For the first time in a year I haven’t had to worry about taking a photograph of my breakfast.
As you know, if you follow my blog or twitter or Flickr, 2012 was a 366 project year for me. I’ve just posted the link to the December set, but I thought it would be nice to link to all twelve months in one place.
I have to say I haven’t got a favourite image. To be honest, I don’t think I want to look at the images for a while! Still, it’s been a fun experience, despite those dark mornings when I just didn’t want to be bothered.
I’d like to thank my friends who have followed my progress, and offered advice and encouragement in equal measure. In particular, I’d like to thank Morton Goldberg, who I know through the Martin Bailey Photography forums and through Flickr, who said:
You set yourself a really difficult task by being so restrictive with respect to both subject and gear. I got worried a few times when you seemed to be losing interest. But you always perked up. Have a happy new year. At least you should enjoy breakfast more in the coming year since you can just eat it.
I shall certainly be enjoying my breakfast now I don’t have to take its picture first!
No, not the apocalypse or anything daft like that. I’m referring to nearing the completion of my first photographic 365 project. If you don’t know what I mean, this is a photographic project where the photographer takes one image a day for a year. 2012 was a leap year, and I thought it might be fun to try my hand at such a project for the 366 days. As I am hopeless at finding photographic subjects to fill even an hour, I settled on the one thing I could pretty much guarantee to occur every day—my breakfast!
This image is number 355, which means I have 11 images to capture to the end of the year. After that, I won’t have to fret over taking yet another artsy shallow depth of field image of our toaster. I can just get down to eating the first meal of the day without feeling the compulsion to point a camera at it.
I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Part of me is glad the marathon is nearly over, happy to have made it through the entire year—because, despite the rumours, the world won’t end tomorrow and I will still be photographing breakfast until 31 December. Another part of me is wondering if I should be considering taking on another long term project like this.
I have to admit, restricting my subject matter has meant I have had to work harder to make an interesting image, even though I haven’t had to find the subject. It would have been so easy just to take a picture of the toaster every day, but I wanted to explore the subject matter. Indeed, I revelled in the possibility of a breakfast other than toast! Several times in the year I have been at a small café, tucking into a cooked breakfast, after having elicited odd looks from passers-by as I tried to capture it with my camera! I’ve stayed with my parents a few times over the year, which has also allowed for a slight variation. Happily, Mum and Dad weren’t phased by my antics.
For most of this project I have restricted myself, not just my subject matter, to using the same camera, same lens, same settings. Apart from one or two shots right at the very beginning when, rather ironically, I came down with a tummy bug and was sipping a glass of water and I didn’t feel in the mood to be clever, my set-up has been the Canon EOS 7D, 35mm ƒ/2 prime lens, aperture wide open, and the result cropped to square. Initially I was using the auto ISO feature, thinking this would cope well with the variable quality of the light through the year, but a Flickr friend suggested late in the summer I would be better served to fix the ISO at 800 to help get a faster shutter speed. The auto ISO wasn’t giving me the fastest possible shutter speed, and some camera shake was occasionally evident. Would that I could go back to January 1 and start again knowing that!
I have posted each image, mostly daily, on my Flickr photostream, and then tweeted the result. As well as sorting into my own sets and collections, I shared with a group. I guess each image has had about 20 views each day. I know there are one or two of my friends who are following my progress, commenting on the images, and occasionally wondering if they’ve missed my post (I have been late sometimes, and when I don’t have internet access I’ve uploaded them in a batch later). I’m just happy people have shown interest. I’ve also been happy to encourage others with their 366 projects. I know from other friends who have tried that there can be periods when you are stuck for a photo, so encouragement can be vital to keep your interest from flagging in the long days of summer.
Inevitably, thoughts turn to what happens next. I have an idea that I could turn the 366 images into some kind of book, perhaps an ebook. Perhaps I could create an online gallery, but then they’re all up there on Flickr anyway. As to further projects, doing another 365 is out of the question for me—unless I shoot my evening meal every day…
That’s the 11th month down, and just December to get through to see the end of my 366 project. Inevitably, thoughts are turning to what I’ll do in the new year, but that—and a review of my first “365” project—can wait for another post.
Normally around this time of the month I am linking through to my Flickr account. Usually, it’s a link to a slideshow of images from the preceding month in my 366 photography project. Normally, I’d click a bookmarklet to share the slideshow automagically.
Only this time I am using WordPress and not Posterous. WordPress seems to want me to individually add each image before I can think about adding them to a post.
Sorry. Life’s just too short to spend half an hour futzing around with the upload and text editing interface. You’ll have to make do with just a plain old clickable URL instead. Enjoy.
August is over, and I have to admit to finding myself getting a bit stale (sorry, bread-related pun intended). I hope I can come up with some interesting ideas to revitalise the project for the final four months of the year.
The start of July marks the half-way image in my Breakfast 366 Project. June, meanwhile, saw two cooked breakfasts amid the sea of toast and toast-related images. That’s about as exciting as it’ll get for the year, I think.
While I have been stuck in something of a rut, occasional bouts of creativity—such as the toast alphabet, for example—meant I have managed to keep chugging along. I might yet see this thing through.