The year in photos, in song, to video

I've been taking a photo a day for nearly 1,000 days. I must say it's likely something I'll continue to do as I represents a wonderful way to tell the story of myself and my family. 

Last year I challenged myself to name all my photos of the day with a one word title and not repeating a word in the process. That was somewhat difficult but kept things interesting. The use of the daily shoot has been very useful for some, but I only use it sparingly since my priority is capturing our lives. For whatever reason, I decided that for 2010, I would attach a song to every photo of the day. That was not only challenging but time consuming and maybe even bordering on stupid. The stupid part comes from the fact that I know that at the end of the year, I take my photos and compile them into a video. (see 2008 and 2009) The video is something as a family we treasure more than any year end newsletter or summary could ever provide. The mix of significant, trivial and eventful photos truly give a sense of a year. The storytelling is indeed personal and leads to more stories that exist behind many images. In the past I've simply brought the images into imovie and added a soundtrack. Still it was a fair bit of work but nothing like I went through this year. I knew this as I began in January and intended to create a monthly video which I did for the first three months. Then I fizzled out and relinquished using a good part of my Christmas vacation to work on the project. 

So after approximately 24 hours of work, it's complete. 

A couple of footnotes:

  • There are not exactly 365 photos. I cross check my flickr photos and iphoto library and invariably miss a day or so a month, and some months have an extra photo. As you can see it's not as precise as one would assume. I think I have about 359 photos. The past 2 years I spent time making sure I hadn't missed. 
  • I unintentionally used the same song twice on 2 occasions. 
  • Many of the songs won't make sense. Some of the songs are inside jokes/stories or just lame efforts as I ran out of creative juices. 
  • I use Audacity to cut the songs, imovie to create the monthly videos and Final Cut Express to compile it. I did use FCE to edit February and so you may see a few different motion paths. 
  • I used my iphone more than ever this year. Particularly after I upgraded to the iphone 4, it does an excellent job. When I discovered HDR, i went a little nuts for a while. Thus the higher number of sky/landscape images this year. 
  • Continuing my association with others doing the same project is essential. i love seeing their photos from both a technical standpoint as well as a personal one. I even created a twitter account to feed all their photos there. I never post to it, only subscribe and have my contacts feed into it. 

I don't expect anyone to take 45 minutes and essentially watch a home movie but perhaps there's some inspiration, creativity you can use in the future even if you just watch parts of it. It's quite a visual and auditory onslaught I must admit. Not sure it's very artful but certainly unique. 

 I'm never likely to do this again but it did provide some creative juice for me throughout the year. I'm still thinking about a theme for 2011. Guaranteed it won't be this taxing. 


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  • tcomfort


    quite a work of art and a ton of work! Can’t say as I made it through the year. Well done!

  • Pam Thompson

    Great video Dean. It would have taken me a lot longer than 24 hours to put that together. I’m impressed with the way you matched your songs to the pictures – wish I was that creative. Thanks for sharing. You’ve given me a few ideas for my 365 photos :-)

  • Allanah King

    I am impressed. Not only with those of us that managed the whole year but the breadth of your musical knowledge to match the photo with a complimentary song. I hope you weren’t having to pay for each of those tracks. I’m taking an easier option and printing off an iPhoto book.

  • Melanie Holtsman

    I LOVE watching your video every year. Even though I have seen most of the individual images on flickr or twitter along the way…the video does tell a captivating story. I feel like I really do know the Shareskis and I love the way that you share them with us virtually. I am so impressed by your theme ideas.

    As I was determined to complete the 365 project this year, every time I thought of stopping I remembered that if I did I wouldn’t be able to make a cool video like Dean does at the end of the year. So…look later today for my first video project posting. I’m almost done! Thanks for inspiring me and I’m sure so many others as well!

    • Dean Shareski

      Thanks Melanie,

      You’re welcome at my house anytime. I look forward to watching your video too.

  • gerovital

    I have a dog like in the video:)

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