The sound calendar flipping comes with it the rounds of The People That Still Blog writing their summaries of the flipped year and/or the hopes/promises of the year being flipped to.

Without resorting to anyone but myself for analytics, I can link to 170 blog posts for 2018 (14.2 per month, and that 0.2 of a post is a beauty). There it is, my review. Stuff I did, made, complained about, projects, blah blah blah.

I mock myself. My blog is my humble safe home amongst a web of increasing pollution and abandoned storefronts. I regularly lean on my own writing to connect new ideas, to grab old ones. I now have 16 years worth of stuff.

But the way I prefer to see my year is in my annual review/cleanup of the daily photos I have posted to flickr, aiming for one a day since D’Arcy Norman inspired me in 2008.

It’s rare I get a perfect 365, that is not the goal at all. Towards the end of December I look at my album, and this year I saw I was about 30 images short of 365. So then I have a process of going back through, and finding ones I forgot to put in the album, or days I just was sloppy with organizing. In about 3 hours of sorting, I got it filled out to 355, meaning 10 days I just did not take any, so my 2018/365 flickr album is as full as it will get.

What I did not realize, or likely just forgot, is that this process itself triggers a fantastic window into the year at a more human pace and scale than blog posts. Because it’s through the camera I see the world, and in turn, I see what/where/who was in it.

Enough of that, here is the 2018 in 355 photos in one video

So it has been a rather big year of life changes- and everything in it pales to getting married June 1 to Cori (a flickr album for that) and moving from Arizona to Saskatchewan, settling into a new home, and working through the thousands of steps to get me status here sorted out.

I’ll let the photos talk, it has everything in it. Among the many things Cori and I share it’s our mutual love of photos, invariably the paired ones we take of each other looking through our cameras.

I could go on about work and projects and SPLOTs (yes, you do want more blog posts about SPLOTs, right?). Actually a post is due on work stuff for 2018 because I sure need more work for 2019. But that’s another post, this one is about what was in the camera view.

This daily photo thing is something I just have to do. Discarding ideas of 10,000 hours magically meaning anything, a regular practice of creativity, not just photos, but crafts, music, writing, heck even meditation, really has hit the magic spot when it bothers you to not be doing it.

This photo habit works at different levels; I remind myself several times a day to stop what I’m doing and look around for posible photos. It means walks to the post office or with the dog are not just tasks, but opportunities to seek light, shadow, funny signs, and also just let the mind wander.

And there are layers of reflection I find useful.

Then there is the evening round of pruning photos, editing, writing titles and captions, and settling on a reason to pick One as the Photo of the Day. Maybe it’s the most visually eye catching one, or maybe it’s one for meaning of what happened. And then end of the year, another time to see them all at a different scale.

And while the blog provides a copious amount of filling in where my memory fails, it’s often my photos I count on, the captions, locations, etc, to pinpoint moments in my life. And with 11 years of daily coverage, it’s a rather detailed, comprehensive credit. It’s my outsourced memory.

This is why it’s not much a decision of me to pony up again for my flickr pro membership, because the platform is not just an archive, it’s my lived memory. There are so many ways it serves my needs, that no other option can match it.

There is no barrier of entry into this process, you get to pick how you go about it. We have a flickr group for 2019/365 Photos (I change the name each year, it’s the same group) now in it’s 12th year, with over 1700 members, who have shared over 266,000 photos over the year. No one makes rules, policies, and for the most part, not many people even say much in the group discussion area. I love this so loose an idea of community you can question if it is one (don’t question, it is).

Lastly, some nuts and bolts on that video. I owe much to some clever command line scripting from John Johnston (summarized in last year’s blog post) that I have modified slightly. It is magic- it will download all photos from a specified flickr album, then resize them to proper video dimensions, then string them together as an mp4 video. I thought last year I figured out how to reverse the sequence, but my blog post and memory failed, so I pulled it into iMovie where it’s easy to reverse, I added some titles, and CC licensed electronic background music from the Free Music Archive.

Lots of people are pretty grim about 2018, but mine was brimming with light and love. From January 1, 2018, an image of one home

to a new home in 2019. There was but 365 days /355 photos between them…

And more photos to come in 2019.


Featured Image features my favorite photographer:

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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.

Comments

  1. What a beautiful post and i loved the 355 video. Thank you for sharing and inspiring as always Alan. Just wondering, do you now have a llama farm as well?

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