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*

Sunday, June 13, 2010

June 12 ~ a philosophy of images

Photographer Chase Jarvis recently began a campaign encouraging everyone, professional and novice alike, to shoot whenever the moment strikes. Pleasantly free of technical constraints, the philosophy is simple: the best camera is the one that's with you.

Perhaps a year ago, a friend and colleague said, "all you need is a box with a hole in it." That elicits the vision of a pinhole camera (which is becoming an oddly, perhaps ironically common-place scene mode on compact and micro 4/3 cameras), but I like to imagine that there's an APS-C or larger sensor on the other side of that hole (which is filled with a prime lens), or maybe even a 35mm or 4x5 negative, if not something even sexier to the camera obsessed crowd. But, a chimp could wield a set-up worth twenty grand and never produce the insightful images a thoughtful artist may create with the simplest point-and-shoot. Given the chance, perhaps we'd get some interesting results if a hundred chimps were let loose with a hundred systems, but, who would want to clean up?

When someone asks my opinion I'll gauge the content of our conversation but try to remain true to the point, although certain equipment may be more versatile, what counts is the person behind the camera. "You be the zoom. Use your feet." "The camera isn't always right-- it doesn't know what you're shooting." And so forth. I can be snobby about lenses until the cows come home but that doesn't change the fact that wonderful imagery can be made via the cheapest equipment.

Last night I attended a pal's birthday bash at the 400 Bar in Minneapolis. The opening band and Ada Jane played great sets, cupcakes were on hand, dancing was had, and I cursed myself for forgetting my pocket camera. But, I made an image anyway. Even though the resolution makes me weep (well, at least wince)--and please, honored viewer, for the love of all that is upheld as proper in digital photography, please don't magnify the image with your handy loupes or command-plus key strokes--remember that this is posted because the idea is where it starts, and sometimes visual impact is possible without smooth tones. The aura hits close to the vision.

Gear: mobile phone LG VX8360

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