So here it is. The end of year one of electric lion. Part of me doesn't really want to write much but I feel obliged to myself to have some words written down for future reference, so like this entire project, here is another self-indulgence.
I may never have mentioned why I started this project. There isn't a clear reason, as such, but Stephanie likes the photos I take and had on rare occasion requested i send her photos. I.e. take a photo for her and send it to her on a consistent basis (a simple and symbolic way to stay connected when living far away). The desire to do that mixed with a sudden fire inside me to work...and work Hard started the idea. I grabbed my camera and took mister toad over to bryan's house and ended up photographing his kid noah. I arbitrarily chose a name, arbitrarily decided to host it on blogger.com instead of my normal site, and randomly decided to host the images on flickr because I wanted to be a bit more involved on that site. And that was electric lion's start.
I set up rules for myself. Let's see how I did.
1_ must take a photo on any given day - pretty sure i did this. if i missed a day, i'll give myself a break since its a leap year.
2_ photo i post isn't necessarily the shot for the day - this happened the majority of the time.
3_ film + placeholder stuff - this happened a lot too, but mostly after I amassed enough images i'd just post something else. rule 2 took a life of its own. i never made a rule that i HAD to note what i shot that day...i just had to shoot.
4_ goal = classic photos, not gimmicks - at a glance, i think i actually pulled this one off. really all that means is I didn't create a photo with a technique that would embarrass me later in life.
5_ not internet = not an excuse - check it...i went back and made up for all the days i missed from not having access.
6_ day missed = project over - this puts rule 1 more in stone. i feel good about 1 and 6.
7_ self portraits okay, if a touch lame - i count only 4 i'd really call a self portrait in the whole project. there are a few more than that with me IN the shot, but they weren't s/p technically speaking. i may have taken a couple more than this over the course of the year as well, but it looks like only 4 of 366 qualify. nice.
8_ enjoy the process, push yourself, don't be an asshole - check, check, and i HOPE check. i dont feel like an asshole, so lets hope thats how it translated to everyone else too.
I'm pretty happy with it. The idea was simple enough. Take a shot, try not to make it suck, be honest. I think this project serves well as a glimpse into what my life looked like this year. Lots of [the same] friends [over and over], some family, my sister going through chemotherapy, delving into the world of 4x5 finally, which lead the way to developing said 4x5 film, a LOT more travel than i expected this year (the job at the beginning of the year took me all over the southeast and I actually followed through on a whimsical joke-promise about taking a trip with john yam, as well as an impromptu visit to portland to visit garrett and helen), a lot of fun work for mental_floss, some time in new york, a lot more time with steph, reconnecting with people, and of course, taking pictures no matter how mundane the day may seem. There were quite a few shots that turned out a lot more interesting than i'd ever have expected which is encouraging to me to continue shooting all the time. There were plenty that didn't come out how i wanted them too but that's just how it goes. The serendipitous joy of finding photographs I love in unexpected places far outweighs the disappointment of the failure of a single idea.
Here are some favorites and some notes on those images (remember, these are notes for me...I don't expect you to care):
Day 028 - this is a perfect example of a shot I took for posterity because I was in the village in the winter and it was snowing. it is a shot I would be happy to find in a shoebox at an estate sale, as weird as that may seem. It ended up being slightly more special (in an additionally morbid way) because I photographed Taylor Shaw while I was up there and he shared with me a song he'd just written that contained a line "spread my ashes over manhattan".
Day 060 - I really had fun photographing Matthew. Not much else to this...I just like the shot and enjoyed making it.
Day 071 - all I need is to see Jamric in this hat, metering a llama, in the snow. it is really all i need to see.
Day 110 - This represents to me a particularly good example of learned adaptation mixing with instinct and style. The setting for this photo was Way less than what par should have been but it ended up fruiting (fruiting?) one of my favorite images from the regions campaign. I'm proud of this image on a number of levels. It also makes me appreciate having a stylist on hand to make choices about color. the red shirt was by way of chatham.
Day 150 - Not sure what to say about it. Just love it.
Day 219 - an especially successful 4x5 polaroid. alan with a hairicane.
Day 232 - despite the lomo being in its last gasps of breath, this shot came out to be very pretty. pretty for pretty's sake. I wish I had taken it from the beach.
Day 286 - Lush + Alabania. Shot that makes me happy.
Day 337 - Come on. It's kevin with a huge bomb. Also it was a very fun shot to create.
Day 351 - More shooting with instinct. Really this one is on this list because I think its beautiful but more importantly it tells me I worked hard the whole year and even in December I produced photographs I love.
So that's it. End of year one. Any requests or ideas for Electric Lion Mark II?
Here is Steph and David. It seemed appropriate to post a photo of stephanie. Now to go take a photo for today.