Being part of the photo a day project has been for the most part a great learning experience. Prior to this year, I had been an avid flickr user and photography enthusiast. This project has elevated this and strengthened my appreciation for the power of imagery, composition and community.
I’ve written at lengths and perhaps ad nauseum about the value of imagery. But the idea of mindful seeing is certainly something that has become a part of my day. Good storytellers listen intently to others. They find beauty in words. I remember a few years ago reading about Barbara Ganley taking her camera on walks and her efforts to embed photography into her writing classes. The idea of always having a camera with me stuck. My family and friends know it’s always with me and they too are seeing things they never saw and calling on me to capture moments. This is actually one reason I’ve fought moving to a larger SLR and have stuck with my compact camera.
One of the greatest features of digital photography is the low cost of failure. Taking a photo everyday forces you to be creative. It’s been interesting to develop vocabulary and understanding of composition and at the same time playing without really understanding why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’ve taught several introductory courses on digital photography and can’t emphasis enough the value of taking a gazillion photos. No doubt it adds to her workload but I’m better at culling prior to downloading. Yet it still takes time. I still use iPhoto as my primary orgainzer/editor. I’m comfortable with its funtionality. On rare occasions I use Aperture or Fireworks but iPhoto is my mainstay.
This is obviously the key to this project. I subscribe to all the members of this group and have pretty much viewed all their photos. Knowing we are all trying to learn together, and yet have no formal ties, makes this a really interesting community. I’ve definitely learned from many and at times consciously and other times subconciously have copied their styles. Why wouldn’t you? The community has also done well encouraging one another via comments. Of the 52 members, I’d say almost all have kept up and are active and those who have not, who cares?
I’d like to set up something similar for our schools this year. I’m not sure how I’d structure it but knowing the value I’ve found in this along with my push to include more intentional uses of images in learning makes think I have to figure out how. Any ideas are welcome.