the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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365: Principles

I was thinking that I should probably lay down some guiding principles for my 365 challenge so that we're all on the same page--at the very least, I'll know what parameters I've given myself. Even if no one else is holding me accountable, I'll feel better for having some structure and acknowledging some realities.

  1. Take a picture every day. This should be verifiable from the EXIF data on the selected photos. This should motivate me to bring some form of camera with me to more places and to think about what kind of image I can create with it.

  2. Post a picture every day. Taking pictures frequently is no good if they never get published, or they wait six months (like my summer vacation stuff seems to do).

  3. Be flexible about temporal boundaries. It's okay if the "picture du jour" happens to be from the night before, as long as I've already posted something for the previous day. It's always possible to get a worthy shot so late in the evening that it's not practical to post it until the next day. And you and I are just going to accept that, aren't we? A good example is day 1, where the photo was taken at almost eleven o'clock while out with friends, and the ensuing Rock Band party (which ended at roughly four in the morning) and hangover (which ended much later) prevented me from posting it immediately.

  4. Be practical about posting. I like to vacation in places that don't have internet access; I find it incredibly freeing. But with that comes an inability to upload anything until I'm back. Likewise, I know that I will have days of air travel or other wacky shenanigans that prevent posting. The promise I make to myself is that I'll catch up as quickly as possible once time and connectivity are available.

  5. Be fresh every day. Don't reuse a shot or a subject unless there's sufficient artistic merit--a radically different season or significant change from a prior shot.

  6. Accept the tools that are available. It's okay to not be chained to my DSLR every single day. Some days, I may use my phone, others my iPad. I might even use a webcam if that's what's available when I'm ready to be creative. I will rise to the challenge of what tools I have and "strike when the iron is hot."

  7. Have fun. Life is too short for this to be a burden. If it feels like work, something is wrong. It's okay to reassess what I'm doing and if it's providing the right value for my life. It's okay to downshift to a "52" (posting once a week is still more often than my average), or if absolutely necessary, to take a break or stop altogether. I give myself permission to know what's right for my life and adjust accordingly.

There we have it. A little bit of structure, a little bit of practicality. Hopefully a whole lot of fun and artistic growth over the coming year.

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