Tag Archives: black&white

19 for 2019: week 17 update

Week of 22 April

One of the things that’s on my 19 for 2019 list is to finish a photo project I’d been working on for a while (thing 16). It’s going to be fun, but it’s also intimidating, and I’ve been avoiding it.

I had a much easier photo project I wanted to do that I didn’t put on the list, which was to make a book of my 2018 black & white project.

This seemed too easy to put on the list because all it involved doing was uploading 365 photos into a template and then printing it. Easy, right?

Not so, my friends. I decided to use a format that had a cover page for each month with one photo and then a 3×3 grid layout for the rest of the month’s photos.

I’m sure you can see the problem. 3×3 equals nine photos per page, so three pages equals 27 photos. But there are 30 or 31 days in each month. February, it turns out, is the perfect month for this type of layout because there are 27 photos plus the cover photo (total photos: 28 days—thank goodness 2018 wasn’t a leap year) but for all the other months I needed four pages, which (4×9) equals 36 slots, for 29 or 30 photos.

So what I had to do was combine a couple of squares on each page to make some photos wider and some photos longer so that each month would fit neatly over four pages. I also wanted them to be in order because I’m picky like that, so it was a lot of work to figure out which ones to stretch (this didn’t work for a lot of the photos as they were square already and not suitable for cropping) and to keep the photos in the right date order.

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The joys of making a photobook

Yeah, let’s keep it real simple.

I started this project months ago and imagined I would come back at times when I had a few minutes with nothing to do and upload a month at a time and get it done over a few weeks. But, as with the photojournal (thing 11), it didn’t happen like that and the half-finished book sat there, threatening to be one of those dreaded projects I start but never complete.

I knew it was never going to get done like this and it was going to hover in my mind as something I had to finish, so I sat down for an afternoon and uploaded and sorted six months worth of photos and finished the damn book. Then (after a comprehensive review of whether the photos were lined up on every page, which may or may not have involved a ruler), I sent it to the company for printing on Monday.

Having never made a photobook before, I have no idea how this will turn out but whatever, I can tick another thing off my bonus list!

Completely irrelevant to 19 for 2019, and now I wish I’d put it on the list instead of the other photo project that I still haven’t made any more progress on. Maybe if I stopped writing about it and went and did it I might get something done.

Ahem.

I did a lot of work on the photography course (thing 1). I edited and uploaded some photos I’d taken previously for Assignments 14 and 17.

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Aurora Australis | 18 April 2019 | 5.21 pm

20190416 Twilight waterfront from Hunter St 08 edit

Hobart Waterfront Twilight | 16 April 2019 | 5.57 pm

20190416 Twilight waterfront from Franklin Wharf 03 edit

Hobart Waterfront Twilight | 16 April 2019 | 6.05 pm

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Supreme Court of Tasmania

I practised with my new flash for Assignment 12 but wasn’t happy with any of the photos and my subject was very reluctant to cooperate any further. This one will have to wait.

I also spent a day at Mt Field National Park and have a lot of photos to sort through!

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Lake Seal | Mount Field National Park | 22 April 2019

I also started to re-examine my folio (thing 2) and, according to RescueTime, I spent 11 hours and 21 minutes in Lightroom over the week, so I must have learned something (thing 19). (I learned how to adjust the time on my photos, which is handy when you forget to change your camera time after daylight saving.) I spent a lot of Tuesday sorting out the catalogue again. I’m almost happy with it now. I attempted to merge some bracketed exposures but that really did not work out well.

I now have 50 things on my draft list for the Bucket List book (thing 18) and actually made a start on one of the projects I’m going to put in the book. Does that count as progress? I think it does.

Status for week 17

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 5 (1, 2, 6, 18, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  2 (11, 16)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)

100 things in 2018

In 2013, inspired by another blogger, I made a list of 100 things I wanted to do that year. I posted the list on a page on my blog and periodically updated it and crossed things off I’d achieved. By the end of 2013, there were a lot of things I’d got nowhere near doing, so I left the list there for 2014. And 2015 . . . And 2016 . . . And never mind . . .

I eventually took it down because, instead of making plans to go out and do those things, it just reminded me of all the things I hadn’t done. (It still exists on my old blogging platform, however.)

This year, with renewed enthusiasm, I made a new list of 100 things to do. Some of them, like book a skin check, were still hanging round from the 2013 list. Some were quite simple. Make a donation, get yellow sunglasses and update my phone’s software. Some were books I wanted to read (I made a list of those on the blog and have been updating it here). Some were long-term. Finish a couple of courses I had signed up for, walk to the top of kunanyi. Some were daily habits. Walk 12,000 steps. Make a black and white photo every day and post it on Instagram.

Rather than announce this to the world and put it back on my blog, I made a spreadsheet to keep track of everything (this shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me) and started checking things off the list. That lasted a while until life got in the way and I kind of forgot about the list. I mean, 12 months later, the bag of coins I wanted to put in the bank is still sitting on top of my dresser and I have not made an appointment for a skin check. However, while the book on fermenting has sat on my bookshelf untouched all year and my sewing machine is still in its cupboard unrepaired, I do have a new computer, a camera bag and a tripod, and I joined a yoga class, have regular lunches with my mum and my sister, and went to a mixed media class.

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I did the class . . . I may not have finished the project

Overall, excluding the daily habits I had included on the list, which I can’t check off until I have completed the final task on 31 December, I finished 37 of the 100 things.

In hindsight, 100 things is too many things to keep track of. There are way too many big projects on the list for me to reasonably have had a chance of completing within 12 months and some of them are ongoing things that don’t really have a point at which I can say I’ve completed it. So I’m not surprised at the low number.

On the other hand, I did 37 things I might not have done if I hadn’t thought about them and written them down. So it’s not a complete disaster!

It was around about this time last year I heard Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft talk about their 18 for 2018 lists in the Happier podcast.  This is a much shorter, snappier list. Eighteen things they wanted to get done in 2018. I’ve pretty much stopped listening to podcasts now so I don’t know how they went with their lists (a quick search of Gretchen’s website tells me she did, indeed complete her list), but I’ve decided to adopt this idea for 2019 for myself. I don’t know if Gretchen and Liz are revisiting the idea for 2019, but I’m going to make a list of 19 things I absolutely want to complete next year. Nineteen seems like a realistic target (especially since I completed 37 things this year) because some of those will be projects that will require a large commitment.

I will put this list somewhere I can see it and review it regularly.

I’ll think about what I want to put on the list over the next few days. I have some ideas already but I want to make sure I only include things I definitely want to do in 2019 and that I can commit to doing, so it will take a while to get that right. I don’t want to include anything that’s a daily habit I want to adopt or anything that might start to look like a new year’s resolution. I want actual things I want to do and that have a definite point at which they are completed. Definitely nothing like “get more sleep” or “drink less beer” (ha). Perhaps I’ll share it on here when I’m done as another way of staying accountable.

So, while I’m doing that, I’d love you tell me whether you have ever done a list like this and, if so, how you went?

what to do with the photos

Last year I started a photo challenge on my Instagram account to post a black and white photo every day. It stemmed from a seven-day challenge on Facebook where the idea was to post a black and white image from your life with no people in the photo and no explanation.

I decided to keep doing it after the seven days was over and posted the images here on my blog.

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Once was tree

At the end of 2017, I knew I wanted to continue with the project but I wasn’t sure if this blog was the right place for it. As you can see from my description, stepping on the cracks is all about finding my way out of my comfort zone. Most of my posts on here are writing about the steps I’m taking and they don’t always have photos because often there isn’t a photo that’s relevant.

The black & white project is part of what I’m doing to explore the boundaries of my comfort zone, but the photos themselves aren’t related to the things I write about. They didn’t seem to belong on the blog. It felt like everything was mixed up and incoherent. A bit like my brain in January.

It finally occurred to me that it would make more sense to make a new blog devoted to the photo project—plus a couple of other projects that I’m working on—and to keep the writing here.

So in between going out and actually taking photos, stuffing around with processing apps and Photoshop, working, and doing school holiday stuff, that’s what I’ve been doing. And here it is straighlinesgirl images. Thank you to my sneak-peekers who gave me feedback and encouragement to go live.

The new year

I posted a different version of this post on instagram this morning with a non-sunrise picture of the beach. You can see a bird if you really look.

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I was going to do it a couple of days ago, before the end of 2017, but I’m not good on this type of deadline and ran out of time to think everything through and write it down. Actually, I do that a lot because I always overthink things, start to write it all down and never finish it. But now I have actually finished it so I can check this one off the list.

2017.

I moved to a different suburb after almost 12 years living in the Derwent Valley. This was a huge change, but one I have no regrets about at all.

We got two new chickens and my favourite chicken, Isabelle, died.

I discovered that loss in one area can lead to positive things somewhere else in my life.

I had to let go of something I enjoyed doing very much (I wrote about this all the way back in May), which made me cry, but after thinking it all through I realised it has started to open up new opportunities to explore what I really want to do and to learn more about myself.

I have found new ways of looking at the world, discovered beauty in unexpected places and have started to sing with a group that has just started up. (It’s true. It’s on YouTube.)

I have gotten to know some passionate, inspirational people who make beautiful art.

I left a job of 12 years, which was scary, but which I needed to do because I was feeling stuck and uninspired where I was. I’m still slightly terrified and bewildered about the new job, but it’s all good.

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I am grateful for everything that happened in 2017 and the experiences I had because I have learned and grown so much.

I’m grateful for the support from my little online community, whether I originally knew you IRL, or if I only know you online, or whether you’re an online friend who has become a real-life friend. Thank you all for being there. I said at the start of the year I was going to try to be okay with how I was feeling, to not squash my feelings, and to accept that not being okay is okay. I think I’ve made progress there.

Thank you for the lessons, experiences and new perspectives, 2017, and welcome 2018.

I know I say this every January, but I do want to write on the blog more regularly. I think the black & white photo challenge will help with that. I’m posting most of those photos on instagram, and when I get enough I repost them all here. I also made a separate page (here) where I’m putting my favourite black & whites so they’re all in one place.

 

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Not actually B&W but I like to break the rules. They’re my rules and I can break them if I want to.

 

I didn’t find using the blog as accountability for my health habits was working particularly well because it kind of relies on people calling me out if I don’t stick to what I said I was going to do. And it wasn’t very interesting reading. So I think I’ll consign that to the bin for now.

I’m not sure if I want the blog to focus more on photos or more on writing, or if it’s capable of being about both, so my intention is to post at least three times a week with one or the other or both and see what happens. It might become obvious over time, or I might have to make a decision, but for now, I’m just going with the flow.

I’m excited about 2018 and the possibilities for me to have new adventures in my everyday life. I want to focus on learning something new and finding something to be grateful for every day, making more photos, writing more, staying active and seeking out and appreciating the beauty that is around me. I also want to become clearer on what I really want to do and to let go of things I don’t want to do but am doing because I think I should want to do them or that I wished I wanted to do. (Gretchen Rubin puts it like this: “you can choose what you do, but you can’t choose what you like to do”.)

Happy New Year and may the coming year be good to you and your loved ones.