Thursday, December 28, 2006

Picture a week

At this time of year many people decide to embark on a Picture a Day (PAD) or Picture a Week (PAW) projects, to kick start productivity or to try to learn a new area of photography. Often those dry up or become chores. I did a picture a week project in 2005, that produced some good images and kept me shooting, but none of the images have anything in common, other than they were all shot by me. There are some good and not so good pictures in there, but I waffled around different genres, which makes it next to impossible to really improve in any one area.
The one thing that I did start doing that year was adding more and more people into my pictures. That's something that is continuing with the portrait projects I've recently started. A PAD or PAW can be great, but with some more focus and keying it in to a particular theme would really help pull it together into something more than just a collection of good shots from a year of shooting. 52 shots on one well defined and narrow theme is a lot. It'll be a challenge to come up with fresh ideas by shot 20 or 30 or 40, but I think the value in hitting those walls is in the new ideas that'll come out of it - not just repeating ideas and images that you've seen elsewhere. The one experience I have had in this was shooting for two years in the Lady Bird Johnson wildflower center. I went there almost every week for two years. I found that after the first year I'd worked out most of the clich├ęd ideas in my system and actually produced a few original ideas, for me. But it took me many, many visits, shooting hundreds of images before I started seeing shots that weren't just copies of ideas that I'd seen before in other photographs. I found that I had to do those cloned images to get them out of my head, before I could start seeing something new or original for me. If I'd just shot there for a week or two, I'd have never got beyond those superficial copies.


Mike said...

Hi Gordon,

Good luck with the PaW project. Will you be posting the images?


Gordon said...

If and when I get my PaW projects lined up, I will be posting the images in my blog as I go along.