one-a-day photo: first week

Recently, I’ve been reading a lot about being (or becoming) a photographer – both in books and on the net. And one of the predominant memes I’ve encountered is the notion of taking at least one picture every day. It seems there are a lot of people producing 365 photographic diaries on the interwebs and I thought it would be a good idea to join them and start one of my own.

This is definitely an attitude I subscribe to. As they say, practice makes perfect. When I first came to London I carried an SLR with me all the time, everywhere I went. First, an Olympus OM2N – a fantastic piece of kit, small light, intuitive and a joy to use. Then, after the OM2 had been nicked, a Nikon F3 with a 35mm F2 lens – heavy, solid dependable and a bit of a burden, but a fantastic camera and lens.

It was the cost of film and processing that stopped me from taking more pictures. I’d watch with envy, TV programmes on famous photographers, seeing them shoot twenty or thirty rolls without the slightest concern about cost. Nevertheless, I carried a camera around with me a lot of the time and I shot whenever I could. Looking back, I wish I’d taken a lot more – I’d have a better record of my life and of London and I’m certain I’d be a much better photographer.

Introducing the one-a-day gallery

All this pre-amble is simply to introduce a new set of photos in my blog: my own one-a-day gallery. Originally, I thought I’d do a full 365 picture gallery – a complete year in one go, but I’ve realised this will be a mistake. It will take steadily longer to update as it grows and will be a real pain to navigate. So, I’ll do a monthly gallery – ie one gallery for each month in the year – and the first full week of the first year is now complete.

Already there’s an interesting spin-off. I’ve attempted many times to write a journal over the years, to record what’s been going on in my life, mostly  because, my memory is becoming increasingly random, but also because on some days lots of odd and interesting (at least to me) things happen. Needless to say, I’ve never managed to keep up this activity, I’m a very slow and erratic typist and I rarely have a quiet moment to use the dictation software I have – oh, and writing takes a lot of thought. Unintentionally, the one-a-day gallery the has become a sort of journal.

The photographic approach is much more up my street and fits very nicely with the other projects I’m working on. However, choosing to take a photo and selecting one image to represent a varied ( and often long) day is no trivial task. Do you shoot continuously and hope for the best? Or pick a moment and try for your best shot? It seems so simple – you take a picture and post it in the gallery, but the reality is more complex, there are lots of angles to consider. Even remembering to do it is not easy  either – I only just managed to get a picture taken on day eight, I was too preoccupied with many other tasks.

Rules of the game

I’ve added a rule to this process, to make things a little more challenging and to add an element of discipline, every photo posted has to be straight out of the camera. The only modification is made by Lightroom to make the file a suitable size for the web. There is no post-processing. This means I have to concentrate on getting a good image from the start, no “fix it in photoshop later” – a good discipline, which I guess ought to apply every time I press the shutter button. So far (nine images) I’m not doing so well, let’s see if things improve.

So, here you have it – my one-a-day gallery –  a task that’s proving to be a lot more tricky than I thought it would be- but I am looking forward to the challenge.

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