Daily Practice

Daily Practice
Two of the sites I’ve started following in recent times, two of them have branched out to include a “daily image” exercise. Post a single (digital) “photograph” every day, for a year.

Bexar County Line

With the immediacy of the web, the promise now delivered, via various “social media” sites, there’s the idea that a single picture can quickly be disseminated across various media outlets. The problem is that this dilutes the medium. There’s also the idea that

A question I’ve raised earlier, why I stayed away from Yahoo’s flickr, points to the onerous details in the the fineprint, about who has rights to the image. Very few of my pages turn up in large format on the shared sites — there’s a reason for that. See what I’ve said in the fine print.

The artist’s muscle has to be used every day. I’m not a photographer. I’m not a “visual arts” guy. I’m a writer. This idea of an image a day, trying to take an artistic picture, then posting it, daily?

That’s a challenge.

A great number of my images are merely a dog-eared page, a reminder of something I’ve seen. Then, too, there’s an increased fascination with seasonal street art, the way local merchants decorate front windows to showcase the particular season.

Happy Valentine cash

I never really observed this level of detail and decoration in other places. In part, because I’ve been living so close to downtown, in part because I’m in a “transitional” neighborhood, and in part, I think, it’s merely a local influence, as San Antonio sits on top of a melange of cultural influences.

For me, that gives me a rich set of images to work with. I’ve got a great starting point. When I first launched the side-project, it was a name, then a photo-blog with several people continuously grilling me why I ran it on its own website instead of the various image-sharing platforms.


Still the process that I started with, the “cameras that cost less than $100” mode? That set a tone and pace. One image a day, been six (and a half) years now. Some good. Some great. Some “not so hot,” but still, up there. Been continuous, daily, from within the confines of Bexar County (San Antonio).

Gradually, the cameras have just become cell phone cameras, and gradually, the “no tweaking the image at all” has become filters and frames on whatever is the latest, coolest photo app.

The daily practice hasn’t resulted in a crush of business, hasn’t resulted in anyone in my immediate family learning about my skills, hasn’t resulted in anything but a chance to grow, and more important, a way to force me to consider an image a day.

I get amused when I see another person set up a site, “I swear, this is the year I’ll post an image every day.”

The daily practice is how we build up our artist muscle I encourage it. Daily. Every day.


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