Reflecting on my 365 Photo Project
4/9/2012 – 4/8/2013

I've been shooting as a photography enthusiest for about 5 years. To grow as a photographer, I challenged myself to take at least one photo a day for an entire year. No themes or bounds. Just find something interesting in my daily life, and capture it.

I decided to use my smartphone to pull off the project. Lugging my bulky DSLR with me everywhere would not be feasible. But my smartphone was always with me. And with photo-sharing apps like Instagram, it was fast and simple to share my photos as I took them.

Relying on my smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, had its challenges though. It has a very small, low quality sensor compared to my Nikon D7000 that I would usually shoot with. The camera phone also performs very poorly in low light, and has limited functionality for focusing and light metering. Getting a quality image would be tough with this. Binding myself to Instagram also had its challenges. It has a very simple interface with minimal tools to edit and enhance your photos. It also crops all photos to a square format, which was something I was not used to. All of these things added to the endeavor.

This 365 project really opened my eyes. I was able to find beauty and excitement in the places I least expected. I stopped rushing around. Instead, I took things slow and really looked at my surroundings, not wanting to miss anything. I found myself going out of my way, just to see if something interesting was waiting around the corner. Eventually I would learn how to make the most of a simple camera phone. I honed in on fundenmental photography basics, such as composition. I also stepped outside of my comfort zone to try new things.

Enough with the "lessons learned", and on to the photos! Even before I started this project, I knew I liked to shoot architecture and landscapes, and I continued to enjoy shooting those subjects during this project.

Baltimore is the perfect city for a photo project like this. There is so much to see here. The music, the food, the art... it's all amazing. Who else would host crazy events like a toilet bowl race, or a wacky sculpture parade? The free concerts in the park and art festivals are so much fun. I love living here, and I love capturing this city on my camera.

I love to take pictures of large landscapes, and would usually try to capture as much of a scene as I could cram in my wide-angle lens. My smartphone's fixed lens made this difficult though. So instead of going wide, I tried getting close. This was a new perspective for me, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

With an entire year to shoot, I had lots of opportunities to experminemt, and try to create something unique. I played with light and shadows. I used reflections. I would try to create something bizzare. I wasn't always successful, but it was fun to experiment regardless.

I quickly learned that the square format that Instagram uses worked very well with patterns and repition. The balanced aspect ratio lent itself to focus on interesting textures and abstract compositions.

Of course some days, I failed to take even a half decent photo. There are plenty examples of truly bad photos in this year-long album.

Other days, I had to make use of what I could find in my own home.

Below are some more of my personal favorites, and other interesting picks.

This was just a small showcase of the photos taken during the year-long project!
View the whole album

I also take photos with a camera that is not my phone!
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