5000 Days - September 2018

Once upon a time (actually just over 5000 days ago) I finally made the decision to buy a digital camera.  This was, at the time, to complement the collection of 35mm film cameras that I had been using. 

At the time I was also somewhat taken by the metadata that got attached to each image, telling me the camera settings at the time the photograph was taken - and suddenly the little notebooks I carried to write down when (and perhaps where) each picture was taken felt very old hat. I might (very occasionally) have also noted down the camera settings relevant to the picture but not rigorously and (this would be plausible to anyone who has tried to read my hand-writing) probably not legibly.

Suddenly there was an easy way to get my pictures onto a computer along with lots of useful information about the exposure time, the aperture setting and the date the picture was taken.

This made keeping track of pictures much easier - and also raised the prospect of being able to better understand the settings for each image. To go with this new found wealth of information I decided to try and improve my ‘photographers’ eye, by setting myself the target of finding a picture every day for a year.  

I heard a few encouraging voices along with a few skeptical ones who suggested that I’d struggle to find a new picture every day around the Open University campus in Milton Keynes - I decided to listen to the encouragements and ignore the skeptics.  My original plan was to take a picture a day throughout 2005, but I when looked back through my Christmas pictures for 2004, I found I had images for the last eight days of 2004.

So Christmas Eve 2004 became Day 1, and I successfully took a picture every day throughout 2005, and I fully intended to stop on Day 373 (31st December 2005), but somehow I didn’t and I’ve carried on over the years so that today (1st September 2018) is Day 5000.

Over that period of time, just under 10% of the pictures have been taken outside the UK, and approximately the same number have been taken on Shetland.  Roughly 400 have been taken on Apple iPhones and iPads, 3300 on the seven different Nikon cameras I’ve owned over the time and rest on either Fuji or Ricoh cameras.

The initial pictures (from 2005) wound up on this blog (initially set up for the purpose), and for the next few years a selection of the images were shared on Flickr.  In July 2010 I was told about the website blipfoto (thank you, Cathryn G) - and since then (just over 3000 days ago) I’ve been sharing my daily pictures there. 

If you’d suggested back in 2005 that I’d still be taking a picture a day 13 years later, I’d have pointed out what I hopeless diarist I’d been over the years.  Numerous attempts to keep a regular diary have foundered after a few weeks (or days in some cases), but I think that comes down to not ever having persevered to the point where the diary becomes a useful source of reference rather than a chore.  

So, for example, I can tell you a bit about what I was doing on each 1st September over the years - the picture will tell (me at least) something about where I was, what I was doing and probably what sort of mood I was in.

1st September 2005 (Picture #252) - my office desk in Oxford, fiddling with a temperamental high-tech watch
1st September 2006 (Picture #617) - Oxford, packing for a road trip through the Rocky Mountains in the USA
1st September 2007 (Picture #982) - RSPB Reserve at Minsmere
1st September 2008 (Picture #1348) - Oxford, shirts for the working week at the Open University 
1st September 2009 (Picture #1713) - emergency picture territory - when the day is drawing to a close and no picture has been found - it's usual either furniture or the cat (or a hat)
1st September 2010 (Picture #2078) - Shetland, sunset from the door of our Shetland house
1st September 2011 (Picture #2443) - Milton Keynes, somewhere near the Open University campus
1st September 2012 (Picture #2809) - Dora, one of four cats to have featured regularly in my daily pictures
1st September 2013 (Picture #3174) - Oxford, decent weather, so lunch in the garden
1st September 2014 (Picture #3539) - Foula, one of the more remote of the Shetland Islands 
1st September 2015 (Picture #3904) - Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital - blood donation time 
1st September 2016 (Picture #4270) - University of Warwick, sunny but quiet (out of term)
1st September 2017 (Picture #4635) - Carrifran Wildwood in the Scottish Borders
1st September 2018 (Picture #5000) - Milestone, just outside Oxford Brookes University in Headington

Thank you to everyone that has commented or shared my images or just stopped by briefly to see what I'm up to.  I'll probably stop this malarky one day, but in the meantime, I expect I'll be back with Picture of the Day 5001 tomorrow.