One month down, eleven to go.
Every second of the day, every event I engage, has become a photographic vision.
I've learned a great deal about myself and how a project of this magnitude can become both overwhelming and exhilarating. Starting with a simple idea of a photo everyday for the whole year, it has culminated into a huge creative exercise with Guest Photographers, themes, social and professional connections, narratives, and more.
Some days I have been able to set out, wandering until I find a moment to photograph. Some days I take dozens of photos and, other days, find myself wanting; not living up to my own standards. It is sometimes 9:07pm and I am legitimately concerned I won't find a photo but I have discovered a way of living in the moment; a zen appreciation for even mundane things and the photograph then presents itself to me. It is a sort of dance between creative-self and the Universe.
This month, I focused on black and white. A time honored photography style reducing the visuals to simplicity, shapes, light and shadow, and beauty in what otherwise one might consider unremarkable items and moments. I gave myself no other provisions but even within this hemisphere of photography, I challenged myself to find mini-themes within the week or day such as Interview with Dr. Stan McCracken.
It also became a challenging month in Chicago, in general. Aside from it being the dead of winter, Chicago tends to be a generally sunny city. However, this month, we saw a total of 4 days of sunshine and a few peaks of sun here and there. While many black and white photographers love an overcast day, I am of the preference of direct sun, high contrast, and shadows. Much of January I shot at night just for the drama of the scenes.
On the other hand, it was a rather wet January; little snow but lots of rain. As any cinematographer knows, night filming is always best with fresh falenl of rain or water on the street.
With the Inauguration and the protests around it, I was given a fair amount of subject matter. As part of my journalistic part of this month in photographs, Resist proved to be exciting and energizing. I have not shot a protest since 2011 when the NATO Protests took place. One will easily understand the drive of a photojournalist.
My outing with Guest Photographer: Eric Dirksen, perhaps my favorite event this month, took me on an adventure in Chicago to a famous building but rarely seen view. And moving forward, I have not doubt I'll enjoy more excursions with photographers throughout Chicago and the world.
While I'm not sure what the next eleven months bring for my photography adventure, January has proven a challenge and a lesson to the future of 2017.
Up Next: February – Shapes and Patterns.