Photo365 Challenge is…Challenging
- “In your journal blog, discuss what are you learning from the photo-a-day process so far.”
The Photo365 Challenge has been well…challenging. I don’t think that most people would find my particular challenges to be their challenges during a Photo365 Challenge. It’s not that i forget to take pictures – I take plenty. It’s not that I don’t know how to take proper pictures – I’m actually not half bad at the art of photography. I suppose I should thank my father the photographer for that particular skillset. I usually find myself thanking my mother for the skillsets that she gave me such as being determined to do anything and everything possible or being able to push myself to figure out most anything, able to change a tire or hook up any electronics system or sit in a board room filled with men and the ability to hold your own. The lists goes on and on and on but I sometimes forget that many of my skillsets come from my father, as well. He is quieter than I am and not as assertive as my mother and I (he would call it aggressive but I maintain that it’s assertive), so sometimes I forget. But I digress.. What were we talking about again? Oh yeah…why I find the Photo365 Challenge…um…challenging.
So, I take a lot of pictures and I know how to take proper pictures. Check. I am quite useful with the photo editing software so that’s not the problem. My problem lies is two areas…time and perfectionism. Gah – ain’t that the story of my life these days?!!
Anyway, let’s talk about issues:
1. TIME: It seems that I never leave the house these days. Grad school has turned me into a recluse. I am either stuck in my office on this computer or in actual class after spending the day, working on this computer. My dog is adorable but how many pictures of a cute lab/chow mix can one take before they appear to be the crazy dog lady? I think I have already exceeded that number and the postman didn’t find it as hilarious as my boyfriend did, when I chased after him, camera in hand. The next door neighbors got a little creeped out by the zoom function on my stellar HTC One camera phone and grass grows very slowly in the winter. I proclivity for taking selfies at an unprecedented rate until I was utterly satisfied with picture began to look narcissistic and to be honest, I don’t have a whole lot of time these days to even blow dry my hair or apply some concealer. Ain’t nobody gonna wanna see the everyday grad school selfie!
I decided to use my old pal Bonono, a stuffed monkey given to me by a very important friend many years ago, as the subject of this Photo365 Challenge. The problem there – he isn’t easy to transport. People look at you funny when you haul a stuffed monkey out of your purse and begin to hold a photoshoot in Kroger, First Tennessee, or Walgreens. Yes – those may be the only places I go on a weekly basis. Yeah…no, I don’t even go there! So, Bonono and I have taken many a photoshoot in the privacy of our home. Even then, how many times can a monkey swing from a tree, pretend to ride a motorcycle, read a school book, ride the dog, check out the week’s calendar, beat himself with a statistics book, be horrified at the article on NSA spying in Rolling Stone, play dress-up, cook dinner, or try to use the birdbath as a hot tub before people are utterly sick of the monkey? Well, i’m sure many are sick of the monkey pictures but that is what we have at this time. Learn to love the monkey people. Either that or brace yourself for a montage entitled “As Grass Grows,” in which you get a picture of the front yard at the same angle every day, in order to watch the seasons change from winter to spring to summer. Anyone interested?
2. EXCELLENCE: Some call this trait of mine perfectionism, and that word is one that I am so darn tired of hearing this semester. I believe that I strive for excellence. Yes, I like things to be as perfect as possible. I admit it. I like things clean and pretty and well-executed. I feel that if one is going to take the time to do something, they should do it right and to the very best of their ability. So – I spend extra time writing essays and if i’m not confident that the subject can be thoroughly explained in the minimum number of pages – a increasingly small number that so many students seem to forget is the minimum work required– then I write more pages and make sure to add something extra. The minimum means not going above and beyond, not pushing yourself, and doing just enough to get by – something I frankly don’t understand. Why would anyone enter grad school and not push themselves? Not go above and beyond? Not try to add something extra to make their work stand out? What’s the point them people? Seriously. Again, I digress.
PIctures. So yeah, once I’ve taken my grass growing, monkey swinging, postman chasing, neighbor spying, dog running, or horrendous-looking selfie picture, I feel the need to take a few moments and edit it to the best of my ability. Some pictures look better when cropped. Some look better in black and white or sepia or antiqued or with the brightness increased, the contrast lowered, or a filter applied. Why not make your work look the best it can? Again – it’s about taking pride in your work and putting your best face in front of the public. Why would you do anything less? BUT, this takes time people. And as I established in problem number 1 – time is of the essence here and I don’t have a lot of it. I don’t sleep as much as I would like to and I forgo television shows that I love, just to make sure that the product I give my public is the best possible.
So, the Photo365 Challenge has been challenging because I want to take nicely shot pictures of an interesting or at least a funny subject matter and have them properly edited before placing them out in the ethers of the internet for all to see – or potentially see. The drive I have to do good work and place the best face forward has made it more challenging. However, I don’t understand why anyone would do any less.
On a positive note, it is nice to have a collection of photos that represent my year in grad school and in one place. Each one means something special to me and I like being able to have a collection.