About two weeks ago I started a 100-day project.
During an episode of Track Changes, design instructors Michael Beirurt and Jessica Helfand discussed an assignment they give: “Just pick something and do it over and over again for 100 days.”
One of the goals is to build a habit of doing something. Beirut quotes Chuck Close: “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.”
For my 100-day project, I’m taking a photo of the Bodie Island lighthouse. (It’s pronounced like “body.”)
In addition to “showing up,” I expect this will help me develop my creative muscles. In order to take 100 photos of the same object I’m going to have to think about different ways of shooting without it becoming repetitive.
There are a few rules for this project:
One photo per day toward the project. I might take shots with different exposure settings, but I’ll do my best to keep the camera and framing steady. I can take other photos, but they don’t count towards the project. That means I can’t “bank” photos.
The light station must be in the photo. It doesn’t have to be subject, but it needs to be identifiable.
When I leave town, the 100-day counter is paused. When I return, the counter resumes. I’ll end up with 100 photos of the station, but it may take more than 100 days.
That’s about it. I’ve deliberately not included uploading as part of the schedule. I’ve managed to upload most of the photos on the same day, but sometimes I’m busy and need to wait a day or two to process and upload.
Which brings me to processing. I am making adjustments in Lightroom before uploading. The changes are usually slight modifications to exposure, contrast, color balance, and/or cropping. It’s not an explicit rule, but I don’t expect to use any Instagram-like filters or do other heavily stylized post-processing.
I’ve managed to keep things interesting (at least to me) for 13 days, we’ll see if I can keep it up for 87 more.