©2015 Casey Clough 365:40
The 365 project has become part of my routine now, and I’ve even forgotten about it a time or two. The alarm I have set on my phone goes by unnoticed, and then it’s almost midnight and I am shooting something, anything.
I haven’t moved away from the iphone, in fact I have probably used it more. The best camera is the one you have with you, after all.
I’m starting to find some direction in my work that I want to pursue seriously for the at least the rest of the semester, and I am not sure yet how that will ed up fitting in the daily photo project, but I hope it will. The project is making me think of photography every single day, even when I don’t want to, don’t feel like seeing, don’t feel like editing, just Don’t Wanna.
I play lazy some days and use photos from a shoot I was doing for something else. I’ve a time or two posted an image I didn’t like or care for at all, just to have it done. I still have some catching up to do.
I guess it is going like a 365 project that has a person involved in it. I still don’t know how those people who put together amazing conceptual self-portrait 365 projects do it.
Maybe they shoot huge volumes on the weekend and edit and post through the week.
Goals for the coming month-ish? Still fewer stinkers. Less laziness. More color. Wrap the project into the body of work I am pursuing. Figure out how to best put lots of
images into a blog post without going completely bonkers because WordPress themes are design to squash doing anything differently at all.
Yep. The laziest, most awful thing I posted this month, just to get something up. There is no redeeming value to this image, but goddammit, something got posted. I’ve come to a decision about the profanity in my “professional” online life, by default. I curse. I won’t curse in an interview or around clients unless I know they’re okay with it, but I just will curse. Truth in advertising.
The first image of 2015, taken in my back yard on New Year’s Day.
So, the 365. I’ve made it through one month as of yesterday. Many a 365 has died a death of ennui before the end of January, so I’ll raise a mug of coffee in self-congratulation for making it one-twelfth of the way through the year. I’ve taken a few photographs I really like, such as the one above, taken from the car on MoPac. I’ve also taken some pure crap just to get the damn photo done for the day.
This one caused my partner to accuse me of liking to make people feel sad, which I found hilarious. In reality, I was just in the Lowe’s parking lot.
I can’t tell yet whether the project this year will be the kick in the creative pants it has been for other photographers, who I’ve seen come up with astounding work over the course of their year. Right now, it feels kind of like washing the dishes, except for the few that make me happy I’ve taken.
Of course, when I look at another photographer’s posts about their 365 project, I’m only seeing the ones they’ve chosen to showcase. I’m sure they also have some stinkers in their archives.
I’m not going to showcase my stinkers here – you can go look at them yourself. At the end of next month, I’d like to be able to look back and say there were fewer stinkers.
Self-discovery through a camera? I am scared to look for fear of discovering how shallow my Self is! I will persist however . . . because the camera has its eye on the exterior world. Camera will lead my constant introspection back into the world. So camerawork will save my life.
— Minor White
This image is one I feel comfortable calling a “mirror”, in the sense that John Szarkowski described photographs as either mirrors or windows. In his categorization, windows show the viewer something about the world; they describe the world-that-is. Mirrors tell the viewer something about the photographer, and at their best, they resonate with the viewer; they show something about the world within. That lit window is an important place to me, a psychological harbor in the storm; a mirror of an internal sense of safety. I rather enjoy that this “mirror” is a photograph of a window taken through another window.
I have been enjoying the simple pleasure of being completely self-directed on this project. I love being in school again, but I do chafe at the bounds of assignments on a fairly regular basis. The time school takes means I have less time to work on personal work, and I sometimes fall prey to the pressure that every personal project I take on must become Art. Or at least be perfect.
Nothing stifles creativity like perfectionism, and the 365 project is setting me free to take all of the blurry, strange, poorly-composed images I wish to. This, I think, may be the ultimate gift of the 365 – freedom. A healthy dose of not giving a [Wait. I haven’t come up with a profanity policy for this new, more “professional” online incarnation. Supply your own word here.] about what something “should” be.
I once had a painting professor ban the use of any paints except Titanium White, French Ultramarine, and Burnt Ochre; enough for a white and various shades of a neutral we mixed ourselves. Her theory was that the fewer tools we had, the more we would use the ones we did have to their fullest potential. I am not — at least so far — committed to taking the photographs for my 365 project with only one lens, or only one camera, but the limitation on time is having a bit of the same effect as only having three paints.
I struggle often in my creative process with setting myself free. My internal editor is a bleeping tyrant, a loud-mouth, rude harpy who never takes a day off. As an added complication to my ability to work, the depression that has periodically swamped me my whole life is active right now, and sucking all excitement I normally feel into some dark hole somewhere. Hopefully, this bout of the gray sucking sound passes quickly.
I am always a little reticent to publicly discuss depression, and yet I feel a bit of an obligation to do so. Depression is so very common and yet still stigmatized; many people cannot speak of their battles. Secrecy and shame feed depression. I’ll shine my little light on it where I can.
We’re into the short month now, and I have some goals for the next 28 days of this 365: