Winter can be a difficult time for photographers. It’s cold, the days are shorter and often overcast;conditions just make it difficult to get out there and shoot. Almost every photographer—of all skill levels from beginner to pro—shoots considerably less in the time between the holidays and spring.
To help alleviate this, I’ve started this project. The idea is simple: there are 29 days in February this year. Every day, participants will get out and shoot at least 29 exposures. That’s the only requirement. They can be digital or film, colour or black & white. Feel free to switch cameras, or use different film emulsions every day.
At the end of the month, we’ll all collect our work into photo essays. Those interested can submit their essays to The Coffee Faucet for publication.
Obviously, all you have to do to participate is expose 29 exposures a day for the month. However, I propose a slightly more involved process: I suggest everybody keep a journal of progress through the month. Keep it on or offline, public or private as you see fit, but the goal here is to improve our skills by shooting more pictures; a journal would be helpful in this regard.
Unfortunately, I cannot offer server space and bandwidth to all participants on this server. What I can do, though, is link to the 29/29 journal of anybody interested. I know that most hosted weblogging servcies (like blogspot and livejournal) don't allow image uploads. I suggest using Typepad. It’s a fee service, but I notice they have a 30-day trial offer, and our project is only 29 days long. Try it out, if you like it you can keep the subscription; if you don’t you can let it expire and it doesn't cost you a penny.
I think this project will work best if we can help each other by critiquing work as we progress. Anybody interested in this (or who just wants to be listed as part of the project) can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll list you here with as much (or as little) information as you’d like: name, website, email, instant messenger, etc.
As I said above, at the end of February, we all go back through our photos (at least 841 of them) and piece together photo essays, which we’ll highlight here.
A few people have pointed out to me that completing this project on film can be quite expensive. If this is a concern for you, instead of not participating at all, participate to the extent you can afford. If you can only shoot one roll a week, then only shoot one roll a week—but make sure you shoot at least a few frames every day and take extra care with them. Ultimately, the more you can shoot the better, and making 100 exposures is better than making none.
There are no prizes associated with this project, it’s more of a fun excercise in improving our photography. It is a little bit of a game, but it’s the kind of game in which everybody who participates wins.
Also, remember, this is a photography excercise. While some degree of manipulation is certainly in the spirit of things, I urge everybody to stick to sharpening, cropping and minimal colour correction; avoid retouching or otherwise going crazy in photoshop.
Ultimately, I encourage people share their photos via a Creative Commons license, but I leave copyright decisions up to each individual.
It might help the creative process to have a theme or goal for the month. I don’t propose any over-arching theme, but here are some suggestions for what you might do:
Some of the people participating have, as I suggested, set up journals (or already had them). Some links: