Project 365: new edition

Uh, so three posts in one day. That’s bound to lose me half my readership (of two people, according to feedly), I’m sure. Please feel free to skip the ones you have zero interest in! This one’s about photography.

As you know, I took on Project 365 last year. I never really shook that lack-of-community feeling I first reported on, but then I never really engaged with any of the possibilities and after the first few months I just stopped thinking about that and it became something that I was doing for me and for my parents.

The summary is that I felt this was an incredibly valuable experience, for all that I didn’t take photos every single day. I feel I have a much better grasp of 2016 as a whole because I have this visual diary that I can just glance through at any time which reminds me of all sorts of amazing things I did and lovely days with lovely people. Those small things that often drift away unless we’re really thinking about them. It’s these moments that make a year special and counteract the horror of 2016 as it appeared in the news and on social media. And there’ve been a bunch of them. Here’s the entire set (or click to view in a stream on Flickr)

Project 365 - 2016

As mentioned in an earlier post on this project, it started out as a phonecam project and stayed that way. And while I’m a little disappointed in myself to not have got into using my ‘real’ cameras a bit more, I really enjoyed exploring the possibilities of the phone camera, even when that meant photos that were not as technically exciting as I’d have liked. They got made, they (mostly) got posted, and in a fairly timely manner. The one downside to this aspect of the project was that once I started messing about with different photo editing apps, the dates on the photos started to get messed up as the editing apps often change the created date of a photo to the edited date because of it being imported. It would have been really nice to have been able to specify whether to keep the original created date for an imported photo, or at the very least if Flickr allowed you to edit the Date Taken field on their mobile app instead of just on a computer (which never happens, obv).

I used a number of apps over the course of the year, partly because of a change of phone and operating system:

iPhone 4

  • I think I used Camera Plus for all the iPhone photos, but I don’t seem to have a record of this

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (from 2 February 2016)

  • standard camera app
  • Vignette
  • VSCO
  • Snapseed
  • A Color Story

VSCO was probably the main app for the year and there’s a lot I like about it. It takes a great photo and has some gorgeous filters, but I just started to feel like everything looked like filter central and that I wanted to experiment with more natural-looking options.

Since then I’ve been using mostly a combination of Snapseed and A Color Story. Snapseed is amazing – it excels at taking a pretty good photo and making it better. Easy cropping, easy colour temperature adjustments. Just great. A Color Story is a bit of a mixed experience for me. The filters are lovely and often lead to really strong photos with good vibrant-yet-natural-looking colour, but I find the naming of filters a little unintuitive so it’s time-consuming to test them all on your photo. I’ve had some issues with it crashing and it always changes the dates on the photos, which is just annoying. Definitely one to keep in the arsenal though.

In terms of the actual phones, I’ve been really happy with my Xperia Z3 Compact. The camera is amazing for the price, it’s a good size, it’s orange. Very happy with that choice. I’ve used my Canon G11 camera a couple of times over the course of the year for this, but usually been a bit disappointed in the photos, although it’s always been a great little camera. Not sure why. The DSLR has been used a bit and always takes a great shot, but it’s huge and heavy so tends not to go places with me.

So that’s the summary of 2016! I’ve decided that I’m going to keep on with a 2017 edition of Project 365. I’ve enjoyed the process, and my parents have clearly enjoyed seeing what I’m up to, which has made me feel a little less far away from them. Guess I should go and find something to take a photo of now…

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