I find myself surprised to see people expecting rules and structure when not explicitly there- are we that “trained” to act by rules and expect rule makers?
I am talking about the Daily Shoot, man. Frequent CDB readers will know I am an addict to the daily camer assignments- I’ve done 432 of ’em (hey, did you know you get your own gallery on THEIR site? cool!) I love the challenge, and have ventured that is a supreme model of informal learning, of learning by doing, of working the 10,000 hour gig.
But I hear whinging (maybe I have muttered it myself) when assignments are repeated, even people saying it has caused them to quit. For example water- it was featured in number 9, number 51, number 293, number 479.
Keep in mind that just because YOU did the assignment once, does not mean some new person has. Keep in mind that you can interpret the assignment in a radically different way. It is a challenge, right?
And instead of complaining, why not contribute new ideas to the suggestion box?
But look at the premise of the site:
The Daily Shoot is a simple daily routine to motivate and inspire you to practice your photography, and share your results! It’s not a contest and there are no prizes. It’s simply about encouraging you to pick up your camera and make photographs.
That’s it. There aren’t any other rules. You aren’t going to get demerits if you miss a few days, nor will you get gold stars for doing every assignment. We’re just here to help you with a little nudge every day. The rest is up to you!
So when I hear people complaining about the assignments, it comes off as fomenting the traditional student-teacher role, the expectation that they leaders are responsible for your learning.
Look at the FAQ:
What are the rules?
This is your creative work – there are no rules.
And so I see too many people taking the whole thing too literally. Like they HAVE to do exactly what the assignment said.
I have a new idea.
I am playing the anti Daily Shoot game- not anti like against it, just going opposite to the assignment. So for yesterday’s assignment about water, I shot the water defying cactus, “We Don’t Need No Stinking Water”-
Today’s challenge was to go opposite to “Make a photograph of a beautiful simple shape, such as an egg, today. Utilize lighting and focus to make it sing.” – so I went for chaos and mess:
Does this mean I failed? Does it mean I am not working on my craft? No. I am still practicing my photography…. every day.
I don’t know how long I will roll opposite, but its a new twist on the challenge- want to play? Add antidailyshoot to your tags — http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/antidailyshoot/
Now, I know from my inbox that there a few folks that are unhappy about this. Somehow, the Daily Shoot has let them down by not meeting their expectations of what it was. To this, all I can offer is to repeat our mantra: we’re about getting you to pick up your camera and practice. Nothing more. Practice involves repetition. We’re going to have that from time to time.
I do not begrudge someone stopping or not shooting a while. It’s not about being obsessive about it (maybe, not… am I obsessive? no I cannot be obsessive…. I just think about it all the time… that is not obsessive, eh?) .
It’s not about the assignments, its about the creativity.
You dont like the assignments, interpret it originally. Or make up your own. Just make art, damnit!
The post "be Free. be Creative. be Opposite" was originally squeezed out of the bottom of an old rusted tube of toothpaste at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2011/03/be-opposite/) on March 10, 2011.