Final Thoughts and Top 20 from the 365 Project
Completing this 365 project has been one of the most challenging and rewarding projects I have done. For those of you new to the project, I had started this as a way to catch up on my post processing after amassing a backlog from the past 2 years of travels. The project obviously helped achieve this goal, but it turned into so much more.
Focusing so much time and attention to post processing made me look at it in a different way, it used to be a step in the process I had to get through to reach the end goal, not something I enjoyed nearly as much as the act of photographing. I hear this sentiment from my clients all the time, most people despise post processing. I now have a new appreciation of the artistic aspect, it has opened up new doors to allow my creativity to flow. I now see post processing as an incredibly important part of my process to realize my unique vision of the world. It wasn't that I didn't like post processing, it was that I did not know the tools well enough to be creative. When the tools get in the way of a natural flow, the artistic process is interfered with. In the past year I have devoted myself to learning as much as can about the techniques I needed to realize my vision. Now when I sit down in front of the computer I get excited about the opportunity to be creative, it is nearly the same feeling I have when I pick up a camera, I love it.
The project has taught me new levels of discipline, and how important this is in my art. I had often read about the importance of projects to help progress your art, it sounded counter intuitive to me to have something strict and rigid in a creative process, I now realize how mistaken I was. It has helped me excel faster than I ever could have imagined, it forced me to 'do the work' and overcome the resistance that Steven Pressfield talks about in "The War of Art". I had fears of what I did not know, of how my peers would see me. Finally I sucked up my pride and decided to learn from those that I respected the most, this is a shout out to Sean Bagshaw, Ryan Dyar, Ted Gore, Tony Kuyper, Alex Noriega, and Mark Metternich. These guys are the masters of our time that have put out awesome videos that helped me find my artistic voice, thank you all.
When I completed the project I tried to pick out the top 10 photos, and quickly realized that I could not narrow it down that far. So instead these are my top 20, seeing what I choose made me realize where I am going as an artist, and the scenes that really speak to me. I was surprised to see only two epic sunsets in the bunch, I simply did not feel a connection with these particular photographs for a large part. My preference seems to be moving towards moody scenes on the edges of the light, when storms are parting and the light begins to pierce through the darkness. I hope my photographs convey that there is no light without darkness, no happiness without sorrow. It is these contrasts that make life worth living.
I have had many requests to continue this project, but at this point I need a break. Every day was not sustainable long term, for the large part I have caught up on my processing for the past 2 years. I still have a large backlog of older photos that I want to re-process now that I am more skilled. I will devote to posting one photo a week on a continual basis, it may be old, it may be new, but I want to continue evolving in my art.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement.