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365 Days of Self-Portraits
Posted By: K McCall, 06-30-2009, 07:27 AM

(I'm putting this in the "Everything Else" category because this seems to span a few categories)

Some background: I got my first DSLR, a K100D, in April 2007. With no kids and no pets and precious few opportunities to shoot other people during daylight hours (I had one of those jobs where I rarely saw the sun), I jumped at the chance to start a project where the subject would always be available: a self-portrait every day for a year. There's a group on Flickr where thousands of others have done the same thing. I finished the first year with mixed results. On July 1st, 2008, with lots of changes looming my life, I decided to do another year of self-portraits. I just finished the second year today.

During the course of the year, I wrecked my beloved 1985 Volvo, I had my first solo photo show, I moved to Germany from Florida to be with my boyfriend, and oh yeah, I turned 30!

I tried to use the project to improve my framing and composition and foresight to such an extent that I would never have to crop (unless that was the plan - sometimes I like the 16:9 or square look). I got much more comfortable with doing all my post-processing in Lightroom. I tried to learn how to best use my newest lenses, the FA 77/1.8 and the DA 35 Ltd. And I tried to figure out when a landscape was improved by the addition of a figure and when the figure detracted from the setting.

Some days the last thing I wanted to do was take a self-portrait. For instance, I had all my wisdom teeth removed during the year after four weeks of excruciating pain (my appointments kept getting postponed by tropical storms and hurricanes). For a week afterward, I had to come up with creative ways to not show my swollen face. Then there were all the days where I had colds and headaches and was in a bad mood...sometimes, ironically, those were the ones I liked the most in hindsight.

Here are a few shots that I'm really proud of from the project. Each one posted below was taken with a different Pentax lens. If you want to see the entire set, it's found here (the 365th will be posted tonight!): 365 More - a set on Flickr

"Our Self-Contained, Little Worlds"

K200D, DA* 50-135mm @ 75mm, f/8, taken in light rain

"Floor Exercise"

K200D, DA 21mm, f/3.2

"For All the World's Tomorrows"

K200D, DA* 16-50mm @ 16mm, f/2.8

"Treading Water, Out of Sight of All Land"

K200D, FA 43mm, f/4

"At the End of the World"

K200D, DA 10-17mm Fisheye @ 10mm, f/6.3

"Today It Rained Bokeh"

K200D, FA 77mm, f/2.8


K200D, FA 31mm, f/2.8

"Such Great Heights"

K200D, D-FA 100mm, f/5

"Into Each Life, Some Rain Must Fall"

K200D, DA 35 Ltd, f/2.8


K200D, DA 12-24 @ 12mm, f/4

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07-06-2009, 08:36 AM   #31
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Wow, great stuff. Very creative. Excellent images and post processing.

07-06-2009, 09:23 AM   #32
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Simply WOW! Huge undertaking, executed brilliantly. Congratulations...
07-06-2009, 10:52 AM   #33

I think that a truly great photograph looks atleast interesting at first sight and then shows more and more over time, grows. Yours slip easily in that category, well done!

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