Misson: COMPLETE!

I can’t believe that Project 365 for 2009 has come to an end.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I took this picture in January:

Trick.

or this one in March:

Dimples + Rolls + Wrinkles

I am actually a little surprised that I followed through with this, although I did miss a few days here and there (maybe a dozen out of 365?). I like to start projects, but I don’t have a good track record of finishing them. It feels good to complete this one; the girls already like looking back at our year in pictures.

There were times it felt like it would never end, so for now it is a relief to not have to take a picture every day. That being said, I do like that Project 365 made me take pictures in a wide variety of locations (doctors’ offices, Mallory’s school, our dark house, others’ houses, the park, sporting venues, our backyard, bathtubs, the beach, the pool), settings (low light, full sun, florescent lighting, doing everything I can to avoid the built-in flash, or the times I had to use the built-in flash [bleh!] to get a decent picture) and subject matter (our girls, random inanimate objects, nature, family, friends, food, animals). I feel like I learned a lot and I know I captured more of our life than I would have without Project 365.

I started the year with my Rebelt XTi and used my nifty fifty lens most of the time. In December, I was lucky enough to upgrade both my camera body and lens (!!). I was pretty comfortable shooting with my XTi but now with the 7D, I feel like I have taken a few steps back. My camera has so much to offer and I want to take full advantage of it. I am eager to learn and look forward to getting comfortable with my camera again.

I shot most of my pictures in AV mode (aperture priority). I normally shot in low light situations and I like the look of bokeh, so AV mode was my preferred method. However, since my subject matter usually doesn’t sit still long, I should probably look into becoming proficient with TV mode (shutter speed priority). Technically, I can shoot in full manual and get decent results because, as an art major in college, I took a photography class and retained a bit of what I learned then. However, the more I am reading and learning about my new camera the more I realize how much more I need to know and understand to get the best exposure and results for each situation. I’d like to shoot in M the majority of the time and feel confident that I know what I’m doing, but I’m not there yet. I have a lot to learn about metering and selecting the proper shutter speed and aperture.

I set my white balance to custom as often as I could. I took a lot of pictures inside and our dark house gives off warm light (from the khaki walls or the red walls or the pink walls). Doing a custom white balance helped to remove the various color casts I would get from shooting inside.

I shot in JPEG format for the majority of the time. By the end of the year and right before I got my new camera, I finally started shooting in RAW format and really liked the control that gave me in post processing. I fully intended to shoot in RAW with my new camera, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t get my computer/software to read the new camera’s RAW files. I tried updating Photoshop Elements Camera RAW plug-in, but still no luck (the 7D wasn’t on the list of supported cameras at the time and I’m guessing that was the problem). That was about a month ago. I need to try again and see if it is now supported. Hopefully I can go back to shooting RAW soon.

I think that’s it for my recap of Project 365 for 2009. I don’t plan on doing Project 365 for 2010 but I do have something in mind to keep me busy taking pictures of our growing family and every day life.

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