The "focus" pun is not intended. Seriously!
Today marks Day 321 in my 2016 365-Day photography project. My approach to these annual challenge projects probably differs from many. My goal is simply to end the year with 365 (366 this year because of leap year) images that I've posted to Flickr, Instagram, and Facebook. One for each day of the year. Doesn't have to be an image taken on the day it's posted as I did the first time I took up the challenge in 2009/10. That drove me crazy and by Day 277, I had quit. However, I learned that the prospect of delivering an image everyday was a good way to make me keep my camera handy!
In 2012, when I got my first iPhone, I decided to give the challenge another try as a way to test out the many alternative apps to the default camera app. For that challenge I eased the "post photo on day taken" rule in favor of setting daily themes throughout the week. Worked okay, but it, too, became a bit of a drudgery and I didn't make it all the way to 365. In 2015, I decided to post a B&W image daily and I started on January 1st to truly make it a 'year' project. This time I made it to 365! Only rule was that the image I posted had to be black and white and taken during 2015. I could take the image in color and convert it to B&W or I could shoot the image in B&W since my Olympus cameras and my iPhone let me do that.
This year, 2016, has been a collection of false starts. Since I had gotten the Olympus Air camera in the summer of 2015, I decided to make 2016 the "year of the Air" and use only images captured with my Air for my daily postings. However, in January I began having issues with my Air and by February I had given up on it and sold it. So, what to do? I decided to limit my daily images to only ones shot with my Olympus 25mm lens. Eventually - sometime late summer - I decided to lift the "25mm only" restriction and decided to use any image I'd captured with any lens and any camera, even an iPhone. Doing such a project for me, after all, is about making images however I choose to do that.
Freeing myself of most restrictions means I keep at it. I am always taking pictures. And that's the goal. And it isn't a drudgery. Ever! The posting of an image is just part of my daily routine. I don't shoot everyday, but I shoot a lot. Especially when I'm traveling somewhere or am out doing errands and see something that catches my eye. I do typically have one of my micro4/3 cameras with me, but if I don't, I do have my iPhone. I will stockpile images for later use. I find one or two or more that I like and edit them some - usually on my iPad using Snapseed - then I use them when I need an image. I may miss a few days because I'm busy or unable to post, but I go back and upload an image for those days to "fill in." These "after-the-fact" images I usually post only to my Flickr Photostream. Doing this annual project is now fun and never a drudgery anymore. And it's enjoyable to look back at what I've captured.
To my last point of looking back at my captures, I have a Facebook friend, Adam Favre, to thank for encouraging me to make a book of my 365-Day project images. I did just that with my selected favorites (all 97 of them) from my 2015 B&W year. You can view a PDF of the book. I will do the same for my favorites from 2016 when I've had a chance to review them all in January. Actually, I start that process as soon as I finish a quarter. I import all of the images into Lightroom Collections and begin selecting my top twenty-five from the quarter. Another thing I plan to do this year is make prints. Something photographer/blogger/Podcaster Derrick Story recommends is to select twelve of your favorite images from a given year and have them printed. So, this year, I plan to follow his advice! In fact, I'm going to select my twelve favorites from the 97 I chose for my 2015 book and do the same.
I can't encourage you enough to take up the daily image challenge! Remember, you make the rules, so make ones you can adhere to and get started. I promise you, you will not be sorry and your photography will improve in the process. And then, do something with all or some of those 365 images!