Sunday, February 3, 2013

january challege summary

Yesterday, I spend much of the day outside, weeding, cleaning, mulching, and in general, getting the garden ready for spring. It was a wonderful day - and I didn't take a single picture! I did want to summarize what I learned from this month-long challenge I gave myself: take a picture and write a blog post per day for all of January. I actually finished the challenge, and have decided there are 5 main things I learned, with specific applications for each, one near term and one longer term... (why yes, I am being a nerd about this)

1) I don't see the sun enough. I know this is partially caused by it being January - every year at this time, I get into the trend of it being dark when I leave to go to work, and dark when I come back. On some days, this made taking pictures of the garden difficult. This will get easier later in the year, but there are still two applications for me:
  • Near Term: Appreciate my houseplants - I never realized how much I depended on my houseplants to see "green" during the winter. Taking care of the ones I have, and doing things like forcing paperwhites make the dark days more fun.
  • Longer Term: I also want to find ways to enjoy the garden after it's dark (and cold) - maybe lights, a firepit, and some actual outdoor furniture that's comfortable for curling up in.
One of the many houseplants I photographed for the challenge
2) Always be ready to take a picture. I already talked about this one - with the fog I mentioned in this post. Having my camera, and my phone with me at all times, and actually using them, means I can capture those cool moments. To apply this lesson:
  • I'm going to continue bringing my camera when I travel, and my phone.
  • But I also want to keep giving myself permission to just be somewhere, and not worry about pictures (like Sunday!)
Having my phone be able to take (decent) pictures made this challenge much easier
3) Posting every single day is hard, but knowing I had to post about something was good, because made me go look for things, like hikes, gardens while on travel, or plants in airports
  • I'm going to keep going out and looking for new things, and revisiting places I've been. Being me, I've made a list :)
  • I'm going to set a goal to post four times a week going forward - that should keep me "in the swing of things" without going overboard. And it will force me to stop and pay attention to the garden, even if work/life get hectic
I want to keep finding places to see plants - there is such a variety out there
4) It can be hard to get a good picture, but playing with photo editing (like this, or that) can make it better! Sometimes, I was able to take a not-so-good phone picture, and make it a lot more interesting with a few edits. I especially liked the different frames around the picture.
  • I want to keep using some of the photo editing programs I used during the challenge, and maybe find some new ones
  • But I also want to get better at taking good pictures, even if it's just with my trusty point-and-shoot

That means more pictures like this one - or hopefully better
5) Finally, this challenge was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work! I'm happy I was able to stick with it, even if there were a few days (like this one), where I actually had to get out of bed to go take a picture and post it!
  • I want to do this again - later in the year (like summer/fall). That's going on the list!
  • I wanted to reward myself for completing the challenge - so I came up with a little project that I just finished. Hopefully it will help in the future challenge also... Post to come soon!
My reward is not this awesome sculpture...I wish!
Last -  a big THANK YOU! to everyone who commented during my challenge! I love all of your blogs, so to see you comment on my little ramblings is awesome...


  1. Reading your summary was almost as good as enjoying your daily photos!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Great lessons! I don't know if could make a pact with myself to do four posts a week. I really did enjoy your picture posts. I love the idea of maybe doing it again this summer. I think I might do that too.

    1. You were my inspiration for this challenge! I hope to enjoy your daily pictures again in the summer.


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