It seems odd that Project 365 is over, but it was enjoyable. Below I have some of my favorites for the past few months, as well as a few of Kellen's recent pictures which I really enjoyed. After the photos are my thoughts of the project.
Balance Trick (Kellen, 5/30/2010) - Kellen is getting really good at capturing events at a crucial moment, as with this photo. I also like his angle, level with the performer's feet. Having the props in sharp focus and the people slightly blurred helps separate them, too.
Class of '10 (Kellen, 6/5/2010) - The range of expressions of the graduates shows all the things one feels at such a ceremony, all in one photo. I also like how he was able to blow out the background so it almost looks like a studio shot, even though it was outdoors.
Heated Match (Kellen, 6/13/2010) - Capturing action with a long telephoto is tricky, but Kellen pulled it off here. The picture is sharp enough to see the shoelaces but you still get the feeling of motion, with no doubt as to what's going on.
Old mixer (Frank, 5/4/2010) - I saw this mixer on the way home and was struck by the shape and color. It reminded me of the mixer my dad had in the back yard. Its motor doubled as a starter for the lawn mower!
Railroad crossing (Frank, 5/15/2010) - We were in Issaquah a couple months ago and at one point went across these old tracks. I took a different approach on this photo, with the focus on the distant car and building rather than the near part of the track. I liked how you can see both a pedestrian and an auto going in the same direction.
Reflective (Frank, 6/4/2010) - This water feature is in the front of the Redmond City Hall. I was going for the symmetry of the reflection, but at the time hadn't noticed that the vertical post was just off; had I moved to the left I probably could have made it a continuous straight line. Regardless, I liked the slight ripple in the water, and the lights at the bottom of the rods.
Mini meadow (Frank, 6/5/2010) - We have a bunch of blue star creeper along our front walkway, and when it blooms it's thick with blossoms. My camera was almost on the ground for this photo (the plant is less than an inch high), giving the impression of a large meadow of flowers.
Arthritic bamboo (Frank, 6/20/2010) - The crookedness of this bamboo was really striking to me. It took a bit of walking around to get an angle where the effect would come across in a photo. The one white culm offers an interesting contrast, too.
It's been a few days since Project 365 ended, and this was the first weekend in a year during which I didn't carry a camera around. However, I didn't stop looking around for possible photos; the difference is just a few days ago I would have played with a few shots to see if they would come out.
Even though I was pretty familiar with my camera (Canon G7), I did learn more about its tendencies. For example, as the year went on, I started to underexpose a bit more, both for deeper saturation and to avoid blowing out the highlights. I also got to the point where I had a better idea of how I wanted the camera set when I was shooting. The one thing I need to watch more closely, however, is white balance. It's especially hard to remember since the colors look fine for the most part when reviewing on the display, but you can really tell the white balance was off when looking on the computer.
I also got better at composition as the year went on. I started to pay more attention to the whole frame, rather than just the main subject. Of course, it's pretty easy to miss some things, such as the near-vertical line in "Reflective" above, or something chopped off on the edge where it would have been better to either include it or compose it out completely. Looking through my photos, however, I did get better as the year went along. I also got better at composing things so they were square in the frame (or not, if that was my intent). The hardest is when you're pointing the camera at an angle, where you have to watch out for things such as leaning buildings.
You can probably see the common thread of trying to see more in the camera rather than relying on post-processing on the computer. I normally do quite a bit of subtle work on pictures I post (fixing color, distortion, cropping, etc.) so it was a challenge to do all of that work before I pressed the shutter. I do enjoy fixing things up on the computer, but hopefully I'll be able to streamline that workflow.
One thing I had stopped thinking about after I switched away from 35mm is depth of field. More to the point, my camera's relatively small sensor means that almost everything is in focus. I found myself doing lots of macro shots, not only because they were interesting, but also so I could get the background out of focus. Funny how when shooting with film, I often wished I could get more depth of field, but now I try to get less!