Beginnings (the start of a visual journey in 2010)

Many widely recognized yearly photographic efforts are made by the likes of Jim Brandenburg, among others, but I decided to undertake this series for many reasons. The first spark occurred when I came across a collaborative daily blog turned written documentation, A Year of Mornings, which appealed in a human way. It was a part of the photographers' daily lives, a document of the passage of time, as well as an aesthetic effort.

This project is designed to amass a series of related and unrelated images as they flow and feed off of each other, creating a vision of a whole year of experience.

A larger reason to shoot so much was to force myself to continue to push images. Some days I have projects in mind, other days I'm inspired with a flash of insight, and some days I think, "damn, what am I going to create tonight?" Either way, I've kept going.

When this series began I thought of it as a 365+ project because the goal was to have the equivalent of a year's worth of daily images that would follow and reveal twelve months. But, because I'm also working and a full-time graduate student as well as a human being with other interests, I gave myself the leeway of not photographing every day, so long as the final number of images surpasses 365. When I began posting on a social network site, I started by sharing an average of two photographs a day; by the end of January it looked as though the quantitative goal would be reached halfway through the year. I tend to work in series and like to show context, so a challenge has been paring down daily posts to just one or two images. With this blog I will try to be more particular and share no more than two photos per day.

Thus far, we're 1/12th of the way through and not a day has been missed. More importantly, though, I feel the tendrils of inspiration not previously imagined, and for that reason, this already feels like a success.

Please enjoy, contemplate, comment and share with your friends.


March is drawing to a close, which marks the completion of 1/4 of the year and this project.

Reviewing the images I'm pleased by some and bored by others. Many photographs would not make the cut were it not a daily regimen. But, though I missed one day due to illness and, technically supplanted one day's picture amongst its vacation brethren during the week and a half of Alaska photos, the gears are still rolling.

The images I've been more pleased with have been the light/color compositions, although projects such as the water droplets, reverse lens macro, smoke and TTV photography were also highlights. Where I seem to grow stagnant are with images relating more directly to documenting me or my life, especially the mundane, but perhaps that's personal perception. April will be kicked off with a weekend in Chicago.

Keep on checking in as I keep on keepin' on. Recent layout goodies includes the ability for you, oh honored viewer, to rate posts and vote on imagery types.


As June winds down, 365+ nears its crest. Counting back, however, just over one hundred images remain to be posted.

These past few months I've embraced the loose design of the project and shifted into a relaxed schedule of posts. In favor of sharing greater context and more consistently solid imagery while maintaining an eye on the year as a whole, I may not shoot or post every day, but continue to translate the spirit of the time. Early July marks the beginning of the descent and holds the promise of visual adventure as I head back to Alaska.

Please be aware of new links on the right column noting Artists, inspiration and intriguing ideas or commentary.
*Clicking on most photos will enlarge the image*

Monday, February 1, 2010

January 7 ~ mittens

Shooting through a TLR with a DSLR is tricky, at least with a lens with a focus distance of twelve inches. Because I wanted to shoot intimate imagery rather than the room at large, I also needed to use close focus filters in front of the TLR lens.

Over the past few years I've become more interested in camera gear despite my general luddite tendencies, however I still often comment that my overall interest in the art of the composition overrides the technical bits enough to make me wish I were a painter. However, my sometimes impetuous bent favors the instant gratification of photography, where I can stretch and build creative muscles quickly. I also often use what's available and improvise rather than doing things "properly." The previous statements may seem to contradict what I've written in my profile about film teaching slowness, but there's room for careful consideration to sleep with eager trial and error.

In this case, shooting was tricky enough without having to hold the incorrect diameter focus filters in one hand, but, that's life. I have a 49mm set that were used for my 50mm 1.8 Pentax lens, and they've worked fine all month with various projects involving different diameter lenses. I wanted to make the picture then, rather than investing in another set of filters later, so I made it work. Subsequently, shooting this image had me checking focus, flicking to manual focus in order to protect the lens motor while it was halfway encased in the aperture of the foot-long cardboard connecting "contraption" tube, and generally handling the DSLR with one hand while the other hand stretched to hold the close focus filter stack in front of the TLR lens (I could not fashion a method to keep them in place). The TLR was also mounted on a tripod to hold the entire getup steady, which meant some neck craning was involved.

There's room for improvement on that method, but, it makes a funny mental image. And, the resulting photograph doesn't give away a hint of the chaos involved in its creation. I adjusted the saturation to enhance the aged feel and decrease the presence of the TLR's focus screen grid.

Gear: Yashica-D TLR, Nikon D90, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, close-focus filters, Manfrotto legs/head, cardboard, electrical tape

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