I enjoy photography. I can totally lose myself in it as a hobby and I love the creative side of it. I’ve been a ‘photographer’ for about 5 years now – maybe 6 – and in that time I’ve narrowed down my favourite subjects to macro, zoo and wildlife photography. This is fine, but it is also nice to branch out and try new things. In 2009 I did a ’52’ whereby a theme is drawn each week and a group of us all took a photo to the theme and posted it for critique. The results of that little venture can be found here:
It was hard work and looking back on some of the pictures makes me cringe a bit – but I really enjoyed doing it and got a great sense of achievement at the end of the year. So the following year I set myself a new challenge – an A-Z of animals:
I didn’t quite make the full set – but I think the quality of the photography had improved which made me very happy. Since these two projects I have taken lots of photos of zoo animals and pets, but I havn’t successfully finished any kind of challenge. I have set myself projects but they’ve always fallen apart. I tried to do a reloaded ’52’ in 2011 but only got 7 photos in before giving up – and I wanted to do a Local Wildlife project in 2013 but just couldn’t sustain it what with the chemotherapy etc. I didn’t even bother pretending to start anything in 2012. Lets just say I lost my creative mojo.To be fair I have had other things to contend with – but I don’t like failing at all. Especially on something I have set myself. So I have been a bit reticent to set myself any challenges this year – life is challenging enough! – but an email arrived in my inbox inviting me to participate in the Photographer of the Year competition on the forum Talk Photography. This is the same forum that I did my ’52’ with.
So I decided to give it a go.
Basically it is one photo a month to a specified theme and or style… I can do that right?
The themes looked ok.
12 photos isn’t too taxing.
Good way to get my mojo back surely…
So I am 2 months into this challenge and so far it’s been a bit of a mixed experience! Results are in for January and I didn’t do too badly. February’s picture has been submitted but it wasn’t great. Actually, the picture was ok, it is just crow-barred into the theme! One of the rules of the competition are that the entries cannot be displayed anywhere else until judging is completed – and judging takes about 3 weeks – so you’ll have to wait to see that one. I can show you January’s though…the theme was Nature and the style was Macro / Close up – you could choose to take your photo to either / both. I decided to try for both – and think a little bit outside the box. This is what I ended up with – it is called “A Titanic Force of Nature” and it was taken with a 90mm Macro lens:
It came 25th out of over 40 entries – so not a terrible start. Could be better but frankly, just doing something a bit creative was a win for me! February’s theme was Winter Landscape which has been a nightmare as all it has done in February is rain. I very nearly didn’t submit anything but decided I’d rather enter every month – even with a rubbish entry – than miss any. A lot of the other participants have said the same though so it’ll be interesting to see everyone’s efforts. March should be a bit easier – theme Architecture, style Monochrome – again, you can pick either or try to cover both. Not sure what I am going to do yet but we have a trip to London booked in a couple of weeks so I’m hoping to find something good to photograph there.
So far I am happy that I’ve started this project. I really want to improve my photography – I am very out of practice – and I am determined to see this particular project through to the end!