Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday, January 08, 2011 - No comments

Chronicling the Everyday

I once watched a murder mystery where this guy would set up his camera on a tripod outside his shop every morning and take a picture of the small town's main street at precisely nine o'clock. He also took a picture every evening of what he was having for dinner - a slightly redundant habit, given that he ate the exact same thing every single day. (I suppose the plate changed....) Anyhow, in the end, they were able to solve the murder based on clues in the daily street shots, based on whose car was and wasn't parked where, I think.

I don't have any grand crime solving ambitions, but I've decided to take up a similar habit, at least for this year. I'm going to take a picture every day and post it as that day's photo, both on Facebook and in a continually progressing Shutterfly photo book that I'll be able to print at the end of the year. Being both a passionate chronicler and a firm believer in the fact that the grand beauty of our lives is made up of the million mundane moments of each day, this project is right up my alley. Plus, as a photographer, I think it will be a really good discipline cuz it will force me to carry my camera more often, to really see what's going on around me, and to be more intentional about planning shots. (Otherwise we'll end up with a whole lot of photos taken in my bedroom at 11 PM when I realize I haven't shot anything that day, and that could get old really fast!)

"They" always say that, when travelling or moving somewhere new, you should take lots of pictures in the first few days, otherwise you get used to your surroundings and things don't jump out at you as unique or interesting after awhile. What was originally fascinating becomes commonplace. I can definitely testify to this - I live in a city oozing with history, a destination tourists flock to in droves, and yet the Roman walls, the waters of the Mediterranean and the colourful bazaars have, in many ways, all blended into one image I flippantly call "home." My hope is that this project will force me to really notice what's around me and see it with fresh eyes.

I'm ashamed to say, I've already done the "11:00 in my bedroom" thing twice already, and it's only the end of the first week of the year! But today, knowing I needed something more interesting to show for this 24 hours than another shot of my desk, I shook off my need to never look like a tourist, reminded myself that I am a photographer, and took my camera with me to the pazar when I went to get my fruits and veggies. It reminded me how alive I feel when I'm shooting and interacting with those on the other side of the camera. Here's a couple of shots from the morning.

Here's to 2011 - 365 ordinary snapshots that will no doubt make up one unforgettable year.