January 2024

Welcome to January 2024!  

Its a new year, a new month, and every day is a new opportunity to see the world around you in a way that you have not seen it before.  Whether this is your first year of taking a photo a day or your tenth, we are glad that you are here.  This is a wonderful place to make friends and share our mutual love of photography.

On January 1, it can feel a little overwhelming to commit to taking a photo every day for 365 days, or in the case of 2024 366 days!  Take it one day, one photo at a time.  Know that some days your photos will be spectacular and other days they might not be.  That's OK.  At the end of the year you will literally have a picture of your year;  every photo has a necessary place in that picture.  And if you miss a day, a week, or even a month, no worries!  Pick your camera up when you are ready.  Those missing photos also are a part of your story of 2024.

As you begin this yearlong journey of a photo a day, consider your "WHY?"  We are all here because of our shared love of photography, be we all also have our own reasons for taking a photo a day.  For some, the primary purpose is to improve their technical skills, both with the camera and in post processing.  For others, it is to journal their every day...the good, the bad, and everything in between.  Whatever your personal WHY, know that you find support from the members of this amazing community.  Also, always feel free to ask questions in the private Facebook group.

A quick word on this year's prompts.  For those of you who have been with us, the daily prompts will look a little different this year... one word.  For some of you that will make them feel simplified.  For others, they may seem too limiting.  Please know that the prompts are ALWAYS just a suggestion.  We have no prompt police!  We offer the daily prompts merely as a means to get your creative juices flowing.  They may spark some creativity.  They may encourage you to think outside the box.  Or, they may send you in a completely different direction.  Whatever photo you take on any given day is the photo you were meant to take.  This is YOUR project!  

Have fun!  

January 2024

Explaining the Prompts

This year we are pleased to announce a whole new look to 365 Picture Today.  We asked!  You answered!  Instead of weekly themes, we will be featuring specific days with specific tasks. 

Where I Stand

 This prompt will occur on the last day of every month!  You get to be as creative as you like, but the challenge is to include your feet in the photograph.  It will be fun to see the different environments our photography journey takes us to.

Colour Day

Colour day is back by popular demand!  Instead of a full week of colour we are introducing "colour day". It will be occurring once a month with a beautiful colour chosen by your creative team. It is completely up to you to include either a little or a lot of the specified colour.   

Macro Monday

On Macro Monday we focus on the little details! On the 2nd Monday of every month we are asking you to use your macro skills to enhance the prompt of the day. We encourage you to get in close!  You can use your macro lens, macro filters or simply crop your photos.

Challenge Day

This is an exciting, new and super fun challenge for 2024!  On this day we will be offering you a photography challenge and ask you to recreate it! 

Technical Day

This one is for the inner techies in all of us!  On Technical Day we will be giving out instructions on specific photography technical skills. There will be a variety of skills explained to help you learn or enhance your abilities. We can all learn from one another.

Picture Me

It's selfie day! Once a month we will be asking you to include a picture of yourself in the daily prompt. This gives us a chance to let our community member know what we look like!

Scavenger Hunt

The scavenger hunt is a quarterly challenge.  We will give you some specific words to use to go camera hunting with.  This is a fun challenge that also includes your chance to make a collage.

My World

 On the 5th day of every month you will take a picture in the same place.  This will show the changing seasons, or just the subtle changes of the that environment.  If you cannot be in the same place every month, just take a picture of where you are and what your world looks like on that day.

Guest Prompt

Once a month we honour a member of our community with a Community Profile and the chance to write a prompt with an accompanying photograph! It is a special day for community members and a chance for all of us to get to know one another just a little bit better.

JANUARY

Day 1 - - New
Day 1 -

Hello! Welcome! You have taken your first step in a 365 Picture Today Journey. Just as in any other discipline in life, it all starts with one step at a time.

We are so glad you are here and part of our community. We want you to feel welcome and never stressed about taking a photo every day. We have tried to simplify the prompts this year so there is more freedom in how you approach them.  Our desire is that the community is a safe and helpful place and never a competition on style and skills. 

Today is simply "Hello and Welcome." It could mean an open door, or you in the frame, or your surroundings, or your resolutions. Take it in whatever direction makes sense to where you are in life!

Welcome!

Garnett
Day 2 - - One Word
Day 2 -

Have you picked a word for the year?  Rather than set resolutions that you likely won't stick to, why not pick one word to use as your mantra for the upcoming year.

My word for this year is Peace.  There is so much unrest in our world these days and the idea of peace in these countries seems like an unachievable goal.  For that reason, I decided that I would concentrate on creating peace within my life.  What word will you choose?  Show us what it means to you in your photo today.

Diane
Day 3 - - Chilly
Day 3 -

The holidays are over. A new year is underway. Is it cold where you live? Take a photo of something that represents chilly.  If it isn't cold where you are, get creative....  the inside of your freezer perhaps? Lot's of possibilities on where you take the prompt.

Garnett
Day 4 - - Makes you Happy
Day 4 -

The thing that makes me the happiest is to be with "my people."  We are fortunate to have made many happy memories together...most of which are preserved in quick phone photos.  These photos are some of my absolute favorites.

Use your phone to capture what makes you happy today.  It may be a person, place, or thing.  Whatever the case, create a photo that says happiness.

Kris
Day 5 - - My World
Day 5 -
Seasonal Photo

This challenge is set for the 5th of every month, and the prompt word is always going to be My World.  The idea is that you take a photo in the same place each month, if you live in a place where you don't have much in the way of seasons, you should still see a difference.  If like me you are going to be away for some of the year, then not to worry, you just take a photo of where you are.  It would be "your world" on that day.

This photo is an example of a style of photo to take.  A lone tree can show the seasons really well, but it is up to you what you include in your photo. It doesn't have to be outside, you can take a photo of you dinner on the 5th. There is no limit as to where you can take this!

Lee
Day 6 - - Something Metal
Day 6 -

This reclaimed wrought iron “L” along with a “W” hung on the outside of the defunct 100-year-old Woodward and Lothrop department store in my hometown of D.C. Of course, we had to buy them because they were our initials, but also because they brought back many happy memories of shopping with my mom and later with friends.

While shiny metal may have been your first thought for today’s photo, don’t rule out other finishes. If it has sentimental value, all the better!

Leslie
Day 7 - - Explore
Day 7 -

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time" - T.S. Eliot

I love to explore!  Living near the mountains means I have a lot of options!  Pull on your boots and go out exploring for your picture of the day.

Exploring does not have to mean heading out to the wilderness.  I also love to explore in my own neighbourhood.  Parks, alleys, museums, and office buildings can all be super fun to explore.

Today, you get to choose.  Head out on an adventure and show us what you find! Be like T.S. Eliot and arrive where you started and see it like it is for the first time.

Lysle
Day 8 - - Spontaneous
Day 8 -
Macro Monday

It's Macro Monday!  Get in close. Use your macro lens, or crop in close. The prompt is "spontaneous" so don't overthink it! I noticed the beautiful morning light on my front lawn, grabbed my camera and went with it. Your subject doesn't have to be extraordinary. Photograph what presents itself to you.

Garnett
Day 9 - - White
Day 9 -
Color Day

This year we will have a colour day once a month.  This month our colour is white.  So, today I encourage you to photograph something white.  

Simple as that.  

Diane
Day 10 - - Body of Water
Day 10 -

I don't normally have snow in my neck of the woods. I get pretty excited when the white stuff comes down. Many of you will be able to photograph frozen lakes, ponds, or rivers. Photograph whatever body of water you want. It may not be snowy or frozen, but it will still be beautiful.

Garnett
Day 11 - - A child
Day 11 -

Children can be the both the easiest and the most difficult subject to photograph.  They are easy because most of the time they are a willing subject, but difficult because they don't stay still for long.  This can be true for fur babies as well!   The best way to photograph a child is to do it on their terms.  Let the child be in their environment doing their thing.  We, as the photographer, need to move and find the best angle to catch the story of the moment.  It may look like this little guy was willingly posing for me.  Trust me.  He was not!  This image was caught mid-climb.

Kris
Day 12 - - Trees
Day 12 -

There are trees everywhere, even in cities.  Try to find an interesting way to take a photo of one or more of them today, using what is around them to show case the trees that you see.

In the example I have used, there is a path to show you the way into the white forest of trees.

What trees are around in your neighbourhood?

Lee
Day 13 - - A fork
Day 13 -
Challenge Day

This year you will have several opportunities to recreate the prompt while adding your personal twist! They aren’t meant to be difficult and if you don’t like the example, create your own.

For today, choose a food that you want to display on the end of a fork. But to make it fun, think of foods that would be incongruously served on a fork. Andy Warhol inspired me to spear a can of soup! I took photos of the fork and soup separately and layered them in Photoshop. No Photoshop? Lay the food (secured with a bit of tape) on a plain background with the fork touching the food. Shoot from a little behind the food and it will hide the tips, giving the impression of being speared. Of course, your food might be spear-able already, so just poke away! 

Have fun and reward yourself by eating your subject!

Leslie
Day 14 - - Berries
Day 14 -

Berries...   any kind.  They can be outside on bushes or inside in your refrigerator. I had fun with low key and contrast with this image. You might play with high key (extra bright - use as much light as possible to fill the space) or low key (dark scene with the light only illuminating the subject) today and see what you like. 

Garnett
Day 15 - - Prompt Free
Day 15 -

Today is a blank canvas for which all of the other prompts have prepared you.

Keep your eyes open and have fun!

Prompt Free
Day 16 - - Picture in a Picture
Day 16 -
Technical Day

This is the first of our Monthly technical challenges.  We hope you like this extra push each month to get your technical and creative juices flowing.

Today's challenge is "picture in a picture" or the Droste effect.  We are basically placing a copy of an image inside the same image. This gives an illusion of a photo repeating to infinity.

Challenge for today is to use Photoshop... but I will give you a cheat at the end of the prompt.

  1. take a photo of yourself holding a photo (or a frame)...  you can choose to show as much of yourself as you want. 
  2. Bring your image into Photoshop.
  3. Duplicate the layer.
  4. Go to "edit" and use free transform to size the duplicate image to fit within the frame you are holding in the first image.
  5. Drag the smaller image to the bottom of the layer stack.
  6. Select the area on the original image that the picture will go in (the inside of the frame you are holding).
  7. Select the eraser tool and erase the area in the frame to show the layer underneath.

You can repeat steps 3-7 as many times as you want.  And now you have a picture in a picture!

If you do not have Photoshop.... or you have tried the above steps and given up, you can use the easydroste.app

You just select your photo and the app does all of the work. I really hope you try the challenge though!  And most of all.... have fun with it!

Garnett
Day 17 - - Computer Screen
Day 17 -

Photography is all about finding the light.  These days, light from some "device" is almost always available since we can't seem to put them down...and as it turns out, screen light is quite effective as a light source.  

If you want to have some fun with screen lighting and color, there is an app called color screen that creates an effect almost like a softbox and will cast any color light on your subject.  

ANOTHER TIP: In any photo situation, If you find yourself needing extra light on a subject, the screen of your phone will always provide more pleasing light than does the flashlight, which tends to be quite harsh and casts more shadows.

Have fun playing!

Kris
Day 18 - - Icy Bokeh
Day 18 -

What is bokeh you may ask?  Bokeh is the soft pleasing out of focus blur that you get when using a wide aperture on your camera.

The chance for most of us finding icy bokeh today is not high, but if you do have the chance then take it.  Otherwise use what you can find around you to make some bokeh (the Christmas lights that you haven't put away yet) and use some ice from the freezer, maybe a glass of gin and tonic with an ice cube with bokeh in the background.

What will you find that has icy bokeh today?

Lee
Day 19 - - High Contrast
Day 19 -

“High Contrast” means just what it says: an image with extreme tones as shown in this photo of a black lantern on a white wall with a black door. 

Today is a good opportunity to play with your histogram, that graph used to display your darks and lights. To do this, set your camera’s LCD screen to display the histogram. (See your manual.) Set your shooting mode to Manual and your focal point to Center/Spot focus. Now hold down your shutter button (don’t shoot), and aim at different objects. Watch how the graph changes in response to the darkness of the object. Play with your exposure triangle (shutter speed, aperture, ISO) to adjust the histogram to your liking. For a high-contrast image, the graph should cover the entire length, but be “piled up” on the ends.

High Contrast doesn’t just have to be in black and white. Try extremes in color, too. When you show us what you found you can include the settings if you like. Happy hunting!

Leslie
Day 20 - - Mirror
Day 20 -
Guest Prompt

Looking at the word mirror as a noun it means a polished or smooth surface that forms images by reflection.  As a verb, it means to show reflection, correspond, or be similar to another.  Mirrors can also be symbolic of spiritual and psychological depth.

For today's prompt, take the word mirror literally or find an image that will portray a mirror in a different state that has meaning to you.

I was blessed to capture this cormorant with good light and perfectly still water that captured his mirror image.

Christine Schmitz
Day 21 - - Dried Flowers
Day 21 -

One of the most favourite things I like about doing a 365 project is that now I don't hesitate to buy myself flowers.  I give myself permission to buy a bouquet for myself whenever I want flowers for my photo.  I love treating myself.  

After my roses have lost their freshness, I'll hang them to dry for a few days.  I have a whole bunch of dried roses in a vase that I can pull from anytime I want to use them for photos.  Do you have any dried flowers that you can use for your photo today?  Fake flowers will work too.  If you don't have dried flowers, give yourself permission to buy yourself some fresh ones today.  Then you can show us the flowers you plan to dry out and use for future photos.

Diane
Day 22 - - Familiar Abstract
Day 22 -

Today should be fun. We are going abstract. Look for a familiar object and photograph it in an abstract way. You could use a macro lens (as I did in the example), or you could use motion blur, show just a portion of something, or shoot through a glass. Excited to see what you come up with!

Garnett
Day 23 - - Quiet
Day 23 -

For me, nothing beats the quiet found while being alone in nature.  Well, alone with my thoughts and those of others in the form of a book or two.  Where is your favorite place to find quiet?

Kris
Day 24 - - Now
Day 24 -

At this time of year in Belgium, the witch hazel is in full colour, it is one of the plants that make winter here seem colourful.

What is in season now where you live?

Lee
Day 25 - - Fire
Day 25 -

At the Basilica of Sacre Coeur in Paris, I caught this moment of a visitor lighting a remembrance candle. I succeeded in capturing the quiet, reverent mood that permeated the entire building. (And I used a telephoto so I wouldn’t disturb her.)

The word “fire” has many definitions from the literal to the symbolic. And it can be photographed in many forms, from a match to a fireplace, a bonfire, and more. Play with photographing fire today. What settings do you need to capture it just the way you want? A quick search will bring up lots of tips. Get fired up with your camera and heat up our 365 feed!

Leslie
Day 26 - - Something Breaking
Day 26 -

This should be a really fun prompt!  You get to either go out and literally break something, or, find something breaking or broken.  One of my favourite things to do is wander down back lanes and discover old fences, sheds, tossed-out old furniture, and other paraphernalia that is usually broken or breaking.  After all 'one man's junk is another man's ... errr, photographer's subject matter!'  

Lysle
Day 27 - - On My Walk
Day 27 -
Picture Me

This is the first "Picture Me" of the year.  The idea is to include yourself in the photo, so that at the end of the year you will have at least 12 photos of you (and perhaps as well, some including those of your family and friends.)

I am a bit shy in front of a camera. I hid ever so slightly behind my umbrella, but I am there in front on my walk!

Can you take a photo of yourself on a walk? You can use a human tripod if it makes it easier. I set up my camera and get the person I am walking with to take the shots.

Lee
Day 28 - - Seasonal Still Life
Day 28 -

When I think of seasonal in January, my mind goes to a warm beverage. I decided to have fun with still life by grabbing my teapots and photographing them. Do you have a collection that you can play with today? It can be anything. Try different angles and arrangements until you get the look you want. 

Garnett
Day 29 - - Toy
Day 29 -

Toys are a great thing to add to your photo gear.  Not only are they coopertive subjects, but playing can spark creativity when you are in a photo slump or need a change of pace.  

Lego mini figures or any other small character that will fit in your camera bag or pocket will always add a little  extra fun while you and your camera are out on a playdate.  Today might be a good day to choose a special toy that will recur in your photos throughout the year.

Kris
Day 30 - - Low Light
Day 30 -

Today we need to use low light to take a photo for the day.

Remember putting your camera in manual helps with the exposure.  Use a wide aperture (low f stop no) to let as much light in as possible.  If it is still too dark, then change your ISO settings to a higher number, this will add grain to your photo.  Try to use a tripod and use your delay button so you aren't touching the camera at all.  If you want star bursts you will need to narrow your aperture to about f11 and adjust the other settings accordingly.

Let us see what you can find in low light today!

Lee
Day 31 - - Where I Stand
Day 31 -

It’s the first “Where I Stand” of the year where you literally take a pic of your feet in a place that's significant to you. Most times we choose outside, but because it’s January, let’s go indoors where it’s more comfortable whether in the frigid North or Down Under in the heat.

You can choose home, but what other places define you? Is it work? A favorite store? I love grabbing a hot cuppa at our local cafe whose tile floor is renowned. I included the tea to further explain the location. You might even see a few raindrops on my shoe that tell of the weather. Taking this seated made it easier to get a crisp shot. A narrow aperture (large f/stop) helped to keep everything in focus.

Let’s keep your feet happy while you shoot today whether far away or close to home!

Leslie

365PictureToday Creative Team

Kris
Kris
Diane
Diane
Lysle
Lysle
Garnett
Garnett
Leslie's selfie
Leslie

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