IF a picture says 1000 words then 2013 is the time for me to say a great deal. Some people begin the new year with resolutions. I’m beginning the new year with a regimented campaign.

So this doesn't happen every day…

This will be the year that I record each day one image at a time. Well, this will be the second year that I stop each day to take a picture.

Back in 2011, I began my first 365, inspired by the power of my then new iPhone 4 and the vague idea that I should do something with it. The old rule for photographers is that the best camera is the one you have with you. One of the unexpected results of the smartphone explosion is that if you give people a simple camera to take with them everywhere, then everywhere they go they will simply want to take pictures.

When I started my 365, I had vague ideas of improving my photographic skills. If I had to look for an interesting photo each day, was my logic, eventually that hunt would become a matter of course.

It turns out that taking a photo is just part of a 365 journey. When you set out to translate your life into a picture, you begin to focus on what parts of each day make it into the frame.

Mere moments become memories. The passing of each day creates a bigger picture. But there is more to it than that. This taking a picture of your life can be more about looking out than in.

While this probably does happen every day…

Some people attack a 365 in a solitary manner. I prefer the social approach. Back in 2011, I started my journey by joining a Flickr group of more than 800 people. Each day as I share my life, I also found people who wanted to share theirs.

There was the businessman in Canada who documented with dignity the passing of his mother.

There was the woman in Michigan who took photos even on those days when she dealt with trauma of yet another miscarriage.

Then there was the man in England who used the project to tackle, and conquer, his battle with anxiety.

There is a bunch of us, a gang formed back in 2011, who continue to share our photos each day and our lives along with it.

There have been moments of happiness, moments of sadness and many moments that were, well, ordinary. Along the way, photos were shared and friendships were formed.

Some of the pictures were special. So were some of the connections. About a quarter of us who started that 365 project in 2011 made it to the end. A year, it turns out, is a very long time.

But many of us who did make it to finish line are back for one more time.

Taking a picture a day seems like an easy task. Bring out your camera, point and shoot. And some days it is easy. Some days you go interesting places and see interesting things.

Other days it all same old, same old. You take the same route to work, sit at the same desk and travel home in the very same way. Some days you take pictures you are proud of, other days you take pictures that are just about staying in the game.

And sometimes the mundane is beautiful…

There are people who like to predict the year ahead. I have no idea what 2013 will bring us, all I know is whatever it brings I’ll be ready to capture with the camera in my iPhone 5.

This will be a year I look forward to a new challenge. It’s a challenge that, when it’s over, will let me put the year in perspective, one frame at a time.

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9 comments

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    • iansand says:

      07:09am | 01/01/13

      I have never done a 365, but carrying a camera makes you look at the world in a different way.  If you are looking to find interesting things to photograph you will find them, and your world becomes more interesting through those discoveries.

    • Philosopher says:

      11:18am | 01/01/13

      I can’t take anyone seriously who uses the phrase ‘my journey’ in any sense other than literal, as in, ‘my journey from Newcastle to Port Kembla’. Also, the rise of phone cameras means nothing more than a tsunami of asinine, poorly-composed, pointless and inept happy snaps.

    • NotSoSimple says:

      02:49pm | 01/01/13

      Pointless and inept “snaps” have been around since the dawn of photography, Phil, don’t be a snob. They may have been more dificult to produce in the beginning, but not every early photograph was artistic or worthwhile.

      Since simple cameras became cheap, ie The Box Brownie, The Polaroid etc happy snaps have been on the rise. It gives people pleasure, helps them to record a memory. What’s so bad about that? Not everyone who can use a keyboard is a writer and not everyone who picks up any kind of camera is an artist - many are though. For them, the camera’s lens becomes a magical means of expression.

      I love Rod’s idea. Have often thought about doing something similar myself. I wish him all the best.

    • Philosopher says:

      03:41pm | 01/01/13

      yes, the photo of the NY train bearing down on the poor man on the tracks, was certainly memorable. I just wonder what is was actually expressing?

    • iansand says:

      04:25pm | 01/01/13

      Someone on flickr tried an experiment in one of the wankier groups.  They posted a shot by Henri Cartier-Bresson and asked for critique.  The result was wonderful - a chorus of pretentious twaddle from the self proclaimed experts.  Were you one of them?

      There is a fundamental truth underpinning all artistic endeavour - if you like it, it is good art.  But for whatever else is art produced than to enliven the senses, and it would be a boring old world if everyone had the same aesthetic sensibility.

    • Not So Simple says:

      04:45pm | 01/01/13

      You’re referring to an extreme example human thoughtlessness.The photo itself was however, incredibly poignant and dramatic, if the act of photographing the man’s distress instead of helping him seemed callous. I’d liken it’s impact to war photography. The relative merits of whether it should have been published (in a newpaper, not social media) are debatable. They are the relevant points in your comment, not photography itself,  which has always served a multitude of purposes, from the simple happy snap, to reportage, to high art. Nothing has changed, just the volume.

    • Elliotwb says:

      11:30am | 01/01/13

      As a previous (failed) 365er, I’m back this year also. The first time I did it, it was all about being a better photographer. This time it’s more about documenting my 30th year.
      Good luck sticking it out in 2013 Rod!

    • Thin-Ice Skater says:

      01:36pm | 01/01/13

      Is one of your happy snaps a photo of your good self taken in front of a mirror.

    • Jenni says:

      03:29pm | 01/01/13

      Sounds like fun - I’m in smile


      ... some (about half LOL) days may be a bit of a challenge for me, as I work in a secure environment where cameras and phones are not allowed. That gives me only the hour drive to/from work each day to find something interesting wink

 

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