Posts tagged ‘ShutterCal’
Today marks a bit milestone for me – I have just completed Day 365 of my 365-photo project on ShutterCal. For anyone not familiar, it basically involves shooting and uploading one photo a day for an entire year … much more challenging than you could ever imagine, trust me. (OK, well, for me anyway …).
Long before I started #30daysofbiking and #330daysofbiking, I started this little goal-setting photo project. And while I really don’t understand what compells me to do this kind of stuff (???!), because it often drives me (and my family) crazy, I have to admit that I ultimately manage to take away so much more than I contribute. I guess that is the answer to the previous question?
Contemplating this 365-day photo odyssey, I can say that ShutterCal …
- taught me what all of the buttons on my DSLR do, and how to use them (somewhat competently, anyway)
- introduced me to some incredibly talented, kind and amazing photographers – who did everything to keep me motivated, especially on the lame days
- considerably shortened the lifespan of my camera (a good thing?)
- made me covet “good glass” like a cyclist covets carbon fiber (or an Xtracycle ;))
- made me crazy
- made me look at everyday things in new ways
- made me consider how many ways there are to shoot a bicycle (and frustrated me while trying to come up with new ways)
- through the act of “doing”, taught me more about photography than any book, class, or workshop ever could
- made me crazy
- likely instilled a love-hate relationship with bicycles and old barns among most of my ShutterCal friends
- made me use a camera even when I didn’t want to
- introduced me to many Holsteins
- made me crazy(er)
I am now contemplating where to go from here. Stop or continue? Since this has become almost habit-bordering-on-addiction, I will probably continue on for a while. I wonder which will give out first – me, or my camera? Lol.
Meanwhile, wishing everyone a happy and spooky Halloween … and leaving you with a few Halloween-y shots. Boo.
quotidian |kwōˈtidēən|adjective [ attrib. ]1. Of or occurring every day; daily.
Note to self: it is probably not the best idea to undertake a 365-photo project (ShutterCal) and #330daysofbiking project at the same time…
It’s not that I don’t love the daily activity; I love the riding, I love shooting pictures. But I have to admit that I tend to drive my family crazy with all of this. Sometimes it’s the stopping for photos while riding, making them wait for me – other times it’s the time I spend at the computer, editing, posting, blogging, tweeting, yadda, yadda. Yet somehow they always want to see the pictures, or want copies to update their Facebook status (LOL!). I’ve been told that at least some of them will be glad to see this/these projects come to an end.
I guess I haven’t yet mentioned to them my fascination with the work of Jamie Livingston…? (hah!)
My friends Stan and Jenn, my photo gurus & mentors, recently posted about 365-projects and Jamie Livingston – an incredible guy who took a polaroid picture each day – for eighteen years! An incredibly moving collection of photos, every day snapshots covering his life from college, his marriage, and so sadly – to his last day on earth, when he died of cancer at age 41. That last polaroid is in the collection on the website; I have to admit it was very hard to look at. As Stan said, he left an incredible legacy … recorded one day at a time.
I don’t look at this riding project or my ShutterCal calendar as anything that exceptional or resembling a legacy project; I just enjoy documenting it, and I think the documenting part “keeps me honest”. And while I hope to be riding for at least another 18 years, and will likely always carry a camera, I cannot ever fathom doing such an epic project like Jamie did (don’t worry Mark!). Mostly, I enjoy the bicycle and cycling conversations with friends – and the photo conversations with my ShutterCal pals. I have learned so much from so many; it’s all about the sharing. I definitely receive more than I give.
So today was a road ride on my own … I usually don’t have to worry about driving myself crazy by stopping so often. 😉
ap pur te nance |ə-ˈpərt-nən(t)s| noun (usu. appurtenances)
An accessory or other item associated with a particular activity; accessories, trappings, equipment, paraphernalia.
With memories of February’s “snowmageddon” starting to fade, the promise of springtime, warmer weather, and sunny roads gets alot of us dreaming of appurtenances … OK, bike stuff. New bike stuff. Maybe a new set of tires, new rims, a new pair of shoes, a new helmet, or even a complete new beautiful bicycle. (You guys know who you are … finish the thesis & you get the Salsa! 😉
To be clear, I don’t exclude myself from this Spring Fever. Thinking that my favorite bike shorts have seen better days, my brake cable should be replaced, a colorful new jersey would be nice … Anyone who steps into the colorful wonderland of a bike shop in the grey days of late winter knows the feeling.
Lately, I have also added camera “stuff” to my appurtenance cravings. Deciding to participate in a 365 photo project (a photo each day for a full calendar year) with ShutterCal, was big impetus to get a bit more serious. In the somewhat futile attempt(s) to improve my photography skills, I have spent a lot of time – and yes, admittedly, money – in recent months taking classes, reading books, attempting to master new post-processing software – as well as buying a few pieces of equipment I “really needed”.
I have to admit that I struggle with that inner voice that keeps whispering, “it’s not about the equipment…”. I believe this: it’s not. I know there is not a bike on the planet that will magically make me a super-human cyclist, yet I also know how pleasurable it is to ride beautifully equipped bike – whether an ultra-light road bike, an Xtracycle, or some stylish balloon-tired cruiser. The bike does not make the rider – but good equipment can make the ride divine.
And just as with the bicycle, the camera does not make the photographer. I’ve seen spectacular photos shot with a camera phone, or a cheap point-and-shoot. An artful and skilled eye will always more-than-compensate for lack of technical equipment; yet good equipment (and the knowledge to use it) can enhance the results for those of us who are considerably less talented, and make the process much more enjoyable and productive. Just like riding a beautifully equipped bicycle, shooting pictures with a good camera and lens can be an inspiring experience.
I’m not sure where that leaves me in the end? There is so much I want to learn, and improve upon – both in cycling and photography. It will likely require appurtenances. I don’t need to win races, ride around the globe, win awards or exhibit my photos – I just want to reach some personal level of accomplishment. I’m trying to find the right balance; I don’t want the desire for appurtenances to get in the way of the actual work. I need to climb more hills, I need to take millions of photos. Yet I also know that sometimes, appurtenances can help pave the path to getting there…
Spring is almost here…. dream on! 🙂