365 Project Phases (Pt. 3)

And nearly 3 months later, I am completing this epic trilogy!

Phase Six: Oh my God am I getting better?

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This phase alone is why you should do a 365. You get to a point where you can tell you’ve improved. Maybe you’re noticing a certain style that’s consistent in your pieces, or you can just generally look back from a month prior and see the improvement. It’s an amazing feeling. It makes you feel like all the days you wanted to quit and produced really shoddy images were worth it – and they were. You’re proof of it! This phase normally comes after the two week emotional breakdown called “phase 5”; and I think it’s because you have to work through your ruts to finally get so fed up with yourself that you start producing new stuff. And your new stuff is always better than your old stuff – generally speaking.

Phase Seven: Photoshop. Photoshop everything.

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I have a huge thing with post production in general, and that stemmed from all the way before I did this 365 project. And when you can test out new things every day and play with stuff and then you discover other things that you can do? It’s opening a floodgate. 365’s have helped me with my editing skills though, and even though I look back now and I think “Ugh” I’m still appreciative.

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This is actually a big favorite of mine.  It’s utterly simple, and it was utterly easy, but it looks so soft and delicate and simply inviting to me. I have a whole series based off of photos similar to this and if I hadn’t experimented with photoshop, I might not have discovered this other world. This is a very influential phase. Maybe you decide you enjoy photoshop, maybe you don’t. Either way it’s experience and growing.

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Phase Eight (final): No no no how is it already almost over?
This is, by far, the most bittersweet phase. For me, it was incredibly sentimental and I wanted it to mean something. I personally grow attached to these projects. I mean, you slave over something for a year and you make something every day and sometimes it’s bad and sometimes it’s good – but it’s still all youThat’s what gets me. It shows what you’ve gone through and how you and your photography has grown in a year. Whether it’s self portraits or landscapes or a mix of anything you feel like, it’s going to reflect progress. And I’m sorry but if that doesn’t make you get a little teary eyed towards the end of your project….

For every week I was doing this project, I had a theme for the photos. For for the final week I had individual themes for each day.

  1. Combining a lot of different elements that appeared more than once in the 365.
  2. Re-creating a photo I was proud of.
  3. Re-creating a photo that could have been executed better.
  4. Re-creating the photo that generally inspired me to begin photography.
  5. The place where I had the most good memories throughout the year.
  6. The final photo.

I don’t remember why there was only six… I think that’s just how it ended up lining up with the end date? Whatever.

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Photo #1! Everything in this photo is very purposeful. It’s like an incredibly messy, thrown together, personal concept photo. First, there’s two of me – a very reoccuring trend in the project. Then, the two “me’s” are different. Normal me, and Stella me. Normal me is holding my necklaces which showed up in at least 3 of my photos. Stella me is holding the textbook from day 332 – a picture I really liked. Along with all of those components,  there’s an overlay layer, half black and white and half color, and a little dinosaur is put in at the bottom. Plus I’m outside in our old backyard which also appeared in a lot of the pictures. Phew. That was intense.

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361This is theme #2. The original photo up top shows Stella holding a page from the bible and burning it’s pages while the bible itself was resting on a glass of red wine (dark kool-aid actually – keepin’ it classy).  I always enjoyed that picture because of the execution but I wanted to try it again in a more clear light. Take out the portrait aspect and aim straight for the concept. It can be taken a lot of different ways if you look at it through different eyes.

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Theme #3! Can you believe I got the re-created photo on the first try? Me either. It took forever. The photo on the right is the original and the left is the recreation. The original holds a lot of sentimental value to me. It was basically the beginning of everything, you know? That day was the day I decided photography was worth giving a shot. Man, I loved those shoes on the right though. I felt so cool.

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If you couldn’t have guessed, this is theme #4. The first picture is from day 247. I was always on the edge about this photo. It kept me up at night and haunted my dreams. It was the perfect one to recreate. The dark background against the white cloud was something I was fond of but the fake rain… ugh. Never could dig it. But again, learning, experience, it wasn’t a failure. But still, I’d still love to recreate the recreated one! There’s a lot more techniques I know now to make it look even better and more conceptualized.

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This is just here because I felt like it should be. This is the second to last photo. My family and I eat dinner together every night and there’s always good memories with that. Nothing much to say here, just felt like leaving it out would be weird!

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Ah, the final photo. I thought, what better way to wrap this whole project up than to get all 364 photos printed and take a picture of all of them laid out on the floor? There is no better way, obviously! So that’s what I did. No real rhyme or reason behind this picture either, but it’s very comforting to know I have every picture printed out and within touching distance, you know? It’s just proof (as if the digital copies weren’t enough…).

This post is over a thousand words, so I think I’ll cap this epic trilogy with a video that shows all of the pictures. I meant to post it the day after I finished the project but it never happened. So… now presenting the never before seen footage!

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