Why Project 365 Challenge is Bad for the Artist in You

I’ve done the Project 365 challenge a couple of times now. The first time was when I was just starting off with photography with a DSLR, and it was… interesting.

Today, however, when I go back and view the images, I am disgusted by most of it. Now, being disgusted with your photographs is apparently a common phenomenon with photographers. We’re an insecure lot who never think our photographs are good enough. We never can choose ‘one’ good photo, and most often, what we choose is what we can ‘the best of the worst’.

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst” – Henri Cartier Bresson

Most of the photographs in the Project 365 – Set 1 were bad because I did not put in conscious thought into many of them. I was working full time as a reporter then, and many days, I would remember that I had not taken a photo for the day, and I’d just take out my cellphone and click whatever seemed interesting. There was no thought, no composition.

 

While I wanted to do elaborate set ups for the project, there was no time. Instead, I started a twist on the Project a little while ago – calling it at “14:41”.

The idea was simple – I’d take a photo of whatever was in front of me when the clock struck 14:41. I’d to make it creative, interesting and fun… and yeah, perhaps I could cheat a little bit by making sure I was at an interesting place when the clock struck the hour.

Except, routine interfered again, and I’d be in meetings or in front of a computer, or worse, sleeping at 14:41. So that fizzled out.

“ Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” – Ansel Adams

I’ve seen some incredible work in Project 365.  Some great themes. But as an artist, as a photographer, I wonder how these people are able to dedicate the sheer volume of time to this project.

I cannot believe that we can get good photographs -consistently.

After a point, Project 365, though sounds fun, became torture for me. I wanted to puke every time I saw the photographs. As a private collection, from a non-photographer’s perspective, sure, there were good memories.

But as artists, we like to ‘make’ photographs, and not ‘take’ photos. There’s a difference. And if you know what the difference is and you are not undergoing a creative block currently, and are shooting regularly – Project 365 is absolutely NOT for you!

 

 

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