Let’s not beat around the bush here – the 52 rolls in 52 weeks project was not easy to complete and that for a number of reasons, not least that I’m keyed up about deadlines.
Then why – you might well ask – did I undertake it? Well, for the two most obvious reasons: to improve my photography skills and to motivate myself to get out of my nice warm house with a camera in my bag. But its’ beyond question that I should have given more thought to the time (… and money) needed to carry on such a project, instead of launching myself into it head first. Then why did I not quit? Because, given my inability to bail on myself – I can’t help it, whenever I start a project I have to finish it – quitting has never been an option.
Although I often resorted to my medium format cameras to take care of only 12 shots per week, there were times I dreaded the thought of skipping a week. With the roll needed to be developed by the lab or by myself and the negatives to be scanned, shooting the roll was only half the battle indeed!
Having said that, I ended up shooting as many as 56 rolls in 2013 mainly because, when I went on holiday and had plenty of eye candy to inspire me, I surely couldn’t restrict myself to shoot only one roll per week.
Although I can claim that for the past year I (almost) always went out with a camera in my bag or around my neck, I made a habit of shooting one roll in one go as a consequence of waiting until the end of the week for the inspiration to strike or for the weather to improve (… which, by the way, never did).
I can not count the times when, running out of time, I went out completely demotivated and therefore with quite low expectations but got home with great shots (the photo below is a case in point), or the ones when I simply had the wrong camera and/or film for the occasion and couldn’t make the most of it.
After the initial motivational high wore off (… roughly at the end of February) the thrill of using a new film or camera kept me in the game. Twenty Thirteen has been a great year in terms of cameras added to my collection, but if shooting with the Belair X 6-12 proved to be a far cry from what I’d expected (after the initial fun, I left it on the shelf for most part of the year), the Hasselblad 500 C/M and the Horizon Perfekt have been such a joy to use that I’ve been shooting with them almost non-stop since the moment I bought them (respectively in May and July).
I wont’ deny that there were times when the frustration of not having time for any other project led me to doubt the benefits of this one, but now that it’s over I can see I have learned a lot about my beloved cameras, about developing and scanning but, most importantly, I have identified the subjects on what I want to focus next, oops… this year.
If any of you readers have done or take a stab at doing this same project at some point in your life, and have put your thoughts in writing somewhere in the Internet, please leave a comment with the link as I’d love to read about your experience!
And for those who are thinking of committing themselves in 2014, I have only one recommendation: auto-discipline yourself as it’s very easy to get behind.