Fifty of Fifty — 2010
On Thursday I completed my second Project 50. For those that don’t know Project 50 consists of 50 photos over 50 sequential days taken with a 50mm lens. That’s a lot of 50s, right? So yeah, started on the 1st of July & fifty days later I was done! A lot of you know that last year I did a photo a day for a year (See the set on flickr) you would think that fifty photos in a row must be a walk in the park. Well that would be true if I had approached it in the same way I did my 365 but for this project I wanted to keep the quality really high the whole way through.
I get asked a lot — “What makes you want to do this?” or “Why would you do this if you aren’t getting paid for it?”, generally my answer is — “Just for the sake of it” but let me expand on that a little more. To me the value of this project is completely inherent in the act of doing it or, more importantly, the act of completing it to a level of quality with which I am happy — I did it to prove to myself that I could.
I decided from the start I wanted to really make these shots stand out as a series; I wanted to give them all something that tied them together. I love film, & the idea that a single frame can really tell a story so I thought I’d try to achieve that cinematic feel with well thought out composition & post processing. Also, being a designer with a passion for well set type I wanted to add a typographical twist to the shots — hopefully carry on the story telling a little bit.
I approached this project as I would anything else in my life — diagonally. I scribbled down any ideas I had for photos into a Moleskine diary, along with any events, words, people, anything I could think of that might help. Laying it out like this made it a lot easier to get a clear picture of the whole project in my head. I could see the days where I was going to need to do a bit of extra organisation or need to ask a friend for help.
I also wanted to make an effort to document the more interesting setups in the series. Every photo that used off camera lighting has strobist info in the description & I started adding setup photos, which a lot of you will know I already add to quite a few of my prior photos. I also did about thirteen setup videos, a new thing for me; my iPhone 4 made producing them pretty easy & the quality was good. You can check out all the videos on my Vimeo page.
I always suck at summing up projects; I really struggle to step back & look at the project objectively to assess what I’ve achieved. I am probably overly self critical & I rarely like anything I produce for more than 2 hours after I’ve done it. I guess that’s got something to do with why I put together some statistics. I know that most of them are meaningless, especially Explore, but it makes my creativity & skill level quantifiable; my mind likes that.
Regardless of how I feel I have done, I enjoyed the project a lot. I put more pressure on myself this time than in previous photographic challenges & I think I responded well — I only thought about killing myself a few times. So I guess in that respect the project is a massive success? Yeah… cool.
As I said above, in some bizarre way, statistics help me quantify my ability as a creator of photographic images. Not on a personal “Do I like this image?” kinda level but more on a global “How well has this image gone down” sorta thing. I put together loads of stats from this project & thought I would share some of them. If you’re as geeky as me you might enjoy them. I wish I had time to make a more in depth info graphic, as theres tonnes of data! But hey, I’ve got a million other things I should be doing!
The Site — FiftyofFifty.co.uk
I built this simple site to showcase the project on it’s own platform. Flickr is great for people to follow & interact with a project in real time but once it’s over, it’s very easy for a project to get buried. I built the site in HTML5 with some sexy CSS3 & also added a really nice iPhone optimised interface for the iPhone, including high res retina display graphics. Oh & if you add the site to your home screen you’ll see a rather sexy icon that John O’Nolan designed for me, what a guy!
So What’s Next?
What a good looking question, thanks for asking — but I’m not telling yet! I’ve got some stuff to catch up on that I put off to do this project, including the next ‘How I Shoot’ post, but don’t worry, my flickr will not be neglected. I have loads in my edit pile to get through & I can never last long without taking a photo or two! But more to the point I have already started planning the next project… it’ll be something a little different but hopefully just as enjoyable as this has been for people. Stay tuned.
Yep! I am giving away a full set of fifty 7″ by 5″ prints from the project to just one person! In fact they are the exact ones I used in my final photo! Cool huh? To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is follow meon twitter & tweet:
Read about @RickNunn’s Fifty of Fifty photo project & you could win fifty beautiful prints – http://bit.ly/fiftyoffifty
The winner will be picked at random & announced here on the 1st of September 2010.
Competition now closed — the winner is… Rob Barrett!