Single in January - So how'd you go?


Super Moderator Emeritus
Down Under
Please only post here once your 31 days is said and done....and let us know how you fared.
What you learned, what you enjoyed and what you toiled through.

For me, now that I'm done making images, I can honestly say that I'll look back on this month fondly. The challenge was certainly responsible for some images that I might not otherwise have made. It forced me to get out there and shoot. I'm a little disappointed I didn't challenge myself a little more - with some portraits and/or street shots. But I was still very glad for every second I spent out there with the GF1. I really got to know and love this little camera. And the PL25? Well let's just say I now love it more than ever. It is a stellar lens and I'll be glad to always have and refer to it as my "normal".

To each and every one of you that came along for this bumpy ride - I thank you! It has been a pleasure to get to know a few of you better and to have witnessed the images you created. I only hope that February sees some of these printed large and hung they richly deserve. I also hope a little of SiJ remains with you - even as a fond memory - for the rest of your photographic days.



Had a great time, really enjoyed seeing all the amazing images people created, really got the feeling that we all become much closer by participating in this event, blown away by how many stuck it out to the end, also want to thank everybody who looked at or commented on my images. But now I am thrilled that it is over, the X10 will get a well deserved rest and the rest of the team will be able to come out and play.
Again thank you all, I had a blast


Melbourne, Australia
Phoenix Gonzales
Never having to participate in a challenge like this it has been a rollercoaster ride for me, there were days where I felt pretty happy with what I've posted (OMG, I'm a genius!! :laugh1:) and there were days where I felt like a total failure (bloody hell..I cant believe I posted that :dash2:), having said that though, Some of the images posted by the participants were among the best images I have ever seen.

I have learned a lot from the comments people gave, whether it was praise or constructive criticism, I definitely feel that I have evolved as a photographer. Not only did it help give me the boost I needed when I was feeling burnt out but It also gave me ideas for some projects I may want to do in the future. I have also learned many things from looking at images posted by other participants of how taking a photo of something ordinary and making it extraordinary by being able to see from another person's point of view. I'm relatively new to this community but I feel that I have developed a bond with my fellow participants.

Gear-wise, I took a prudent approach when I decided to throw my hat in the ring and participated in the challenge, I had my NEX-5 (my only camera at the moment) and decided to use a lens that's not too wide, not too narrow, and capable in low light just in case I had to take low light shots (which ended up being 90% of all my shots) so I decided to use a 35mm 1.2. The challenge really made me think outside the square and made me utilise every function my camera has to offer, not doing any post processing to any of my photos leaves me very little room for error, I have to get it right when I take the shot. I gave my NEX-5 and 35mm 1.2 a very good work out, I took candids, portraits, landscapes, and low lights (actually most of them are) and I am satisfied with the result. I have also found that my chosen combo does great in low light (hence I ended up with heaps of them) the combination of the lens' 1.2 aperture, and the NEX's sensor and anti motion blur function made it possible to do long exposures hand held without a tripod.

Anyway, before I get totally carried away I want to say Thank you to my fellow participants, you have provided some of the best images I have ever seen. and Thank you to everyone who has left a comment to any of my images, you have gave me ideas for the future (you know who you are :tongue:), helped me when I was feeling down, and have helped me a grow as photographer.

I am very happy that I was able to participate in this challenge.


Old Codgers Group
Cheers everyone

Let me say straight away that I'm in a position where I have been able to devote as little or as much time to the SIJ project as I like. I take my hat off to those of you who have work and/or family commitments that limit your time, I know that I could not have done it had I been in that situation. Also I'd like to thank Mark for organising this and acting as a guide and giving encouragement at every stage, and BB who tirelessly comments on everyones efforts. Likewise I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to comment on my efforts, it is much appreciated.

I chose my Voigtlander 12mm lens mainly on the basis that it was an underused lens in my collection. I intended to mainly do landscape work, although many days there were flat and uninteresting skies. What has surprised me is the use to which this lens can be put with regard to "street" photography. My world tends to be a very uncrowded one, so stealth has no place and I can't get lost in a crowd. As an inherently shy person I was surprised at my ability to ask for permission to photograph people going about certain tasks. So far I've had no refusals, albeit on a very small sample. With the short focal length I had to be up close for the person to have much impact on the photograph. It has opened my eyes to both human nature and other aspects of photography.

The only cropping I've done has been where it was necessary to correct the horizon, also where I altered the shooting aspect of 4:3 to 3:2, although here I preserved the long dimension. I felt that this would preserve the wide angle nature of the lens. My processing in Bibble Pro 5 has been as minimal as I can possibly make it.

I haven't felt able to comment on every photograph, so please forgive me for that, but I found this to be the most difficult part of the challenge.

This project came at an important time for me and meant that I went out every day in the month, something that I would certainly not otherwise have done. All my photographs have been taken within 6 miles of my house and 18 of them from walking out of my back door. So yes, an enjoyable experience. I'm in two minds about being free to use other lenses now, certainly for general everyday photography, it introduces another element of choice which might get in the way of making the photograph.

So, it's cheers everyone, and even Sooty is giving you all a friendly wave.

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Hall of Famer
Perth, Western Australia
Bill Shinnick
The SIJ is not my natural way to take photos - I like to mix and match my kit and not take photos when I don't feel like it. I have been blown away with the quality of the work of others who have the gifts of an artist's eye and the skill to bring the image into being. I've learned from people's comments on work that images I might not 'like' have a lot to offer and the critiques pointed this out to me.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my photos and I tried to comment on all of yours - simply because I have the time in abundance. I am awed at how some of you managed this challenge while having work and family.

Thanks to Mark for his 'husbandry' of this different bunch of cattle. Will I take it on again - I'm tempted to say no (but I also said that after the SIJuly last year). I intend to go back to the gallery from time to time to enjoy the wonderful range of images there.


Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer

I really enjoyed it! I wasn't sure if I would; I am a card-carrying rebel against anything that requires me to "do X by Y", but I have actually enjoyed the discipline. I deliberately put on a couple of extra constraints - monochrome only, and HiBW mode at that. It has meant that at times I have had to work a little harder, but it has also got me out of a scrape or two in terms of removing clutter. I found myself cropping (rarely) and dodging and burning (a lot) through the month, but generally what I got was what I had visualised. At the start of the month I probably had 3-5 shots in mind; the rest evolved as I went along, and some I saw on one day I kept for another.

Overall, I have done faaar too many "found still-lifes" but that was a consequence of just not having enough time every day to get out and about with work and other commitments. I have welcomed and relished the comments and I owe a huge debt of karma because I haven't commented for ages - I will try to redress at least some of that balance this week.

I have also shot more and different things than usual. I have enjoyed being "in the zone" and actively seeking images. I fear that my sense of humour has come out, both in titles and visually, for which I do apologise :rolleyes:

I've started to pull the images into a book already, but I would also like to contribute to the book being mooted in another thread - I shall go "over there" shortly.

My huge thanks to organisers and fellow participants alike for the supportive atmosphere and the sense of "all in this together" that saw us through to the finish line in fine style. There are some cracking images that have been produced in the last month and I am proud to have been part of this.


Super Moderator Emeritus
Down Under
I know I've had my say but....

It's the first day of non-January, also known as February, and it's a little before 6am. I just peered through the curtains after providing some comments. The landscape is starting to light and it is at about this time that I'd normally shoulder my bag and venture out into the world to shoot some safeties. But without SiJ I find myself at the laptop typing this, and looking through the curtain again, with a mixture of relief and sadness.


Zen Snapshooter
I got much better acquainted with my x-10 because I didn't back away as easily when the shooting conditions were difficult. Rather than thinking "not a good shot" I was more likely to think "what's the best I can do and can I fix any remaining problems in PP?". I'm glad I created the mini--gallery but the experience I gained with the X-10 was invaluable for future photography.

Steve Noel

Casey County, KY
I will say up front that I have never before entered into any kind of challenge. But I have had fun, and disappointment. Had a bit of handicap with immobility, but many others had difficulties, and yet completed. :th_salute:

I used the only camera I have, Pentax K20, that I had been graciously given special permission to use.:yahoo: I had only recently acquired it and was not really comfortable with it. I have come to like it pretty well and developed a good working relationship with it. It does what I ask of it. Only complaint is the weight, but that has been a help to give these old hands some stability. I decided to use the Pentax 50mm f2.0, that I had found a few days before, in the local peddler's mall for $10.00, not considered to be the best around, but I did not feel too handicapped with the combination. Couple of times I wished for a wide angle.

I began to become aware that most of my pictures have a "look" that I had not striven for, but is very noticeable, after looking at so many styles posted here. I think I need to work at expanding my "look". Not sure where that will take me. Probably not too far from my last 50 years clickin'. Old dog new tricks!

Not sure about new adventures/challenges here, but bring'em on. I'll take a look. Thank every one, for your encouragement and friendship. I know we are not really Friends yet, but it seems like it and you have made me feel welcome. Thanks!


>> What you learned, what you enjoyed and what you toiled through.

First of all, THANK YOU and all the moderation staff for this great opportunity. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

I set out to learn if my E-PM1 could take the place of my DSLR for one of my favorite genres - architecture. Many of the photographs taken echo ones I've taken in the past, but that actually allowed me to concentrate a little more on the gear and make the best of it, as the difference previously was that I knew the gear nearly perfectly but was learning the shots. Knowing the shots let me experiment a little and to also learn the gear. I tell you now, there are shots in that portfolio that I took four or so times before I was happy with them. The shot of the Battell Chapel Stained Glass door for one... and I am still shaking my head over that one. The one I will post tonight I also tried four times. Looks like I might finally have gotten it. Point is here that I do seem always to get it with this camera. And that is all that counts.

Long story short, with some very minor reservations, I think the answer is yes, this can take the place of my DSLR for many, many things. My reservations are split between the body and the lens used. The lack of dynamic range means the highlights get pretty blown at times, and sometimes this leads to a very unpleasant kind of distortion. I've noticed that where this occurs, the camera can and does sometimes seemingly try to compensate and in the JPGs at least, there is detail loss and smearing, despite having various noise setting set very low. I will likely show what I mean in the "not" thread, or perhaps post more on this later in this thread. I noted this often at hard edges, the light can spill over, "bloom" and occlude the lines of the edge. It feels like Mu43 is a little more susceptible than APS-C. On the other hand, it is something to be worked around, and I am committed to doing so at this point.

The only real complaint I have about the 9-18mm perhaps is purple fringe. I left it in place in many of my photos. I thought about removing it, but I also wanted people to see when and where it crops up. Otherwise I found it a competent lens. Very compact, easy to work with, and pretty darned sharp when you want it to be (clarification and USM in PP really help here). I feel sometimes that the level of detail across the frame is better than some of my DSLR favorites. It's a decent lens and definitely worth the money, especially if a bargain can be had on the second-hand market.

As an aside, I have absolutely zero... ZERO CBA/LBA/GAS at this point. I don't need a thing. I have what I want and what I like. Well, maybe the 14mm, but that's really about it.

I struggled last week for photos, but more because the conditions id not favor photography. They eventually drove me inside, and I was glad I held the stairwells in reserve.

Commenting was the hardest thing for me. Loved it all. Enjoyed it all, but had no time to comment consistently on everything. Tried my best, and my hat is off to all who stuck this out. great job, and i enjoyed it a great deal. I think I learned some things as well...

Thanks again. I look forward to the next one!

Another learning experience. Reinforced my feelings from the July 2011 challenge that I hate having to take photographs when I am not of a mood to do so. I guess that makes me not a proper photographer.

I learned that I tend to treat my digital cameras in much the same way as film... that is, I don't take hundreds of shots, I try to shoot as if I have only 24-36 shots available. I keep surprising myself by coming home and finding that I have only taken 20 or 30 on each outing. Its not something I do consciously, but I guess I am trying to get the best I can each time I hit the shutter release. When I do come home with 70-100, about 3/4 end up in the trash (which reminds me that I need to go through and trash quite a few from when I first acquired a DSLR that could do high speed. That was mad)

I don't think it very likely I'll join the next challenge, if there is to be another this year.
Sij 013112

I have to start by saying thanks to everyone that participated.
All the photographs and generous spirits added warmth and joy to the process.
We clearly have a varied group of people, experiences and approaches to photography.
Photography is the best thing going though isn't it?
As for me, I had been becoming aware of not forcing things.
These January days and the regular deadlines had me thinking about that more than once.
In the end the photographs I am happiest with came from being present and working simply.
The x10 has proven to be a good companion in that pursuit. It's discreet and quick.
I still have one to do for today.
See you all on the flickr pages.
Keep Eager.
Wow! What a challenge that was - and I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. Saying goodbye to my car just as the challenge begun made it all the harder. Limited to where I could go as well as with what gear I could use. My legs still ache almost daily from the effort of cycling but I feel all the better for the exercise and I'm sure the mental exercise this challenge has given me will be equally rewarding. It's certainly quelled any GAS attacks for the foreseeable.

Very impressed by many of the pictures submitted by others and the comments and feedback was both entertaining and instructional. Also impressed by the vision and eloquence expressed by some - certainly highlighted how much I have yet to learn as both a photographer and a critic. My thanks to everyone who participated. It was a pleasurable journey and experience. Tough in parts, but as they say - no pain no gain..


Ottawa, Canada
Just put up my last picture. I've enjoyed the process and have certainly gone out and taken pics I would not otherwise have taken given the weather. But most of all I've enjoyed looking at all the other images and tried to comment although I've fallen woefully behind in the last few days.

I want to thank all the people who have looked at and commented on my pictures. It's been a very useful exercise. Amongst other things, I've learned that I should think more about cropping that I don't always see the most interesting image right away.

Would I do this again? Yes, but only when the weather is better.

Three cheers for everybody. It's done!


betwixt and between
Just uploaded the final photograph for the SIJ.

I am definitely glad that I "rebought" the Fuji X10 - and think it packs a lot in its well made retro body. It could easily be my only camera, that said I'm glad to have its older sibling...and will look forward to taking it out for a spin soon. I can say that I've gotten to know my X10 quite well and feel strongly about its versatility.

Have the SIJ made me carry my camera with me everywhere and showed me that when one least expects a photo op - there it is! I think this has probably been the biggest plus for me about the SIJ on a personal basis. In addition, the SIJ has also encouraged me to go the extra mile. Where normally I would have just let the great light go, this time I didn't. Instead, I got up and got out to make the most of it. (I really lucked out in the weather department which was a big plus, I know.)

I've so enjoyed seeing everyone's pictures...and still have a bunch to catch up on which I will most definitely do. Looking at the pictures has been a little bit like going on a trip with you all...or like being neighbors. I feel I've gotten a much better feeling for many of you all and have found it quite wonderful to be able to experience at least some parts of your daily lives through your photographs. Your generosity has been wonderful.

If it weren't for Mark, none of us would have done this and his unflagging enthusiasm and support has been stellar. I also want to thank each one of you for your photographs, your thoughts on your own pictures, as well as your comments on everyone else's. These efforts have been great gifts.

Three cheers for al!l And for those who are still uploading...fear not, we'll all be here waiting for you! Then we can all say "We did it!":yahoo::drinks:

Duane Pandorf

Top Veteran
Western NC
I too just finished posting my last image. I've been shooting with the 28mm lens now since last April when I bought my first Ricoh, the GRDIII. I've been using the Ricoh GXR with 28mm module since this past fall. So I've gotten comfortable shooting with this lens. I've also gotten in the habit of carrying my camera with me all the time.

I'm still trying to figure my way around photography and this month has really forced me to find some creativity I may have. I'm an accountant by education, pilot to feed me and the family, and I only took on art class while in college (Art History) so I could get my degree.

I want to thank all of you who have commented on my images. I'm sorry I didn't comment as much as I could have as more times than not I had no idea of what to say.

I used everyone of my images on my blog for my PAD and I'm not sure how I can keep this up for a year.

Tomorrow I will finally begin to shoot with another lens as I have the Ricoh M Mount module sitting in its box waiting on a lens I bought that arrives tomorrow (Leica 40mm f/2.0). I see a Single in February as I try to figure out how to use a manual only focusing lens!


Hall of Famer
I have to throw my two cents in even though I couldn't participate. After getting ready for vacation and being gone two weeks, then the following jetlag.. I wasn't able to get into this however I do want to say in those two weeks I was gone I did take several cards full of photos and almost exclusively with my new G12. (Yeah Canon announces the new one AFTER I just purchase) I only grabbed my DSLR once. So in a way I did participate, just separately. ;) Good for all of you for sticking with it!