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.
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.
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.
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:
- Each Sunday we are given a new theme for the week ahead.
- 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.
- 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.
- The next week’s theme is announced and we start all over again.
- 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
You can find me here if you’d like to join me.