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I have been quiet in my blog now for far too long. This has not been intentional and I apologise to my regular readers. Lots has been happening in all aspects of my life and I have struggled to keep up with everything that I want to be doing as the things I have to do take priority. However I have not been idle. In fact it has been quite the opposite. I have been working on my Project 365 offline and it is now time to catch up online. I am intending to spend the next week posting the photos and associated thoughts from the last couple of months. I will be posting each photo according to the actual day it applied to beginning from 20 January 2007. I hope there is something there that you connect with.

I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the process associated with this project. To tell you the truth every now and again I question myself about what I have got myself into and I have doubted my ability to keep going. This project has certainly challenged me in ways I would never have imagined yet at the same time all sorts of exciting things are starting to happen for me as a direct result. Hence I am forging ahead and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

I get so excited when I talk about what I’m doing and I have been amazed as to how it has inspired others into action as well. Everyone that knows me has come to accept that my camera and I are joined at the hip – we have become inseparable. I have taken thousands of photos in the last three months. Thanks goodness for digital photography as many, many photos have been deleted but many have been kept. Some days I find it hard to select one image for that day and at other times I am worried about not having any image at all. How do you find something worth remembering in what seems to be a day like every other day – a day of nothing – getting up, going to work, coming home, having tea, going to bed?

The task of taking a photo a day for 365 days seems pretty straightforward. Taking a photo is simple but actually seeing your world around you and taking a photo that expresses what you are seeing is another story. I have learnt to see beyond just what my eyes and the camera lens focuses on. I feel as though I am seeing my everyday world in a completely different way. I see beauty now where I once saw nothing. I notice colours, movement, how the light falls on objects. I ask lots of questions. I look and wonder – what is the story behind what I am seeing? I look at the image I have selected for that day and I ask myself why? What is it about this photo that I connect with?

I have become fascinated in the art of seeing. We go through the motions of each day and we ignore so much of what is going on around us. I am not talking about the extraordinary that is generally pretty obvious. I am talking about the ordinary everyday things which in reality are equally as extraordinary if we care to pay attention. We are surrounded by everyday miracles and we let them pass us by.

Photography and the Art of Seeing: A Visual Perception Workshop for Film and Digital PhotographySeeing, in the finest and broadest sense, means using your senses, your intellect, and your emotions. It means encountering your subject matter with your whole being. It means looking beyond labels of things, and discovering the remarkable world around you (p.7).

Letting go of self is an essential precondition to real seeing. When you let go of yourself, you abandon any preconceptions about the subject matter that might cramp you into photographing in a certain, predetermined way. As long as you are worried about whether or not you will be able to make good pictures, or are concerned about enjoying yourself, you are unlikely either to make the best photographs you can or to experience the joy of photography to the fullest. But when you let go, new conceptions arise from your direct experience of the subject matter, and new ideas and feelings will guide you as you make pictures (p.9).

Source: Patterson, F. (2004). Photography and the Art of Seeing: A Visual Perception Workshop for Film and Digital Photography (3rd ed.). Ontario, Canada: Key Porter Books.

Not only has all of this been true of my experience to date with taking the photographs, but it has also been true of what I have discovered as I have written my reflection on each photo. Things are coming out that have surprised me.

This has become a passion for me. I am embroiled in an intense period of personal learning. Not only am I taking photos; I have learnt new things about myself, I am writing regularly, I am reading all sorts of books which teach me new things and inspire me to keep going, and I am learning heaps of new skills. Just think, all of this is self-directed and it is very powerful learning.

Project 365 is about a lot more than just taking a photo a day for a year. It is not a simple task. It is embedded with layer upon layer of challenging opportunities for personal growth and development. Its power is in the process and not the product.

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2 Responses to “Project 365 update: Catch up time”

  1. on 12 Apr 2007 at 12:47 pm bronwynh

    hello Marica
    this is such an amazing project and your photos are really interesting. I am really looking forward to seeing how your thoughts connect with the photos – what was going through your mind when you took the photo of the gloves on the ground?
    I got the feeling you had been scrubbing and cleaning all day – maybe in your new house – and had had enough and threw the gloves down. then flopped exhausted onto the settee. maybe hubby was waiting with a fresh bottle of wine open and fragrant…….
    ….see you have got me going too. and the drill – does that signify a hard day renovating? some photos are self-explanatory like the moving of furniture into the house or the one of cars in the car mirror – stuck in traffic? most of them though are a mystery and I’m looking forward to finding out more. love Bron

  2. on 12 Apr 2007 at 11:52 pm Marica

    Hi Bron
    How fantastic it is to hear from you and what a buzz it is to know you are following what I am doing in my project. I feel even more motivated to keep going now knowing that someone else is finding it interesting. Some days it is a real struggle. This is the beauty of this project; by going through the process you are taken down pathways you never expected. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. It is really motivating for me.
    🙂
    Love Marica

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