On an office trip to Ooty, friend asked, “ I noticed that you have been clicking photos in a moving vehicle. May I see how they came out?” I showed her the pictures. “You are such a talented photographer”, she said. “I am 216 days photographer. Not a talented one.” I replied. Habits can take you to places which talent can’t.
I tried 365 day elevate challenge but couldn’t keep the streak for more than 95 days. I wanted to try the same with Duolingo but all I could do was for 52 days. I read more than 40 books a year but couldn’t maintain a streak of 365 days. But photography is my first ever 365 day streak and it wasn’t difficult at all.
What made the 365 challenge possible?
- It is handy. I don’t need to gather resources for it.
- It is quick. It doesn’t take more than a minute.
- It gives immense pleasure to capture something beautiful.
Most of all, it was natural for me to click daily than look at it as a challenge which I had to work towards.All other challenges were tough because they needed some time and mental energy. The others were not giving me instant pleasure.
The 365 days Journey
I already wrote about the first 100 day journey here. I was at one of the lowest points of my life on the end of the 100 day journey and hardly had any energy to continue clicking. A lot of my friends thought it was foolish of me to leave a passion which kept me happy during that phase.
I was worried about not finding any more objects to click. But then came the rainy season. It was a disadvantage that sun started setting before I could leave office but capturing the rain drops, mud pools and the cloudy skies was ultimate fun. The place I was staying was close to a lake. I could sight a lot of birds which became my new subjects. Sadly, great bird pictures can’t be captured with a phone camera.
After that, I found a meditation teacher, every corner of whose house was an Instagram worthy picture and she stayed right next to a beach. That gave a boost to my photography.
I was saturated with the type of clicks I could click with my average phone camera and needed an upgrade. Hence I bought One Plus 6 to treat myself for completing the 6 months of photography. The picture color quality had increased by multiple folds that I stopped using editing apps to get my desired color contrast. I was travelling a bit then and fell in love with clicking pictures from trains.
My photography skills took a new shape when I went on an office trip to Ooty. Strangers became friends just by clicking a few creative shots of them. They made me the ‘official photographer of the trip’ and also for any office celebrations. That was a new identity.
Another upgrade happened when I got an opportunity to do maternity photo shoot for a friend. I always thought that I can’t click great pictures of people but there I couldn’t believe that my friend loved those photos.
For a few weeks, there was nothing new to click. I was just playing with lights and shadows, leaves and flowers until I went to a friend’s wedding. I always wanted to try wedding photography after watching all the stills on Instagram. Here I had my chance to experiment and learn. Looking at my passion, the photographer asked me if I were the bride side photographer. The best thing that happened that day was I could click the candids which the professional photographer couldn’t. Photography made me learn to be alert to the smallest nuances of people.
Out of the blue, I got into wildlife photography. A borrowed DSLR and a lake right in front of my house, I couldn’t ask for more in life. I clicked some of the best shots I ever did. I couldn’t thank my husband enough for the wonderful location he bestowed me with.
Today, at the end of one year, I don’t feel it is an achievement but rather a milestone in many more years to come.
Practice makes man perfect is an old saying. The present world is changing ever so fast that you need to focus on continuous improvements to stay relevant. On the occasion of completing 365 days of photography, I reached out to a couple of photographer friends for their inputs on how I can improve. The following are there suggestions.
- Focus on an object so that there is a foreground and a contrasting background
- Edit the pictures so that they come close to the original picture I had in mind
- Explore manual photography to the fullest
- Bring a story in the picture
Also, I would like to do more courses on photography, travel more and discover my style.
Which 365 days challenge were you able to stick to?
Happy 365 day Challenge!