Two seconds a day of video from this month. Nothing to add to my commentary from last month, other than it was fun to do again! Makes me so happy watching this.
Toward the end of my photo a day project in 2015, several people asked me if I was going to do it again in 2016. “Heck, no!” I responded. That project meant a lot to me (still does), and I loved doing it, but it was a lot of work, it took up a lot of mental and emotional headspace, and I was burned out on sharing.
Still, once you get into the habit of making, it’s hard to break. It just feels good to make something every day, to watch a little bit of incremental effort become a body of work. And it’s especially nice when it serves as a kind of journal of your life.
Even though I was saying no to doing another 365 photo project, I had started toying with the idea of doing a one second of video a day project. I had seen a few of these floating around on the Internet, and I was amazed by how much a single second of video could capture.
I started playing around with this at the beginning of 2016 and didn’t even get through a week. Over the next few years, I tinkered with other daily project ideas, but wasn’t motivated enough to do one.
I decided to revisit the one second a day idea this month. You can see the results above. I started with one second a day, and really liked it, but when I showed it to others, they said it was too fast. I decided to go with two seconds instead, and I like it even better.
Doing this was much less stressful than my 365 ever was. First, it was only 31 days. I might do another month, but I haven’t decided yet. Second, I’m not sharing every day. Third, video is much more forgiving than photography. You get two more dimensions — movement and sound — to capture something interesting. Fourth, I don’t care that much about getting good at video right now. I’m just playing, which is pretty liberating.
That said, I’m slightly more primed to capture video than I was three years ago. I’ve been inspired by several friends and colleagues (and, in some cases, their kids) who often produce simple, but really fun and compelling videos. My experience with photography helps. I also read Walter Murch’s outstanding, In the Blink of an Eye, a few years ago, and it made me see video in a whole different light. Finally, the 1 Second Everyday app makes it super easy to compile and edit your videos. (The iOS version is superb. Sadly, the Android version is terrible.)
Exactly one year ago today, I was on a plane back home to San Francisco, some combination of grumpy and elated. I was exploring the possibility of doing some work with the RE-AMP Network and had made the last-minute decision to attend its annual meeting in Chicago. I was busy and stressed from other work, and I almost didn’t go, but I was glad that I did.
I had met many wonderful people at the meeting, and my mind was buzzing with ideas. But I was also coming down with something, and my plane had been delayed for several hours, much of it while we were on the tarmac, because of one of those darned Midwestern thunderstorms. I was tired and uncomfortable, and I just wanted to be home.
I am a die-hard aisle-seat person, but an aisle seat wasn’t available when I had purchased my ticket, so I ended up in a window seat. We finally took off, and about an hour later, just outside of Minneapolis, I glanced out the window and saw this:
I sat there, mesmerized, for several minutes, before I finally had the presence of mind to pull out my camera and capture this short clip.
As I watch it now, exactly one year later, I am reminded of how I felt and what went through my mind as I witnessed this. I remember thinking about all of the accidental circumstances that had led me to being there at that exact moment, how annoyed I had been feeling a few hours earlier, and how lucky and grateful I was feeling right then. I remember thinking how amazing it was to live in a time where it was even possible for me to be watching this natural marvel from 30,000 feet up in the air.
In a few weeks, I’ll be heading to the RE-AMP Annual Meeting yet again, this time in Detroit. I’ve had an amazing, special year in the interim. I wonder where life is going to lead me this time.
I participated in a wonderful photography workshop last year hosted by the Richmond District branch of the San Francisco Public Library. Throughout the workshop, Natalie Schrik was shooting documentary footage.
The library just published the final video, and I absolutely love it! It’s a three-minute documentary of us shooting the neighborhood, intermixed with our commentary (including mine at the 1:32 mark) and photos (including one of mine at the very end).
It was a great experience, I was happy to be a part of it, and I’m happy to be able to share this video with all of you!