jaee jadhav

5 months ago

365 Days Challenge

Dusted off my old Canon 'point and shoot' from the attic in 2019, the one I bought in 2010, and started playing with it for in-house ‘Food Photography’. It appeared as though a child was presented with a plaything for amusement. Since then the ‘light and shadow’ saga has begun!   

By the first week of January 2023, I was seriously bitten by the photography bug. I made a New Year's resolution(maybe my horoscope for the year aligned well to have thought of something this creative!) - compose, click pics every day, pick the best ONE from the day’s lot, and share it on social media - do it every day for 365 days. A challenge I set for myself, starting from the 1st of Jan. The purpose of this endeavor was twofold. Firstly, it served as a litmus test to gauge my genuine interest in subject learning. Secondly, it was a means to assess the longevity of my enthusiasm towards this art form. Sure, everyone's got a smartphone these days, but I was more interested in the real deal - camera photography. And let's be honest, my smartphone camera was pretty rubbish back then!

To meet the requirement of creating new compositions daily, I decided to broaden the scope of my work beyond the realm of ‘food’. This expansion led to the incorporation of 'human elements' in my shots. Regularly got the family to pose for some clicks. I've been checking out how sunlight and sunset light up the rooms at different times and playing around with shadows using random objects, etc. Now, I was constantly looking for patterns, colors, shadows, light, expressions, and emotions in everything around me. 

I do not claim to be an expert in the field of photography, but I do find immense pleasure in the creative process it entails. The act of selecting a subject, experimenting with various angles, and manipulating light to capture the perfect shot works as a meditative exercise! As time goes by, I'm picking up new tricks, meeting cool people, practicing in different light, and realizing how important the background is. It's pretty awesome to stick to something that's all about learning and improving yourself - every single day aiming for 365 days! 

When I started experimenting with ‘Portrait Photography’, everyone I shot in 2023 was fun to work with. I put out a call for volunteers on social media, asking friends and family if they would be up for some practice photoshoots. Surprisingly got an amazing response - friends, family, and even neighbors; were ready with their perfect makeup done! Around March, did ‘practice’ portrait shoots for 5 people I know. They were chill about the whole thing, letting me learn and sometimes mess up, all for a few experimental pics. I can't thank them enough for being so cool about it!  

I had been mulling over ditching my 'Point-and-shoot' around July. Guess if I hadn't spent over 100 days practicing daily, I would probably still be happy with my basic point-and-shoot or even my smartphone for a few more years. If you feel like your photography isn't quite there yet because you are missing creativity, a learning attitude, patience, recognizing and using light, composition, a unique style, or technical knowledge - a fancy costly new camera is useless. But, if you feel like your photography is being held back because you are lacking in quality, resolution, sharp focus, ISO performance, interesting depth-of-field, etc then investing in a better camera might just be the game-changer you need to level up your photography skills!

The absence of the state of art camera was feeling like a missing tooth in my case now. I finally decided to switch to Manual mode and play around more. Got myself a mirrorless camera. After much pondering, I decided to concentrate majorly on ‘Portraits’. Trying out different genres in the past 6 months helped me figure out what I liked more. 

In the month of August(post 210 days in the challenge), I made the conscious decision to discontinue my participation in the 365-day challenge. This decision was driven by the realization that my focus needed to transition from the aspect of quantity to that of quality. It started to become clear that a significant portion of my time needed to be dedicated to educating myself by reading materials, YouTube tutorials, and lots of hands-on practice with my new camera.

My takeaway from this 2023 adventure  - spending at least an hour a day on a hobby can make a difference over time. It's all about being consistent. An hour might not seem like much, but trust me, it adds up and you will see some real progress over weeks and months. Heads up - it's not enough to practice for an hour and call it a day. You need to put your heart into it, stay focused, and keep pushing your limits. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Also, getting honest constructive feedback from those who have been in the game longer is always helpful. Ensure you are in the correct company! 

Taking it slow and steady for now and doing my best to be on the planned track.

Prompt of Story #1 – a horoscope, makeup, missing tooth   

Prompt by: Authoropod

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It was a Friday. Ira and I arrived at the neurologist’s clinic at around 3.45 PM. We had an appointment at 4 PM. Usually, I visit him in case of Ira’s epileptic emergencies in a panic state! This time it was our regular 3-month follow-up with Ira accompanying me, excited to meet the doctor. We settled in the clinic. We were the second one to have arrived, which meant the second one to get in and w...

5 months ago

Comments ( 5 )

Satyajeet Jadhav

5 months ago

This is so amazing! And inspiring. It’s a good breezy read. Looking forward to more such posts.

jaee jadhav

4 months ago

Thankyou

pranab garad

5 months ago

Very well articulated Jaee!

Satyajeet Jadhav

4 months ago

I agree. It is very well written.

jaee jadhav

4 months ago

Thankyou!

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