January 4, 2009

Top Ten Photo a Day Tips

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:16 pm

Taking a photo a day is not only a significant commitment but it can get downright onerous at times.  The daily satisfaction was one thing but after viewing them a few times on New Year’s Day and sharing the joy with family and friends made me realize it was worth it. Still there were many days when it wasn’t easy.

I’ve noticed a few new members to this year’s pool so I thought it might be helpful to share a few tips that I found helpful in sustaining the project.

  • Carry a camera with you all the time. This sounds obvious but it was a rare occasion I did not have my camera with me. I bought a simple carrying case that I hook on my belt. Ladies, your purse is your friend. 🙂
  • Use a cellphone. While not the greatest quality, it became my backup.
  • Shoot tons. You never know what will make a great photo. Sometimes I’d shoot the same thing 20 times using various settings to get something of interest. This is how you learn your camera.
  • Determine a workflow. I tried to download photos everyday and was successful most days but the rare occasions I waited more than a couple of days meant culling through more images than I wanted. I’d rather take 20 minutes at most to view a day’s worth of images than having to go through dozens over a few days.
  • Light editing is usually all you need. You can always do more but playing with levels and some basic cropping is usually good enough.
  • Find an easy upload tool.  I use iPhoto and this tool is the best exporter to flickr I’ve found and it’s free.
  • Tag within iPhoto. I didn’t do this right away but the exporter tool maintains all tags and titles so I now do it within iPhoto and flickr uses them too. In my previous life as a Windows user, I edited in Picasa and found this tool a nice way to directly upload from Picasa.  If all else fails, the flickr uploadr tool works too. It’s just one more step.
  • Subscribe to the group.  After about day 9 you’ll start wondering what to shoot. Believe me, you’ll have many days like this. Feeding off the work of the entire group, you’ll find a great resource and inspiration.  I’m sure if you scan the pool you’ll see some similar shots. I think that’s a testament to the power of community. Without this, you might as well just do this on your own and forget the group.
  • Have some ideas in your holster. Hopefully most days, you’ll always capture a few moments that have some real meaning but for those days when it seems like nothing happened, have a few ideas that are not time sensitive that you can use when you’re in a pinch. Otherwise you just end up taking photos of your ear.
  • Involve your family and friends. If they know what you’re up to, they often provide inspiration and ideas for you as well.

I’ll also cross post this to the pool discussion forum. Feel free to add your tips or ask questions in either space. It’s really great to have more people excited about this effort.