Today my source of inspiration is clouds.

It was pretty windy and overcast the day we spent in Marseille, France (where I got the picture above) which meant that the clouds had a ton of personality. Have you ever thought of clouds as having personality?

I definitely do. I do a lot of cloud looking, and there are definitely 'good' cloud days and 'bad' cloud days. In fact, this is what prompted a trip to Chattanooga last fall when we attempted to drive up to Cloudland Canyon Park to shoot some awesome cloud photos and scenery.

Anyway … back to clouds …

Apparently I am not the only one to think of clouds as having personality. Kelly DeLay has a website where she documents the clouds daily. (What does she do when it rains?) Apparently she has (as of the publishing of this post) taken 1,801 days worth of cloud phots! Can you even imagine what it must be like to go outside and shoot clouds every. single. day.?! I'll admit that I have tried, but I think the secret to getting good cloud shots is a polarizer … and persistence. That would be why I was never successful. (I only recently got a polarizer, and I'm not too good with the persistence bit when it comes to clouds.)

Kelly DeLay isn't the only person pursuing a 365 day project. I've seen people do craft projects, generic photography projects, and, one of my favorites, the Julie/Julia project (which the movie Julie and Julia was based on). I love the idea of pursuing something you want to get better at and practicing it on a daily basis.

I definitely noticed a change in my photography over the 3 weeks I spent in Europe carrying my camera constantly. First of all, the camera and the equipment started to really dwindle down to the necessities; who wants to carry that much? Second of all, the camera started to get really heavy. As in, OW! My shoulder! (Because I can only really carry it on my right shoulder. Don't ask.) But I also started really thinking about my shots (when I wasn't climbing mountains trying to catch my breath). Where was the top third of the shot? the bottom? How was the lighting? I was far more creative at the beginning of the trip, but my actual technique began to improve toward the end. I became more conscious about whether or not the shot was something I actually wanted. Was it unique? Different? Would I want to edit it later?

Now I am pursuing the edit-a-picture-a-day while babysitting and working. I'm sharing a dropbox folder with the friends that went on the trip, so I am being extra careful about what I post. Too many re-edits and I'm certain their minds might explode. The good thing is that it is making me more confident in my edits. I'm pulling together a style that I think is unique to me, involving lots of saturation and pulling information out of the highlights and lowlights where I can. (Thanks CreativeLive!) I love the almost-HDR effect in my photos without actually going there.

Are you doing any projects of a similar nature? Shooting images for 365 days? Cooking your way through a recipe book? I'd love to hear about your projects! It's nice to have support and know that you aren't alone.

*I'm participating in the iheartfaces summer photo challenge and you should too!

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