Project 2010 – A photo a day, a poem a week

Project 2010 – A photo a day, a poem a week. So there it is, 365 photos, 52 poems, one year in one life.

The end of this month brings to the end two projects I started at the beginning of the year, simply, a photo a day and a poem a week. In embarking on a Project 365, I was attempting to learn more about photography and visual art, and challenge myself to think about creation every day. It certainly did that and more. I am far from a deep of understanding the craft and the techniques of photography as compared to one who has formally studied. Yet some friends have assisted in wonderful informal lessons, often involving a pub, a few drinks and bar full of subjects. I haven’t been using an SLR/DSLR and all that entails (yet?), having tended to focus on the idea or concept.

This year has seen a massive shift in the way photos are taken, processed and shared. In January, the phone app phenomenon was only just taking off. Hipstamatic, for example was released a few weeks before I started the project. I began using it in May. Since then many other apps have appeared that emulate many of the techniques of traditional photography and also attempt to integrate how we are now socializing into the process. Instagram is a good example of that.
But we are at the tip of the iceberg of how photography may develop in the coming years. The phone applications are bringing the elements of camera, film, the darkroom, along with digital processing, retouching and effects all together in a very simple way. I keep looking at the photos I take with my “better” camera and, while it’s by no means high-end, I see that the quality far surpasses the phone photos. Yet, something about the lower-fi photos also rings true. While they may not be a true representation of what was there, they seem to capture how I “think” it looked – they capture the magic, the moment – how we choose to see things…

Then there’s the writing project – talk about capturing only what you choose to see… I’ve gone from paper and pen to finger and screen, and back again, and back again… Each week had been a battle, a war, a chore, a reward. Every day I’ve felt like a failure, at some point, so far from my stupidly lofty ideals. Why did I start these projects? And who even cares at all if I don’t carry them through? No one but me. And so every week I’ve also felt like, not a winner, but a contender. Pulsing, punching, preaching and praying my way through the year. I aimed to develop my writing in new ways and get out of the stagnant lull I had been in. To force deadlines with public publishing so as to stop being precious about pieces.

I also had to learn no to be so precious about the process. The December photos are an example where I handed over the camera to friends for a few shots – because it completely broke my own rules.

Both these projects have taught me a lot about who I am, what I am trying to do, and how to do it. They’ve also probably opened more questions than they answered, but the impetus I started the year with has not only lasted the year, but propelled me into the new year with new ideas and directions.

I will continue adding words and pictures to these pages this year, albeit to a different timeframe. Thanks for looking. Here’s to 2011!


~ by Derek Wilson on January 1, 2011.

2 Responses to “Project 2010 – A photo a day, a poem a week”

  1. I know people that have spent tons of money on all the best tools so they could shoot better photos. The problem is they don’t have the vision to take a decent shot so all that expensive equipment and knowledge is nothing. You have a unique gift in how you see the world and your photos are wonderful wether taken with the iphone or a point and shoot.

    I have not read all your poems but I have read some and always find them interesting and thought provoking and I will continue to receive whatever you post in my inbox.

    Happy New Year.

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