The Benefits Of Holding A Project In Mind

Being someone whose mind is generally bubbling and whirring every waking hour, it’s always made sense to have some kind of project to set it to work on.

I’m all for some freestyle daydreaming, but this can too easily drift into worry and anxiety, if one’s mind doesn’t have some kind of positive direction or focus.

Recently, I realised my main “project” to contemplate was the lenses I owned. 

This manifested as me thinking about the lenses I have and love, those I have but either don’t use or don’t like, and those I might like to “complete” the collection.

Which gave me plenty to debate during the times my mind had nothing more intensive to concentrate on, and plenty of scope for dreaming and planning.


What this particularly project also led to was a bit of a spending spree on lenses I didn’t need. 

The lens project has subdued now, aside from needing to sell a few, and the next project that’s materialised concerns our garden, front and back, and how we can get more from it, for our three kids.

My past intentions of vegetable patches, abundant floral borders and perhaps a pond (ambitious, given the very modest size of the garden!) have gradually given way to the low maintenance practicalities of a child-friendly space, plus as large a trampoline as possible for our middle child who’s shown great passion and considerable talent for the sport.

The next door but one neighbour’s recent exterior overhaul involving extensive paving and astroturf (they have young kids too) suddenly seems terribly sensible and practical.

But I digress.

Since pondering these garden options though, my thoughts about lenses have dissipated hugely, as has my eBay viewing and purchasing.

My mind has moved on to another project, as no doubt it will again in due course.

How about you? Are you a constant thinker, and if so what do you like to think about?

Do you have projects you set your mind to work on – consciously and subconsciously?

And how much do you think about cameras and photography, when you aren’t actually out using them?

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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9 thoughts on “The Benefits Of Holding A Project In Mind”

  1. Well, there really are too many projects, so an iPad is needed to list them and update ideas and status. About 1/3 of the items now are photo-related – from watching instructional videos, to repairs, to lists of buy and sell.
    But really, I thought we were your main project.

    1. Ha ha, yes 35hunter is quite a project. I guess I’ve been blogging for so long it’s just part of my life, something I do, I don’t really think of it as project.

  2. Urgh, buying what you don’t need is a theme of my life! I recently bought rather a lot of acrylic paint, much more than I need. So, a lot of my time has been taken up with thinking up things to use them on! I got them for a couple of craft projects but there’s far more than I need just for those.

    I’ve also, strangely for me as I’ve been doing it for so many years, been unable to colour photos for many months. I just posted a ‘mystery pic’ to my colouring blog, but I wonder how long it’ll be before people get fed up that I’ve not posted any coloured ones for a while.

    The only photography I’ve done recently has been following the adventures of a couple of visiting hedgehogs and far, far too many baby birds. I hope to post about them to one of my other blogs one of these days.

    1. Hi Val, thanks for your thoughts. Why have you been unable to colour photos?

      My main trouble with buying I think is my love of a bargain. It’s very hard to resist a (used) lens or camera that I know could be capable of beautiful photos, and now costs a tiny fraction of what it did new.

      1. I understand the love of buying cheaply… 🙂 As for my not being able to colour photos, I’m not sure why, am still trying to find out. Some sort of psychological block.

  3. Always a project there is.

    I’m learning bottle and beverage photography.
    I’m doing an iPhone 365 project.
    I’m helping a photography group create a photo archive of historic bridges and buildings in Hunterdon County.
    I’m documenting the smaller nature trials in my area.
    I need to restart my lighthouses of New Jersey project.

    I don’t think about the gear except about how to bend it to my will. 😃

  4. It’s funny that I’m reading this just after my youngest son showed me the harvest of corn he’s ever got. Last year he tried but the corn didn’t yield anything…
    The beauty of living midway between urban area and countryside is that we are able to get a very nice size yard, but still live in a subdivision with sports courts and swimming pools…
    This is the third year for our vegetable garden and the best one so far. So expansion plans are taking place…
    Photography-wise, unfortunately gear is the main project for a lot of us, isn’t it? I’m trying to focus on actual pictures (no pun intended) this year but I ended up getting a lot more stuff than last year… and I keep thinking if I get that one or two more lenses, everything will be well 🙂
    My main recent challenge has been post-processing. but I’m fairly happy with what I get now, both in-camera and by processing RAWs which is mostly what I do with my CCD files.
    I should just shoot more pictures…

    1. Chris, we’re encouraging the kids in the garden in small ways, we have raspberry bushes, tomato plants, sunflowers, and we’re just this week starting a small herb garden in an old stone tub we inherited. Rosemary, thyme, mint, stuff we can actually use in cooking (and tea, with the mint leaves), plus some lemon balm and English Lavender for colour and fragrance. And to attract bees!

      Yeh gear is a very alluring project. It’s strange thinking back to when I had just a Nikon Coolpix (and before that just camera phones) and was blissfully unaware of the enormous range of gear out there. The irony is, even hundreds of cameras and lenses later, my photos and subject matter and style aren’t that different to those I was making with the Coolpix eight years ago.

      Still, I guess we can’t underestimate the fun and enjoyment factor with a variety of gear, and the challenge of creating something satisfying with a camera/lens that’s completely new to us.

      What’s that saying about the perfect number of lenses being n+1, where n is the number of lenses you already own? 🙂

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