January 1, 2015
Three years ago when my wife Maggie Barrett and I began work on our latest book, “Provence: Lasting Impressions,” we decided to blog about our adventures and the way we go about working together. We felt at the time that our process of discovery, both of that part of France, and what we might learn about ourselves as we made the work, would be instructive, at the very least to us, and perhaps to anyone who accompanied us on our journey. We called the blog “Flying The Coop,” because we felt as if we were doing just that with our lives.
After that 5 month odyssey we felt moved to try living in Europe for a year to see if we could learn a new language, make a home, do our work, and watch what happens to us as we adapt to new conditions. We changed our blog to “Feeling Our way Around,” which was what it really felt like we were doing by taking this leap. During that period I decided to make photographs every day for a year, starting on New Year’s Day.
Since I began photographing in 1962, I have carried my Leica with me every day of my life, and I generally make photographs every day, but of course, there are days I don’t see anything that speaks to me. So I wanted to push myself while living in these new European conditions, to try and see something of interest in the most quotidian moments of daily life. I basically said to myself, “let nothing happen without considering it an opportunity to see freshly what I think I already know.
Sometimes it was hard going, I’ll admit that, but carrying a camera, for me anyway, has always been like having a ” license to see.” And so, in celebration of completing a year long, daily game of sight, I want to publish some selections here in my new blog, “Once More Around The Sun.” It seems a fitting title to me since today marks the beginning of the journey on our spaceship; Planet Earth, as it makes yet another circuit round the sun, carrying us into the unknowable moments of our lives.
Of the more than 15,000 images I made that year I will select an image every day, or perhaps two, maybe even three, who knows? Whatever keeps the blog interesting and might provoke some discussion. I may feel inclined to write something about what I saw, or describe some aspect of engagement with the moment, or share what came up for me after I made an image. At this point it is an open ended opportunity which will be shaped by time and the work. Much like Photography itself.
It’s amazing the visual gifts we can find in our everyday lives. Yet, this reward has to be sought out. As photographers, this journey defines our lives. There’s a reason our subject is in the viewfinder, it’s not by chance, but on purpose. I look forward following you on your daily photographic journey for 2015.