“There’s nobody like this guy in the league,” [Rex] Ryan once said of [Peyton] Manning. “Nobody studies like him. I know Brady thinks he does. I think there’s probably a little more help with [Bill] Belichick with Brady than there is with Peyton Manning.”
Told another time by reporters that Brady attended a Broadway show instead of watching the Jets-Colts playoff game that would determine New England’s next opponent, Ryan quipped, “Peyton Manning would have been watching our game.”
What Ryan and others have never seemed to grasp, one of Brady’s former teammates explains, is that Brady has always been smart enough to accept that it’s impossible to know everything. That’s why he’s the best postseason quarterback of all time. (Brady holds the record for most playoff wins, yards and touchdowns.) That’s why he obsesses over the simple fundamentals of playing catch, drilling for hours and hours in the offseason with guys like Edelman and former teammate Wes Welker on stuff as basic as ball position and splits. A player can study film and look at 10,000 formations on an iPad for as many hours as the eyes and the brain will allow. But ultimately, the human mind is not a computer. Overthinking in tense moments, trying to decode a defense like it’s a sudoku puzzle, is the perfect recipe for hesitation and panic.
“You know, Brady probably doesn’t watch as much film as Manning, and that’s OK,” said Brady’s former teammate. “You know why? Because he’s got coaches that are watching just as much film as [Manning] is. What Brady gets is that he’s the only guy who understands exactly what’s going on down on the field. So when Josh McDaniels calls a certain play, Brady is thinking: ‘I know exactly why he called that play. I know exactly what my read is on this.’ Brady’s genius is that he understands delegation. He trusts the people around him.”
I was running late for a meeting Monday morning, which meant taking the bus wouldn’t cut it, so I called a Lyft Line. A driver named Rich (pictured above) picked me up. There were already two people in the back seat, so I got into the front passenger seat.
Rich was warm and chatty, and he started sharing stories about growing up in San Francisco, about his previous career as a bus driver, and about his family. I’m usually preoccupied before a meeting and not inclined to make small talk, but I found him entertaining and thought-provoking, and I ended up listening closely for the entire ride.
One story in particular stood out. A friend of his was driving to visit him, and on the way over, she saw that an old man had fallen on the sidewalk and couldn’t get up. To her surprise and horror, she noticed several pedestrians walk past him without offering to help. She pulled over and helped the old man.
When she recounted this story to Rich, she exclaimed, “I can’t believe that, in this day and age, nobody stopped and helped him.”
“That’s not what he was thinking,” Rich replied.
“What was he thinking?” she asked.
“‘I can’t believe that, in this day and age, somebody stopped to help me.'” he said.
“You can’t change people,” Rich said to me after sharing the story, “but you can be your best self. That’s how we make the world a better place.”
I made and shared one photograph every day last year. It was an amazing experience, and at some point, I’d like to share what I learned and what it all meant. For now, here are some numbers from the project.
I made 365 photographs.
70% were candids.
47% were made outdoors.
50% had people in them.
180 people I knew made at least one appearance. 50 of those people appeared twice or more. The person who appeared the most? Me at 20 appearances, ranging from straight-up selfies to body parts to shadows.
The photos were made in 43 cities across six different states (California, Ohio, New Mexico, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Maryland) and D.C.
84% were made in the Bay Area. 78% of my Bay Area shots were made in San Francisco. 36% of my San Francisco shots were made at home or my office.
89% were shared on the same day. There were an average of 20 social media (Flickr and Facebook) interactions (likes, favorites, and comments) per photo.
Here is the breakdown of my photos by time made:
I made the vast majority of my photos after 12pm, with most of them shot between 5-8pm. Ten were made after 11pm. This very much reflects my personal rhythms as well as my story focus. I’m an early riser, so taking photos in the morning when the light was good wouldn’t have been a problem. However, I often spend my mornings in solitude focusing on my work, and the story of the day usually doesn’t start to unfold until the afternoon.
74% were horizontal in orientation.
52% were made with the equivalent of a 50mm lens. I shot 22 photos with a borrowed Fuji X-T1 while my Olympus OM-D E-M5 was in the shop. I shot 16 photos with my Moto X cell phone, and one with a borrowed iPhone.
95% were shot with natural light, but I really had fun playing with the other 5%, including light paintings and HDR.
56 photos prominently featured food or cooking, including three when I was sick with a stomach bug. No surprises here. I love to eat.
52 photos were made during work (i.e. project-related meetings, meetups that I organized, or work-related artifacts). Most of these were related to my Collaboration Muscles & Mindsets program and my DIY Strategy / Culture Toolkits, my primary experiments of the past few years.
24 photos had a computer in it.
10 photos were basketball-related.
At least six photos were used in other people’s articles or blog posts, including one in the Washington Post.
Three photos appeared in Flickr Explore — days 227, 250, and 293. (A fourth that was not originally part of my Photo of the Day project became part when I included it as a screenshot.) I’ve been a Flickr member since 2005, and up until this year, I had never had a photo appear in Explore, so this was a huge thrill.
Speaking of screenshots, I also posted one photo not taken by me. (It was taken by my friend, Dana Reynolds.) On both of these days, I did take photos (in one case, really good ones), I just felt compelled to make exceptions.
Finally, I took about 20,000 photos overall in 2015. (This is an estimate based on my Lightroom numbers, which are under-reported, because I do a rough cull as soon as I start processing.) This is about the same as 2013 (when I started taking photography seriously) and 2014.
Of these 20,000 photos, I marked about 500 them as “good.” Many of my photos from my 365 project did not make the cut.
In other words, for every 100 photos I took in 2015, I considered two or three of them good. From what I’ve heard from other photographers, this is a pretty typical yield.