My first complete 365 Days project. An endeavor to take a self-portrait every day for a year. The rules are simple. I must be visible in the picture, and I must take the picture. All I had to help me get into the photos was a 10-second timer. It’s surprising how fast you can get at moving into position!
A quick picture for the first day. I just love the light in the bathroom, and the mirror comes in very handy for seeing the picture on the camera’s display.
The first day — referring to the first day of my 365 Days project, a project to take and publish a self-portrait photograph every day for a year. A project which ended up as the catalyst for major changes in my life.
Not looking very happy, am I?
The camera only has a 10-second self-timer, so I had to take a load of test shots the day before so that I could get the shot right on the day. I have to get to work, so time is tight.
This shot took lots of tries. The floor was a bit damp by the time I had finished; this picture is the best of the bunch. Posing was difficult. I was relying on water and condensation to obscure parts of the image 🙂 It didn’t work in all the shots, which was another reason why I had to take so many.
Something nice and simple. (re-edit). Future Gary says: A truly awful picture that might have been improved by clean glasses and more depth of field.
It took me two days to get this one, and I think it could be improved by zooming in a bit.
Future Gary granted past Gary his wish and zoomed it in a bit.
My less serious alter ego strikes a blow for more fun in my pictures. I’ve been looking forward to trying out a clone shot ever since I first saw them on Flickr.
It’s around ten PM and I’ve been working on and off since seven thirty AM.
I took this shot at my desk at home.
After a long walk to the shops and back via the in-laws, it was time to sit in the garden and enjoy the sun. It wasn’t long before I decided it was warm enough to disrobe.
I’ve gone to a lot of effort to make our garden secluded so that I can get an all-over tan without frightening the neighbors, and this is the first time this year I’ve been able to make full use of it. There are going to be days and days of pictures like this once the warmer weather starts.
This was one of the first pictures I took this afternoon. When I checked it earlier, I thought it was badly framed, and I took a whole load more with varying poses and framing. Now, seeing it on the computer, I really like the composition. So this is my picture of the day.
In the summer I sleep in the garden;
I don’t rough it; I have a sofa bed, which stays indoors over winter while the air is damp. In October I vowed to spend one night a month sleeping out and last night was February’s turn. It was a cool night, hence the duvet and sleeping bag.
I just love my Fuji Finepix F30 camera to bits.
I typically had one hour to grab and process a picture each day. So many of the shots and much of the processing were hurried. I think the original shot would have worked better if I’d decided to cool down the lighting (make it less yellow). It was one of my early attempts at the bleach image effect, and I tried to get it in-camera.
I cannot remember if ‘Deliberate’ was referring to my expression or the over-exposure of the image. It works for both.
Today (2021) I prefer the spot color approach.
For my final foray into the Copycat mini-challenge, this picture was going to be ‘The Red Shorts,’ but then I thought I’d go one better.
The original is stunning and a favorite of mine. So respect to Laura – and she’s a lot more supple than me too. Trying this pose could have ended up with me off work with a bad back for months. This picture could get me into more trouble than any of my other shots; I didn’t ask if I could borrow the dress!
14 Oct 2007: I really ought to re-name this shot ‘Albatross.’ It is one of my most viewed photographs, it has been ‘explored’ on Flickr, and it just won’t shift off the top of my ‘most popular photographs’ list.
Note on mini-challenges. Trying to come up with an original idea for a photograph each day is extremely difficult. So the people completing the 365 Days project, came up with ‘Mini-challenges’ – ideas for pictures. This one was to make a copy of someone’s picture. I like a challenge, especially for a laugh. This was one of my contributions to the Copycat mini-challenge. It’s a shame Laura’s picture is no longer available. It was so much better executed than mine.
In the last few days I’ve been coming down with a cold, and taking these self portraits has become a bit of a pain. This picture is awful, the alternate is slightly better, but this one sums up how I feel.
Something odd seemed to be happening to my camera too. No matter what I did, the exposure went wrong – I’ve had to make manual adjustments to get things right. I guess if my brains were working I would have spotted that I’d changed the metering program. After three days of horrid pictures It slowly started to dawn on me. What is that funny little icon on the display? D’oh! D’oh! D’oh. Another line to my pre-photographing mantra, check all the camera settings – not just the ISO and f-stop. I’m taking a day’s leave tomorrow, a day at home will help me shake off this cold.
I haven’t got any enthusiasm for photography right now. I’ll get this over and done with for the day, and go back to sleep 🙂
At the very last moment I’ve decided that this is my photo for today. Hey, I’m getting lucky at aiming the camera – I can even do it with my eyes shut! OK the burnt-out head makes me look like I’m thinning on top – but I am, so, tough 🙂
The original was a tad blurred so I sharpened this (who has been reading the Photoshop book then). Gosh I look like my uncle Keith – scary.
I thought one of the ideas behind the 365 days project was to help people get to know themselves.
This poses a problem when you find you don’t like the person you’ve come to know. A major re-evaluation is required, as I’m not sure I can spend another 322 days photographing this person.
Following that confession, the conversation with other Flickr members doing the 365 days project went back and forth for a while, after which I concluded:
You are right. Like ourselves or not, we’ve got to learn to accept ourselves, or make some life changing decisions.
The guy I’m taking pictures of has lost his sense of fun, become boring, lost his passion and is just going through the motions. That’s what I’m seeing in my pictures. Now I’ve got to work out, do I want to change him and if so, how?
Oh boy was I in for a shock …
Day 43 of my 365 days project
Not a lot of time to take my picture tonight so it had to be something quick to take (and prepare).
This has to go down as one of those pictures I took just for shock value and the fun of it. The juxtaposition of nakedness and wearing an apron are just asking for a laugh. I’m not sure if my looking so serious adds to the situation or not.
It’s been raining and miserable all day, so I thought it time to start thinking ahead. Jessi does this so much better than me. I’m searching for the right technique.
I felt a bit rough when I got up this morning, and heaven knows why, but for some masochistic reason, I pointed a camera at myself. Happy Ending: A quick shower followed by a walk and brunch, and all was right with the world.
It was just as well I took this picture, as my planned Day 50 picture turned out an unmitigated disaster.
This would be a pretty uninspiring picture, apart from one thing. It was the first of my pictures that Ginger saw and commented on. She wrote:
I don’t understand how a man can feel like hell, wake up and take a picture this good. Sure, you look sorta sad. Or maybe tired around the edges. But this is a good look!
Thank you. I’m glad you like it, I do too. Tired about sums it up, but the wine and brandy didn’t help
And that was it for a few months.
I’ve run out of time. I couldn’t choose a picture so I’ll go with the first.
That’s a big problem with self-portraits. You end up taking a lot – because you never know which one might have the right ‘look’, often you end up with a lot of similar poses, and not a lot to choose between them. At this time I was using a 10-second self-timer, with a broom or something similar to ensure the camera was properly focused. Then I just had to press the button, rush into position, remove the broom or whatever, and try and not look too concerned…
By the way, the book is “The Crow Road” by one of my favorite authors, Iain Banks – who died in 2013.
Last minute panic!
I just didn’t like any of the pictures I took earlier, so I had to fall back on my old favourite – the desk lamp. Why safety in numbers? Because it took 38 photographs to get this one.
This is another re-edit. Mainly to remove the intrusive background from the original shot.
Then over the years I’ve re-edited the picture a couple of more times a) Black and white version and b) in color because my post productions skills are much better now than ten-plus years ago.
2015 and I much prefer this black and white ‘re-mix’, and I also like the 2017 color corrected version.
Sin City: Voted our film of the year 2005 and 2006 (Joint winner with Wallace and Grommit). The following day my eldest, my brother and a load of lads took possession of the backroom for beer and football. The remaining sweets disappeared in a flash; at least my brother left me a beer.
I recently wrote that I had yet to capture the ‘essence’ of myself. This, I think might be it, probably my most personal self portrait to date. Though I doubt most people will be able to ‘see’ it. Day 82 of my 2007 365 Days project.
Oh the benefits of a sheltered, south facing, garden when there is a cold wind blowing from the north.
I’ve got to think of some picture ideas for the summer otherwise it will be just repeats of this photograph.
Not a lot of time for a considered picture today, the title should be a give-away.
And today’s alternate picture…
Work on renovating the hall has begun.
Today we took down the ceilings on the middle and ground landings and my work room. we also took out the wall between the landing and my work room.
There was no way I was letting my camera into the the dust and dirt, so I took this shot during a break after the dust had settled. The light is great here – note to self, paint this wall white!
My planned 365 days picture was okay, but too mundane, so I took this.
The 365 days project can do this to you…
Normal service will be resumed tomorrow 😉 see below for some more info on this picture.
A Peek Behind The Scenes
This is how the picture actually looked when I took it. I was using a bedroom for most of my pictures, and because of the skirting board and the shadow the bed cast, I was limited to standing on a box to get my lower body away from the distraction and into the light.
Today Thursdays and the 365 days project conspired to really get me down.
I’ve not had a decent self portrait idea for what seems like weeks, it’s all been the luck of the draw on the day (well night mostly, and late night at that). After deleting a whole series of shots I considered awful, I resorted to what turned out to be a very depressing picture taken at my desk, which summed up how I felt.
At the PM‘s suggestion – because I was so grumpy – I had a beer, returned to the camera with a second, and all of a sudden the world seems a happier place!
It was 27°C (81°F) in the shade here today, so what better way to celebrate in the cooler evening than sitting by the fire with a glass of wine.
Note. Kids can be a right royal PITA. Despite being told to stay away while the building work is going on, both have turned up and are staying over – so I was unable to get to my computer to post this yesterday.
These are all re-edits (2017) of the original pictures.
I had to wade into the sea, to get one shot, so I thought I might as well take my 365 days self-portrait at the same time, I think the people on the beach thought me a little odd, especially as I was using the flash for a couple of trial shots.
Funny how I ended up sunbathing on the nudist beach; maybe I should have taken these shots there – though I don’t think standing in the sea pointing a camera in the general direction of one’s genitals would be considered gentlemanly behaviour.
And before anyone asks the sea was Bloody cold!
Just for a change I thought I’d take a picture straight after coming home from the traditional Saturday morning shopping (more nice ties bought), and before enjoying an afternoon basking in the sun.
We’ve been having a (very) early summer, though today the wind coming from the east was very chilling. Fortunately, the garden is sheltered so I spent most of the afternoon multitasking – sunbathing and catching up on sleep!
My brother and his family came round (I suspect only to watch the soccer on TV) We had a few beers and a meal, and it was nice to see the kids – given my parents’ demise, we seem to be surrogate grandparents as well as uncle and auntie.
When I took this picture my ‘artistic’ notion was to challenge the idea of modesty. Can a naked person be modest? It’s all in the mind. There’s also something about omitting the head to make the image impersonal and also preserve the anonymity of the model. It’s a great juxtaposition of ideas and imagery. I also had a technical objective to get a picture straight out of camera with no post-processing. Which, looking back, I think resulted in a softer less striking image.
The above picture is a reworking of the original black and white picture I took in 2007. I much prefer this duotone treatment.
Below is the original, plus another shot trying out a different pose.
But only because I had to straighten the image, and I was trying to avoid post processing. I deleted all my other shots for today as they all had a slant to them – I’ll try again tomorrow.
Re-edited August 4, 2015, so this is no longer straight out of camera. However, I think this is a much better picture now.
I’ve never had a shed before, but now I’ve got two. This one for a workshop and another for my spare timber, paint, empty boxes, and disused electronics that one day might come in useful, etc.
American men (I believe) have Dens. Us English chaps have sheds. that’s because it gets us out of earshot of the woman folk. Sheds are outside the house, where we can imagine for a few brief moments we are in control of our futures, rather than having our futures dictated to us by our spouses 🙂
Local council elections and Gary does his civic duty. After a fraught night, a quick sleep in the garden this afternoon has re-introduced me to the human race. A quick scrub-up didn’t do any harm either. For some reason, this guy looks in good humour too 🙂
Having had all day to get out and vote, I managed to leave it late and had to push up the ISO setting on the camera because it was getting dark, so the picture’s a bit noisy. It was also taken upside down – much easier when using my right hand.
Future Gary: This is not my original shot. But I prefer this one.
Chasing out for the electrics, I took a quick break for today’s picture.
Not quite as good as the similar shot on Day 90, but what a difference a month makes, two pics in a row and I’m smiling! Just don’t expect it every damn day 😉
Many years ago I had an important decision to make, and I visited Milton Locks and sat and absorbed the view of Langstone Harbour and the South Downs. At that time I also needed a location, something, I could carry in my memory to provide a calming reference point to help me through tough times in the years to come.
Today, nearly twenty-four years later, even with the distraction of setting up the camera, this place still has a calming effect, it is a memory I can carry away again.
This time I didn’t expect it to help provide inspiration to make a decision. All I wanted was to take away some of its calming energy.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve used the memory of this place as a mental refuge when things got desperate.
What I didn’t mention, or more precisely wasn’t prepared to mention when I originally made this post on May 21, 2007, was when or why I had originally sat here.
It was the morning of my wedding on Saturday, September 10, 1983 — nearly 24 years earlier. It was then that I came here to escape and make my mind up as to what to do. The hard truth is that I didn’t want to get married, but I couldn’t see a way out of it. I ended up taking the easy and cowardly path of absorbing the calm and serenity of this spot and going on with the day. Who knows what might have happened, who I would be now if I’d done the courageous thing and called it all off. Instead, I let my fear of a lonely future overrule my desire not to go through with the wedding.
Fast forward to 2007, when I took this picture, by then I had already made my life-changing decision to get divorced. It was just a matter of getting up the courage to follow through. That and I was concerned about being ‘organized’. I wanted to arrange time off from work so I could sort all the details out with a minimum of fuss. Ha! I’m not sure how I’d convinced myself that that would be possible. However, four weeks later on June 16, I took the next step.
Looking back on this day in 2007 with the benefit of many years of hindsight, I am still absolutely sure that I made the right decision to get divorced. I’m not proud of being weak and giving in to pressure and getting married in the first place. But, that brought me my two sons and made me who I am. I’m certainly not proud of all the angst and trouble my decision at this time to get divorced caused, nor for the very naive assumptions I made.
What is, is.
Updated: July 2015, May 2017.
I almost didn’t spot this picture. I was taking a picture of a ‘Flip-Flop shop’ across the arcade and backed into an alcove for a better angle and something to lean against. I was just about to leave when I realised I was sandwiched between two mirrors.
I had terrible problems with the exposure on this -I couldn’t work out what was wrong. I realised much later that I still had spot metering selected from an earlier shot I did against the sky. D’oh!
This morning I told Elaine I wanted a divorce.
After the shouting and the tears, I was finally on my own. I mopped up the drink spilled and splattered on the walls when the cup was thrown, and I sat; stunned. Stunned at the reaction, and stunned that I had actually done the thing I’d wanted to do for years, and never until now had the courage or resourcefulness to do.
It is strange when I feel the need to take a picture. This was one of those times.
This is what it looks like when the financial rug is unexpectedly pulled out from under you. I’d just found out about the overdraft I never knew I had, and in the process, I discovered that my true financial position had been kept hidden from me for a long time. Apparently, there’s nothing like getting a divorce to bring your financial circumstances into focus.
I drew some money from the bank and something caught my eye as I collected the receipt. It didn’t fully register until I got outside and checked the mini statement again; I was significantly overdrawn on an account that should have had plenty of money in it. I coped with discovering that the credit cards, which I had been assured were cleared, had not been paid off and had been allowed to max out. This, however, was the final straw. The grand total of our hidden debt is now tens of thousands of pounds.
It is a nightmare, and shouting at Elaine on the ‘phone didn’t make me feel any better.
I’d already taken my 365 days picture for the day – or so I thought, but this one taken in the car just after I visited the bank was the one I went with. Afterward, I visited one of my favorite ‘spaces’ to try and get some perspective. Then it was just a matter of trying to get back to normal – having something to eat and returning to my temporary digs near to work in Southampton.
Update: I subsequently uncovered further financial irregularities, and it took our combined savings, shares, and the sale of the family home a couple of years later to finally clear all the debt off.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
I was laying on the couch chatting to my best friend on the ‘phone when I noticed the light through the blinds and instantly had the idea for this shot.
A couple of bungled pictures while they waited on the line, and this is the final result.
200 days deserves a bit of a song and a dance.
It is a shame that because of poor counting this was actually day 202. Oh well, my actual Day 200 picture was probably more appropriate.
I have important things to do, so how do I spend my time? Ignoring the important stuff in the vain hope it’ll go away while I play with my camera and Photoshop.
This is the original edit: