366 Days of Photos

If there’s anyway to summarize a year, this might be the best way. Thanks to D’Arcy Norman for encouraging this, I joined several others in attempting to shoot a photo a day for the entire year.

This was a fascinating endeavor.  I learned a number of things, some which I can articulate and some I’m sure are impossible to assess, quantify or measure. For the record, here are a few things about the project:

  • I uploaded 2164 photos to flickr this year.
  • I shot the most in June (395) and the fewest in November (65)
  • I was able to shoot a photo and upload almost everyday. I did miss a few this fall and winter but used a photo from a previous day about 10 times.
  • I shot most with my Canon SD 750 but also used my wife’s, daughter’s, father-in-law’s, my cellphone, a few screenshots, movie captures and scans. In particular I began using my iphone quite a bit since I got it in September. I usually carry my camera with me at all times.
  • This was my most viewed photo.
  • I look at my photos a lot.
  • This photo received the most comments.
  • This and this were my favourite from a composition standpoint.
  • This graph shows how my photos were composed.

graph

I’m not sure I’m going to do the same next year but I’m glad I did this in 2008. I know I shoot way better photos, look for great lighting, interesting angles and simply appreciate the world around me.  Many of my friends and family were aware of my project and began offering ideas for a great photo. Having a year of our lives captured so well is something really valuable.

If you’ve got a spare 27 minutes have a watch and listen. I used my daughter’s music as a soundtrack. At present I have the original so it may take a while to load.  Press, play, then pause and let it load. Go visit another site and comeback in a few minutes.


A Year in Photos from shareski on Vimeo.
Update: After watching the DVD of my photos with friends and family, they’ve encouraged me to do it again this year. In fact, my wife and daughter want to try it for themselves.

366 Update

Being part of the photo a day project has been for the most part a great learning experience. Prior to this year, I had been an avid flickr user and photography enthusiast. This project has elevated this and strengthened my appreciation for the power of imagery, composition and community.

366 Mosaic
Imagery

I’ve written at lengths and perhaps ad nauseum about the value of imagery. But the idea of mindful seeing is certainly something that has become a part of my day. Good storytellers listen intently to others. They find beauty in words. I remember a few years ago reading about Barbara Ganley taking her camera on walks and her efforts to embed photography into her writing classes. The idea of always having a camera with me stuck. My family and friends know it’s always with me and they too are seeing things they never saw and calling on me to capture moments. This is actually one reason I’ve fought moving to a larger SLR and have stuck with my compact camera.

Composition

One of the greatest features of digital photography is the low cost of failure. Taking a photo everyday forces you to be creative. It’s been interesting to develop vocabulary and understanding of composition and at the same time playing without really understanding why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’ve taught several introductory courses on digital photography and can’t emphasis enough the value of taking a gazillion photos.  No doubt it adds to her workload but I’m better at culling prior to downloading. Yet it still takes time. I still use iPhoto as my primary orgainzer/editor. I’m comfortable with its funtionality.  On rare occasions I use Aperture or Fireworks but iPhoto is my mainstay.

Community

This is obviously the key to this project. I subscribe to all the members of this group and have pretty much viewed all their photos. Knowing we are all trying to learn together, and yet have no formal ties, makes this a really interesting community. I’ve definitely learned from many and at times consciously and other times subconciously have copied their styles. Why wouldn’t you?  The community has also done well encouraging one another via comments. Of the 52 members, I’d say almost all have kept up and are active and those who have not, who cares?

I’d like to set up something similar for our schools this year. I’m not sure how I’d structure it but knowing the value I’ve found in this along with my push to include more intentional uses of images in learning makes think I have to figure out how. Any ideas are welcome.