A Year Long Photography Project – A #WiPW Guest Post

As you may well know, photography is something very dear to my heart (I’m one half of Level Up Photography after-all!) and, if I’m being 100% honest, I’ve been dying for a photography project to hit Work in Progress Wednesday. Like with all skills and talents, photography requires a lot of practice, it takes a unique perspective, and it demands your dedication. One of the best ways to do this is by making sure to utilise your camera, be it a phone, DSLR, or old Polaroid, as often as possible. An even better way, is to take part in a 52 Photo Challenge, something today’s WiPW Guest Post will tell us all about… Please welcome Deb, of Debs World, who is eagerly learning the art of photography!

A yearlong photography project – a Work in Progress

Let me just say it up front,  I am not a photographer.  

I am predominantly a blogger who also likes to use my own photographs on my blog.

I am someone who likes taking photos, creating something from what I see in front of me.  I do not have any real expertise or photography skills, but I think I’m slowly learning.

The group:

Despite this, or maybe because of it, I was invited to join a small, select group participating in a 52 week photography project. The fact that the others in the group are mainly family members – my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, daughter, husband and a family friend considered an extra daughter to my sisters – is just a coincidence.

The background experience of the group is varied, some have done formal studies, held exhibitions, worked as wedding and party photographers and others, like me, are newer to the medium.  

deb_w4

My husband developed an interest in photography as a teenager and was instrumental in our daughter Melanie taking up the mantle of photographer, although she named her business Debbie’s Daughter photography. She used to love the process of developing the film in the blacked out laundry. She is also involved in this project despite living in England and the rest of us are in Australia.

The project:

We started the project on July 16 2017 and s it will continue weekly until July 2018. The aim of the 52 week project is to respond, experiment and learn more about photography through weekly challenges.  

So every week for a year we all respond to a central theme.  Some are quite concrete; others are more symbolic or abstract. Source: https://52weeksphotography.com/about/

How it works:

  1. Each Sunday we are given a new theme for the week ahead.  
  2. We send our photo and words to describe our choice to Tim prior to Sunday night so that he can compile the weekly blog post.
  3. He publishes the post at 8pm Sunday night at https://52weeksphotography.com/ and we all visit the post and have a conversation over messenger. We discuss everyone’s photo choices, the styles, good and bad points, the words we’ve included and take in the diversity of the group.
  4. The next week’s theme is announced and we start all over again.
  5. Tim does a great job compiling the posts and managing the blog – responding to comments and general maintenance.

At the end of a previous project a coffee table photo book was produced with each week’s theme photos and words. It was a beautiful creation and I’m hoping this will be done again this year.

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I’ve been assured the project is all about creativity, not necessarily photographic expertise. I am enjoying the challenge of looking for suitable shots as soon as the next week’s theme is announced, it takes over my thinking until I’ve taken my shot and sent it in. Then I can relax a bit!  It’s also fun wondering what the others will come up with, you just never know what you’re going to get!

My blog:

I have been writing a wrap-up post each week sharing the photo I’ve submitted, how and why I’ve used that particular photo and linking back to the main 52 week photo blog.  I usually make a comment on what everyone else has posted and encourage readers to pop over and have a look.  There are some seriously good photos produced each week.

I think I am slowly improving as I try to create my shots in a way I didn’t before.  I think I see things in a different way and enjoy sharing some of my personality through my photo choices.  It’s a way of looking differently at the world and being creative in a safe environment.  No-one is judgemental or openly criticises our work but instead are supportive and encouraging.  I’m sure if something wasn’t right I would be told though, like the time my sister asked me if I had ‘stitched’ a photo together. I didn’t even know what she was referring to and didn’t know you could do something like that!!

I am learning to use other resources like Dropbox, saving files properly before uploading to WordPress and also optimising my photos so they load quicker but still look OK. I’m happy to continue to learn new skills and have some fun along the way.  

I’m not a technical photographer at all, not understanding things like aperture speeds and editing processes.  I use my iPhone for most of my photos and try to edit them using a range of apps. I am wondering if I should get a proper camera and take it a bit more seriously but at this stage I am enjoying the experience.

deb_winter.jpg

My favourite photo so far has been my winter shot (above) which was taken out the front of the car windscreen as the rain tumbled down but with blue sky shining through the rain drops.

So far our weekly themes have been:

Week 1 self-portrait, Week 2 winter, Week 3 transport, Week 4 long distance, Week 5 up close, Week 6 natural world, Week 7 lollies/candy/sweets, Week 8 oldfashioned/vintage, Week 9 letter D, Week 10 photographer’s choice, Week 11 black and white, Week 12 the kitchen, Week 13 Self Portrait 2

Our most recent theme was Self-Portrait #2.  Apparently we will have a few self-portraits throughout the year to see how we are developing our thinking and photography skills.

I must admit, sometimes the words that are written to go with the photos are nearly as entertaining as the photos themselves.  We have some very clever thinkers in our group and others who take things very literally.

deb_w10

You can check out my blog at debs-world.com for a complete listing of my weekly photos.  Thanks for your interest and I look forward to continuing my progress throughout the year.  I always love comments on my posts so please don’t hesitate to join the conversation.

Debbie

You can find me here if you’d like to join me.

Blog: www.debs-world.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/worldaccordingtoDebbie

Twitter: @wonderwomandebz

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/wonderwomandebz

Instagram: debs__world

Now over to you! Have any comments for Deb? Please let us know below! Want to take part in WiPW? Click here: Work in Progress Wednesday – What it is and how you take part!

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50 thoughts on “A Year Long Photography Project – A #WiPW Guest Post

  1. Pingback: People of interest #5 – Meet Shaun from Clockwork Clouds – Deb's World

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  3. This is a very interesting post and I hope you keep it up! I love photography. My Instagram account is devoted to my travel pics. I have 1000s!
    I was bought a DSLR and I went on a walking photography class in Shoreditch, but I lost interest. I am bad!
    I hope to pick it up again.
    Currently blogging and reading others instead, so will follow your progress and keep it up 🙂
    Your photos are beaut. I love the blades of grass 👌

    Like

  4. Pingback: People of interest #1 – Meet Sharon – Deb's World

    1. Many thanks for your comment Lisa! I like this black and white one too as it’s a very common sight for me as I run this route most days. I wanted to share my view with everyone and black and white made it look quite striking. I’m enjoying the creative process far more than I thought I would.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What a fantastic project and although I think your photos are great at the end of this challenge I think you will be brilliant…I am a point and click photographer and occasionally get a brilliant one mostly barely average…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Much appreciated!! I’m hoping to see a marked improvement along the way but I don’t want to lose my enthusiasm for capturing moments either. I am learning all the time 😊

      Like

  6. Fascinating insight into Deb’s journey through the challenge. Nothing like practice and goal setting to up the game and change how we view things. Even better if you are in a group of like minded people of mixed ability that are keen to help and support. I reckon come the end of the 52 weeks you should do a before (week 1) and after (week 52) summary (post) of the best shots in those weeks. I bet we will see a huge difference in composition and imagery.

    Great too Shaun; for supporting WIP’s which…I am still guilty of not hooking up to, my bad; apologies !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great idea Gary, I will definitely be planning a comparative post at the end of it all. As I’ve said before I’m enjoying the learning aspect, the creativity, and my own personal growth. It is a bit daunting given the calibre of the others in the group but I’m holding my own so far I think. You’re right it does make it easier having a small supportive group.
      I really appreciate Shaun’s efforts in sharing other works in progress and the conversations, like this, along the way.
      Thanks for your insightful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent, I for one would love to see that. Warts and all. If the later photos are, by comparison, much better then the contrast will really show up. That gives you ammunition to not only feel proud about improving but sending that message out that practice creates self improvement and nothing’s “instant” is also a powerful one.

        I’m also behind in working with Shaun too. Might have to wait now if I do NaNo!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think you’re as professional as many professionals I see! Fabulous photos Debbie. I was telling my 15yr old niece about groups such as this. She really loves photography and I think being involved in a group like this would be good for her. She’s quite shy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Gloria, I’m not Deb (clearly, haha!) but I think groups like this can be a big boon to the confidence, especially if you find someone of a similar skill level. When I first started, I loved all my shots and thought “Yes! I’m a natural!” and then I went online… Haha. It’s daunting, honestly! But, through finding other people, who are still learning and still improving, that I was able to come out my shell a bit. Of course, University helped with that too, as I always used to be a very, very shy boy!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks Gloria! Your niece sounds like she would benefit from something like this sort of project. It is good to have somewhere you feel safe though as an amateur sharing photos can be daunting. I know I am still a bit nervous every week in case my photos are seen to be ‘wrong’ by the real photographers in the group. I’m slowly learning to trust myself s but more.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Tis is so interesting! I am exactly like Deb, a blogger that enjoys having my own photos on my blog, accompanying the words. I have taken a one day photography course, purely to try to understand my camera, and have recently began to work on manual setting. I think I may well set myself a year long photography challenge, I really like the idea of this! Thanks for sharing xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great to hear, Kerry! There’s definitely a pleasure that can be taken in hosting your own photos with your written work, making everything fully yours. As a professional photographer I let myself down in that respect, as I never find the time to find add accompanying photos (be they my own or not!)

      I have to say, using manual is a great way to understand your camera, especially when learning, but there’s no shame at all in using some of the more automated settings. I often shoot on automatic in a pinch, and at other times I mainly stick to “Priority” modes, that’s where I find the magic happens 🙂 Control the most important aspect at the time, let the camera sort out the rest

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thanks for your kind words Kerry. I have yet to do any sort of course so am purely an amateur but I know what I like when I see an image I want to capture. Good luck in learning to use your camera and Shaun’s advice is quite right. Keep going with it, I’m so glad you enjoy using your own photos on your blog too.

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. The colours in the last image are fantastic – definitely my favourite for composition and vibrancy. A great idea for a project and I agree that it’s always fun to see how people interpret them, whether literally and something more unsual!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Haylee, it’s great to have your thoughts. I really look forward to seeing how everyone interprets the theme each week, you just never know what they’ll come up with. Although my husband and I are both involved we rarely discuss our photos beforehand and are usually surprised when we see them. It’s good fun!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment April. I really just try to capture moments in time and sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t! This project is a fun way of training the mind to look and create photographic opportunities. I appreciate your visit 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  12. What a great post Shaun!! I love the way you share and support the work of other bloggers in your series. Thanks so much for having me for this week’s Work in Progress. I look forward to continuing to make an effort to improve as the year unfolds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for taking part, Deb! I love your photography project a lot, and I particularly love that its a family project! Me and my photography colleague tried to do one between us… but life took over! Your project just shows a little dedication and support goes a long way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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