Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Short Shots 365: What I'm Learning

I've been doing Short Shots 365 for 55 days now.

Which, according to my handy dandy friend, Google, means I'm 15% of the way through.

I took some time earlier to pause and think about this whole process - here are some of the things I'm learning.

Picture overload.
So, my computer is busting forth with photos. I have taken so many photos of so many things over the past 55 days that I'm going to need a warehouse to store my hard drives when this is over. I have a terrible time deleting photos - even bad ones. I always think, "Will I want that one in the future - even if it's blurry and dark and overall just a terrible photo?" Somewhat disturbing and neurotic - I know. But, I just can't hit the delete button without feeling this general sense of regret. I need to work on that, because ain't no way I can keep saving all the photos I'm taking.

Carrying my camera.
I am learning to have my camera handy all. the. time. I've always been pretty good about keeping it near, but with this project in the back of my mind, I'm much better about it. In the house, that is. I haven't been taking it out and about with me, but after the New Year, I plan to do that. The camera on my phone is borderline useless - so capturing moments when I'm out isn't really possible unless I have my camera with me.

Beauty. It's everywhere.
I can't believe how much beauty is around me within the walls of my home. And, by beauty - I don't mean "beautiful things". I mean moments, snippets of time, brief captures of my daily life. So much of it is ordinary. Everyday. Routine. But, I'm learning that ordinary, in the context of the great calling of wife and mother and homemaker, is exceptionally beautiful.

My husband unloading the dishwasher?

I'm so glad I captured it. It's an everyday occurrence around here, and it's beautiful to me.

A good photo? Every day?
Of the 55 photos that I've posted so far, only a handful of them would have ever made it onto this blog had I not been working on Short Shots 365. Why? Because not all of them are "good" photos. But, since I'm taking/editing/posting one photo every day, I can't be as choosy as I would be otherwise. Sometimes, an "eh, this one will work" is the best I can do. Lesson: In the context of everyday life, it is extremely difficult to get a quality photo. Every single day. At least for this girl.

I'm becoming a better photographer.
Yes. I am. I am a better photographer than I was 55 days ago. I am learning more about my camera, about composition, about lighting and color and what on earth to do with my fidgety little subjects. Someone very wise once told me, "If you want to become a better photographer, then shoot. Shoot, shoot, shoot." That wisdom helped inspire me to take on this project, and it has proven to be so very right on.

Is it worth it?
I ask myself this question all the time. Some days, I don't feel like picking up my camera. Some days, I don't feel like playing in Photoshop. Some days, I'm so utterly annoyed that I challenged myself with this task.

But, is it worth it?

Most things in life - the tasks we take on, the ways in which we push ourselves to go beyond the ordinary, the races we run that require training and patience and perseverance - those are the most gratifying things we do.

And, I can tell you, as I look below, that even now - only 55 days in - this project has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.



  1. My dad was an avid photographer. He had an old Rolloflex, did his own developing and took some wonderful shots. His advice to anyone interested in photography echoed your own....take your camera everywhere, take lots and lots of pictures and once in a while, magic happens....a picture that transcends the parameters. Thanks for opening my memory book today.

  2. I found that after I started doing the 365 project I really noticed the beauty around me so much more! I only wish I had done something like this when my kids were as young as yours. You already take great pictures - now you will have more!

  3. i love all your pictures and look forward to what pictures you will post every day. it is so fun!

    just like anything the more we do of something the better we get at it... it takes time and dedication. you have definitely been dedicated. good job my friend.