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Connor Roelke | all galleries >> 366 Project >> December > December 31st
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December 31st
01-JAN-2009

December 31st

It's the 31st, one year since I started this. There were days that I couldn't wait for this date to come. There were days I hoped this date would never come. It's weird how this is such a huge part of me now. I feel like Iíve been doing it forever, like itís part of me. Yet at the same time it seemed to go by so fast.

The original goal of photo of the day was to both improve my work and be continually shooting. I got my first camera Christmas of 06', I havenít been shooting very long. My work is divided into time where I was doing photo of the day and the time that I wasn't. I don't even really remember the time before photo of the day. Iíll go back into my old pictures and try and remember when or where I shot that. But I can remember just a tiny bit of every day of this year. If you asked me what happened on March 8th, I could open up that picture and tell you a little bit about it. Last year? Come on. I donít even remember what happened the month of March.

On the average day, I would probably think about photography about 10 times. Whether that was riding in the car and framing a shot in my mind or seeing a shot on the cover of a magazine and admiring their lighting (or, on occasion, thinking "I could have shot that better!" which didn't change the fact that it was still not my shot). Photo of the day quadrupled that number. This year I thought about photography more than any other subject. Which doesnít sound like much, but you have to realize it was on my mind 50% of the day. Thatís including sleep.

When it started, I had about 11,000 shutter actuations on my camera. Before I sold my d50, I had 35,000. My D200 came with about 2800 and now has close to 12,000. If my math is correct, I shot around 35,000 pictures in a year. Triple that of the previous year. So the goal of continually shooting is checked off.

Did I improve? I think so. That's subjective though, you're free to have you own opinions. Although there wasn't one point where I was just instantly better in my eyes, I think the quality of shots improved across the board. In the beginning, I shot macro photos of tools and sculptures as a late night grab photo. By the end, I was squirting water onto irons to make steam. The level of interest between the two is the difference I think.

It seems like the question of the hour is "would you do it again? Did you enjoy it?" which both have the same complicated answer. Would I do it again? That answer youíll find out in a paragraph or so. Did I enjoy it? Yes. There were so many days that I wanted it to end, but there were so many more that I enjoyed every minute of it. I remember in the beginning walking around my house at 11:30 trying to find anything to shoot. But I also remember all the laughs my friends and I had doing some of these. A big thank you out goes to Max and Joey for all their support. They were also the most photographed thing in the whole project, so they deserve it. I also canít thank my family enough for putting up with me bringing a camera everywhere and making my Mom, Dad, and Sister drive me places for photographs. My Grandma also provided so much support, I probably heard from her the most about how much she enjoyed the project. There were a few days that I sat on my bed and thought ďshould I end this now? I donít want to do this anymore.Ē You wouldnít be reading this if all of you havenít supported me through this whole ordeal.

But I still left my first question unanswered. Will I do this again? The answer is ďsort of.Ē I realized about three weeks ago that I couldnít just stop this. After much talking with my family and friends, my Dad came up with the idea of Call the Shot.

Call the Shot is my project for next year. Instead of shooting a picture a day, Iím going to shoot a picture a week. But whereís the fun in that? I know I can do one a day anyway. So, at the start of every week (Iím saying Sunday), I will tell you what the shot for the week is going to be. The fundamental problem with the 366 was that you had to post one a day, even if you needed more time to revise the idea. Iíll have all week to shoot something Iíve had in my head for a while. A shot Iíve been planning. If it doesnít go well the first time, I still have another day to revise and make it that much better. The goal is that it will improve my problem solving (well, photography wise, doubtful if this will apply anywhere else) while also providing 52 really good shots instead of 365 pretty good ones with a few really good ones mixed in. There wonít be any off days and there wonít be any mess ups. Iíll have all week to get it right.

Along with all this new (hopefully) exciting news, I bring you my new website, www.connorroelke.com. Although not yet finished (but so, so close), it will be the home for the 52 week project as of right now. A blog will be set up within the coming week as POTD has recently turned into a photo blog if you havenít noticed. Iím hoping for frequent updates as well as the call out and shot every week. Be sure to check it out.

Now, about the actual photo you see here. Youíre looking at all of the photos of the 366. You might be saying ďBut wait, Connor? You didnít shoot this today. Thereís no photo here!Ē but thatís okay. As your nose is pressed up to the computer screen, it doesnít look like much. Now scroll back up to the photo and walk back 10 feet. Seriously, donít read on. Just do it. You might look like a fool, but do it anyway.







You there? Good.

If you donít see it yet, itís me with my camera in front of the TV. Behind me is the ball dropping in New York City. Whatís more, this is shot in the last second of the last hour of the last day of the year. Iím sure the exif probably says itís the first, but trust me. Iím still a little on edge because the shutter hadnít clicked until I heard ďONE!Ē from all the happy masses on the big screen. It was down right frightening, there was a chance I could have missed the last photo of the day. Phew.

So with that, I leave you. Well, for a few days anyway. By the time you read this there will be a new section on Pbase for the 52 week project. Along with that is the first call out of the week. We have some extra days until Sunday, but by next Sunday the photo will be up. That is if all goes according to plan.

Today, January 1st, I will not take a photo. I will not take a photo for the first time in a year. Thatís a scary thought.


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Mark Flannery 10-Jan-2009 00:44
Connor: You've done a Great job and had alot of fun along the way. Did you find anything you liked better, your style will come only through shooting and it seem s your on your way. Graet Last day shot.

All my Best!!!!!!! Uncle Mark
Guest 04-Jan-2009 02:31
Well, you did it. That must feel pretty damn good. I am looking forward to the 'Call the Shot' series. 52 images seems a lot more manageable, doesn't it? I don't usually quote things but there is a saying from Ansel Adams that I do think is appropriate, whether you like his stuff or not: "Twelve good photos a year is a good crop." Keep that in mind. Cheers!
Guest 02-Jan-2009 20:28
Congratz, this picture is really cool
your a really talented kid.
Guest 01-Jan-2009 21:22
Props Connor. This is really rad. Awesome project.
M.bee. 01-Jan-2009 18:38
Connor I love you! :) you did a great job. congrats.
Connor Roelke01-Jan-2009 18:32
Thanks everyone!

As to how I did this, there is software called AndreaMosaic that will do this kind of thing. Basically what it does is takes an image (in my case, me standing in front of the TV) and a folder full of images to assemble the photo again. It matches tone, color, and exposure to make it look like the original photo. The result is what you see here.
debbeeanne01-Jan-2009 18:15
OK, you need to tell me how you did this.
Condore 01-Jan-2009 17:44
Sick ending mam see u in a couple days haha
Jay 01-Jan-2009 16:55
Damn, I was coming to see if you had completed this successfully, and you did. This was way more epic than I expected too.
Guest 01-Jan-2009 15:51
fANTASTIC END TO YOUR POTD. I AM VERY GLAD THAT YOU WILL BE CONTINUING A PROJECT AND WILL FOLLOW IT TOO. GOOD LUCK AND THANKS FOR THE PLEASURE OF WATCH ING AND READING ABOUT YOUR PROJECT.
MARY LIZ
Ron Trudger 01-Jan-2009 07:06
First comments of the last potd. Epic. We made it.
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