Congratulations to Riyazi! He finished his 365 project this week. His stream is a pleasure to visit, he's taken so many stunning photos this year! I loved checking out his portraits, and he has a wonderful way of combining light and colors. Beautiful work!
Riyazi answered the following questions about his experience with his 365 Project:
What inspired you to begin your 365 Project?
When I became interested in photography, I started reading up a lot about it and to accumulate quite a bit of equipment (including my first DSLR). But I found that I was not finding time to put all that I learnt and the equipment that I have in to use. So I wanted to start a project that will force me to do this. The 365 project seemed ideal. I had seen several flick photographers who were doing this and they seemed to be having fun with it – coming up with some very creative pictures and I thought the project will inspire me to do the same.
How would you describe your photography in just a few words?
I find it hard to describe my photography. Most photographers try to build their own style over a period of time and it happens whether done intentionally or not. The problem with this is that when you go through these photographers’ streams, each picture is very similar to the next. I found this boring and wanted to create a stream where viewers don’t feel as if they are viewing the work of one photographer. Not sure I achieved it though as some people have said that they can see a distinct style to my pictures. If I was forced to, I would describe my pictures as “random images while playing with light”
What surprised you the most about doing the 365 project?
Plenty of surprises. The lack of inspiration was the most surprising. When I started the 365 I had a whole list of shots that I wanted to try and expected it to grow. But 2 months in to the 365, I found it hard to be creative and think up of ideas to execute. And doing the 365 made me want to do better all the time rather than just take a mundane picture to satisfy the 365 criteria. I was also surprised by hard it was to keep taking a shot a day and how you can become disillusioned and even disgusted with something that you love (photography). I had to take a break a couple of times to get myself back on track. The most pleasant surprise of all was the flickr community who viewed my images and provided comments, encouragement and points for improvement, many of whom have become friends over the period.
What did you learn during the course of your project?
I learnt quite a bit about lighting especially Off Camera Flash techniques. That photography is great fun and a fantastic way to keep yourself occupied. That there are some fantastic people out there in the world, who are willing to take time to help you learn without any benefit in return.
Do you have an interesting story about taking one of your 365 photos that you would like to share?
To be honest…. not really :D I think most of the pictures have their own interesting story about how I came up with the idea and executed. One of the more interesting pictures in my stream is my tribute to Michael Jackson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/21096178@N03/3660996709) on the day he passed away. As soon as I heard the news and after getting over my shock, I wanted to do tribute picture. I had the Moonwalk dance move in my head and I knew exactly how it should look. Unfortunately, try as I might, there was no way I could position my feet in the way I wanted to get the look (even though I was not doing the move – just standing on my toes!). After trying till early morning (I was up until 3:30am) and failing miserably, I cheated and did a shot for each leg and combined them in photoshop!
What are your future photography plans?
To continue to shoot and try to improve my photography. Maybe one day, I will be good enough to shoot professionally and I want to keep striving for that goal. I might do another 365 again….. who knows :D
In addition to the MJ pic above, couple of other favourites are:
This was shot for an online assignment (which I won) featuring the theme Abandoned. I wanted to capture an actual person on the street but couldn’t get one in time so created the “feel” myself. I was just starting to work using textures and spent a bit of time in processing this image trying to get the look and feel that I wanted. Quite pleased with how it came out
I was inspired by an article in a magazine to try this technique out. It was quite difficult to get the light perfect for all the fruits in camera so I had to blend a few pictures to get this image. But I liked how this turned out in the end.
Congratulations again to Riyazi! Below are some admin favorites and a slideshow of his completed project: