2002

This was the year of my "2002 Photography Project". This project got its seed on December 31, 2001 when i was looking at the photography book "Chased By The Light" by Jim Brandenburg (www.jimbrandenburg.com) at the Borders Bookstore in Oak Park, IL. In that book, Jim took exactly ONE picture each day for 3 months. Knowing that i lacked the talent and discipline to only take one picture each day, i decided that i should try to take pictures every day of 2002 and post the best one from each day on my website.

I began the year with the hope of posting pictures for a few months, not entirely confident that i could last the whole year, and therefore not terribly concerned with "getting a good shot" every day. By February however, i began to realize that just by getting out and taking some pictures every day, this project could amount to something, if only for the perseverance and volume of material. With that in mind, i started to be more selective in my choice of shots.

So i kept it up, taking lunch breaks from work and walking around Oak Park, toting my camera along wherever i went; trips, movies, ultimate practice, walking the dogs... By November i was feeling a little tapped of ideas, retreading the same grounds every day looking for something new to take a picture of. I found that while there were some things that i took a lot of pictures of (the parking garage behind the office, the des Plaines River under the Lake Street bridge, trains...), i felt that once i got a good shot of something, i didn't want to take that picture again. If you look at the actual "2002 Photography Project" section of this website and see what looks like the same picture over and over again, that probably means that i was never satisfied with how i was shooting it.

365 days, 5,699 pictures later, the project was done. Early 2003 felt strange because suddenly i wasn't taking pictures every day. I've since found a number of websites where people have done essentially the same thing i did, but so far i haven't seen any that lasted a whole year, never missing a day.

When i look at the pictures that i've amassed, i wonder about whether they could be considered fine artwork or just snapshots. The two things that make me realize that they're more than just snapshots are that 1. the whole volume of the project has to be considered, and 2. every picture is presented full-frame, not cropped or rotated. What you see on screen is what i saw through the lens. As a side note, nearly every picture was shot hand-held. Only a few times all year did i put the camera down on something to take a picture.

By the numbers:

Total number of pictures taken: 5,699
Average shots per day: 15.6

LOWEST DAYS
  • February 22 - 4 Pictures
  • April 23 - 4 Pictures
  • August 26 - 4 Pictures
  • January 3 - 5 Pictures
  • November 15 - 5 Pictures
HIGHEST DAYS
  • July 4 - 62 Pictures

    Party, Fireworks, and Crowds, Oak Park, IL

  • November 23 - 58 Pictures

    Downtown Chicago, IL, Chicago River, Lakefront, and Navy Pier

  • February 12 - 53 Pictures

    Around Baumunk's Lake in Winter, near Shunk, PA

  • July 18 - 43 Pictures

    Around Baumunk's Lake in Summer, near Shunk, PA

  • June 7 - 39 Pictures

    Poultry Days Ultimate Tournament and Fair, Versailles, OH

The pictures in this section of the website are NOT the ones i picked for the 2002 Photography Project. Some are just snapshots of people or things relevant to the day, others are "secondary" pictures that didn't make the cut for that day. I also cropped some of these pictures, mostly to center a person (or dog) in the frame.

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