365/1 – This year’s photographic challenge

It’s done—my first image post, in a Kamloops Photo Club special project, 365 Interior British Columbia. I can do this; I just did; all that remains is to remember to post a single daily image for 364 additional days. No exceptions or absences allowed. If a golden rule of photography is to show up and shoot, well now I need to do this daily throughout 2022.

I am reminded of advice given to a former Primate (Senior Bishop) of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz regarding his participation in the Indigenous Sacred Circle gatherings. Indigenous staff person Donna Bomberry told the archbishop to: “Show up; Shut up; and Speak up when asked.” Good advice. Each day I will show up and create some images. Ensure that my camera conveys the time and date to Adobe Lightroom which after my editing will convey the image to Flickr which will brazenly display the date the image was created and the date Flickr received it.

Speaking of images there is some controversy here. Photographers used to go on photo shoots which does sound rather violent. Does one go and shoot a cow, horse or friendly neighbour in other life settings? I hope not. In a less combative mood we often go out and capture an image. On a few occasions I have had friends refuse to be photographed for personal reasons. Indigenous persons often say that a photograph takes something from them.

With Canadian Photographer Freeman Patterson I tend to use the language of making or creating an image; better still is the phrase of receiving (as a gift) the image. Whatever language one uses, photography is a process, almost archival in nature, of collecting specific experiences or revelations of life itself. Such is the difference between a simple snapshot (I remember my first camera, the Kodak Instamatic 105 (remember the little blue dot rotating flashcube) updated today by the selfie. There is a place for such snapchat but for me a more steadied intention is necessary to keep my interest.

Back to the project at hand, the 365 Interior British Columbia. What will be so much fun is to see how our little group of 20 photographers will respond to the daily challenge. Will our subjects be static, emotive, a display of movement, representations of the macro or micro world? Will we photograph and share people, places, things, even abstractions of all three? Time and ingenuity will tell. It will be such a fun game, all commencing this New Years’ Day.

There is so much online chatter this morning about out with the old 2021 and in with 2022. Folks seek a clean slate, a new beginning. What will be different; what will stay the same? It’s like the Gospel  rendering of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. He’s the same, but different—similar looks but walks through closed doors; eats fish for breakfast but disappears and re-appears in an instant.

Truthfully, there is more the same in the New Year’s transition than things different, but we like to pretend. I guess there’s no real harm. What’s new for me, absent from last year, is this marvellous daily photographic discipline. I have reminders inserted in my Google Calendar. My biggest fear is forgetting. Lest I and you forget, the New Year is upon us. Off we go.

With thanks to Rick McCutcheon for launching and supporting this initiative.

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