March 31, 2016 10:01 pm | Blog

Project 365 Update – End Of Month 1

I’ve made it to the end of the first month of Project 365! I have been trying to decide whether or not to make a gallery at the end of each month containing the photos from that month compiled into a group. If I was to do it the two options would be to make a gallery on my Facebook page, or to do a summary page on here (like this one) and include a gallery with it. I may yet decide to do one of those things but I haven’t thought enough about it yet. In the mean time I will do something I am planning to do each month which is to look back at the photos from the month and compile some statistics!

I like looking back and examining the stuff that I do and the progress that I make. I figured it would be interesting to keep track of which lens I prefer to use, or which lighting settings I lean towards more often, and even what kind of subjects I focused on (pun!) most during the month. This will also give me some direction on what I should do more or less of in the future! Anyway here we go:

Lens
On Day 8 I got a new lens (Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM with Macro functionality) and I wrote on here that I thought it would be the lens which is on my camera most often. That was a correct prediction! Of the 31 photos for the month I used the 24-70mm lens 18 times which is pretty good considering I only had it for 24 of the days. The second most used lens was my “Nifty Fifty” (Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM) which I used for 9 photos. I’d like to use the 50mm lens more over the next month since it can make some really cool depth of field effects thanks to the wide 1.8 aperture.

ISO/Aperture/Shutter Speed
I’m going to stick ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed together here since they work hand in hand and to be honest they aren’t really huge factors individually towards what kind of photos I take, apart from a few specifics. Things like night/day time or inside/outside change up the ISO and I mostly use Aperture to allow more or less light into the sensor to balance the ISO. Exceptions for the aperture are when I do landscape shots where I set a higher aperture number. An example would be Day 31 – Sunset Over Ipswich uses an aperture of f/11 so that the whole view is focused, whereas things like portrait shots I use a lower aperture number to give that blurred effect to help subjects pop out.

I was pretty evenly balanced across the month with these settings. I took a pretty varied range of shots, although I found that I used ISO 800 quite a lot given how many photos were taken indoors. I’ve mentioned a few times that I have struggled to find time to take photos, as well as finding subjects to actually take photos of. It has become easier the more I have gotten used to the fact that I need to find something each day, but I still found myself taking photos of random things in either my house or my fiancée’s house which meant I needed to account for bad lighting. Hopefully I can scrounge up the cash to buy an external flash soon to help make that easier, but until then I have to make the most of higher ISO levels.

Tripod
For some night shots I go for a lower ISO but a longer shutter speed (exposure time) to limit the noise that comes with higher ISO. To do this obviously requires a tripod and a remote shutter release button to avoid camera shake. Over the last month I used a tripod for 8 of the 31 photos. I would say that that is largely because of the extra effort of carrying a tripod and setting it up. I’ve done the majority of photos with the camera handheld because of the freedom it provides for composition and framing. Even the photo of the moon on the 24th day was taken with the camera handheld. That was because the brightness of the moon allows for a quick shutter speed and a low ISO. If it hadn’t been a full moon I definitely would have had to allow for a longer exposure time which would most likely need a tripod.

I’m planning to do more night photography during the project because long exposure shots can get some very cool effects. The best example of this from the previous month was Day 16 – Nudgee Beach which had a 30 second exposure time. The sun was still pretty much down when I was taking photos there but there long exposure really brightened the water and the sky, while the reflection from the nearby lamp post gave a cool yellow reflection on the timber of the dock. I’d like to do more night time nature shots to get stars as well, but I think that may take some practice.

Reach
The last thing I’m going to mention is more for my own interest than anything, and that is how many people have seen my photos. The majority of the reach has been via Facebook rather than views on this site which was to be expected. Most likely people just saw the photos on their news feeds rather than clicking through to the site which is fair enough. Despite that I still had 800 page views on the site which I’m pretty happy with for the first month.

The top 5 photos for reach on Facebook were:

Day 18 – Of Eyes & Windows : 302 people reached
Day 16 – Nudgee Beach : 223 people reached
Day 9 – More Macro! : 184 people reached
Day 23 – Life & Death : 169 people reached
Day 27 – Yoda : 160 people reached

Obviously that’s just reach not clicks but it’s at the end of the day I want people to see the photos which I take and which I am proud of, so I’m on the right track 🙂

That’s it for March, now to start thinking of ideas for April and beyond! I’m considering doing weekly themes to make myself more accountable to finding good shots but again I haven’t had enough time to think about it yet. I’m happy with my progress so far regardless of that though so I’m going to keep going as I have been. If you have read all of this and reached this point then thanks very much for taking an interest in my work. It’s a real pleasure doing all this and I’m really glad that I have been sticking to it so I appreciate your interest.

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