Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself. — Annie Leibovitz
As a freelance storyteller, I work in several mediums. Follow my past and current projects here.
Tonight, I spent the evening listening to retired fighter pilots share stories of their service. I’ve been so fortunate to have this experience many times over the last few years and it never gets old.
From the beginning, it struck me that, almost to a man, these folks are nothing like the stubborn, cocky, headstrong characters shown in most Hollywood films.
Confident and self-assured? Yes. Irreverent and funny? Absolutely. Characters of the first order? In their own way, almost every one.
Arrogant and self-absorbed? Never.
The serious stories are told with genuine reverence for their peers, their mission and their craft. The light-hearted stories are told with a heartfelt twinkle in their eyes and a childlike glee that is always mindful and present, but never sappy or nostalgic.
They understand they are gatekeepers of an important oral history and they take on that role with a passion and honesty that is wonderful to witness.
On nights like this, I remember why I became a storyteller and I smile.
Thanks to Neil Henderson for opening this particular door for me.
Back in 2008, my buddy Joe Lindsay introduced me to Project 365. In a nutshell, Project 365 is a way for an artist to grow and learn by committing to creating new art; once a day, for a full year. It began with photography and has been adapted by other creative disciplines since. My 365 is photography.
My initial 365 was very short-lived. When I was away from my family in San Francisco, it was easy to make time to shoot. When, I got home; not so much. My firstborn was six months old. It was a busy time. So, it fell by the wayside.
While shooting Bokeh last summer, I got to know Briene Lermitte and Kat Gatti, two very talented young photographers on Team Bokeh. Both of them were planning 365s and have since started and maintained them. As they have done so, I’ve watched with a mix of admiration and envy.
Back on January 16, I wrote Ship or Shut Up over on PhotoFocus. Check it out if you need a kick in your creative pants from Seth Godin. In that post, I put myself on the spot to launch a new 365 by March 1.
Today, I’ve met that goal.
If you are interested in following my progress, have a look at 365-dougdaulton-com.dougdaulton.com. I’ve also added a link in the menu above.
The first rule of 365 …
Post something original each day.
Some methodologies call for carrying taking a processing a new photo each day and, I’ll admit that is probably the best use of the 365 project to force growth in a photographer. However, I have work and family constraints which make that scenario, if not impossible, highly unlikely. In addition, I have a huge back catalog of unprocessed images from the last five years of traveling the globe for work and fun. I need to find the best images of the bunch and assemble them as a portfolio.
With that in mind, here are the goals of my 365 project.
- One new image posted each day.
- Newly made images will have been processed and posted within the week they were shot.
- Initially, I am shooting for a 2:5 ratio of new:back catalog images. As the back catalog is cleared, the ratio will start to favor newly made images.
- As my initial focus is clearing my back catalog, new images will not be shot within subject themes (e.g. wildlife, portraiture) or technical constraints (e.g. 50mm, slow shutter).
- Once, the back catalog is cleared, I will start working on monthly, if not weekly, photographic theme designed to push me to do one or more of the following:
- Develop a new technical skill (e.g. strobes, sound/light triggers).
- Explore a new subject theme (e.g. astral bodies, pets, silhouettes).
- Fill a hole in my portfolio.
- Coming from video production, I reserve the right to use video projects as 365 posts. Video posts will fall within the same constraints listed above.
So, there you have it. I am looking forward to this journey. If you are a friend or new follower, I look forward to your comments and critiques of the photos I post.
Last week, Frederick Van Johnson of “This Week in Photo” sat down with Andrew Sullivan, Geoffrey Orthwein, Joe Lindsay and me to discuss Bokeh. The conversation covered all aspects of production and provides a look at how a film like Bokeh comes together.
For those of you who’ve been asking about the film, I am very happy to announce that our Kickstarter campaign just launched. As is evident in the trailer below, the film is in the can. We are beginning post-production and looking to the Kickstarter community to lend a hand adding more polish to the final film. Have a look at the our Kickstarter video below. Then, if you love Bokeh as much as we do, consider backing our project on Kickstarter.