercise" for helping you to improve your composition.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
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  13. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    The skies will darken every night and during storms and periods of heavy overcast, you may be struck with lightning since that could happen to you anyway, and the camera won't burn in your hand unless you or someone else sets it alight in some way. All of those fears are unfounded.

    That doesn't mean there is nothing to fear. I gave up on my 365 plan at around 8 months, first skipping a day here and there for what seemed like inescapable reasons, and then just skipping days untli the skipping became continuous. None of the things you fear materialised, but what did materialise was much worse. I felt guilty for not completing the project, and inferior to anyone who ever lived who had completed a similar project. My shame had no bounds, at least for a week after I finally decided that I had given up. The problem with giving up is that you feel bad about it, maybe only for a couple of days or a week, but you do feel bad about it.

    In general I'd recommend starting something that you have a good chance of finishing. A plan to use the same focal length every day for a year is not something I think you have a good chance of finishing unless you limit the sort of things you shoot during that year to things which are suitable for shooting with that lens and I would not like to limit myself in that way. If you want a 365 plan and a one focal length plan, combine them sensibly. Commit to shooting daily and always using a specific focal length when you shoot a particular sort of subject. If you have 2 camera bodies, put the chosen focal length lens on one and just grab that camera when you go out to shoot your chosen subject. It can be easy to get lazy about changing lenses if you find yourself running into a rough spot, so you meet the daily project requirement by shooting by forcing yourself to go out but you find yourself just not being bothered to change lenses if the lens you have on the camera will work for you that day, even though it's not the lens you've decided to use for that subject.

    365 plans are marathons and you're in them for a long haul. Make that sort of haul as easy on yourself as you can. The more you have to do in order to keep up the commitment, the easier it can become not to keep it up. I'm not saying you have to make the commitment easy because I don't think you can. No 365 commitment is easy. I'm just saying don't make it any harder for yourself than it has to be.
     
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  14. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Personally I think I will be doing a daily image for July if there is a thread made for it (if not I may make one), with some sort of added feature (one focal length, b&w, something like that) and see where that leads me. I could use a random goal to work towards.
     
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  15. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Lots of good suggestions here, thanks. I haven't made any firm decisions yet except to start on July 1st.
     
  16. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    758
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    My projects have tended to be much looser,but I don't know if I can say they were successful for it. For example, last year I wanted to work on my landscape photography, so I went to the same place throughout the year, shooting it in all lighting, seasons and angles. I used the same lens (12-40 pro), both with and without tripod and filters. I got some great shots, but I'm not sure whether I improved my skills in the process, other than just from general practice. I certainly didn't have any epiphanies that I recall.

    This year I am learning macro. I've got a phased plan and feel I learned a lot about using off-camera flash (phase 1). Too early to tell for the rest.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  17. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    234
    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Peter Randal
    I'm up to pix 81 of a 100 pix a day project , using GX7 and the Leica 25mm and must admit it's a bit of a challenge to find something interesting everyday. In fact one day it was just a bowl of bananas! I live in the country and don't walk well so it's mostly been hoping in the car and riding somewhere. Can't see doing 365. My 100 day shot has no theme so the subjects are allover the map from portraits to landscapes to buildings. I'm finding the 25 (50) is a bit long but i didn't have a 17 or 20 and wanted to get started. Additionally, I make a print to each though I don't know what I'll do with them. Just laying out 100 8x10s takes lots of space. I've been a photographer since 1963 and usually I work on a project with a single theme with the aim being a book, most of which took several years to complete. I like this 100 pix a day challenge and would urge everyone to give a try.
     
  18. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    A one month/ 1 picture a day project should cover it shouldn't it? I think they did that or something similar to that on the m43 sister site Photographers Lounge earlier this year.
     
  19. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Here are my thoughts: I am thinking of doing a month each of the following FL's 12, 17/17.5, 25 & 45. Not in that order and not exclusively, which means that I will take a pic a day with that month's FL but I will also use other lenses. I will use my O12-40 as well primes. I will probably start with the 17. After the initial four months then I will pick subjects or genres for the remaining months. One month I will concentrate on lighting.

    I like the suggestion of doing PP on every shot because I am moving from Aperture to LR and I am pretty low on the LR learning curve.

    Thoughts?
     
  20. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Mastering LR can be a project in itself. Maybe not as comprehensive as PS, but still quite feature packed.

    Have fun,

    --Ken