I started the project 27th of December 2016. That's when my new camera arrived and I decided to drain the life out of it by snapping every day. The project was officially finished 31th of December 2017, but I decided to extend it into the 2018 because I was skipping days. The last picture in the album was taken 7th of February 2018.During 2017, I made 16854 pictures and turned the camera's internal counter back to the beginning somewhere in July. I skipped 31 days, meaning a whole month, but I decided to keep going. Initially I wanted every photo to be taken on a different day, but when in May I didn't have enough photos, I decided to use more than one photo from the same day. This turned out to be a good idea, as I stopped having a delay and all the photos in an album are from the right month of the year. The albums became related only to the specific month and not to the beginning of the next month too. My best months were March, July and August with only one day skipped and my worst month was January with 5.My most exploited topics were the city, sky, interiors, through my window, animals, lamps and artwork. Many shots were objects from my house and they were usually taken when I didn't have anything better to photograph. On some days there were other things to do besides chasing a good shot around town. Most of the year I did the same things and walked the same streets so finding something of interest was a challenge. However, now when I take a look at all those pictures in an album, there is very much to see.I avoided people and images that are too personal. I wanted to keep my things to myself. Pictures can reveal many things about how, where and with who I spend my time with and this is not what the project was about. The only subject that I needed to include was my best friend, neighbor and photography buddy who I spend much of my time with (usually with the camera).Selection was the trickiest part of the project. On some days I had several hundred photos and on some only one or two. Meaning, there were really great photos I took that couldn't enter the project, and the really bad ones that entered because there was no other choice. But the value of this kind of project is not the quality of photos taken, it's the process of photographing through time. Many invisible moments appeared. Going through the piles of photos I took, I see a very good fraction of what was life in 2017. Not only mine, but the life in general. The life that is usually forgotten as soon as we get distracted by something big and important.
So I survived the final month! I noticed I made significantly less images in December. From more than 1000, how much I had in November, I dropped to less than 300. December was a month for doing other things, so I didn't have much time and energy for photo shoots. But anyway, my camera was with me all the time so I caught a bit of the atmosphere wherever I went. Theme of the month was off course the New Year holidays and interiors, since the weather was mostly cold and uncomfortable for hanging out outside.After completing all 12 months of the challenge I notice I much more easily select the subjects that I want to shoot. It's also easier for me to know what I want from the picture and how to organize it. In the beginning, I use to take too many shots without thinking through why I want to capture that scene. I still take many shots, but now I know what I want to achieve. The project highlighted the topics that interest me the most. I'm still having trouble with the organization of the images, but I must say I like my photos better after a year of everyday practice. Also, I have an incredible review of the year.Before I end the project, I need to state that I am guilty of skipping days. I skipped exactly 31 days, so I'll extend the project for one more month. In average, I skipped 3 days a month, and those were usually the days I was sick, tired from traveling or overflown with work. I didn't let that stop the project although I needed to cheat in order to complete it in time. So the project continues...
As November went by, the weather became colder and the nights became longer. In the afternoon it's already dark and the wind and the rain and the snow don't help much when it comes to finding a decent shot. During the winter, the adventure moves indoors, at least when you're in the city. There was some fun outside too, but significantly less than last few months when it was warmer. Much more often I found myself not stopping to take a shot in order to get to where ever I'm going as soon as possible.However, I have one more month until the end of the project. It will probably be one busy month, but by now photographing became a habit. I survived 11 out of 12 months, and I'm very excited that the end is near. No bad weather is going to slow me down after getting this far. What's peculiar this month is how much time I spent in museums and galleries. It has to do with the nature of my work, but nevertheless, I found a way to break the routine of sitting in bars, clubs, coffee shops and in my own house and it felt rather refreshing. Indoor photography can be rather monotonous, especially when you feel stuck inside. Light is usually the biggest problem. The weather and the fact that you're far more comfortable sitting at home than going out is the second biggest problem and I must admit I gotten a bit lazy. But I live in a big city where fun can be found anywhere, no matter the weather and with a little determination, winter can be a great time of the year.
October was a busy month. Things were constantly happening, both in the city and in my life, and after watching this month's photos, it feels a lot has changed. Some of the city's most important streets were under construction, so traffic was a huge problem. In the middle of that all sorts of events happened, from state holidays to protests. The weather was mostly nice, so these last warm days were perfect for shooting outside. I was able to catch some of the city chaos, but also to escape from it a few times.For me, there was work this month. Much of it was fun actually, and I got the opportunity to visit some unusual places. Also, there was time for photo expeditions and friends, so this month fun and photography intertwined. I like the results.The photography workshop I participate in made another exhibition this year. This exhibition was looking at the new architecture appearing in the old parts of the city and how it blends with the scenery. Although it wasn't meant to have a political context, there were problems and we couldn't exhibit in the space we initially intended to. The workshop continued, but for me this was a first time to experience censorship. I never thought this form of control exists and that someone could get censored for photographing something that everybody can see from various parts of town. Comparing to what doesn't get censored, this sounds silly, but probably the most important insight for me was that observing and recording what's happening around can be frowned upon, even if you are on a public space photographing something that might become a landmark once it's finished. Photographing changes around the city started making huge sense now that I know that the freedom of speech is limited and the 365 project got a completely new dimension after this experience.
So far, 75% of the project is done. And if I have to make one more shot at home I'm going to... Well, the weather is still nice. I'm hoping that there isn't really any need for panic. But except that shooting around the house became really uninspiring, nothing new happened in September. Days go by one after another, and most of them bring something worth shooting. I became more focused on managing and organizing photos and sorting them into collections. While this project is interesting by itself, I captured many situations around town during the last year and I'm thinking I should find the way to present them. Photography doesn't stop after taking a picture. Everybody can do that today, and after practicing every day, making a good picture isn't really that hard anymore. The real challenge right now is selecting and organizing those pictures into something meaningful. My town is really dynamic, and a lot of things have been changing. As someone who spends very much time on the street and other public places, I made a pretty big documentation about what was happening through the year. And now I have to figure out what to do with it.
August was one long and lazy month. I was lacking initiative to try something new, and my photos don't show much progress comparing to previous months (or I just made too many photos). Nevertheless, I was persistent enough to have 30 out of 31 days.The weather was unusual for this time of the year. Some days were extremely hot, while others were cold and rainy. In both cases, it was not the kind of weather that makes you want to go out and explore. I spent most of the time doing what feels the most comfortable and the photos were mostly the byproduct of that. Skies and sunsets are always a good subject when there's nothing better to shoot and there were a lot of "through my window" shots (the variety I get from more or less the same vantage point!) and shots made while going somewhere just for the sake of having something for that day. Again, there are many night shots, since the heat made me move most of my activities in the evening. The quality of this month's photos is not very high because some of my usual subjects are getting less and less interesting and experimental approach is not giving satisfying results all the time, but, anyway, I'm noticing things I never did before, so I guess everyday practice has its good sides.
Photographing everyday after a while becomes monotonous and the pictures I get tend to look similar. After 6 months, my photos show a very clear pattern of the topics I find interesting in everyday life. Because the whole process was becoming more and more dull, experimenting was necessary. Finding new subjects on a daily basis was way too complicated, so I played with my camera features in order to make something more unusual.One of the techniques that I would highly recommend to everyone who loves experimental (or awkward) photography is setting the white balance wrong (drastically!). Use the custom white balance and instead of sampling something white which would give you colors as they are, turn your camera to anything that has strong hue. You can get blue, purple, orange or green pictures, like when using color filters in post production, only it's more fun when you do it while shooting. I fell in love with the green tone, and I still don't want to change it back. I use the other camera modes for shooting pictures with normal color settings in order to preserve it. I remember sampling something reddish, but I was in a club and the lights had their own hue, so I really don't know if I would manage to get the same tone again.Anyway, in July I skipped only one day and although many of the images are poor quality I managed to have an interesting month. I had many night shots (days were very hot), self-portraits in reflective surfaces (I started missing myself in my photos), shots of the things I always shoot and shots made out of pure boredom and lack of inspiration. The last ones are actually the biggest step forward because they are always the ones that require pushing ourselves beyond the limits.
June was an interesting month. The weather was nice and all sorts of things happened to me and around me. My city got a big new fountain, to name one. After May that was very busy, June was much more exciting and me and my camera spent much more time together.In June I noticed one big change in the way I make photos. While before I used to insanely take photos of everything I see, now I'm much more focused. I still make many photos, but I'm much more clear about why I want to capture a scene.I also discovered the magic that separates photography from other types of visual media. By looking at the thousands of photos I made during these six months, I noticed many repeating scenes. Many times I photographed the same or similar places and now I have some kind of a document that shows how they change with time. The changes I've captured would remain invisible to me if I wasn't consistently photographing. I learned (on my own example) how photographs not only capture space, but also time and the power that photography has in representing time that goes by. Working over a period of time gives photography a new dimension and depth, and I finally see how my work has moved me on a brand new way of thinking and looking at things.
May was one busy month. Meaning, I had very little time and energy to invest in photography. However, I did manage to make that one shot every day. Those were not such a spectacular scenes. Something on the street. Or something in the house. Sunset from my window. Anything... I notice now that there are a lot of clouds, skies, suns. Stereotypical scenes but far more interesting than ground level where everything is the same day after day. This was pretty much a survivor month. Most of the time, I had to find something interesting on the way home or at home. Only a few times I was intentionally going for a walk in order to take pictures. Also, all those days I skipped from the beginning of the year added up, so I needed to cheat a little to collect enough pictures (some pictures are from the same day, some are from June). Looking at the collection now, it's not as bad as I thought it would be. Late spring is interesting by itself, and almost every time something outside could make a decent shot without too much effort. For example, many of the pictures below were made just by taking a shot out of the window at the end of the day while the sun was setting (for the sake of having something for that day).
I ended March with the idea of making a bucket list and decided to use the next month for illustrating items on it. But I lost focus so that didn't quite worked out. The idea remains for some next photo project.The times were turbulent and the weather was nice so there were things to photograph around town. I made a small step into photojournalism, although it is not really visible in this collection. The concept I had at the beginning of the month disappeared as I started to work on something and again it was a challenge to have a photo every day. It was not so hard as it was during the winter since the weather was nice and there are all sorts of things to see around town. But I didn't have the control I wanted to have. And while this month didn't have that big step forward I wanted to make, I did manage to approach some subjects in a way I never did before. We'll see how that is going to develop in May.
The assignment was to describe one day in our lives using photography as a medium. It was a group exhibition and every participant had a different approach. Because there were too many photos and some issue with the gallery space, we made some kind of photo fair where the visitors could interact with the photographs.It was pretty hard for me to answer to the given topic. Many attempts failed, but the final largely delivered my point of view. I described my day through my thoughts and my inner life. The collection was a bit abstract, but it opened discussions. I was really surprised on how differently the images were interpreted and the variety of interpretations was the most significant part of this whole process for me as an artist.Also, this was the first time I exhibited my own collection as an author. The way my work was displayed was not affected by the group concept as it was on my previous exhibitions. My corner was the messiest, but it very precisely described the current state of my life.See the whole collection here: One Day Project Walkthrough.
March brought pretty nice weather so me and my camera spent more time outside. I needed to finish the project for the exhibition, so the first part of the month was mostly about that. The rest of the pictures were really about me having something to add to the album every day, although there were some interesting situations.After the exhibition was finally opened, the tension dropped and I was free again to do what I feel like. I spent a few days shooting outside just for my own pleasure. Weather was great and the city life became more dynamic. I met a lot of birds and street cats. But although photographing was really inspired and replenishing at times, I started noticing I'm doing same kinds of things over and over. To really make a progress, I feel I need to break this pattern and add something new. Doing the same things for another month really sounds unexciting. On the positive side, I only skipped one day, which means I nearly managed to capture the whole month and March was one very long month.
February was slow and cold. Most of the pictures were taken inside and quite a big fraction of them was at home. But at the end of the month the weather was improving and the days became longer, so I slowly started to turn my attention outside.The photography workshop I participate in was preparing an exhibition in March and I needed to finish a project for that too. The given topic was "My day" and I had really a hard time with it. I wanted to find out what my day is all about. And also to find the best way to present that. I had several ideas for the project, but none of them worked out. Nevertheless, exploring this subject gave some interesting and unexpected results.
After a friend challenged me (Thanks, T!) I decided to give this project a try, although I didn't see the point of shooting every day. I also bought a new camera a few days before New Year so I began the project the day my camera arrived. I skipped a few days (5 actually) but I decided to not make a drama and keep shooting until I collect 365 images. It will probably take more than a year, but who cares, really?The winter was cold so there were days I was stuck in the house, but on the other side it was the holiday season so I could easily find something interesting to photograph. It was challenging to find a shot every day, especially on those days when I had a cold or work. Looking at my pictures now in an album, my life looks more interesting then I thought it will look. I was tempted to carry my camera with me everywhere so I wouldn't end up searching for something to shoot around the house at a few minutes till midnight.