Ah, the grand and near-mythical 365 Project: attempted by many, completed by more than a few, and thought about - and dismissed - by probably many more. I've thought about attempting this before: creating something new every single day for an entire year. It seemed unattainable; something completed by mad artists or students with lots of free time on their hands. Obviously that is not remotely the case, as many busy amateur and professional photographers undertake this intimidating task. I decided to do this quite literally last minute: I think it was about 11:30 PM on New Year's Day when I made the snap decision to just go for it.
The result is nothing spectacular, but I did what I could with what energy was left at that hour. If I'm not mistaken, (and I may very well be, it may have been Cartier-Bresson) Ansel Adams once said something to the effect of this: to create just a dozen great images in a year is an incredible feat. That is rather loosely translated from a distant memory of something I read, but it has stuck with me nonetheless. Even if Adams didn't say that, the man had some great deep thoughts on the art of the camera. With that in mind, I can't really beat myself up when every photo isn't AMAZING. It's also about learning, making mistakes, and experimenting.
So why is my 365 Project super-duper special? Well, it isn't. At least not to many - most - people. Those who stumble upon this blog, or happen to be a "Fan" on my Facebook Page, might find it kinda interesting, a little diversion from your day. I must confess that I am a terrible, terrible procrastinator, and have been my entire life. Homework, house work, job searching, editing, returning library books - all put off til the last (or too late) possible second. This, committing to something of this nature, is special for me for reasons unique to me.
Plainly, I'm tired of the excuses I make to NOT do something. One hang-up I had/have about this kind of endeavor, is that I don't always have time to break out the "good" camera. Well, I am lucky to have a snazzy new iPhone 5, which has a not-too shabby camera on it. So on days where I just can't get to my big guns and Alien Bee strobes, I'll have to make it work. This presents a challenge to not only see creatively every moment of the day (once I've had my coffee!), but to work within the limits of the tool at hand.
I've eschewed the various apps for photo editing for lacking flexibility, but the new options from the likes of Photoshop, Snapseed, and Camera Awesome let me enjoy a new degree of control and creativity. The level of commitment required from a 365 also demands a certain acceptance that not every image will be up to my usually harsh personal standards, especially on the technical side. However, each day will require that I exercise creative thought, adapted techniques, problem-solving, and vision. I am convinced that if [when!] I get to the end of the year and have stuck with it, I'll be surprised how much I've grown, both as a photographer and as a procrastinator.
I may not be thrilled by every day's photo that I create, but I will be damned pleased that I've kept my pledge that day. So, without further ado, here are the rest of the results from my first 9 days as a 365-er. Only 356 to go!