© 2011 Stephen Sheridan

Day 365 – 365 Finale

365/365

When I told people I was about to embark on a 365 project last year they thought I was a little crazy. Well anyone that knows me will tell you that when it comes to photography I actually am a little crazy and slightly obsessed. Doing something that I love everyday for a year didn’t sound too bad to me at all, in fact I relished the thought of it. I didn’t want to do a 365 project just for the sake of it, I actually had a few reasons for doing it and there were some tangible things I wanted to get out of it. Firstly, I wanted to challenge my creative skills on a daily basis. For a while I had felt that my creative juices were not what they once were and I needed to do something to remedy that. Secondly, I wanted to put into practice some of the photographic theory I had absorbed from books, magazines and the web. It’s one thing reading about a technique, but it’s another thing to put it into practice and I’m a firm believer that the best way to learn is to do stuff and experiment. Learn it the hard way and it will stay with you forever, and I have learned lots of things the hard way! Lastly I wanted to test my ability to follow this crazy project through to the bitter sweet end. I can say now that when times where tough, this last goal was what kept me going. When it came right down to it, I was determined not to let the project beat me. That sounds quite negative, but there were times during the year when I just wanted the project to be over. I guess in hindsight, deciding to dedicate your time to something on a daily basis when you have a three year old little boy and a second baby on the way does not make for easy times ahead. Especially when a little bundle of joy (Ellen) arrived on the 6th of May and wasn’t in the least bit interested in sleeping! Having said that, there’s probably no good time to start something like this because who can tell what a new year will bring.

I decided at the beginning of this project that I would’t limit myself to a particular theme or genre. I wanted to have the freedom to photograph anything and everything that caught my interest. Looking back over the shots I have taken, they are quite random ranging from still life, landscapes, macro, self portraits, and product style shots. I have read quite a lot of photography books that talk about finding your style. I can safely say that after 365 days I still have not found my style. Everything interests me from a photographic point of view so a style or signature look is kind of hard to pin down and in my humble opinion is kind of overrated. Only a small amount of photos that make up my 365 project were planned shots. Most days I just carried my camera with me everywhere I went and stayed on the look out for something that interested me. The shots that were planned mostly came about because of bad weather or knowing that I would be under pressure at work or had some family commitments. At the beginning of the project I wanted to document my lighting setups and described my daily photos in detail. I tried my best to do this but I feel most of my energy went into shooting which left me with little time to write detailed accounts. However, I do have a nice little collection of shots complete with lighting setups and I’m happy about that. If you have been following my project over the past year you will know that one genre of photography that I particularly enjoy is street shooting. I would have loved to do a lot more street shooting on this project but it wasn’t always possible.

This project has been a kind of self exploration. I suppose any project that lasts a year would include a little soul searching and question asking. Above all else, my determination and self discipline was tested the most. There were days when I was very close to posting any old photo just to get the day over with. Now I’m not saying that I’m ecstatic about every shot in the project, but I am happy with the vast majority of them. For anyone out there thinking about embarking on a 365 project I would say go for it. There will be tough days but the end goal is so worth it. Right now I’m proud of the photos I have taken but most of all I have a revived sense of what I can achieve and my self confidence, in photographic terms, has increased to the point where I am now looking around for a serious photographic project, maybe something along documentary lines.

Lastly I would like to thank some people. Thank you to all my Flickr contacts and to those who have commented and faved my shots. Thank you to those who have followed my blog, my facebook entries and tweets. I would not have completed the project without your positive feedback. I have made some great online friends over the course of the year and I hope these friendships continue after this project. I’m afraid to name names in case I miss someone out, but you guys know who you are. Many thanks. Lastly I would like to thank my family. Thanks to my little buddy and son Jack for giving me some great photos and classic expressions. Thanks to my daughter Ellen for teaching me the importance of sleep and of course for some beautiful baby shots. Finally, I would like to thank my wife Nicola. Thank you for making it possible for me to complete this crazy project. Thank you for listening to my obsessive photographic ramblings, putting up with me taking over the kitchen table for the year, disappearing up to my home office to “GET A SHOT”, putting up with me never being happy with my work, bringing my camera everywhere. But most of all thank you for loving me. I’m a very lucky man.

Happy 365 and New Year to everyone!

Did I hear someone say “52 Week Project” ?

Strobist info :- SB900 on background 1/2 power. SB600 camera left at 1/80 power.

Shot details :- ISO 200, 35mm, 0 ev, f/10, 1/250

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