Over the past two years, I shot and posted a 365 project. The goal was to teach myself more about photography. While I will never know everything, I know a lot more than when a started, and it helped me find my voice in the medium.
But a 365 project has its limitations and drawbacks. If you can’t get out and shoot – which was my case for several months – you are stuck with your archives, the things that didn’t make the cut. Suddenly they are good enough this time around. They have to be. Often they are barely adequate.
At times with a 365, you are simply shooting to post something, rather than shooting what you really want to. You can come away with multiple shots you want to post, but you are only posting one. It can be a limiting format.
This year, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to learn another form of shooting and posting. This year, I’m doing 12 in 17.
What is 12 in 17?
12 in 17 is twelve photo essays in 2017. One per month.
These will be longer form photo projects, sometimes spanning several days, sometimes months, occasionally only one day.
They will have multiple photos in them. The first one, In The Ground, has over 60 photos. Some will have less, some will have more. Sometimes, I will explore something in-depth, other times I will try to say something in fewer images.
With fewer posts of a longer form, I expect to work on each essay longer, cutting and editing down.
I don’t expect that each one will be great, or even good. They won’t all be deep. Some may not be interesting.
Mostly, they will be about things that I’m interested in. Sometimes, they will be things I am less comfortable shooting. They will be challenges.
And yes, there will be some barns. I’m not giving that up.
Why 12 in 17?
It’s time for something different, and this is a skill I want to work on. I’ve always enjoyed longer form photo essays, things that stick with a place or subject. On my hockey blog, I’ve been traveling to small hockey venues and posting photos. It’s longer form work, and I enjoy doing it. I want to try that outside of that genre.
But like anything in photography, it’s a skill, and that means it has to be worked on.
I also want to work on rewriting with images. Rather than just post a slew of photos, barreling though as fast as I can (which sometimes happens with my hockey posts), I want to slow down and do something more deliberate. With my photography, I’ve found that slowing down almost always yields better results.
And I want to create work that holds together as a theme, that can hang together as a single entity. My 365 project was all over the place. It had many voices to it. They were all my own, but they skipped from style to style, subject to subject. I like that it represented where I was – physically and artistically – but for now I want to focus on projects.
What to expect.
The first project, In The Ground, is fun and a little silly. A bit touristy, a bit artistic. I think of it as stretching before the workout.
After that, I have a few things in mind. We will get small and close up. We will look at places. And there will be work in the fields. But that will have to wait.
If you were along for the two years of 365, thank you so much. I had a great time doing it. I loved the work. I haven’t left those images behind. They are a part of who I am as a photographer.
But now it’s time for something new. Something fun. I hope you enjoy it.