I mentioned last week that I’d be starting another “30 Days with…” challenge, this time with the Leica M10 Monochrom. Well, today’s Day 1! If you’re new to this project format, here’s a little background on the goals and rules.
- KNOW THY CAMERA. Ideally, I want to be able to focus on the art I’m creating without getting distracted by the tools I’m using. The only way to get to that point, paradoxically, is to focus very intensely on the tools. You have to practice with your gear over and over until changing the settings is second nature. Only then can you focus exclusively on the art without getting distracted by the tools.
- FOCUS ON JUST ONE BRICK. This project will initiate creativity in my photography. Sometimes giving yourself boundaries can unleash creative potential that is otherwise hidden by the preponderance of possibilities. “Should I grab this lens or that lens? Should I take both camera bodies? What about a tripod? Should I shoot this in color or black and white?” And so forth. These decisions can lead to a mental fatigue that may end up resulting in not taking ANY pictures (it’s too much effort just to think about it…). For this project, these decisions will largely be eliminated, as they have been predetermined from the start. All that’s left is to take pictures!
- DO THE WORK. The enforced consistency of shooting and posting every day will force me to create even when I don’t initially feel inspired to create. This may seem counterintuitive and likely to result in subpar photos, but in reality we often need to work our way into inspiration rather than wait passively or inspiration to arrive. Sometimes the days, weeks, years, and even lives pass by before the inspiration visits. So – at least for the next 30 days – I’ll forget about inspiration and just do the work.
- For the next 30 days, I will post one picture per day that was taken with the Leica M10 Monochrom.
- While I must post a picture every day, it doesn’t have to be taken on the same day that it was shared. I don’t have the time or the skill guaranteed to produce a share-worthy image every day, unfortunately.
- While I may post pictures from prior shootings within the 30 days, I cannot post a picture over a week old (though I did give myself a week head start on shooting for this project). This prevents the situation of shooting a bunch in the first couple days and then not shooting any more and just posting images from the first couple shoots. This behavior wouldn’t live into the spirit of the project.
These goals and rules have stayed fairly consistent over the years. What does change a bit from version to version is the nature of the posts that accompany each of the images. Sometimes I’ve dedicated the majority of my words to the piece of gear. Sometimes it’s been the way the gear impacts how I approach photography. And sometimes I just skip the words altogether and let the images do all the talking. I’m sure this incarnation of the “30 Days with…” series will contain all of the above, but I’m also going to deliberately introduce some posts that focus on the spirit of black and white photography. As I mentioned in my prequel post last week, black and white is my photographic home…so a project using a black and white only camera seems to demand something a little more reflective and philosophical than usual.
We’ll see if I’m up to the challenge. The words don’t flow as smoothly as they once did. Wish me luck, and I hope you enjoy the series!