With the UK already enjoying snowy conditions, many of us are spending time looking over the shots we have taken this past year and planning what to do next year. For those who really want to push themselves there is the now famous ‘365 Project‘. There are various connotations of this with dedicated websites and flickr groups a plenty. The essential premise is that you take a photo every day for a year. To learn a little more about what it takes to ‘do a 365’ we caught up with talented photographer, friend of Lowepro and 365 veteran Charlie Trotman ( aka Crustydolphin ).
So Charlie tell us about 365?
Well it began as something my friends were doing and I just jumped on the bandwagon without giving it much thought. About 60 days in I realized that just taking a picture of my foot didn’t cut it and started on a huge learning curve regarding setting scenes, conveying emotions and the most important learning curve of all, managing light. Now into my third year, it’s become a therapy of sorts for me, and also my visual diary. I can look at any of my photos and know exactly where I was and how I was feeling on that day. It’s a lot of commitment, but it’s definitely been a useful project in regards to learning more about photography, and as a bonus, myself!
So it takes full on commitment then?
Well I did it religiously for 2 years– by that, I mean I took one photo every day without fail and beat myself up about it if I didn’t feel like it and then took something shoddy. This time around, I shoot when I want, what I want – not necessarily self portraits which is what I started out doing, but those people and the world around me. After all, photography and projects are supposed to be fun – I’ve relaxed a lot. It’s still a big part of my life, always ongoing, but it’s more personal dedication now than full time commitment.
How do you think it benefited your photography?
I actually had to get to know how my camera worked! Rather than just pointing and clicking. Aperture, light….just making a photo interesting. I have become rather picky too of what I take photo’s of whereas before I’d just shoot anything. Now I’m always searching for the perfect composition, perfect light, how do I want a subject to look, what do I want to convey, how do I capture what I’m seeing and do it justice. Photography isn’t just looking through a lens and pressing the shutter…its telling a story. Your story on how you see the world, or yourself and others. So how’s it benefited my photography? It’s made me think a heck of a lot more about it and that’s a good thing!
Do you think that being able to shoot a good self portrait is key to succeeding with a 365 Project?
No. I don’t. It depends what you want your 365 to be – what ‘you want to go back and view at the end of the year’. There’s no rules to say they have to have self portraits in there…it could 365 photos of strangers you’ve met each day! Make up your own rules!
Given the pressure on to deliver, you must have to shoot light and fast, what’s on your kit list?
My trusty Nikon D700, 50mm 1.4 Nikon lens attached, Lowepro Passport Sling as bag of choice when I’m shooting extra light, holding my sb600, spare battery…. and jelly beans. That does it for me.
Who do you look at for inspiration?
I’m lucky enough that I have fabulous friends who are pro photographers so they inspire me every day. I don’t really have a favourite photographer but I do have favourite images – but I’m fickle and that changes depending what mood I’m in!
What is next for Charlie Trotman?
Would love to have 10 pieces that I’m uber happy with, start a new project shooting female photographers who inspire me…have a little exhibition…keep learning, do some lighting courses, read more photography books and keep being inspired and having fun with it!
For more information on 365 projects check out the Flickr group here.