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365 Cellphone Pics, Aug 1-2

So, back on August 12th 2006, I happened across a photo by fellow photographer, Stephen Poff, and was inspired to attempt a 365 Day self-portrait project. One self portrait taken every day for a year. In the beginning I wasn’t very confident, so in order to support myself in the project, I formed a flickr group called 365Days and encouraged other people to join the project, in hopes that I’d get maybe 100 other participants. That group has since grown to a cult of nearly 19,000 members worldwide with more joining every day. 

Myself, I finished the year and continued taking a self-portrait every day, which I intend to do so long as I never miss one. I’m coming up on four years now. I even self-published a book of my first year of the project which is available for purchase from Blurb.com
Fast-forward to last week and I was on the  AwesomeCast podcast speaking about photography and whether or not you could use a cellphone camera to do “real photography.” I wrote about this in a blog entry here on July 30th. As I mentioned in that entry, it got me to thinking whether or not it would be interesting to do a gallery of all cell phone pics. It took me two days, but I decided, hell, why not give it a try and find out. And since I’m me, I figured, why not make it another year long project. So that brings us to today.
What I intend to do here is take a cellphone pic every day for a year. But rather than my self-portrait project, where the idea was to feature myself everyday, no matter how I felt and where some photos would be well framed, well processed intricate works of art and some would be… not so good.. I’m going to try to make every single photo here interesting. I’m going to treat it like an actual photography assignment. Taking real photos with real composition. Editing each one. Cropping them. Doing my best to make it something that I might give a client. With one exception. Every single one will be photographed with my cellphone (currently an Apple iPhone 3GS). I think the real trick is going to be trying to actually come up with something interesting to shoot every day. In the self-portrait project, I’m at least always in my own presence. This is going to be a little trickier. 
I’ll try to post regular updates to this blog, but the photos themselves without commentary will be appearing in a gallery here on Elseworld that I’ve just added
In any case, here are the first two photos: 

Day 1: August 1st, 2010
I began the project on my birthday, August 1st. This first photo is from the window of Tom’s Diner in Pittsburgh, PA, where I live. Tom’s is a popular late night diner, especially for after the bar closes food. We actually had not been out to a bar, but it was getting late and we’d not yet had dinner, and I was in the mood for a late night breakfast. And really, that’s exactly what Tom’s is for. While I was eating there, I was inspired by the colors of the neon sign in the window and decided that I definitely wanted to give this project a try (I had been going back and forth on it for a few days). So I walked outside and composed my shot against the diner window. A simple click and we were underway.

Day 2: August 2nd, 2010
Although my birthday proper was yesterday, we made plans with my friends to celebrate today at one of my favorite local restaurants, a local Japanese Hibachi grill called Nakama. Since I was already committed to the project by the time I went there, I knew what my photo for today would be. I wanted to capture a nice shot of the Hibachi chef cooking on the grill in the nice large plume of fire. I was actually quite impressed with how well that worked out given the total lack of control over settings that one has with an iPhone camera. However, good photos are all about light, and well, fire makes a decent amount of that. I think this shot turned out great. On the other hand, this is only day two of the project and my first two days were already about food. I’m definitely going to need to expand my horizons a bit here. 
More to come.

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