Quick hits

There’s new 365 content up at Flickr. It pains me to say this, but using Flickr for this project is about 900,000,000 easier than maintaining it locally. So Flickr is where things will stay. Facebook, however, is not in the cards — so stop it, guys.

Must-read blog entry of the day: Five basic questions about the North Korea Crisis probably has the highest information-to-length ratio of anything else you’re going to run into out there during the current 24-hour cycle.

365: Uplink complete

I’ve finally managed to get the first batch of 365 photos up and on-line. It’s over here. I can’t promise that we’re going to stick with this strategy — I’m not very happy with Piwigo at the moment, but it does have the singular advantage that it runs and I don’t have to negotiate with my Webhost to make changes to the global PHP configuration (I’m looking at you, Gallery). Oh, and it doesn’t require me creating a zillion HTML files by hand, too. Ok, so, two advantages.

It would have been nice to do it all within WordPress, but apparently WP’s media manager doesn’t like me and can’t seem to figure out where the ImageMagick binary lives, even though I, you know, told it. I hate computers.

Use it, lose it, watch it fade

Part of my motivation for re-starting 365 (along with my motivation for re-starting the blahg) was to re-train myself to take pictures. I’ve taken a lot of pictures over the past few years, but almost none of them have been for my own sake and virtually all of them fail to meet some kind of arbitrary “art” test. Holiday snapshots, a couple of weddings, some environmental portraiture — not exactly what I’d call a great portfolio of work to look back on; it wasn’t exactly challenging, either.

Because I haven’t deliberately been going out to create something, I’m finding that I’m losing my ability to see the world through a camera lens, and my pictures are suffering accordingly. It’s a little bit like my French — not having used it seriously in a lot of years, I have to work hard to understand and be understood. 365 as the photographic equivalent of a French conversational group? Sure, why not.

The first two days of 365 — boy, do they suck. Wowza.

365: Envisioning a Year (again)

Nearly five years ago, I started a project that was designed to catalog a year of my life. By taking one photograph a day, I was hoping to be able to somehow figure out what a year looks like. Well, we got 11 weeks into the thing, and the project promptly died. I never seemed to be able to get it back on track. So let’s try again!

From that doomed project’s introduction:

To begin with, a year is roughly the longest time most of us can easily understand. If we think of time as units with which we work, it is rare to deal with a unit of time longer than a year. We can think, somewhat easily, of “next year” on a daily basis; we do not generally think of “two years from now” or “ten years from now.” When we’re kids, the year is the first long period of time we understand; before we know what a decade is, what a century is, we understand the length of a year. As we get older, our lives are transformed into cycles roughly one year long — school, work, taxes — and we come to define our lives in terms of this unit of time that feels arbitrary and is anything but.

We think we know what a year is. At least, I thought I did, and then I realized that I really don’t know how much is in a year. My journals and my notes stretch back the better part of a decade, and yet I have no clear idea what makes up a year. A lot of life happens in a year, but sometimes nothing happens. It seems like a year is a long time, and it is; sometimes, though, it doesn’t seem long enough, and it isn’t.

In the end, a year is exactly as long as it needs to be.

What is the relationship between the year that we see, and the year that we experience? What are the images that make up our lives over the course of a year? What do 365 days look like?

From 1 May 2009 to 1 May 2010 I’ll be taking a picture a day. Let’s see what happens this time around, shall we?

PS: I am aware other people have done this in the meantime. I’d like to point out that while I didn’t think of this idea first, I did think of it more recently than most people who’ve done the project online. So nyah.

You are all invited to participate, all four of you, so if you want to put your galleries in an on-line location and let it be known to YT where they can be found, we can all get through this together.