366 Steps, 1 Journey
(Documenting a non-sitcom life, one day at a time)
I was recently interviewed about my 365 projects. Due the fact I don’t use the photo app that this particular site is dedicated to, my answers and photos will not be featured. But I didn’t want those answers to go to waste. So here’s that interview (with a few, slight revisions).
Did you finish your 365 project?
I’ve been doing 365 projects projects since 2014, taking a photo and a second of video everyday. If I don’t fall off the wagon, I will have finished six 365 projects by the end of 2016 (Although, technically, I didn’t start the video project until April of 2014.). There have been a couple along the way that I did not finish, however. In 2013, I made my first run at both photography and video 365 projects, but they petered out halfway through the year. And at the beginning of 2016, I attempted to add a second of 360 degree video everyday to the mix, but that only lasted a few weeks. Juggling all three projects started to make my head spin! Literally!
Did you use Hipstamatic?
Hipstamatic was one of the gaggle of apps I used in that lost year of 2013. I think. There were so many apps!
If so, in which way did you use Hipstamatic? A random combo? One combo per week?
When I used Hipstamatic, I used it in the same way I used every app at that time (and still do to a certain extent): I played with it like a little kid plays with a Christmas toy. For a few weeks there after Christmas, that’s all you play with! But after a while, those toys either end up being your Sheriff Woody or they find their to the attic. Hipstamatic ended up in the attic.
Was there a particular theme running through your project?
My wife and I have two little boys, ages 8 and 6, and I use my 365 projects to document our life as a family. But if they are more of a subject matter, as opposed to a theme, I guess the theme would be trying to capture the “little wonders” of our life together (h/t “Meet the Robinsons” and Rob Thomas). Has it worked out that way everyday? No. Sometimes it’s 11:59 PM, you’re still at work and you don’t have your photo for the day. So you whip out your iPhone and take a photo of a clock reading 11:59 PM.
How did you put your project together? Did you, for example, publish one picture a day on Instagram, or a website?
I collect all of the photos in the aptly-named app, Collect for iOS. On the video side of things, I use the equally aptly-named app, 1 Second Everyday for iOS. At the end of the year, I will edit both the photos and videos into separate videos and publish them to my Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo accounts. However, for 2016, I’ve done something a little different: I created an Instagram account specifically for this year’s project. And I’m pretty good about publishing just about everyday to Instagram. But, occasionally, I will have to play a little catch up.
Did you use an app? If so, which one and would you recommend it?
Here’s the other thing I’ve done differently this year: I’ve taken all of my photos with 1-Hour Photo for iOS. In June of 2014, I did the same thing: I only used 1-Hour Photo for the month … and I loved the experience and results. So at the beginning of 2016, I revisited that concept and decided to do an entire year. Between waiting an hour for the photo to “develop,” being limited to black and white “processing,” and doing without features like burst mode (which is really helpful when it comes to photographing children), it’s been a challenging and rewarding year. In addition to 1 Hour-Photo, I also use Snapseed to edit most of my photos. For the first couple of months this year, I would use VSCO on occasion, as well. But at a certain point I determined that I was straying too far from my original intention of living by the results that came out of 1-Hour Photo.
Can I recommend 1-Hour Photo? If you understand the limitations of the app, and your limitations as a photographer, then, yes, I can recommend the app. However, I haven’t made up my mind if I’m going to continue to use the app in 2017, or go a different direction. That’s probably going to be a game-time decision on January 1st, 2017.
Did you have your pictures printed (in a book or other)?
For the last couple of years, I’ve subscribed to Chatbooks series for my professional and personal Instagram and Facebook accounts. But this is the first year I subscribed to one for my 365 project.
What did you take away from the experience? Did you learn particular things, did your photographic technique improve?
The iPhone has made me a better photographer. Period. Whatever gets me to make more photographs with my iPhone is a good thing. Has my photographic technique improved? Well, let’s just assume for a second that I actually have some photographic technique … whatever that technique is has simply become more refined over the last couple of years. More than anything, I now know what I’m drawn towards. The trick, though, from this point forward, is how to push myself out of my comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory, while realizing that my time and subject matter are somewhat limited.
Do you have recommendations for those about to embark on the journey?
My photography, my Instagram account, my 365 projects … they are all games. Much like Westworld’s Maze, it’s a game that’s not meant for you — it’s meant for me. And it’s a game I play everyday. I challenge myself to take just one photo (I, of course, can, and do, take more … but I only need one). And I win the day when I “collect” that day’s photo and publish it to Instagram. If you want to follow me on this journey, that’s great. But I’m not doing this for an audience — the journey is mine alone.
Are there “traps” that should be avoided?
As a parent, here’s the trap I’ve fallen into too many times to count: you obsess about capturing a photograph of the moment your kids are playing with their Admiral Akbar Star Wars figure, instead of getting down there with them and yelling, “It’s a trap!”.