"People who go about seeking to change the world, to diminish suffering, to demonstrate any kind of enlightenment, are often as flawed as anybody else. Sometimes more so. But it is the awareness of having faults, I think, and the knowledge that this links us to everyone on Earth, that opens us to courage and compassion. It occurs to me often that many of those I deeply love are flawed. They might actually have said or done some of the mean things I’ve felt, heard, read about, or feared. But it is their struggle with the flaw, surprisingly endearing, and the going on anyhow, that is part of what I cherish in them." Alice Walker

02 April 2011

365Days: Notes three months in to 2011

Well I'm now three months into my 365Days project. My intention was to take one photo per day using Instagram on my iPhone, then upload the image immediately to Flickr. I'd then collate all the individual photos, add tags and descriptions into a set in Flickr. It's been interesting because it hasn't always gone as I'd planned.




My findings into this project so far:
  • Leave me alone days: Most days I will come across something I want to photograph. Because I always have my phone near me. It's easy; I shoot, upload and it's done. But I'm surprised that there are some days when I actually want to photograph nothing. I think that occasionally I'm just really in no mood to communicate; and the project (and photography) is a form of communication. Three months in, on days like this, I just don't photograph anything. I figure the gaps actually say something.
  • No 3G days: The majority of my photos are taken in Brisbane, the city or northern suburbs, where 3G connection is reliable. Some days however, the connection just isn't there, particularly when we were travelling north and when I was in Vanuatu. On these days I can't upload to Instagram straight away, so it appears that I've taken the photo on the one day when I've actually taken it two or three days before.
  • No subject days: When there's something on, an event or special occasion, it's easy to make sure I get a meaningful photo - a photo representative of the day. But sometimes, absolutely nothing is happening. On these days I find myself taking photos of floors, the pole outside the house, the chooks. I know this might appear bizzare. But I'm finding that forcing myself to take photos of the mundane, actually makes me more aware of the stuff around me. It's not a life-changing experience, but it makes it more interesting. 
  • What to share? days: Different from no subject days and leave-me-alone days. Some days there are heaps of things happening but it's impossible to share everything that is going on. I have to choose one or two photos that represent the day and give that one to the project. The rest remain within the family only.  
  • It's MY project days: This is my 365Days project, and is not my family's project. I'm conscious of the photos I upload that include the kids. I think this is a question for so many parent bloggers. In January, I included the kids in some shots but would only feature half their face, or distance photos. As the months have gone on, this concern has faded. But looking at all the shots I've taken over the past three months, I'm glad I haven't featured my family too heavily. Like I say, it's MY project.
  • No organisation days: The images are uploaded to Flickr immediately when I click share. I can choose where to send the photo - Facebook, Twitter etc. The problem is though, the image is added to the photostream and it's not in any set. I have to take the time to organise them. And those who know me, will know I'm not super organised. Today I sorted all of March's photos into the set. It was actually pretty quick, I'm just disorganised. So it's important to make sure you take the time each week to add them into whereever you'll store the photos. 
Some other questions:
  • What's the best description to add? I remember reading a post (of course I didn't bookmark it), who was talking about history of the future. We have so much information documented about our everyday movements. I know that by creating a 365Days project, blogging, Facebooking, and Tweeting, I'm leaving behind a degree of documentation of my life that was unheard of in the life of any of my ancestors. When I'm writing descriptions, I do have a sense of this. Is that completely silly? Some days I want to write descriptions that are detailed and really informative, and other days, there's barely a title. Perhaps its related to my leave-me-alone-days.
  • Is this supposed to be a diary, or a collection of interesting images? This is probably the key question. Some days, I use the project like it's a diary, whereas other days, I'm taking a photo of an interesting image, like the day I saw the Santos building on Turbot Street. I knew that it would be an interesting photo, and in the description I didn't write about how on that day Vernon and I met a friend for lunch on George Street (much more a diary-style entry).
  • How much should one refresh? The interesting thing about the web is that it's really easy to go in and 'refresh' or update what we've documented. Provided I still have access to my account I can add new descriptions, days, months and years after I've originally posted. What does this refreshing mean for the story we leave behind. Intriguing.

Check out the slideshow in the sidebar.

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