Mark W Russell 2:46pm, 17 August 2012
Following on from David's post of earlier today outlining the potential "future" for 52by52, with just two more challenges to go in 52 by 52, and with recent Olympic experience fresh in the mind, I cannot resist contemplating the approach of the finishing straight.

We (Mods and Admins) have decided to post a number of threads (X3) in the coming few weeks which hopefully will get the current 286 members (who have currently posted 1188 pictures) to celebrate and reflect on the experience of 52 by 52.

1. As part of the 52 by 52 experience; what have you learnt? What (if anything) has challenged your thinking/practice/approach to photography?
scala66/Paul Marsh PRO 6 years ago
hey mark.
i know ive learned a hell of a lot from participating in this group.
its learnt me to be patient, reflective,full of self critique,responsive,idealistic,confident enough to critique other peoples work,the list goes on and on.
most of all its made me a better photographer.
Emma Georgiou PRO 6 years ago
Hi Mark,

This experiance has been brilliant. Its taught me to think of a solution to each weeks challenge quite quickly and even though not everything I've posted has worked, its taught me to work to a deadline, something I've not had to do before in terms of my photography.

The challenge has got me out and about exploring my own local area, seeing things I haven't sought out in the 15 or so years I've been living and working in and around Nottingham.

I've been introduced to a plethora of others work both in terms of the group members and the challenge setters and I'm a great believer that seeing new work can be just as important as making photographs.

The group has been hugely supportive which has been a lovely surprise as it took me until challenge #28 to start posting as I was so worried what other people would think. So in terms of starting to show other people my work, its helped with that too.

Thank you
Steve Leverett PRO 6 years ago
Enjoyment - learning - making contacts - improving skills - broadening horizons ...
Leripix 6 years ago
What have I learnt? How long have you got?

#that you never stop learning - never to forget that
#that there isn't a right or a wrong way - the best results come when I'm not looking for results
#to look and to look in different ways - the weekly challenges have been so different (in the main) that as soon as one is ending the next one demands an approach that turns the last one upside down (my favourite bit of learning)
#I've learnt to be braver and to be more open in my photography i.e. "come out" as a photographer - I can say I am a photographer
#failure is an opportunity to improve (challenge 39)
#nothing of the above compares to what I have learnt through looking at and being inspired by the work of the challenge setters and the whole group's take on those challenges.

I could go on but you're probably asleep by now.
david_gillett 6 years ago
Eloquently put everyone. Taking off my team hat off for a second...

I find it quite difficult to pin down what I've leant from participating as a photographer as I've a hunch a great deal has gone directly into my subconscious.

Previously I might come home from a day out with the camera with a single shot that had potential, that now seems to be more like 3 or 4, so something's changed!

I'm definitely more mature in my approach, better able to trust my instincts and have the confidence to create images that whisper rather than shout. I look back on some of my work from a few years ago and cringe, that's always a good sign!

To some extent I'm with HCB...
"Photography is nothing--it's life that interests me."
...and it's made life more interesting.

Mark W Russell 6 years ago
With regard to what I have learnt, whilst this seems a contradiction in terms; but the more I practice (learn) the less I seem to know. I come to creative practice with the approach that the idea is first and foremost and worry little about the technique of whichever medium I use. However there have been times when I have wished my technical prowess was more to the fore.

Further, looking at other peoples solutions to the challenges has ranged from the baffling to the magical. The diversity of how people think and create has been a constant joy.

What has challenged my thinking/practice/approach to photography has been the diversity of the types of work/backgrounds the challenge setters have come from and having to contemplate and tackle areas of production outside both my experience and honestly my interest. But looking at their work has enabled me to break out a bit from the confines (and constraints) of genres thinking.

Best wishes
Julia M Cameron PRO 6 years ago
The main thing I have learnt is to take risks...with technique and ideas/concepts and to try anything that may "work".

It was fascinating to do Challenge 39 and re-shoot better. This I have really taken on board.

As far as broader learning, this year I have done a lot more studio work, particularly macro and portrait.

bart1eby 6 years ago
I've just been going through my entries for this group trying to work out which one's I've missed and was surprised by how much I've grown as a photographer since the project started. Amongst the number of things I've learnt there's an awful lot of photoshop trickery but, more importantly, an increasing focus on what my subject matter is. And of course like everyone else above I've learnt that it is possible to be part of an engaged generous and supportive flickr community...
K8ieSmith 6 years ago
I have learnt to be braver with my photography both in terms of subject and sharing images. I use my camera in my professional life as a tool to document the projects that I work on but did originally specialize in fine art photography in my art college days. 52 by 52 has opened up the myriad of genres between these two tried and tested approached and encouraged me to be a photographic explorer of the world. I have discovered the sheer joy and pleasure of image making which I don’t think was there before; I have an insatiable desire to find the magic in ordinariness which reflecting on the year seems to be the theme connecting each of my 52 images.

The need for dedication, the time restricted nature of the project and the presence of an immensely supportive 52 community has encouraged me to have the confidence to share images that I’m not 100% happy with. For a control freak this has been a steep learning curve but has led me to view the way that I use Flickr differently too; it’s no longer my intention to present a polished portfolio of images but to create an open sketchbook of work in progress.
Palofperu PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Palofperu (member) 6 years ago
Where to start? Well....

I've learnt that creating an image using a camera requires far more thought and skill than I realised.

Developing the skills takes time and effort and I'm only just over the starting line.

Creating images is great fun and 52by52 has allowed me to engage with really thought provoking, stimulating briefs set by eminent professionals.

There's wonderful stuff out there produced and shared by all the 52by52 contributers and engaging with these images has been an absolute joy and pleasure.

Comments and No Comment are equally helpful!

Lastly I've learnt that becoming a decent photographer requires imagination, technical skill and a healthy amount of humility.
Voltaire 2010 Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Voltaire 2010 (member) 6 years ago
I came to this group quite late in the day. I have learned a great deal from the imaginative and technically sophisticated responses to interesting challenges from the other group members.

I feel privileged to receive comments from people whose work I really admire.I have really appreciated the constructive, positive and detailed responses I have received from others for my efforts. They have been very encouraging and helpful.

I am really looking forward to the collection in book form. I still prefer viewing prints on paper to viewing on the screen. I guess I'm just old fashioned that way.

PS I also have found the sharing of interesting forthcoming exhibitions a valuable feature of this group. Thanks..
Groups Beta