Manda kindly agreed to answer our finisher interview questions and share her favorite photos from the project. Enjoy!
What inspired you to begin a 365 Project?
I saw other people in the flickr community with #/365 on their pictures and was curious what it was all about. When I found out and saw there was a community dedicated to people participating in the challenge I figured, why not? It was almost a new year when I decided to do it and I planned to start at the beginning of the year and go to the end. I thought the challenge would be a good way to encourage myself to expand my knowledge and creativity in regards to photography. I also wanted to encourage myself to use my camera more.
How would you describe your photography in just a few words?
I would say I've still got that amateur vibe going on and I definitely lean more towards the natural world and tend to prefer a more natural looking image as well.
What surprised you the most about doing the 365 project?
I was surprised with how challenging it actually can be. I found myself a lot of times really thinking hard about what picture I could take today. I didn't think it would be so hard, but I am also not usually the type of person to just take a random shot for the sake of it. I really like my pictures to mean something.
What did you learn during the course of your project?
I learned that you can't really force yourself to be creative. It was also really hard for me to just take a random picture of something, because it isn't what I usually do. I learned that I should stick to what I'm comfortable photographing.
Do you have an interesting story about taking one of your 365 photos that you would like to share?
There are stories behind a lot of my 365 photographs. Lots of good memories too. One that really stands out as a highlight of the year was taken back in January. I was snowshoeing through the bush with my Dad and we had been seeing a Pileated Woodpecker off and on over the winter in the area. It was our first year to see them so we were pretty thrilled with finding them so frequently. On that particular day we found one on a tree that it really seemed to like and had visited quite often, judging by the amount of holes in it. After taking a few pictures of it from a fair distance away I was able to quietly sneak over till I was about 6 feet from it. Then I just sat in the snow and watched it. It might not be that interesting, but for someone who likes birds, it was really cool to see this large woodpecker just doing what it does. I found out after that Pileated Woodpeckers are usually really hard to approach without them flying off. That just made it even more special to me.
What are your future photography plans?
In the future I don't really have anything special planned. I just want to get out there and get as many great shots as I can. I'm hoping to get some great wildlife and bird photos, but nothing specific. I want to upgrade some of my equipment and generally just have a lot of fun with the whole thing. I think it will work out a lot better now that I'm not forcing myself to photograph something every day.
The first picture I ever took for this challenge is one of my favourites. It is a close up of a patch on the side of my fedora. It isn't really special or perfect by any means, but I just can't help but like it. In a sense I guess it's just a little window open for people to catch a glimpse of who I am.
I like this one for the composition and just the overall way it looks. I think this was back when I first figured out that you could make points of light into bokeh so I was playing around with my fiber optic light. I think this one turned out great.
I like this picture because even in its simplicity it manages to look like more than just a photograph. It looks more like a painting and it seems to almost have an element of light emerging from the darkness. And to think it was just one of those pictures taken because I needed something for that day. This just happened to be what I photographed.