My ‘2016 One Photo a Day’ Project in Saudi Arabia

What I’ve learned and why you should try

I live with my wife In Saudi Arabia since 30 months now, first photographic project completed: time for a review of this year through 366 photos. Besides all 2016 was a leap year: therefore, for those who decided to undergo a project like this, it’s been additional effort. Was it worth it?

Positive and negative aspects of a photographic project have to be assessed in cold-blood mode. Now, after a week from the project close-out, I am ready: let’s go!

Positive Aspects

Setting up a photographic project required a deep study phase: I wanted to consider how to get at least one picture a day. Additionally I studied how to post process the pictures to give them a final look that makes them part of a work without sacrificing their characteristics. What to do with the pictures came after: leave them on the PC, create a site, create a blog, print them. All these options have been evaluated and experienced. Well exactly this projectized approach to photography, never tried before so deeply, is by far the one positive aspect of this project.

1) Shot many more pics: exercise makes you perfect. In my case I am not sure I have improved but for sure I enjoyed myself more than before. Having my camera always with me allowed me to take pictures I’d have otherwise missed. Push myself to visit places that I’d have not had the curiosity to see (such as Jubail or Jedda backstreets) enriched me greatly.

2) Consistency through a preset: one of my obsessions till 2015 was aesthetic consistency. Pictures taken under different conditions and worked in post-pro will lead to significantly different results. The single picture might result in a nice shot but the sequence is lacking harmony and balance. To mitigate this effect I chose to try a preset collection based on just 3 or 4 films. I chose and tested several presets, in the end I bought the package I liked the most.

3) Consistency through a prime lens: most of the times I have avoided zoom lenses. The vast majority of shots were made with 35 and 50 mm (23 and 35 mm with the Fuji camera) and I am happy with the results.

Where I want to further improve

  1. The courage to shoot is still not there: the Country I live in might scare a bit but blocks are always internal. The rest is just an excuse. I want to improve how I can connect to the subject and limit the number of stolen pictures and explore new kinds of photography.

2. What to do with the pictures: ok the blog but I want more, maybe a site, organized differently. Also how I am printing the pictures is to be reviewed: the Canon Selphy is excellent for what we wanted but still something is missing. A photobook? Maybe. This is an area to explore during 2017.

3. Unexplored Themes: there are some unexplored themes I left behind. The reason is because they are harder to tackle and in part due to the need of more connection to the subjects. 2017 will close this gap.

The Question

Was it worth it? Of course it was!

Let’s meet you on my blog, let’s move through 2017… See you soon!