Tag Archives: daily

A Photo A Day: How Long Has This Gone On?

Recently someone who was giving a talk on photography noted that I have been posting a photograph every day for a long time. His guess was that I had been doing so for about four of five years. I told him that I thought that it has been longer than this, but I wasn’t sure how long.

Morning Light, Zabriskie Point
Morning light on the badlands near Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park

Morning Light, Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park. April 4, 2004. © Copyright 2004 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved. (Originally posted April 5, 2006.)

Judging from some records I just looked up, I think I may have been doing this since early April 2006! Some of those earliest posts are still there, but the photographs have gone missing — in the course of moving the website between different hosts and transferring the content from one content management system to another some of the early content was lost.

(This was not the first photograph shared  I posted online — I was blogging in the mid-1990s, and posting photographs not long afterward. It is a bit scary to think of how many thousands of photographs I must have posted by now!)

My friend (the “someone” mentioned above) was pointing to this history in the context of practice, something that I think is tremendously important in photography. He and I share extensive background and training in music, where the importance of practice is obvious, and where practicing is assumed. Continue reading A Photo A Day: How Long Has This Gone On?

What’s With the Daily Photographs? (Morning Musings 9/28/14)

Mo's Cloud
Mo’s Cloud. Sierra wave cloud over the Long Valley California. May 28, 2005. © 2008 Copyright G Dan Mitchell — all rights reserved. (posted on my blog in July 2005)

Owens Valley near Mammoth, California. May 28, 2005. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved..

It occurs to me that many people are probably aware that I post a new photograph every day — but that few know how long I’ve been doing this nor my reasons for this seemingly obsessive task. Today I’m sharing a bit of the back story.

I’ve been building and operating websites since about 1995.  I’ll skip over a bunch of other interesting (to me) steps in the previous millennium and my first adventures with weblogs (now known as “blogs”) in the 1990s — though this could be a story for another day. Early on I created a blog about backpacking and other outdoor subjects called “Dan’s Outside,” and it gradually came to hold more and more photographs. At some point — likely around the time I acquired my first DSLR in the early 2000s — the photographs began to be the primary focus, and in 2005 I created a photography blog. The photograph at the top of this post was one of the earliest I shared, back in July of 2005.

Although I have not kept careful records, it looks like the daily photograph posts probably began to appear about a month later in August 2005, and they have continued mostly without a break since that time. That’s a lot of photographs! I haven’t actually counted, but it must be getting close to 3000 or more.

It would be reasonable to ask why I have done this. Continue reading What’s With the Daily Photographs? (Morning Musings 9/28/14)

A Little Story About Posting Daily Photographs

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.

Photographs in the queue

I know that some may wonder what sort of life I live that lets me (forces me to?) go online every morning, 365 days per year, and post a new daily photograph at 4:00 a.m. Pacific.

While I do post new photographs here at a rate of one per day – which does mean that I create new photographs at a fairly steady rate throughout the year – I don’t really get up at 4:00 a.m. every day to post the next one. Fortunately my web site has a queue feature – but you knew that already, right? (Sorry if I am disappointing anyone. :-)

Sometimes when things get busy I may actually find myself shooting and and then post-processing in the evening a photo that will appear on the site the next day. Yes, there have been a few occasions when I did not actually know what photograph would be posted 24 hours later! But more often I have at perhaps a week’s worth of photographs already in the queue and scheduled for automatic publication.

I’m thinking of this right now because it is a very good feeling to know that there are enough photographs in the queue right now to carry me all the way through the month of September! That’s right, while I’m out shooting the autumn aspens of eastern California nearly a month from now the photos that I posted today will be appearing here. (Between how and then you’ll see more work from the Sierra, additional photographs from San Francisco, and a series of night photography images shot at the Mare Island Naval Ship Yard at the end of August.)