Journal

A Year in Photographs by Adrian Galli

Sunset @ 25,000ft – Day 361

Sunset @ 25,000ft – Day 361

One year ago, I set out on a person mission, my New Year resolution and creative endeavor to take a photo every day for 365 days with each month a theme. 2018 is here and 2017 has come to its completion and thus A Year in Photographs concludes.

It is somewhat bittersweet to end this project. For an entire year my mind has been at work photographing everything around me. It is also a relief. There were days and weeks where it was very hard to get out and photograph; or at least follow my theme. Some months were very busy with work and other events. But all good things must come to an end.

I learned a lot about myself and photography. I pushed myself and took many along this journey but I think I will keep this simple.

When I set out on this journey in January of 2017, I was very excited. I felt somewhat in a rut professionally and A Year in Photographs gave me some purpose creatively. I also recall a post not too many days into this project concerned I wouldn't have enough storage for all the photos I was taking. And had I continued that path, I would have thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of photographs.

I would head out every day with my camera and take photo after photo after photo and end up with a hundred by the end of that day. Two things were an issue: I didn't want to store all this and, two, frankly, I soon found I didn't have time to photograph as much as I thought I needed to.

This need wasn't about actually needing the quantity, it was about lack of focus. While I enjoy running around, wandering, with my camera and taking photographs, it simply wasn't practical to do when sometime in the future I would find myself working sixteen hour days. Instead, I soon found that I needed to adapt and become even more creative. 

Chicago River – Day 26

Chicago River – Day 26

My daily mission wasn't to shoot a bunch of photographs and pick my favorite one to post for the day. My mission became that of having a precise creative vision. In other words, whatever my theme was for the month, I pushed myself to envision what I wanted to capture that day and go out and find it. Rather than wandering, although I still did that when I had a chance to, I would set out to find the image specifically; knowing where I could/would find it and make it happen.

As it turned out, rather than taking dozens of photos, I would take just a few and find what I wanted. When time was short and other circumstances would keep me from taking all the time in the world to photograph, this learn was huge.

Some months I had the chance to also work with some colleagues and friends. Erik Dirksen and Juan Galindo were two who I set out on a day of photography. I also enjoyed some time with old friends—Rory Coyne, a friends and artist, allowed me to photograph him as he worked. I hope to do more small projects like this in the future as time allows.

Further, Mazi and Chrissy, two good friends, requested me to photography their wedding. While it was not a normal skill of mine, it was a great opportunity and fun to get out of my usual creative space. One of my favorite photographs from the entire year came from this shoot.

Mazi and Chrissy – Day 245

Mazi and Chrissy – Day 245

My one opportunity with this project was to take it even further. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. But let this not sound like a defeat or complaint. It is merely another learn from this that there is so much more to photograph, so many more endeavors left that one could not achieve them in a single year.

Looking back over the year, I noticed that things began to work together. Things I worked on or learned earlier in the year, for example Color or Shapes and Patterns, became important influences in Perspective and Details. People played an important part in Cinematic while Minimalism and Black and White influenced Night

While this project has come to an end, I enjoy looking back over the 365 photographs I've taken. It was tough, sometimes even foreboding when I could not imagine having time to do it, but it was an incredible experience. I recommend to anyone who enjoys photography to engage in such an adventure.

January – Black and White
February – Shapes and Patterns
March – People
April – Minimalism
May – Color
June – Architecture
July – Signs and Symbols
August – Night
September – Cinematic
October – Perspective
November – Motion
December – Details

A Year in Photography: 365 days, 12 themes, each day a challenge. Here are some of my favorites from 2017.

Voyager 1, Four Decades of Exploration by Adrian Galli

The Launch of Voyayer 1 on board Titan IIIE in 1977, photo credit NASA

The Launch of Voyayer 1 on board Titan IIIE in 1977, photo credit NASA

Many people say, “I was born decades too early, I should have been a...” While the past has a certain charm, I’ve always been born of the future. I always say, “I was born 300 years too early, I should have been on the bridge of the Enterprise.” While my life will never take me to distant star systems, encountering the Klingons, or engaging warp drive, at heart, I am explorer and September 5th, 1977 was a date important to humanities exploration of the Universe  

Today, marks forty years since the launch of Voyager 1. Its story is one of exploration and science and to this very moment, it is still transmitting incredible data back to NASA. Not only it this an incredible feet, imagine a car or computer running for four decades with no maintenance, Voyager 1 is the only device made by humanity to have left our solar system and ventured into interstellar space. 

Speeding away from us at 38,000mph (48,000kph) towards a star known as AC +79 3888, about 17.8 lightyears from us. Voyager will lose power long before it reaches that star but the little probe that could will hopefully remain intact.

The Golden Record, photo credit NASA

The Golden Record, photo credit NASA

Aboard Voyager 1 is the Golden Record. Scientist affixed this item to Voyager 1 in hope that one day it would be found by some space fairing life form who could decipher its message. Among the details engraved on the Golden Record is a diagram defining our sun’s location relative to fourteen known pulsars, a binary code to instruct the proper speed by which the record should rotate to play properly, other instruction to play the record, and details about the video portion.

The Golden Record explaination, credit NASA

The Golden Record explaination, credit NASA

One of my favorite features of the record is the inclusion of Uranium-238. With a half-life of 4.51 billion years, measuring the amount of the daughter element would allow an extraterrestrial to calculate the time Voyager 1 has been in space – a true universal clock. 

Today (September 5, 2017), at a distance of about 140 AU, the power from three radioisotope thermoelectric generators dwindles at a rate of 4 watts per year according to NASA. In 2030, the power it generates will be too little and Voyager 1 will power down forever; an end to the lonely space probe. However, not too far behind is Voyager 1’s sister, Voyager 2, which will also enter interstellar space on its own mission to pass near Sirius.

Further, Pioneer 10 and 11 will also leave our system and a more recent probe, launched in 2006, New Horizons, too, but there is certain romanticism to Voyager 1. It was the first and perhaps the most important of all the space probes in an era when space exploration was at the pinnacle of American, and I argue human, interest and accomplishments.

Voyager 1 will perhaps wander our galaxy for eternity, a monument to human ingenuity and curiosity, a legacy adrift in the Universe.

One Photograph a Day is not Enough by Adrian Galli

Medium Carmine, Chicago, 6/8/2017

Medium Carmine, Chicago, 6/8/2017

RGB 175, 64, 40
CMYK 0, 63, 77, 31
HSB 10, 77, 68
HEX #AF4028

A Year in Photographs has been an exciting, challenging, and occasionally frustrating project but I'm seriously enjoying it. To find a photograph every day for a year is a huge commitment. Though, it has become routine in the sense I no longer need to "think" about what I'm going to photography but the image more and more just jumps out at me.

In the beginning, I would spend hours sometimes wondering around until I found the photograph for the day. I ended up shooting hundreds of photos in a day. While quality is important in some circumstances, I simply do not want to store, manage, edit, organize, and keep all of them.

Part of my personal growth during this project has been reducing this time and volume. I have found I can imagine what I want to get for the day and go out and find it in sometimes only one photograph. While it is rare, several days over the past few months the first picture I captures ended up being the photo of the day.

That said, I have shot many more photographs than what one seeing in the daily sense. It has been hard to decide sometimes, too. And at the end of many months, People, for example, I wanted to continue that journey but a new month brought a new theme. But I have continued these themes as branches of my work and would like to share some that have not been seen.

Please continue to follow A Year in Photographs. I do enjoy sharing my work and hearing what people think of my photography.

More from A Year in Photographs

A Year in Photographs – Day 1 by Adrian Galli

Stars, Chicago, 1/1/2017

Stars, Chicago, 1/1/2017

A new year comes a new endeavor. Some will have a New Years resolution to lose weight, spend more time with family, get a new job, or get out of debt. Mine, a creative expedition of photography.

For the next 365 days, I will take a photo every day — each month, a theme, and posting the entire year to a special gallery.

Please join my adventure and come out with with me and your camera. An entire year's story told through photographs... 

Here's to Day 1 – Happy New Year and the best to you and the world in 2017!

First up: January in Black and White

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! by Adrian Galli

My friend, Liz, getting ready for a family photo on Thanksgiving. 

My friend, Liz, getting ready for a family photo on Thanksgiving. 

2016 has been one hell of a year for many people. Whether you love 2016 or hate it, today is a day to be thankful for the things that are going great, the people in our lives, and just general positivity.

Have some turkey and stuffing and enjoy your friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving!