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SiJ '17 - "Dear Future Me..."

Discussion in 'Photo Challenges' started by Lightmancer, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    This time next year we will be relaxing having completed Single in January 2017. But ten and a half months from now, with Christmas looming large, we will be declaring participation and choosing our weapons...

    What advice would you like to give your future self today, that will benefit you and other future participants? What stopped you, what did you find hard, a bind or a bore? What motivated you to keep going, and why? Please jot down your thoughts here while they are still fresh in your mind!

    I'll kick off.
    - I chose a camera that would not be hard to carry every day
    - I tied SiJ to an exercise and weight loss drive. One activity supported and encouraged the other.
    - Mostly because of the above, I had a shot in the camera most days before 8am. Sometimes I took a better shot later in the day, but I had my "banker" early on, which meant I felt less pressure.

    Next?
     
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  2. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Veteran

    305
    Jan 19, 2015
    Ok, well these are my thoughts:

    Never ever ever use auto settings, always choose your own.

    Believe it or not, shooting raw is easier, it's actually harder shooting jpeg, you can correct any raw image in PP. Using jpeg only without pp’ing forces you understand your camera better, composition, what settings to use for tones.

    Getting a new camera and applying self imposed restrictions, will force you to get familiar with its controls and settings which you don’t normally use and this, come February, will be invaluable when using this knowledge shooting raw again.

    Doing the sij forces you to ‘see’. It will take you away from what you’re familiar with, which is why we do it, right?

    Whatever focal length you choose for the sij, you’ll definitely understand it better by the end of the month. So choose one for the sij that you don’t ordinarily use or even like.

    Good composition can make anything interesting.

    You are going to have to purposely go out for no other reason than to take 1 shot for the sij. It’s going to take up your precious time. What’s more, it’s better if you go out not 5 minutes down the road out but out out. Knowing that you’re taking 1/4 of your day to do it will make you think harder about that image. Soon the Christmas holidays are over, you have to go back to work and doing this every day gets very hard.

    Having said that, there's a mountain of subjects in your own home that, if you view them correctly as subject matter, can easily qualify as sij entries. You'll always have 'home runs' - pets, a selfie. Best to wait towards the end of the month before using these up though.

    You’ll feel like you don’t want to do it. Just do it. Even if it’s boring. Even if you’re so uninspired that you know deep down that today’s image is probably going to be a dud and you’re going to have to end up posting that dud. All other sij participants are feeling the same as you the longer the month goes on and will support you with comments/ advice/ inspiration. No pain no gain, corny but unfortunately true.

    The downsides are worth it because you come out of it more experienced and therefore better.

    Would I have taken as wide a variety of shots and subject material if I wasn't doing sij? No, I certainly would not have. When looking back, this justifies the uninspiring boring times.

    If you’re lusting after a very expensive camera (I dunno, let’s say, an R-X1 ii, at $5.5k AUD!) and have read the specs but have not used it - wait till after the sij before deciding. Going out there shooting everyday purposefully may well change your outlook.

    Trying for most of the day to find that shot, not finding the one, then getting that keeper late in the day is a good feeling.

    Apply the new info you've gained from the sij for the next 11 months.

    There will always be handy tips, for example @ajramirez@ajramirez technique of shooting at 11.55pm and 12.05am.

    Try to find the time to comment on others’ entries, you won’t get time to do all of them, but it’s a much needed source of support.

    Know that you haven’t explored the full capabilities of your camera (you just haven’t, right?)

    Oh and I learned that VSCO works fine on jpegs - experiment with it with your ‘leftovers’, it’s really quite fun (btw, the free VSCO LR presets are still available for download).
     
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  3. pniev

    pniev Student for life

    Jun 10, 2013
    Good recommendations!

    My recommendation would be to send a reminder (PM?) to those who committed themselves. I did commit myself but as weeks passed I forgot about it until I logged in on January the 3rd (or was it the 4th). So I missed the first couple of days

    For participants:

    use a camera that you are likely to bring/have with you and try to combine it with another activity (as Bill said). In my case, driving the bike every day. Personally I am very happy that I opted for the iphone instead of a standalone camera. It is easy to forget to bring the camera.

    I also found that processing of iphone jpegs gives a lot of flexibility: do some PP on the iphone itself and upload directly from iphone; same on ipad; same on computer. So it took me very little time to prepare and upload photos.
     
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  4. pniev

    pniev Student for life

    Jun 10, 2013
    I totally forgot to thank the organizers and those who were able to comment during the series. Great work!
     
  5. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    For me, ..I just won't. Bad time of year in this part of the world, to be outside any more than necessary (for an old man). And doing the desperate inside shots, is just discouraging after weeks of trying to be "original". I may shoot some, but no more "forced" shooting for this old man.
     
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  6. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    As always, pick a camera that fits into a coat pocket. Note that the EM5II with a prime qualifies. The alternative is to buy a Pen F before Jan 1, 2017. :eek:
     
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  7. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    The main piece of advice I would give myself is to plan ahead of the month. Since I know that most (if not all) of my Monday through Friday shots will be at night, scope the potential shots ahead of time, so that I do not end up wandering aimlessly through the night. Also, if you are going to pick a prime lens, pick a focal length that suits you. Although, I must say I did grow fonder of the 35mm focal length after this month.
     
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