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*

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fireworks, July 4th, 2013

I'm planning to upgrade equipment and am in the process of selling some old gear, which is part of why I haven't shot much this summer. At least, that's one excuse. Image-making ebbs and flows. Since I finished my thesis and graduated in May, most of my free time has been devoted to cycling, yoga and reading, though I have defaulted to iPhone photography quite a lot. *hangs head in shame* I'll post an entry with some of those better shots.

However, last night I pulled out my old camera body, grabbed a memory card and shutter release, and we tumbled into the car to search for nearby fireworks displays.

First, we drove up to a hill in the Snail Lake Regional Park to see if any shows were visible along the skyline. A few trees marred our vision, but it was a decent location for a panorama of displays. Explosions boomed in stereo. Most were within twenty miles, and since my current longest telephoto is 50mm, the light-to-sky ratio is not impressive without cropping. At least DSLR sensors can handle that.

This is typical scale of the larger ones we saw from the car (though most were quite a bit smaller):

Due to mosquito overload, every image was shot through the windshield. Thanks to gorillapod for its stellar ability of wrapping around a steering wheel. I figured the lens would focus past the dirty windshield, which proved true.

I was curious to try shooting fireworks while moving the lens in and out of focus. During a long exposure that might create an interesting burst effect. I had a few successes. Here are my favorites (highly cropped, as we had turned the car toward what we guessed was the St. Paul display):

Matt prefers this more traditional burst:

We drove up the street to see if any shows were visible over the water of Snail Lake, and caught the tail end of some home displays. Matt chose these pics:

Whereas I like these results:

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikon AF 50mm f/1.4D, shutter release, gorillapod

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