January 21st, 2016

Project 52, finale and retrospective

I finished my Project 52 in the last week of 2015! This is the finale! To begin, I want to look back on the project and what I’ve learned from it. In my first entry, I mentioned that I completed a Project 365 in the past, and it just felt like a recording of my life through photos. While that’s nice, I really wanted a photography challenge, which is where the one serious photo a week idea came in.

These are the positive things that came out of it:

  • I took more photos and used my DSLR more frequently.
  • I took many photos that I would not have taken otherwise. For example, I purposely went out to take photos and also began exploring toy photography more.


  • I fine tuned my techniques for taking photos indoors. Since I work during the day, it can be hard to take outdoor photos before dark and sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. I learned to make my own indoor set-up and am still improving it.


However, I did not end strongly. Like the 365, the 52 eventually felt like a chore, but it probably didn’t have to be. There were things I could have done to make this more successful.

  • I should have set a theme per week to get me motivated and to make sure I always had ideas. There are so many lists online that I could have looked into.
  • I should have taken the opportunity to apply new techniques and learn more. For week 5 and 8, I applied a dynamic lighting technique I read about a long time ago and loved the results. I should have kept learning more techniques to try out.


So… would I do it again? Yes. But not in 2016. I need a break from the project, and the next time I do it, I will take the proper time to prepare for it. In the mean time, here are the last 4 weeks of my Project 52 ๐Ÿ™‚

#49 – The Photographer
After an eye doctor appointment, I decided to just go home instead of back to work. Since I still had day light to work with, I figured I’d take my profile photo for my portfolio! Bad idea because my eyes were dilated, and I was squinting like crazy. This was the only salvageable photo from the mini shoot. If you’re wondering how I’m able to take a photo of myself while also holding my camera, it’s because my old DSLR is on the tripod, and I used a remote trigger.


#50 – Christmas in Georgetown
Georgetown is a town nearby, and it boasts that its square has some of the best Christmas decorations. Curious, we set out to take a look. While it’s not as grand as they make it out to be, the square was cute at least. I didn’t take a tripod with me, so I bumped up the ISO for the shot.


#51 – Christmas Lights
A close-up of my in-laws’ Christmas tree! I love that they add a new ornament every year and that several ornaments represent loved ones that have passed. This was taken with my compact camera instead of DSLR.


#52 – Winter in Texas
I wish I ended the project better, like with a photo that tied it up. Instead, I was location scouting for an upcoming photoshoot. I was checking out a large park and took a photo of the creek that was in it.


And so, that was kind of an anticlimactic and lackluster finish. I am still very glad I did it and felt that the benefits outweighed the chore-ish feeling at the end. To view all 52 photos, check out the Project 52 category or my album on Flickr. I will do better next time! (Whenever that is!)

18 Responses to “Project 52, finale and retrospective”

  • Tara says:

    Congrats on completing this project! It does sound like it could get repetitive after all, but kudos to you on not giving up on it. I don’t blame you for wanting to take a break from it. I think it’s a good idea to have themes ready the next time you do it, and to apply and learn new techniques through them!

    Love the Christmas Tree and the Christmas lights photo! The light one is so colourful! That’s a really great shot ๐Ÿ˜€ Again, congrats on doing this, Cat! I’ve enjoyed seeing your photos ^^

  • Eireann says:

    I always find those long projects are very easy to fade out on, that they start off fun but then become tedious. I do like the idea of themes and techniques and lists.

    I adore the picture of the Christmas Tree. The colours look amazing, so real

  • Nancy says:

    Congratulations on finishing Project 52! I can imagine the amount of commitment it must take, especially since you gotta take some quality pictures! Good to see that you got to tune your photography skills even further. I think it’s cute when people take pictures of little toys in IRL backgrounds/sceneries XD.

    I think it’s neat how you take a picture of yourself holding a camera XD. The Christmas Tree decoration is awesome! Texas doesn’t look bad at all at the moment… Hope the weather stays calm!

  • Michelle says:

    I’m glad you were able to finish it and your photos are amazing, as always <3 Texas weather is just chilly, but no snow. I kind of wish it would just snow, so I can take Marley into it and we can play XD

    Beautiful photos, especially of Wind Waker Link. Hahaha

  • Ella says:

    Congratulations on finishing your project. I really like the photos you’ve taken. ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds fun to start a project like yours. You have an amazing eye for photography. Very beautiful photos, I love them all, especially the Winter in Texas. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Becca says:

    I loved reading about the different techniques that you learned. I think that’s a great way to approach a challenge, the goal is not only to finish, but to experiment and really push yourself. I always love the photos that you share. All of these are awesome, but I especially like the one of Link ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats on finishing Cat!

  • Tess says:

    Congrats on getting it done!! I had to jump over to your post about the backdrops because I’m likely in need of one soon!! Unfortunately I don’t think I have the space for it yet… :S The hubby will cry lol
    I love how you committed through it and even though you didn’t end as strong as you had hoped, it’s still an achievement because you’ve gained so much more out of it.
    Will you be doing it for 2016? I am hoping to start something even though it’s 23 days into January already. So I may just cut out what I’ve missed so far, and go for it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Cat says:

      Ah, no, I’m taking a break from the project for now ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I need to re-think how I approach it before trying again. It’s ok to start year projects part-way through the year though! When I did a Project 365 in the past, I actually went from September to September instead of starting on Jan 1.

  • Uglyfish says:

    Congratulations on completing the project Cat – that alone is a success, but it’s great to see you got so much out of it. I can understand what you mean about it feeling like a chore at the end, but it’s been great seeing your photographs every month – I’m a bit sad you won’t be doing it again this year =p
    I really like your photograph close up of the Christmas tree – I love fairy lights! I feel I’ve learnt a lot from looking at your photographs – particularly about composition!

  • Joy says:

    Hooray for completing the project! I admire you for being for it because I give up on challenges so fast because I get discouraged for one reason or another. I need to be more disciplined!

    You know I adore your photography but I am completely memorized by the photo of you dressed like knives! The lighting is perfection and it’s so crisp. I love how dramatic the lighting is.

  • Chynna says:

    I’ve always wanted to complete a project like this. I did try the Project 365, but I failed after about 2 weeks. Ha.

    Link is so cute!

    I’m glad to hear that you were able to improve on your techniques through your project. It’s cool when you get to learn new things and discover other stuff, too.
    Love your profile photo ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congrats on completing the project, either way! I love your photography x

  • Kaela says:

    That’s an interesting project. Congratulations on being so committed to it and getting it done! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Love your photos, by the way. ๐Ÿ™‚ I especially like the Christmas lights.

  • Tiff K says:

    Lovely photos! I have a camera but I never get to use it because I’m not confident enough of taking shots and I don’t really go anywhere so I feel like my shots are waay boring. This year though I’ll try to step up my game. Thinking of getting a camera lens as well. I did project 365 and 52 waay back but never got to finish it. Great job for you though!!

  • Ongaku says:

    I really should try something like this to get more motivated to use my cameras. My shots won’t be as awesome as yours though, haha. I’m at least trying to use my camera more for small videos when I get ideas. Ouch! Going out with dilated eyes! I’m so glad that my eye doctor bought a new machine that keeps me from having to do the dilation and it only cost 30 bucks to get it done – plus it is cool how you get to see a 3d image of the inside of your eye – haha.

  • Liv says:

    I think you did a good job either way! I like the Winter in Texas photo ^_^ and your self portrait. Christmas photos are always good! If I haven’t seen the Link figurine or the indoors setup, those are great! The best part about this project is that it’s ongoing and we don’t know what is coming next so we don’t know what to expect! I hope you do it again this year!

    • Liv says:

      I meant if I didn’t tell you that the Link figurine or the indoors set up are great! Also, I just went through your album and loved seeing all of them at once!

      (Half awake, feel free to edit my comment haha.)

  • Georgie says:

    I love that you used the word โ€˜retrospectiveโ€™ in this post, haha, it reminds me of agile/scrum. I love doing retros on my personal stuff. Itโ€™s a good idea.

    We have a photography group at work and we decide on dates and sessions together, and submit ideas for themes. I think that keeps me wanting to take part โ€“ normally I just wouldnโ€™t be stuffed. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would like to use my camera more especially since I bought my new one quite recently. I should do a similar challenge but I havenโ€™t really done much photographing in general. Donโ€™t want to waste my camera ahaha.

    • Cat says:

      haha, I think I came to the idea of a “retrospective” due to Agile ๐Ÿ™‚ Definitely feels like one since I go into the good, bad, and what I could have improved!

      Ooh, that’s awesome that you have a photography group at work. I think themes are really fun. I used to participate in a weekly theme challenge on a photography forum, and I’ve been meaning to try it again!

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