Photo a Day July: One month on

Every day throughout July I posted a new photo I had taken saying something about my day. I have had a DSLR camera for some time. I don’t use it enough, I don’t know how most of the features on it work, and I don’t know much about photography. My plan was that over the course of the month I would learn new skills and get into the habit of using the camera a lot more.

One month on, I thought it was time I reflected on the project.

Firstly I’m proud of myself for completing the challenge. I did not miss a single day. There were days when nothing interesting had happened, there were days when I was tired and feeling grumpy, there were days when I did great things but forgot to take the camera. But every day I made sure I photographed and posted something. Even if it was just my pizza!

Not my most exciting photo!

Not my most exciting photo!

I did learn how to do some new things with the camera. I learned how to use different lenses for different effects and I learned to use manual focus to capture things that the auto-focus couldn’t cope with. I learned a few things about composition, and while I didn’t get to grips with it, I started to understand more about exposure. I got several books out of the library (and read them) and I have tracked down an ‘extended’ manual for my camera so I can learn more about the different settings (although I need to set aside some time to read and then try them out before I forget what I’ve read).

I only managed to get this photo by using manual focus. The auto-focus kept focusing on the leaves.

What I also gained from the exercise was the realisation that it doesn’t need to take two hours to write a blog post. I tend to get tied in knots when I’m writing, over-analysing every word and taking a long time to get anywhere. I have now learned that I can write something decent in just a few minutes with the right inspiration. Being limited for time needn’t prevent me from blogging.

Finally, I gained a positive response. It’s rewarding to know that people enjoyed looking at the photos I posted. I’m very grateful for my collection of friends who faithfully click on every new blog post I stick on Facebook, no matter how boring (thanks friends – you know who you are). But it’s also fantastic when people I don’t know look at my blog. I have received positive feedback and new followers from quite a few people I have never met. I feel popular!

One of my favourite photos also got a lot of positive response from people I don't know.

One of my favourite photos also got a lot of positive response from people I don’t know.

The only problem now is that my challenge’s legacy has been a bit limited. From using the camera every day in July, I have probably used it about once a week this month. It’s bulk has meant I have left it at home on most of my outings, and I have been forgetting to get it out and snap away at home to record every little adorable new thing Penny does. I have taken quite a few snaps on my phone, but the quality just isn’t the same. If I am to get a lasting legacy from my July photo challenge I need to set myself a new challenge. A photo a day would be a bit hard to stick to for any period of time. So I have decided that from now on I will post at least one photo a week taken with my proper camera. I’m sure many will still be proud mother photos of her little girl, but I will continue to try to keep it varied. I’ll see if I can learn a few more skills along the way too.

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About Laura Cooper

I am a mid-thirties first time mum of one. Formerly a secondary school teacher, serial planner and know-it-all . I have learnt that nothing about being a mum is predictable and am now a strong advocate of making it up as you go along.
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