A Little Story About Posting Daily Photographs

Posted on 16 January 2013

First, why the heck do I post a new photograph every day?! I have been doing this now for more than five  years, believe it or not. (I don’t know for certain when I started, but by dividing the number of photographs in my online gallery by 365, it looks like it may have been almost seven years now!) I have no illusions that it is possible for me to post something close to an incredible photograph 365 times each year, so for this purpose I’ll settle for merely credible! One impetus for this project probably comes from my background in music, where practice is regarded as central to developing and maintaining the ability to function artistically – and a goal is to do the thing so regularly and so often that the doing becomes almost intuitive and the technical stuff becomes less and less daunting – though it never quite disappears. So my daily photographs are essentially the part of my “practice” that I’ve chosen to make public.

Since I’m almost continually producing new photographs – continuing down familiar paths and trying to improve the results or trying things that are new to me – I generate a lot of photographs. My primary goal is to line them up for posting at the blog on that new-photo-per-day basis. I often have at least some photographs ready to go and queued up for posting well ahead of time.

Typically, I might have a week’s worth or so in the pipeline, though there is some variation. On a few occasions I have had nothing ready and I actually had to go out and make a photograph for posting on the day it was posted! On other occasions I’ve had a much bigger line-up of photos ready to go. (Right now my “problem” is that I have too many in the pipeline! I’ve already selected and lined up photographs through the end of March! This makes it hard to post work that I’m doing right now that I would like to share. For example, I have more work from a recent shoot at Point Lobos, some long-exposure work from early January,  and there are still photographs from my extensive photography in Utah last fall. (I’m also working on a long term project to photograph musicians, and none of that work has appeared here yet.)

When a new photograph is ready, it becomes part of a “sharing workflow” that accomplishes the following:

  1. I queue the photograph up at my blog, scheduling its appearance there weeks or even months in advance. I write the descriptive text at the time I put the image in the queue.
  2. Out of habit, I also post the image to my old Flickr account as part of the process to queue it at my blog. (Hint: you can often see my photographs at Flickr before they show up elsewhere, since I have no way to delay the posting there.)
  3. On the day when the photo finally shows up at my blog, I do a quick bit of copying and pasting to create the daily posts at Facebook and Google Plus. The Facebook posts are rather minimal, usually containing little more than the image and the title and basic description, along with a link to the blog. I incorporate more information with the Google Plus posts, including an excerpt from the full post at my blog along with a link back to the blog post. A blog plugin also automatically shares a message on Twitter and a very brief one at Facebook.
  4. From time to time I may also share some photographs at 500px or Pinterest, though that is not a regular part of my workflow.

There are a few variations on this process. At times I’m in places where I simply cannot go online and post – perhaps I’m backpacking or just too busy. When this happens, Facebook may only show the tiny thumbnail image that is automatically posted from the blog, and I may have to forego the usual larger image. I can use a Chrome browser plugin to pre-schedule new Google Plus posts on those days.

Sometimes people wonder how it is possible to find time to do all of this and whether it is worthwhile. The first question is easier to answer. At this point, I have the whole process simplified to the point that it actually takes me very little time. The second question is a bit trickier, but on balance it is worthwhile – though there are days when I think about how it might be a bit easier to simply not post every day… but then I do it anyway! :-)

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.


9 comments to A Little Story About Posting Daily Photographs

  • Bret EdgeNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve long enjoyed your photo of the day posts, Dan. In fact, your posts partially inspired me to start doing the same on my Facebook page. I’ve been enjoying the daily interaction with the folks who have been kind enough to “like” my page. An unintended but pleasant side effect has been a rapid increase in supporters of my FB page. Keep up the great work, Dan. I enjoy your photography tremendously and find great pleasure in the diversity of your daily posts.

  • Thanks, Bret, and that’s cool that you are attempting something similar. The interaction is a great thing, and I think that greater benefits accrue to me than to those who might read my posts! :-)

    Dan

  • GregNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for posting this, Dan – I’ve often wondered about your process, and your stamina, and your prolific production of wonderful images…

    Do you know of plugins or any automated way that might be easier than copy/paste to Flickr, FB, G+, Twitter, etc?

    Love checking in on you every day…

  • It’s great to see how you talk about your method as second nature. And your “the show must go on” sign off. I guess that’s what it takes in the end ~ persistence. I wish I could do that for some of my work!

    Thanks for the insight, Dan :-)

  • I too love your daily posts. I am amzaed at how you find the time to do them! Thanks!!!

  • Dan FieldsNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dan,

    I just stumbled upon your blog doing some research for my trip to Death Valley.

    All I can say is that I greatly appreciate all the effort and skill you have put into your posts…..just love the way you write.

    I look forward to visiting daily!

    Take care,

    Dan

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