I got a little bit of local fame (or infamy) last week.
|Junior Photographer, c.1971|
Completing a year of sharing my daily photo habit on Blipfoto got me a little item in the Oxford Journal. I did a short telephone interview with someone from the paper and an article based on the interview appeared plus a photo from my occasional 'Cafés of Headington' series and a self-portrait I took in Greenland trip a few years ago. The article was mostly right - although I think I might have over-estimated how early I got my first camera. The earliest picture I've been able to find where I have a camera round my neck was taken in the Alps in summer 1971, when I was 10. There's no point lying about my age any more, having been outed in the Oxford Journal as a '50-year old Open University IT manager'. I decided not to complicate things by getting into explaining what an educational technologist was during the interview.
|Cafes of Headington. April 2011: Picture # 2298|
The newspaper hook was the fact that I'd taken a picture every day for a year, although for me this was just a continuation of a much longer standing habit. I've been taking pictures regularly since the late 1990's, and I've documented holidays and trips with a camera for a lot longer than this. The move to digital in 2004 made me start to think a bit more about my photography, and the ability to experiment more and see the results immediately encouraged me to resolve to take a picture each day during 2005. Having made that resolution just before Christmas in 2004 there didn't seem to be any good reason to wait until the first of January to get started, so my photo-a-day sequence actually started on 24th December 2004, with a picture of an art installation taken from my office window at the Open University. I also set up this blog to share the images - in reality I don't think anyone else was watching, but the purpose was to provide an incentive for me not to break the sequence.
|Modern Art - Open University: Picture #1|
Once I got to the end of 2005, a year which had turned out to include a number of interesting trips both in the UK and further afield, the process of looking for a picture to say something about the day had become a habit, and I just kept going.
|Persepolis, Iran, November 2005: Picture # 338|
Although I was still taking pictures every day I stopped posting a daily image and this blog changed into my place for reporting on the many trips I was making and a place where I provided links to my Flickr and Picasa accounts. This was my routine until late July last year when I was encouraged to post my daily picture onto Blipfoto. 28th July 2010 was my first day on blip, and also my 2043rd photo-of-the-day.
|Riverside, Milton Keynes, July 2010 : Picture # 2043|
Today was Blip number 382, and photo-of-the-day 2424.
|Reaping & Sowing, Oxford, August 2011: Picture # 2424|
Two of the questions that the Oxford Journal asked were essentially “What do you look for in the daily photograph?” and “Will you stop?”
I don’t think I’ve got an answer to the second question – I certainly can’t see a reason for stopping, although I’m sure something will happen one day to break my continuous run. The first question is more challenging. If I’m travelling or doing something unusual, I’ll always have a camera with me – on these occasions my problem is usually deciding which of the many images to post. On a more routine day, I might well need to go hunting for a blip. Sometimes I’ll have an idea that I want to seek out, on other days serendity will offer me something to blip. The urge to photograph boats one work-day lunchtime, resulted in my discovering that there was actually a marina (on the canal) just a few minutes from office. If I’m in Oxford (which was the angle that the Oxford Journal wanted) I’ll try to find a blip that says something about Oxford, perhaps people punting on the river or the gate to an Oxford college. Inevitably, the images say something about me and what I’m thinking as well as where I am. I’ve taken ‘pictures-of-the-day’ on every continent except Africa (an oversight that I must rectify). I’ve taken pictures when I’ve been happy and miserable – and even when I was laid up with pneumonia.
|Oxford, August 2005: Picture # 248|
|Falkland Islands, February 2009: Picture # 1515|
|Greenland, August 2007: Picture # 956|
My photo-a-day habit is a well entrenched one – over the next few weeks I’ll keep the Oxford, Milton Keynes and Shetland images coming, and after that there should be a few months of rather further afield images to add to the blip collection.
|Shetland, October 2010: Picture # 2112|
Another Update: 28th October 2011. Picture # 2500
|Quendale Beach, Shetland, October 2011: Picture # 2500|