This year marks the fifth I have run my own “daily photo” project (2011 , 2010 , 2009 , 2008), going back to that first year when D’Arcy Norman had invited others to join along with him.

The act of focusing time every day, for over these 5 years, has very much helped me improve my photography by the simple act of doing it every day, trying new things, and reflecting on it. All three of those are essential. I have progressed in that time through 3 DSLRs, one compact digital camera, maybe 3 iphones. But that’s just gear.

I got sloppy or busy or inconsistent this year. I sat down last night while watching a movie and tried to fill in some gaps, I got up to day 110… and asked myself, what does it matter if I have 366 or not? Actually, I have an all time low for this year, I will end up with 237 for this year, a 64% completion rate.

That grade would be a D (in the USA, Giulia has told me Canada has a different socialized grade scale ;-)

Did I fail?

Hardly. I probably took posted as many photos as years past… Hmm lets actually look before asserting… 4459 in 2012 and 6051 in 2011. But in 2011 I was off most of the year traveling.

Meh, who cares about excuses?

I firmly believe in the power and impact of doing daily creative activities, it is the impetutus behind my devotion to the ds106 Daily Create and before that the Daily Shoot (why oh why did they kill their archive of assignments? someone is paying for a domain).

It resonates with my current Read It Much Later Than Everyone Else approach of Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From – it is totally about the adjacent possible:

… innovative environments are better at helping their inhabitants explore the adjacent possible, because they expose a wide and diverse sample of spare parts– mechanical or conceptual — and they encourage novel ways of recombining these parts.

So doing regular bits of photography on their own is good (my un data-supported assertion). Sharing it online creates more potential for rubbing adjacently, and commenting, being part of a group (we have 885 current members there and almost 100,000 photos shared to the pool)? More adjacency.

But by all means, design your own approach to this, one that satisfies and rewards and challenges, not some over hanging requirement or rule set.

I am not fretting over not getting a perfect 366 set of photos. That is not the point. But I will rewind, and be there again in 2013. Want to join? There is only one rule, you [try to] post one photo a day to the 365photos flickr group.

You do not have to be serious

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

You won’t get any certificates

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

You might get gifts from wise strangers.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

You might want to shout it out for others.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

You might just have fun.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

What are you waiting for? Just

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

(all images here from my less than complete set of 2012/366 photos)

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Awesome! I was skimming through my photos from this year just last night. Always surprised at how many memories are locked in there. So glad to have saved them to trigger remembering. OCD hasn’t missed a day in 6 years (and counting).

  2. Hey, Alan! I find it very hard to believe you didn’t take pictures every day?? in 2012. I’m sure you did, and just didn’t post them to Flickr, tagged for the 2012/366 group, right?

    My 2012/366 faltered early on, influenced by a whole whack of different things.


    I did manage to page through the Daily Shoot archives at one point before they went dark and got screen grabs of all my tagged images. The grabs are on a hard drive somewhere. Too bad about the site going down, though. Someone made the database of Daily Shoot prompts available at some point (maybe it was you?) and I managed to download that as well. So the prompts themselves are not lost. But that was a cool thing while it was going.

    I have pondered going back through my images for the last 12-15 months and pulling out as many daily images as I have and posting them retroactively — as they do form a wonderful flow of memories and events in visual form. Even the 66 days highlighted above capture some wonderful memories of 2012.

    So. As we head forward into 2013, I extend my best wishes to you. 2013 will have only 365 days — perhaps a more respectable goal to aim for than the higher bar presented by 2012. I look forward to seeing more of your images, my friend, and continuing to read about your adventures and reflections here on your blog.

    1. Yes Andy, I did almost daily photos, and posted most days to flickr I just got sloppy and stopped being good about picking thr 366/265.

      I started to go back and re-tag/re-group them, but then thought, why am I bothering? I did daily photos. I dont need a grade or a perfect record. So I just look forward.

      Thanks for all your feedback and camaraderie! Best to you for 2013.

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