I bought my first camera on April 2021 and shot in automatic for the first few months. Until someday a random tweet popped up on my Twitter: they take a picture daily and post it on socmed no matter how bad it is. As of today I’ve been doing this challenge for 308 days, shot ONLY in manual with no filter or editing, this project is called #DailyRawProject, and I post it daily on my Instagram story. Not gonna lie, it’s full of ups and downs, this is what I learn along the way (first episode):
1. Photography is a therapy
Life is fucked up, the problem keeps coming even when I do nothing, but photography helps me through it. Taking a picture made me detached from reality for a while, just focusing on my surrounding, and looking for a perfect object. Not only it reduces my stress level but take daily pics makes me feel more productive (well, it is indeed a productive activity).
I’ve been dwelling with a quarter-life crisis for idk how long, I had suicidal thoughts from time to time and the worst was in March 2021. Long story short I jumped into photography. I’m aware photography has various genres, landscape and nature are among my favorite. Cause I didn’t have access to a landscape, I learn nature photography as my first step, yes it’s flowers, everyone starts with a flower. Below is my favorite flower photograph.
The daily project used to be my favorite thing to do every day, left my phone at home, and walking in nature feels therapeutic. For the first time I feel alive, I want to live like this for the rest of my life but reality says otherwise, life is getting busier and I have to leave my daily taking picture schedule for other things which is less important. It makes me feel empty, still thinking that I have to do this every day no matter how busy I am.
Taking photographs is different, nothing makes me feel alive before, I always think I’m useless but when I do photography I feel that I am finally good at something, I don’t care if none sees me that way, I just want to do something that makes me happy, cause I deserve it. That’s why not taking a photograph feels like a hell.
2. Discipline and consistency are the most important
On the fifth day of my #DailyRawProject I had a fever, barely can get up from bed and it was raining outside. I wanted to give up, but then I remembered if I gave up that day, I would likely give up and make tons of excuses the other day. So I used my jacket and went outside, I took a picture of the raindrops on the fence, it was a bad picture, but I have to post it no matter how bad it was. I’ve been learning the exposure triangle, various compositions, different techniques, and angles.
The problem with the daily projects is I stay in the same place on mon-fri because I have to work, not to mention Covid-19 made everyone have to stay at home. I was (still) depressed with this situation, I need to go outside to explore more objects and train my photography skill but the situation made it impossible. Along the way, I decided to learn photo editing, so my #DailyRawProject photos are edited before I post them on socmed. Actually, I want to give up most of the time, my photo has zero improvements, and I have no motivation cause my photos look like trash, I want to go to beautiful places but I couldn’t. In this situation, discipline and motivation are the only things that keep me going.
On day 187 I decided to combine my photo with Canva to make it more appealing. In late day 200, I was overwhelmed and decided to change the rules of #DailyRawProject, I didn’t take a picture daily anymore, however, I edited old photos, and add blog posts (like this one) to my daily project.
3. Got inspired by other photographers
My biggest turn point in photography is when I joined the community on Twitter. As a newbie in photography, I was high-key intimidated by everyone, they’ve been doing this for years and created a masterpiece when I was struggling with composition and exposure triangle. I stopped taking a picture for a month due to insecurity. Surprisingly, everyone is so nice and insightful. I learned (still) a lot from them. I found a new perspective on photography plus a new editing style from them.
4. Taste of Photography
Besides nature, I also learn street photography, photo studio (food & product), and slow motion. I don’t learn portraits cause I don’t want to add people to my object, as I explained above photography is my therapy, adding people to it is a bad idea. I found out that I’m not into street photography or photo studio, yet I love slow motion technique and am willing to deep dive into it. I am also in love with ‘silent city’ and ‘dark dystopian’ concepts, will explain them in the next post.
5. Color Theory
I admire the dark concept and cool tone palette. My photographs are full of dark blue, green, and purple. My favorite time to shoot is around 5 pm — nighttime. I hate to take a pic on a sunny day, I prefer dim light over bright (overexposure) light. I’m going to elaborate on color theory in the next post along with other things like composition and perspective.
This is my first episode of Changing the Life Order #3 Photography. I still have a lot of things to share about how #DailyRawProject changed my life, so stay tuned!