Welcome to to this site! This is my very personal blog for a very personal photographic project.
Wow, another blog that includes a photo a day. Whatever. I know, the concept isn’t really anything new.
But for me, it’s a new project, a bit of a daunting project and yet one that is very exciting. I don’t know exactly what this will bring. If I think about having to fill 365 days in this coming year, I almost panic. That’s a lot of days and there’s no day off. I remember in high school setting a goal to run every day for a year and this is kind of like that for me. It’s daunting and exciting all at the same time, and I can live with that.
I actually kind of like that. I anticipate there being times when I simply just won’t want to do it. Still I am committed to completing this and in the process share with you some photographs that are personal and a bit different from the work that I do every day. There’s probably going to be a fair number of images made within a walk of my home here in Ladera Ranch, an Orange County suburb, halfway between LA and San Diego. If you know the area, it’s a bit of a bubble and to many might seem staid and even downright boring. But I want to find the beauty in the ordinary, to find little gems that give a glimpse into the lives of folks here as well as me and my family. Plus, I just want and need to be out creating images that are personal with the goal of a project.
As a former news photographer, having that little piece of paper that was “the assignment” gave me a reason to get out there and photograph.
That’s what I’m using this blog for. It’s my own little self-created photo editor that will call me out when it’s cold, when it’s hot, when it’s dreary and when I think I’ve got just too much work to do to ever leave the comfort of the office and staring at the computer monitor. It’s going to be that little voice in the back of my head that says: go out and look, and let’s look at it when you’re back. Just like it used to be. There’s going to be images, I suspect, of my kids as they grow up so very quickly before my eyes. I work from home and it sometimes seem like they change from the morning to the afternoon. The photographs are my record because my memories can sure get sketchy. Even now when I look at photographs of Kate who just turned four, from when she was four months old, I think: How did this happen? How did she all of a sudden become four??
Photography is my way of stopping time, I suppose. But those memories only become meaningful when they’re printed, published or edited in some way. This is one way, and the printed pages will be another. This exercise will help me to say that this photo I want to hold onto, and this one I believe I want to look at in 20 years. My God, she’ll be 24 then! And what a legacy she will have in her photographs.
The tools for the task ahead are going to be downright simple and basic. And by design. One camera (most likely a Canon 5d m2, a full frame digital camera), one lens (a 50mm, standard, boring as can be (or so you might think!), and that is it. Well, of course, I do assert the right to use the odd Canon 1v with a 50mm lens or a Leica with a 50mm when I just have that wild hair to push a roll of film through the camera. And I expect that to happen a fair bit because as much as digital has taken over our photographic world, I still like the look of film and the whole process of shooting with it (but that we can talk about at another time). But it will always be a 50mm lens–the “normal” lens. The tools are limited for a reason: specifically to use the first lens I learned photography with (and couldn’t wait to get rid of), and oddly enough the one that I’ve grown to love more and more over the past decade and finally to just be unencumbered. To get back to the heart of photography, or at least what I think that heart is.
It seems like fate had a role in this project. A couple of weeks ago, a good friend recommended a book on designing the photo book published by the folks at Blurb — the print-on-demand publisher. His photos were in it, and there was also the review of a photographer who committed to making a photo book a week –52 books! Yikes. That’s a commitment and I thought it was really exciting. Then, just before Christmas, we happened to see the movie Julie and Julia and the story was about a woman who committed to creating a blog that captured her experiences making every recipe in one of the Julie Childs’ books (one a day). She, too, was a bit daunted by the task, but forged ahead anyway. The other thing that was so appealing about that film was that both of the subjects took on projects or had goals that were of course over their heads, were not easy and simply seemed too big for them. Not to mention discouraged by others around them. And they did it anyway. That was inspiring and I thought kind of ironic that these types of long term projects were presented to me over a short span of time.
So. Off I go, cameras ready (it’s on the dining room table, 50 mm lens already mounted), an open mind to what presents itself in this year and to the future. Here’s to finding great moments, being surprised by photography and life, and finally to recommitting to the art that has held me, molded me, cared for me, and helped me create my life for so many years.