21 February, 2008

365 Days

I've been browsing through a number of photo pools on Flickr the past month or so, ever since I discovered the wealth of largely non-pornographic, artistic nudes that exist on the site, presumably having been hidden just behind the content filter. Coupled with my newly open attitude (at least in certain arenas) about my interest in nudism as well as nude [self-]photography, and the nifty tripod I recently procured, which has greatly increased my ability to shoot myself, (although I'm still working on finding a solution to the battery obstacle), my photographical interest and inspiration is aroused.

I've come across a certain challenge on Flickr, called 365 Days, in which the idea is for the photographer to post one photograph of him/herself every day for a full year. No excuses, no arguments, just one picture a day. And there are plenty of ideas about various themes and motifs to explore in case you find yourself lacking in ideas. Now, seeing that my primary mode of taking pictures is self-portraiture (considering that I have no models who would express mutual interest in being shot by me), and that my other primary photographic interest - natural landscapes - is hard to do on a nocturnal schedule and a sheltered lifestyle, this challenge seems right up my alley. Granted, I have so far done a terrible job of keeping up with these one-a-day schedules of things that I want to do more of (drawing and practicing guitar are among the recent failures), but what's one more try? Maybe this'll be the one that sticks...

One of the keys to making sure that this project maintains a certain level of interest, so that there's a better chance of me sticking with it, is my decision to try 365 Nudes - a nude a day. Maybe it's silly to restrict myself to nudes, when I could do any kind of mixture as my mood dictates. But the thing about making it nude is that, to me, at this period in my life, that's exciting. Taking a nude picture is a lot more exciting than taking a regular old clothed picture. And my primary interest here is the form of the human body (specifically, mine), and not the contours of textile adornment. That's not to say that every photo has to be buck naked, or even primarily a nude study - I look forward to experimenting with all kinds of props and themes to see what interesting shots I can possibly come up with. On the other hand, I don't want to put too much pressure on myself to compose a masterpiece everyday, or else, I know I'll just give up.

Besides, a lot of pictures I see are way too artistic, way too staged. Not that it's a bad thing, or that a spontaneous snap is gonna be better, but I'd just like to see a lot more normal pictures of normal people, who - and this is the important part - manage to capture something profound without requiring that look of professional polish. To go off on a tangent, it's like in pornography - you see all those air-brushed images of picture-perfect models, and they just don't do anything for you (well, for me, at least). You want to see real people in real environments - but that doesn't mean you want to look at a bunch of half-assed snaps of ugly people. There's a balance to be found between amateur and professional, where a natural kind of beauty can be captured in a natural kind of way. That's what I'd like to see, anyway. There's a lot of beautiful people out there that you'll never see on a magazine cover.

So I don't know if this is gonna last, or if technical problems (like unreliable batteries) are gonna screw me over, or if I'm gonna end up losing the ability to take interesting photos, but I'm excited enough to give it a run. One photo a day, and I'll probably provide a description for each one, or at least something to give it a little context. This will be on my Flickr account.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a fantastic idea to me.

    Yesterday I was inspired to take some nudes (albeit this time with my stuff covered-up by a guitar) because of that picture of Sara Gilbert.

    And with my anger towards regular society boiling within me as always, I ended up using one of the pictures as my Facebook picture. I like putting nude (though not 'explicit' since that would get me deleted) photos up for my MySpace and Facebook icons because that strikes a blow against traditional society AND because to me seeing someone you know naked is always way more meaningful than seeing someone you don't know naked (so I want represent myself as being naked to my constituency).

    But you know what I discovered? I actually think I look a lot better nude than I do with clothes on! That's only in pictures, mind you, that's not in person (for all I know?) but if I were to pick the top 10 photos of myself that I think make me look the most dignified, cool and attractive, atleast the top 5 if not all 10 would be pictures of me without clothes on.