31 December 2018
So that’s it! I’ve just posted the final picture in my “Picture-A-Day” series. I’m thrilled to have succeeded in the challenge I set myself at the beginning of the year: to take and post a picture every day throughout 2018.
The challenge arose because 2017 had been a really difficult year for me. I was struggling with the job I was in at the time and with other personal stuff too, and the result was that I spent most of 2017 in a state of semi-permanent depression. Part of the fallout was that my picture-taking declined dramatically and I took fewer pictures that year than I ever had since I was given my first camera more than 50 years ago. It was a deliberate attempt to kickstart my photography in 2018; other aspects of my life had improved immeasurably and I was determined to get my photography back on track.
From the outset I didn’t think it would be easy, but at times it’s been harder than I ever imagined it could be. On the face of it it’s very simple. Every day you take a picture and post it on social media. The reality is that it can be quite difficult partly because I’m not going to photograph just anything; it’s got to be interesting or unusual. That’s where the problems start…
From about the middle of March until the middle of October it was comparatively easy. The days were long enough that I could often find a picture on the way to work at the day job or on my way home. At the beginning and end of the year, with dark mornings and evenings, things were much more difficult and I was limited to taking photos at lunchtime. However, even that was frequently not an option if bad weather or work commitments made it intervened.
There were also days when length of day, weather, or available time weren’t problems but the muse failed me and I would find myself late at night frantically trying to find inspiration. The pressure not to miss a day became intense, especially as the challenge progressed, and it was unbearable at times. That was usually when some of the more unusual subjects appeared – the cutlery, the kitchen utensils, tools, etc. Other ideas arose and sometimes made repeated appearances. A building in Archway in London, various items of stationery, my camera collection, kitchen equipment and my cats.
Overall I’ve been pleased with the pictures. It’s true that some of them are truly awful and I’m embarrassed to be associated with them, but most of them are acceptable, and a very few are (I think) actually quite good. What really has surprised me is the public reaction to the pictures and the challenge. Pictures that I thought were really good were sometimes received with a “Meh” from those who’ve seen them; pictures that I thought were “Meh” were received rapturously by the public – especially some of the “desperation” photos.
One thing that I’ve been really touched by is just how many people have followed this as it’s unfolded, and by their messages of encouragement. I actually get quite emotional when people tell me that they look forward to seeing the picture every day. However, no matter how many of you ask me, I am not going to do this again next year! I will carry on taking and posting pictures but it’ll be to a much more relaxed schedule!