That was a well thought out and well reasoned reply.
I think it is a great idea and would really like to think I could carry through on it but I do not for a minute believe that I would have the discipline to complete the project. Just trying to "think through it" has already been an eye-opener as I suddenly realized how little I photograph within an hour's drive of home and - in thinking that through - I have to think that I just don't look for photographs until I cross that imaginary borderline!
Here it is!
For example, I think that while one may discover that “practice makes perfect,” another might learn that “quantity doesn’t equal quality,” and may even reduce it. A third person might notice that daily time in the darkroom, not the field, is where improvement is. (His or her decision to quit on the 117th day might be the best decision they ever made.)
This is why I think the stories of this challenge would be as fun as the photos – and why the challenge itself is a great idea.
...but not a great enough idea to try it for yourself...
I have yet to see anyone who actually tried it (rather than just talking about it) [I]not [I] have their photography improve substantially.
Your assertion that your best photographs happen when you're away from work and can concentrate in the field is of course true, as it is for me. But I think serious photographers can easily find value from this exercise, if for no other reason than we can't get away from our work often enough to devote the time we'd like to photograph in that concentrated way. And anyone who feels their full potential will develop from only these jaunts is, in my opinion and experience, kidding themselves.
Quantity may not equal quality, but I am positive that quantity will improve quality overall, if one puts in the effort. That makes the difference between workers and the also-rans. Why is it that photographers feel no need to practice, whereas serious workers in every other artistic medium do?
author of "Finely Focused" and "More Finely Focused."
We all know things aren’t always what they seem in photography, or the other arts.
I’ve enjoyed time in the field with my equipment for more than 365 successive days – and I’m currently enjoying a much briefer run of 30 chilly days – but I have never taken a photo on 365 successive days, and will never force myself to do so.
Spending time in the field is what has taught me this lesson; if you can try this photo-a-day challenge, it might, counter intuitively, lead you to the same lesson. It's why I recommend it!
And it’s a lesson I can share: Know when to walk away from a scene. As many here recognize, this can be difficult. After all, who doesn’t feel the urge to snap a shot after spending time getting there, setting up, applying movements, and inspecting the ground glass. Yet, some of my greatest lessons in the field have come from not taking the picture. If you recognize there just isn’t a fit between your vision and a beautiful scene in front of you, don’t let that discourage you. Move on. Keep searching. And recognize you might not find a “fit” for the rest of the day, or the next. A long stretch of days w/o a photo is exactly what can lead you to the photo that works.
The important point for me: practice, practice, practice – but don’t force yourself into a mechanical routine or predictable pattern. That can blind you to other important lessons out there. Worse, it can be deadly to your photography.
I think that the problem, with the advent of digital photography, is not that people don't photograph enough, but that they photograph too much.
Maybe making photographs every day for 365 days does something for some people, in which case it would seem to follow, there being no magic in the number 365, that one should photograph every day for 730 days, then 1460 days, then...
For me, at least, the wisdom in this is not self-evident.
So to answer Rob's initial question, no I'm not "in". For one thing, I'll be spending a couple of long days in early January at a museum/archive in the UK, and doing some scouting, just trying to figure out what I want to photograph in the community, and how I want to go about it, and I'm quite sure that that time will be better spent than taking photographs for no other reason than an arbitrary "challenge".
You know what I see from this so far ... Someone inspiring us to do something great, and many "thinkers" thinking themselves into failure.
It's OK, it's human... but I for one will take the challenge.
Starting today ... 1 shot a day for 365 days... I may use the Leica too.
Stay tuned for the home page... SteveKarr2010.com ... I just bought it.
This is actually a big challenge for me for 2 reasons ...
a) I'm a people shooter & live alone. I really don't like shooting Rocks & Trees
b) I'm in Phoenix AZ and broke. Broke + Large Format = not eating as much.
Are there any Web guys here that can supply a simple template for us to use to post these images & make it easy for others to use. I'm a shooter ... not a web guy ... I'm afraid. So ... HELP !!! smiles...
So it's 5:03pm here in AZ ... Off I go ... into the big city...
Ho Ho !