Wednesday, February 22, 2012

a community photo project

a lomo photo exhibition i saw in manila inspired my project

in recent months, i've gotten involved in a culture group in my community. funds have been ear-marked for our town to have a new "culture house," of which the only thing that's known is that the library will be part of it. right now, the culture house exists in what was the old city hall (and the library is a few blocks away in another old building). decisions have to be made as to whether that building will be renovated or a new one built. as you may imagine, there are factions on both sides and emotions run high.

me, i don't much care WHERE the events to take place, only THAT they take place, so it's quite easy for me to be dispassionate about it (the same cannot be said for many of the others). what i want is for there to be a big variety of cultural events and classes and activities going on for people of all ages. i got involved to bring new ideas to the table and, because i'm selfish like that, to ensure that there's stuff happening that i want to do!

but first, i'm putting my money where my mouth is - tomorrow evening, i'll present the start of a community photo project. the idea of the project is that anyone and everyone in the community should take photos of their life in our town over the next year. they will then (hopefully) contribute them to a flickr group and in a year, we'll have a lomo-style photo exhibition along the lines of the one i saw one time in manila, featuring everyone's photos. and we'll have documented a year in the life of our little town, as well as, i hope, having made new friends along the way.  i've planned the first photo meet-up, since it's sometimes easier to take pictures in public when you're with other people.

i'm going to kick off the project with some inspiration from my own nearly four years of taking daily photos. until i went through my three (!!) iPhoto libraries to prepare the presentation for this project, i didn't realize that i effectively started taking photos every day when i got my first nikon DSLR in may 2008. i just didn't call it a 365 'til january 1, 2010.

it has been a bit hard for me to narrow down all i want to share about how rewarding i think it is to take photos every day (tho' doing that will not be a requirement for participation in the project). it has also been hard to narrow down which photos i want to show for inspiration. i have a notion that many people think that every photograph has to include people, so i'm going to share some ideas for photos that expand people's photographic horizons...to get them thinking about light and shadows and photographing the same spot at different times of day, in different seasons. i've also included a few of my foot shots, as well as shoe per diem, just to share a bit of my own photo obsessions and prove you don't need faces for a photo to be interesting.

most of all, i love the beginning of a new project. i love the feeling of anticipation, the not knowing what direction it will go or how it will turn out. i even love the butterflies in my stomach over the thought that no one will come (all i need is a few to come). but i also want to make it clear that people can join along the way.  of course, i have some ideas of what i want the exhibition to be like in the end (see above lomo photo), but i also intend to keep an open mind and see what happens. when you put something out there and you involve other people, you never know where it lead. but you have to be willing to see where it will take you.



10 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Good luck!

Helen said...

What a great project and a wonderful idea. I wish you lots of success with it and yay for showing people photography does not have to include people, but can be more abstract.

Have fun and I look forward to reading about the progress x

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

You are so cool. This is going to be amazing. I can't wait to hear how it progresses, and to see the end result.

celkalee said...

A wonderful project. You can certainly inspire. I think the magic to your work is that no matter what the subject matter, an element of focused simplicity helps the viewer interpret your meaning. A fog shrouded field, dew drops or a bunny...they all work. Best of luck.

Bill said...

Remind the participants: Flash pics are great but the flash doesn't brighten things 200 meters away. Also, always remove the lens cap and greasy fingerprints on lenses is called special effects.

MissBuckle said...

How fun! Good luck!

kristina said...

sounds really cool! good luck!

JeannetteLS said...

Terrific. And the beauty of a community project that is TRULY something you inspire rather than direct, is that it may wind up in some form you never dreamed of! Wonderful. I must remember what Bill said aout fingerprints... GOOD advice there!

Sammi said...

that sounds like a fantastic idea. tho' i have to say i think my life is too boring to take a photo every day since i essentially do the same thing six days a week. i feel i'd end up taking the same photo every day.

Elsie Xie said...

I really love this idea. We did a similiar project community project several years back (rotary club)