Among “photo challenges,” the photo-a-day one is pretty popular, and it’s a great way to get yourself in the habit of doing even some small creative thing daily. I was intrigued, though, by a “photo an hour” challenge I’d heard about from a fellow blogger. I liked the idea of something a little more intensive: documenting a day with images deliberately taken at set intervals.
I don’t always practice enough, often falling into the “Well... it’s not worth shooting if it I wouldn’t hang it in a gallery...” way of thinking. What is that about?! Instagram and a smartphone got me photographing daily life more regularly, which has been great for keeping my eyes fresh, but I wanted to try photo-an-hour because it would force me to be “on assignment” all day. Painters carry around sketchbooks, pianists practice scales… how do I practice as a photographer? I thought a day in Pittsburgh would be a perfect place to start...
9am - In the elevator of the hotel.
10 am - Breakfast in the park. Yes that is my new Siena camera bag from JoTotes. I looove it.
11am - Drove across the river to see the Allegheny Observatory in Riverview Park. (Ha, yes, my photo is pretty much the same as the one on their website.) I couldn't get into the building, but walking around the outside was nice too. It's definitely on my "come back again" list.
12pm - It was a hot day. Valentine had a drink from the fountain. Mostly, though, he enjoyed watching the water swirl down the drain.
1pm - Walking through the doors of the Carnegie Library.
2pm - Passed this gorgeous door on my walk to the Cathedral of Learning.
3pm - Did some journaling in the main hall of the Cathedral of Learning, then poked around a little. This amazing globe was in the Polish Room, along with the score from Manru, Ignace Jan Paderewski's only opera.
3pm - Hungry! Had lunch and drinks at The Porch, just across the lawn from all the Carnegie buildings.
4pm - Back in the Carnegie Library, this time to look around a little.
The library gallery was showing a beautiful collection of portraits: Meet Your Neighbors: Refugee Portraits and Stories, a collaborative project about Pittsburgh's refugee community photographed by Rich Waters.
5pm - Back at the hotel and working on my Iceland blog post...
6pm - Waiting for a table at Meat & Potatoes. (That's the chandelier in the lobby.)
7pm - Ooooh the pot roast was sooo good.
8pm - Walking past the Roberto Clemente Bridge (Sixth Street), close to sunset. Good night, Pittsburgh!
I really enjoyed my photo-an-hour practice. I loved having a visual diary of the day! I suppose it was easier trying this in a new place that I was exploring (I would imagine that a day spent working at home wouldn't be quite as visually interesting to blog readers!) but then again, taking a peek into someone's daily life is always interesting to me... I love stories!
One thing I'd try next time? Setting a timer. I missed my mark a few times. Other thoughts might be to shoot only film, or just in black and white.
Feel free to send me suggestions, and if you try this yourself, let me know how it goes! I'd love a peek into one of your days too.
(Many thanks to my friends Vicki and Phil for suggestions on places to visit & eat!)