Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looking out for number one one one one

Time to check in with my photo-related New Year's resolutions from 2010. I had three:

1. Acquire and master one new camera.
Of the few cameras I bought last year, the one which has provided the most consistent learning curve is the Holga 120 FN. Although it has been fun to use, I'm a long way from mastery. Resolution failed.

Golden Gate Bridge: Happily Unmastered

2. Photograph for at least twice the hours spent blogging.
I'm going to use last year's calibrations to guess shooting time: 1 hr per 35mm roll, 45 minutes per 120 roll, and 2 hours per 220 roll.

In 2010 I shot 415 rolls of 35mm, 161 rolls of 120, and 27 rolls of 220 for a total of 589 hours shooting. Add a few hours to account for roughly 800 digital snapshots, and apply 10% shrinkage factor for carrying multiple cameras, and the total is roughly 560 hours of shooting. Way down from 2009.

As for the blog, I wrote 259 posts last year. Some took me 10 minutes. Some took a few hours. I'm going to blend them all together and declare a one hour average per post: 259 hours of blog writing.

560 is more than double 259. Resolution successful.

3. Self publish a book of b/w photos.
I could list excuses but the basic fact is I didn't get my shit together. Resolution failed.

My photo-related resolutions for 2011:

1. Self publish a book of b/w photos.

2. Provoke at least 15 inquiries from bystanders and/or authority figures while shooting. In other words, get nosier.

3. Get completely caught up with developing, printing, editing prints and updating the website. Currently I'm one to five months behind on each of these.

My non-photographic resolutions:

1. Get completely lost at least once.

2. Sweat daily.

3. Listen to 365 new albums

I'll check in on these a year from now. In the meantime, Happy 2011 to everyone.


Droid said...

I know this is a bit off track, but did you call your digital exposures 'snapshots' on purpose to differentiate them from anything shot with film? Just curious.

Blake Andrews said...

I call them snapshots because I don't put much thought into them. They're just quick flash shots without much deeper meaning.

Droid said...

Why don't you put as much thought into them as you would with film?

bastinptc said...

Granted, I don't know you, yet I feel compelled to suggest that you might be too hard on yourself regarding how you determine your levels of productivity. Plus, I suspect many folks are as grateful for your blog posts as they are for you sharing images.

Blake Andrews said...

@Droid, That's a tough question. When I take a photo with my digital point n shoot, it doesn't really feel consequential. It's just a bunch of bits and bytes which I can't see. Taking a photo with a film camera where you move the film afterward feels more like something happened, so I tend to put more energy into it.

Not that snapshots can't be important. I just don't spend as much time on them.

@Basinptc, I'm not really hard on myself. Just trying to set yearly baselines, however arbitrary they might be. I do tend to measure my productivity in terms of photos rather than blogging. My main creative goal is to make as many meaningful photos as I can while alive. Blogging is just a sidelight.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity concerning photo resolution #1 (make a book): Do you consider to do the editing yourself or ask some local friends to help you, or maybe re-use what you already put on your website ? I figured out (but that's me...) that putting together pics for a book is interesting but also exhausting and brings some stress - and in my case I have probably much less pics to choose from.

Christian said...

The editor in me noticed you state "My photo-related resolutions for 2010" and then list 3 resolutions 2 of which are not from your 2010 resolutions listed above. Did you mean to say "My photo-related resolutions for 2011"? (near the bottom of the blog post).

I hope you do self-publish a book, I would love to see it!

Blake Andrews said...

That was a typo. Mentally I hadn't converted to the new year yet. It's now changed to 2011.

About the book, I am sort of a control freak so I will probably do the entire thing myself. It will definitely be mostly new photos. What's the sense of showing work that's already been seen?

K. Praslowicz said...

You film consumption volume is intense. I put down around 70 rolls of 220 this year, with a few dozen 35mms. Even that feel like an overwhelming amount to edit. Couldn't imagine having an extra 400 rolls of the 35mm, and continue to write a blog as frequently as you do. Good work.

Blake Andrews said...

Mike Johnston endorses the concept of concrete resolutions: said...

I enjoy resolution 2 of getting nosier, and that fine Holga across the Golden Gate makes me miss it so.

Destroyer's "Kaputt" should be one of those 365 albums. Comes out at the end of January, but from what's out now, what a treat.