Sea Blue Lens

Photo-Heart Connection: August 2014


I took the photo below exactly one year ago today. I walked outside, put my camera on a tripod, and took this photograph of myself standing in front of the view I saw every day from my home.

My World 1-365September 1, 2013:  My World [1/365]

I’d been invited to join a small group of photographers who were going to take a photo every day and post it in a Flickr group. It was my first 365 project, and I had no idea if I could do it. Of the dozen who formed the group, eight finished out the year.

This was my final image, taken yesterday, of me in front of the view I see from my windows now:

My World Redux 365-365August 31, 2014:  My World Redux [365/365]

I decided a couple of weeks ahead of time what I wanted to do for my last photo:  to echo the first one. I even deliberately wore the same outfit. I wanted to bring the project full circle for myself, back to where I started — yet, in more ways than just location, very far from that starting point.

My Photo-Heart Connection this month celebrates that journey. I’m a person who has trouble making commitments, following through, and completing things I start. Not things I’m doing for other people — I’m very diligent and  responsible, then — but personal projects. I’m really proud of sticking with it all the way through this 365. But I doubt that I could have done it alone.

Perhaps the best part of the experience has been the bond formed with my fellow participants over the past year. Some I was already acquainted with online, and some were strangers to me when we started. Their comments, critiques, and encouragement kept me going, and kept me photographing, through the physical and emotional chaos of three moves, four seasons, and various dramas and traumas. We’re not strangers anymore.

It’s been a joy and a privilege to see their images every day, with mine amongst them, and to witness their (our!) photographic growth over the year. They have inspired me to try new subjects and techniques and to step outside my comfort zone. I’ve learned things that surprised me about my own photography, and I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn!

I’m not planning to start another 365, at least not right now. I have other projects to work on, and I’d like to get back to blogging more regularly, too. But completing this project, this year of photos, with these people, has changed me, and I’m grateful for it. It’s going to linger with me for a long, long time.

Thanks to Kat Sloma for continuing to host the Photo-Heart Connection linkup each month. This is my Connection for August.

20 thoughts on “Photo-Heart Connection: August 2014

  1. The first thing I noticed about these two photos is that in yesterday’s you are so much closer in the frame as opposed to last year’s where you are farther away. I don’t if this was deliberate or not? Just something I noticed, other than obviously the difference in the landscape. I love that you look at water everyday now. I do too, out our back windows. I can certainly identify with the inability to finish personal projects, hence why my first blog was called Becoming a Finisher. I am still not going to be perfect at finishing things but I know I have come a long ways, and am certainly capable of finishing things. I loved the group and the accountability made the difference for me too. I have debated long and hard about what I am going to do now, I don’t want the pressure of taking a perfect picture everyday, but I don’t want to stop looking for photographic possibilities everyday either, so I plan to (hopefully) take an Everybody Moment photo everyday. No pressure just something that catches my eye over the course of the day. Well done my friend! I look forward to you blogging more 🙂

  2. Congratulations Leon! 365 Days, now that’s a commitment. Love the comparison photos. There is a sense of peace in your photo by the Saco River… you need to be by the water!

  3. Wonderful! I love the sense of completion and yet the change that the two photos bring. You’ve come full circle, or maybe more full spiral, since you didn’t end in the same place you started. Congrats on finishing a 365. It’s a big commitment that I’ve never been willing to take on, so I salute you! Thank you for sharing in the Photo-Heart Connection this month.

  4. That’s awesome, well done. I really like how you’ve chosen to start & end your 365.

  5. I like Kat’s description of coming “full spiral” through this year of 365 images. So much change and yet, so much remains the same. Congrats to you for completing this undertaking within a circle of support and friendship – what better way to learn about yourself and expand your creative horizons. Bravo!

  6. Congratulations! That is an amazing accomplishment!

  7. Such an accomplishment! Something I have not been able to do myself. Congratulations.

  8. Two wonderful selfies, similar yet different. The second one seems more intimate and you look so relaxed. I like the spiral analogy. Congrats on completing the 365! It does take perseverance! I was ready to give up a few times. I also found our group to be so supportive and stimulating. I hope we can stay in touch and continue to help each other learn and grow.

  9. Congratulations on completing the challenge. That’s a LOT of changes in one year.

  10. Congratulations on finishing this, Lee!
    I love both of these images, and they are simply perfect “first” and “last” images.
    Happy day to you, my friend. xo.

  11. So glad I didn’t miss this posting. Big KUDOS to you! I am impressed. What is super cool, is the work and effort you put in to this project came back ten fold….new friends, deeper friendships, improvement in photography techniques and subjects and the BIG SATISFACTION of a job well done fully and finally. Will look forward to more blogs in the future. For now pat yourself on the back and look out your window….smiles: sharon

  12. A lot certainly changed in your life this past year and I’m honored to have been a part of it through your photos! I love how you planned your final shot, even down to the clothing! I wouldn’t mind being in either places..near the mountains or near the water! Our group definitely changed me to!

  13. Congratulations on finishing your 365–an accomplishment worth celebrating for sure! I’ve enjoyed the view these photos provide into your world, and I’m glad you followed your heart back to Maine. Like others, I look forward to whatever combination of photography and blogging you choose to do…

  14. Congratulations with the completion of a 365 project. That is quite a commitment (I have done it long time ago). I like your idea for an opening and closing photo for the project. Very nice.

  15. Congratulations for finishing the project (a commitment indeed) and for mining the gifts such an experience brings. Lovely photos of you…

  16. Hi again, I tried to figure out how to get in touch with you after your questions were left on my blog. Sorry couldn’t find an email, so I will brief. You wrote about APS-C cameras. The Fuji and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and others do have an optical viewfinder. The Fuji’s is better than my Canon 7D ! Larger, more clear and you can see information on screen. By putting your eye to the viewfinder you can also turn on the LCD screen (an easy setting). I haven’t tried the Olympus, renting is not inexpensive. But it also has a viewfinder. The very newest models have them as many want to use a VF. Like you I really rely on one…I did a great deal of research before choosing what I rented…but you know, more will come up. I am not quite ready to make a switch. Have to really decide what I want. But my goodness, it is so much easier to manage….with this caveat some of the buttons are hard to work, everything is so much closer than a large camera. And there is a learning curve involved. Hope that helps. Smiles: Sharon

  17. Congratulations! Such a great accomplishment.

  18. Wow what an literal 360 degree you year has been. both views are nice but the joy really comes through with you by the water. Enjoy your new adventure. Don’t worry about what you don’t complete, what you do complete is what was meant to be.

  19. A 365 project is huge – I know because I tried to do one and I didn’t complete it. Bravo to you for completing it. I like the first and last photo as the start- and end-point of your journey. it really is full circle.

  20. You look great and your self portrait says a lot about how much you’ve grown as a photographer. WooHoo!

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