A year ago I started an art project for 2010, in which I would take a photograph every day. Very soon I realized that to make this project worthwhile, I would need a way to do something with the photos, and started this blog as a vehicle for displaying them. While the blog has expanded to deal with lots of other varieties of art, and my activities and thoughts regarding them, the daily photo project has been a constant.
I cannot begin to describe the benefits I've gotten from this endeavor. My eye has gotten so much better, my sense of what makes a good photo has improved, my ability to take the picture I see has improved (thanks in part to a nifty new camera). Even the inexorable demands of needing a photo every day, no matter if I'm feeling sick or have too many meetings or am snowbound or trapped in the intercontinental transportation system, have paid dividends. I've learned to find photos in unlikely spots, by looking for the unlikely, the incongruous, the visually striking little view among a vast landscape of boring mediocrity. It's not that hard -- all you have to do is make yourself concentrate, make yourself look, have the camera in your pocket.
As the year has drawn to its close I have thought a lot about whether to extend the photo project to next year. I do enjoy taking the photos, and suspect it wouldn't be nearly as much fun if I didn't have the discipline of posting them. But the daily deadline can sometimes be tedious, and I'm running out of failsafe photos to snap when it's 11 pm and I haven't gotten a picture yet today. You've already seen my thread drawer, my paintings and sculptures, the night view from my back porch, the ice in my cocktail glass.
I watched with great interest when Linda McLaughlin, who conducted a similar project starting a month before I did, reached the end of her year. She decided to maintain the routine of posting a photo every day, but removed the requirement that the photo be taken that very day. She pointed out, reasonably, that her archive of neat photos is fat enough to allow her to post old shots that are nevertheless new to her readers. I thought this was an excellent solution and so that's what I'm going to do for 2011.
Meanwhile, I'm also taking another good idea from Linda, inviting you to choose your favorite photo from the year, and I'll send you a print of it. Review the photos by clicking here. You probably don't want to post your email or street address in the comments, so send a note to email@example.com and tell me your favorite and how I should send it to you.
Thank you for reading the blog, and for looking at my daily pictures, and I hope you enjoy doing it next year as well.