Weekly Photo Project Week 5: Self-less Selfies

Another short week (I’ll be posting another “full” week assignment this coming Friday to get back on a normal schedule), so here’s another short project. Think of it as a selfie with a twist: how might you take a photo of yourself without having you in it?

Unlike other 365 Day and 52-Week photo projects, we’re not going to guilt you if you’re getting a late start. It’s never too late to join the fun (and the discussion) at the First 10,000 Photo Community and/or give a like to The First 10,000’s Facebook page.

Weekly Photo Project Week 4: Cold

Yes, I’m a bit late with this week’s challenge. As such, it’s going to be a short week and a somewhat shorter challenge.

Depending on where you are as you read this, this week’s challenge could be deceptively easy, or deceptively difficult. As I write this, a decent portion of the Northeast is buried under snow, slush, and ice. So here’s the challenging bit: without using the obvious trappings of winter, find a way to photograph and convey cold.

Having a bit of difficulty getting started? You’re not the only one. On the brighter side, it’s never too late to join the fun (and the discussion) at the First 10,000 Photo Community and/or give a like to The First 10,000’s Facebook page.

Weekly Photo Project Week 3: Shutter Speed

This week we move to the second leg of the exposure triangle. Namely, shutter speed. There’s an explanation of shutter speed in an earlier post called “Shooting in Shutter Priority,” which also covers… well, I’m only giving you one guess. As with the previous weeks, feel free to interpret, freestyle, experiment, and/or drop some science.

Unlike other 365 Day and 52-Week photo projects, we’re not going to guilt you if you’re getting a late start. It’s never too late to join the fun (and the discussion) at the First 10,000 Photo Community and/or give a like to The First 10,000’s Facebook page.

52-Week Photo Project Week 2: Aperture and Depth of Field

So now that we’re a week in and you’ve hopefully gotten back into the habit of shooting, let’s cover a few fundamentals. This week your assignment is to pay attention primarily to aperture, and with it, to depth of field. There’s an earlier article (Shooting in Aperture Priority) that can be a help if you’d like a quick introduction. Otherwise, feel free to experiment and share the results.

Unlike other 365 Day and 52-Week photo projects, we’re not going to guilt you if you’re getting a late start. It’s never too late to join the fun (and the discussion) at the First 10,000 Photo Community and/or give a like to The First 10,000’s Facebook page.

52-Week Photo Project Week 1: Get The Rust Out

Your assignment for the first week: Get the rust out. Maybe you’ve just gotten your first camera. Maybe you’ve been shooting for years — decades, even — but you haven’t been shooting as often as you’d like. In either case, the first thing you need to do to call yourself a photographer is to take photos. So this week, we’re going to keep things simple. Put your camera on full auto (yes, even those of you in the habit of shooting in manual), and just get out there and shoot. It doesn’t matter if you don’t go any farther than your neighborhood, your back yard, or even just your living room. It doesn’t matter if you spend a whole week taking photos of your dinner and your cats. Shoot often. Shoot the best you can, but — and this part is really important — suspend judgment. The goal is to get (back) in the habit of shooting.

Save your work from this week. We’ll be revisiting some of it later. And don’t forget to share on the project’s Facebook group, The First 10,000 Photography Community.

See you there!

2016 52-Week Photo Project

Some of you will recall that a while back I ran a 365 day photo project on this site. That’s still available — you can see it here — but this year we’re going to do things a little bit differently. Rather than a day-by-day project, I’ve decided to have 52 weeks’ worth of photo projects. Now you don’t have to shoot every day (though I’d certainly encourage you to try). You just have to post amazing work once a week. So, y’know, no pressure. 🙂

The Rules:
1. Use any camera you want.
2. Interpret the assignments as literally or as loosely as you’d like.
3. Use only your own photos, unless the assignment specifies otherwise
4. Shoot something, anything, every day. If that means flipping the script on an assignment, so be it.
5. If you’re stuck, wing it.
6. Don’t do anything stupid or illegal to get your photos. Common sense and safety first, OK?

If you’re coming here because you’re curious about a 365 day photo project or something else that’s designed to get you shooting again but it just seems like an awful lot of work, you can use my “Lazy One-Day Photo Project (TM)”.


Repeat as often as possible.

Now. Get your camera and start shooting! The next post will have the first week’s assignment.


Okay, we’re back. Yes, I know I’ve said that before, but this time should — hopefully — be different. Welcome to 2016, and welcome (or welcome back) to The First 10,000.

Every new year, I’m usually in the habit of making resolutions. I’m going to lose weight, quit smoking, write a book… name it, and at one time or another, I’ve probably resolved to do it. And failed. So this year, I’m making one resolution that I know I can — and will — keep.

Create something.

That’s all. No more, no less.

I’m not even quite sure what it’s going to be when it’s done, but by this time next year, I will hopefully have figured it out. Hopefully as that process unfolds and as I get back into the day-to-day of photography, you’ll be along for the ride. If you’re a past reader, thanks for coming back. And if you’re new here, welcome! Let’s see what comes next, shall we?

Year Two: While We Were Out

Today marks the second anniversary of The First 10,000. It’s been a much quieter year hereabouts than I intended, but I plan on remedying that starting… well, now-ish. There’ll be plenty more coming in the days ahead.

And just because we’ve been away (in a manner of speaking) doesn’t mean we haven’t been paying attention to the goings-on in the world of photography. In case you missed them, here’s a roundup of some things that caught our eye. If you’d like to see more like this, incidentally, head on over to our Facebook page and “Like” us there, since I plan to keep these little incidentals on that page rather than taking up too much space with them here. In the meantime, thanks for sticking around (both of you)!

Let’s get started, shall we?

Greg Bottoms’ “Dear Mr. Eggleston” uses one of Eggleston’s best-known images to spark a discussion, or maybe a reverie, on memory and photography, and the place where the two intersect.


A bit late to the party (as usual), but I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Wired magazine’s Raw File, which turns an eclectic eye on photography. While you’re there, don’t miss Raw Meet, which intermittently talks to various movers and shakers in the world of photography.

Raw File: http://www.wired.com/rawfile/ Raw Meet: http://www.wired.com/rawfile/section/raw-meet/

Photography in the News (Part One): the internet briefly lost its shit over Swedish photographer Paul Hansen’s prizewinning image “Gaza Burial”. It was initially suggested that it was a composite taken from multiple images, but later analysis would show that this wasn’t the case. The debate over what constitutes acceptable photographic editing in journalism apparently isn’t over just yet.


Photography in the News (Part Two): No sooner had the furor over Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s comments on maternity leave started to die down, she stepped in it with photographers. Saying that Flickr would no longer offer a Pro option  because there’s no such thing as pro photographers any more. I was perplexed; this hit the news within days after I’d gotten an email from the service suggesting that I go pro (apparently pros don’t exist, but their money’s still as good as anyone else’s). The considerable number of people who are pro photographers reacted with a combination of anger and scorn, to the extent that they bothered to think of Flickr much at all (the service has lost many of its professional users to other services). My brain hurts thinking about this, much less writing about it. Imaging Resource has a higher tolerance for this sort of thing than I do, and their take is here: http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2013/05/22/yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayer-apologizes-on-twitter-for-misstatement-about-pros

Photography in the News (Part 2 ½): On the other hand, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Ms. Mayer; the PhotoShelter blog had this rather depressing item about the Death of Photojournalism. It’s a topic that’s bloomed like a hoary perennial for the last decade or so, but given that the Chicago Sun-Times had just laid off the entirety of its photojournalism staff, they may have been onto something. http://blog.photoshelter.com/2013/05/how-the-internet-killed-photojournalism/

The Washington Post avoids controversy with their “Iconic Images” series, which also manages to avoid both context and history… while there’s little arguing with the images they chose to feature, anything of this nature will raise eyebrows (or hackles) with what it leaves out. The WaPo seems to think that not much of note took place prior to 1945, which would be news to some of the best practitioners of the art and craft of photography. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/iconic-images/2013/04/21/8a7b4ec8-aab8-11e2-a8b9-2a63d75b5459_gallery.html?tid=ts_carousel#photo=1

And of course, there’s some photography.  I’ve come across some great photo projects in the last few months. If they share anything in common, it’s that they’re coming from photographers with a more inclusive eye for beauty.

Photographer Angelica Dass calls Humanæ “a chromatic inventory, a project that reflects on the colors beyond the borders of our codes by referencing the PANTONE® color scheme.” Her project subverts the ways we normally look at, and think of, race and “color.” http://humanae.tumblr.com/

Marian Drew’s Still Life / Australiana (2003-2009) consists of breathtaking shots of roadkill. Yes, I wrote that sentence, and I mean it without a trace of irony. http://mariandrew.com.au/index.php?mact=Album,m4,default,1&m4albumid=38&m4returnid=50&page=50

Rick Guidotti’s Positive Exposure is a direct response to the fashion photographer’s frustration at being told, in effect, what was and was not beauty. His response? Illuminating the beauty of those with genetic differences. http://positiveexposure.org/gallery/

Jens Juul’s Six Degrees of Copenhagen turns a sympathetic eye on that city’s denizens.  http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2013/05/30/jens_juul_six_degrees_of_copenhagen_gives_a_glimpse_into_some_of_the_residents.html

Mark Laita’s series Created Equal is a meditation on social mobility and inequality.  http://www.thephotomag.com/2013/05/created-equal-stunning-photo-series.html

Finally, of “Impaired Perceptions,” Brian Charles Steele says, “These portraits show each person’s humanity and force the viewer to see them as individuals.” http://www.briancharlessteelphotography.com/fineart.html


10,000/365: FEBRUARY: The Elements of Style

Let’s try this again, shall we?

January sorta got away from me, but it’s a new day, and a new month, with new possibilities. The object last month was to simply get comfortable behind the camera, and to get in the habit of shooting daily (or, barring that, at least to shoot often, eh?). This month’s projects, on the other hand, are targeted at helping you find, and hone, your personal style.

In order to do that, we’ll be approaching style from several angles, thinking about how photography — both as a genre, and our own personal practice — has its roots not only in the world we encounter day in and day out, but also in all that’s come before us. Sometimes that’ll be a mental exercise (thinking over who our artistic ancestors might be, for instance); other times, however, that mental approach will be combined with attempts to understand how classic photos work by trying to recreate them ourselves.

As with some of last month’s projects, you may find yourself stumped from time to time. That’s okay. Do the best you can with what you’ve got, and above all, have fun!

Keep up with the project, share your progress, feedback and questions:
Project page (where you’ll also find a FAQ and other goodies)
The entries day-by-day (the blog entries)
10,000/365 Flickr Group (to share and discuss your shots)

January 8by10

10,000/365 Days 16 and 17: Backlighting and Sidelighting

Today felt like Groundhog Day, in the sense that the sun would periodically peek out from the clouds, see its own shadow, and then skitter off again, leaving the day nearly as overcast as most of the past week has been. However intermittent, I’ll take it over no sun at all. Here’s the result of squeezing yesterday and today’s assignments in between bouts of shadowboxing with old Sol.

Keep up with the project, share your progress, feedback and questions:
Project page (where you’ll also find a FAQ and other goodies)
The entries day-by-day (the blog entries)
10,000/365 Flickr Group (to share and discuss your shots)

Day 16