Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Another 365

I've just completed another 365 project. (If you want to see the whole thing, go here: Link to 365 project.) It seems simple: one photo a day for one year. It's tougher than it sounds. I did my first one in 2010, and I really loved it. I learned so much about how to take photos, the limits of my camera, getting over the shyness of taking a picture. But I needed a break.

At the beginning of 2012, I decided I wanted to try it again. I recruited a number of brave souls, and we had at it. (Want to see the whole group? Go here: The whole 365 group.) We started March 1, 2012. Most of the members are from parts of my life: friends from high school and college, aunts, a spouse of a friend from grad school. It's a small group, but there are people all over the country, which made for some lovely pictures during the seasonal changes. I love seeing everyone's pictures. I feel like I know everyone a bit better, and I'm so pleased to see the beauty they all captured.

There are a lot of things I love about the 365 project. I find I'm more aware of my world. I have to be looking for that picture. I want to find something interesting or unique about the day, and that requires paying attention. I like that I can look back on my year and be reminded of every single day. But it is a challenge. There are days that nothing came my way, and I would just wander the house, looking for a new way to take a picture of that candle or stack of books. Or I would forget completely.

The biggest challenge this year wasn't directly related to the project, but definitely affected me. In November, we lost my favorite subject, our beloved kitty Murray. He was always my go-to picture; at the end of the day, when I was scrambling for something, he could be counted on for some pose of kitty splendor, and, suddenly, he was no longer there. It threw me off, probably more than I realized at the time. I know I lost track of the days, and I just didn't want to take pictures, but I felt obligated. I'm not happy with the later pictures in the project, and I have to believe it was related to this. I miss my boy so much.

The project officially ended last Thursday, and Saturday we got two kittens. These events aren't necessarily related, but it seemed right. I am sure there will be thousands of pictures of the new kitties, but last year needs to belong to Murray. I will cry when I look over this 365, but I also see so many wonderful days, mixed with those pictures of Murray.

Thank you to all participated, even if all you did was look at a few pictures. I'll probably start up again in a few months, but there is a relief to not being obligated to my camera. Yesterday I walked home from work, and I realized that I could just walk. I didn't have to look for that next picture. I could just enjoy the sunshine.


Firefly said...

Ditto everything you said. Well not about Murray. I didn't have a Murray but I do understand the loss as I've gone through that. But I did like how much more aware I was of my surroundings, of being in the day/moment to capture something that represented my many ordinary days. But like you, I'm glad for a break. I know I'll want to do another 365 project somewhere down the line. And maybe by then I'll have my own kittens/cats to feature :) Thanks for organizing this for all of us :)

Lisa said...

I really enjoyed the positive aspects: learning how to use my camera better, getting a new camera actually, being more mindful of my surroundings, having something to look back on for the year.

I found I needed a break before it was over, though. Although I did manage to rejoin for the last few months. I'll be happy to do this again, but glad to take some time off.

Sorry for your loss. In time may you find that the photos remind you of the happiness of having Murray in your life vs. the sadness of missing him now. :-)

Lisa said...

oh....and I *loved* looking at other's photos as well. I didn't really think about that part when I started, but it was a huge part of what brought me back at the end. :-)

Lois Campbell said...

I enjoyed this project, except at the end when my camera decided it didn't want to work anymore. Guess it was just too much for it. I always loved looking at everyone's pictures and of course, the ones of peoples pets were always my favorites. My cats were my go to picture also. I love taking pictures of them. I do understand your losing interest after the loss of Murray. It is difficult to lose a loved one. Your new kitties are adorable and look forward to seeing more pictures of them. Thanks so much for extending the invitation to join the 365!

Lois Campbell said...

Thanks so much for organizing and inviting me to join the 365 project. I enjoyed doing it even if my camera decided to quit working at the end and I didn't get to finish. I loved seeing everyone's pictures every day. I understand your losing interest after the loss of Murray. It's hard to lose a loved one. My cats were my go to picture also and I always liked taking pictures of them. I'm sure everyone was saying "oh no, not another cat picture". I can't wait to see more pictures of your new girls! I'm sure they will bring so much happiness to your life and make you laugh everyday!