52/30/5: Final thoughts

December 30th, 2009

One year ago I started a project to take photos every week, mainly as an exercise to force me to use my camera more.

It’s been a successful failure. I didn’t actually get my camera out each and every week, but I’ve done enough to fill in for 52 sessions worth. And I’ve used my camera a lot more, and learnt a lot about photography.

Am I getting any better? As an exercise I went through and graded each of my ‘weekly 5′ photos on one through five stars. It took a couple of passes, as initially I had nothing at five stars and only about six at four stars. In the end I had:

  • 1 star: 56 photos
  • 2 stars: 101 photos
  • 3 stars: 60 photos
  • 4 stars: 33 photos
  • 5 stars: 10 photos

We’ll get to my top 10 for the year in a minute, but there was definitely a slight trend towards improvement: less bad photos, more good photos in the later weeks. Still, that means that out of the 3,862 photos that I took in 2009 there are only 43 photos that I’m quite or very happy with – a bit over 1 per cent. Not bad for a beginner, I suppose.

I won’t be doing this next year, but I’m going to try and get out at least once a month or so just to take photos. I’m also about halfway through making up my 260 main photos for the year into a couple of books, which I’ll pay the ridiculous charges of Apple to get printed in hardback as a memento of my year.

Would I do it again? Probably. I’d probably tweak the rules, maybe only saying ‘take 10, choose 1′. Sometimes I found it hard to stretch a subject out to 30 photos, and it was especially hard to then find 5 of those that were distinct and interesting individually. Still, that was part of the exercise as well.

So now, as the grand finale for the 52/30/5 project, my 10 favourite photos of the year (in chronological order):

Dugongs

River

Skink

Path

Sturt's Desert Pea

Garden at Schonbrunn

Stonehenge V

Night II

Elephant Herd

DRET Building

So what’s in store for next year? Stay tuned tomorrow for the official announcement.