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Year 2:
Since I'm coming into my second year (even if I didn't quite get all the 2013 holes filled in time), I thought it might be time to update this. I had found 365 to be a wonderful, eye-opening experience in the past year, and have learned so much about my camera and photography in general! And I love that it has allowed me that little "shot" of creative time that I crave (most days, anyway). I am rarin' to go on Year 2!

In Year 2, I want to continue to learn. Camera settings still confound me occasionally, so that's one thing I will be focusing on. Artistically, I'd like to do more selfies (there aren't many photos of me, because I'm usually the one hiding behind the camera) and staged shots. I would like to step out of my comfort zone more frequently, and play around with different techniques. Long exposures, high/low key, posed portraits (God help me, I have signed up for my first wedding shoot in August!), action shots and night shots are all on the "to-do" list. And maybe figure out that RAW thing that everyone is always talking about.I also want to do a bit more with editing, which I have shied away from for most of Year 1--I've decided that if I master the free editing programs that came with my camera this year, I can ask for Photoshop for Christmas. :)

Here's to the next round! :)

On Get Pushed: Because I like it when people do this, for my Get Pushed partners, here' s a list of the challenges I've had in the past couple months: I've done a selfie in manual, a "faceless self portrait," a street shot of my hometown, a landscape using the rules of composition as a guide, a selfie (a few times: once on manual settings, twice in high-key, and once something colorful), show movement, create a staged shot using 5 items that tell something about me, night shots (on my porch), shot something large and far away (rather than macro), and wide angle shots. I don't mind revisiting some aspects of something I've already done (selfies, for instance), as long as some of the parameters are changed up to give the challenge a slightly different flavor. :) And for April, I'm doing a NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) poem-a-day project to go along with my daily photo, so any challenge I do for April will also have a poem to go with it! Bonus! So if you want to work that into your challenge too, I'm game...

Year 1:
What to say about me? Well, my real name is Meredith (Mace is a nickname from high school—long story, but it’s what my friends call me). I’m 34 years old, and married with 2 little girls (a 6-year-old and an almost-2-year-old). I multi-job my way through my weeks. Job #1 finds me managing a costume shop. Jobs #2 and #3 are teaching gigs at local colleges, where I teach writing. I am rarely bored, because between the kids and work, I am always busy doing SOMETHING.

What led me to this site and my 365 project is my sometimes-neglected creative side. I am a poet who enjoys crossing genres and writing fiction, memoir, and an epic sci-fi novel as well. I also dabble in the visual arts when time permits. Oil painting was my love in college, but we lack the room for a good setup where we live currently…so I’ve downsized (kind of) to mosaic glasswork and small mixed media/art journal style pieces (a lot of times these combine my poems with acrylics and collage). And, of course, I take pictures.

I have been shooting pictures for many years, ever since my parents gave me a hand-me-down 110 Instamatic camera around fourth or fifth grade, with which I turned out massive amounts of little 4x4 glossies. I took a few photography classes in college, but I am old enough that a lot of our time in class was spent in the darkroom. I love having this experience, but as a result I still doubt myself when it comes to digital. I finally went digital in 2008, first with a nicer point-and-shoot and then upgrading to a digital SLR a couple years ago. What this has taught me is that I know just enough about my camera to be dangerous, but not enough to really use all the fancy toys or be really comfortable stepping outside the pre-sets and really take control of what I’m shooting. So first and foremost, this project is about getting comfortable with my camera and learning to use it effectively.

The second reason I decided to jump into this project has to do with what I said above about my “sometimes-neglected” creative side. I have a lot going on in my life, and I when things get busy with work and family, that creative impulse tends to be shuffled to the back burner. When this happens, I miss it. This project commits me to one act of creativity each day—I usually have 15 minutes, somewhere in the day, to shoot a few pictures.

So please feel free to comment on things you like, and especially to offer any constructive criticism you might have! I am still learning about my camera, and would appreciate any insight you may have to offer!