Back in May 2015, I started a photo project that I soon named DRiP — Daily Rich iOS Photo. The idea was that (nearly) daily, I took a photo with my iPhone, processed it with my iPad, and posted it to my tumblr site.
The project had two goals.
First, I wanted to overcome my frustration at never having time for photography. I wanted to make photography more a part of my daily life.
The second goal was to overcome my complete inability to make good images with my phone. Many pros shoot professional work this way, while my results were poor snapshots at best.
The DRiP was a Success
I learned about the capabilities of the iPhone as a camera- how to take advantage of its strengths and work around its limitations. I learned how to use a series of apps on the iPad, and created many photos that are equal or better to images I’ve made with my SLR.
More importantly, I succeeded in my goal to integrate photography into my life. It was great to take a shot, edit it and post it in a day. Images were no longer languishing in my Lightroom catalog waiting to be edited later.
In addition to meeting the original goals, the project yielded two unexpected benefits.
First, because I was shooting with an iPhone, I convinced myself that it wasn’t “real” photography. In my head, that freed me up to use new filters, experiment with different styles, and have greater artistic freedom. In fact, I usually deliberately deleted the original photos, leaving only the edited copies, freeing me from the obligation to go back and re-edit in Lightroom.
Second, the need to shoot every day was a struggle for a different reason- finding subjects. I quickly “ran out” of obvious subjects within easy walking distance of home and work. This forced me to continually look deeper for different and stronger images. And as with all creative blocks, learning how to break through was as important as the final results.
This project enabled me to grow as an artist. It was one of my better ideas, and an unqualified success.
The DRiP is Finished
So why stop?
After shooting 365 images, doing it every day has become a chore. Again I’m struggling to find subject matter. This time I’m not excited about the results. Frankly, I’m sick and tired of seeing the world in 27mm. I’ve found myself skipping days more often. I told myself I’d go until I hit 365 images, and I’ve had a countdown going for the last few weeks. It’s clear to me that I need a break and the project has outgrown its usefulness.
So What’s Next?
I’m not sure. I want to restart a photo of the week project that I had going years ago, or maybe even restart a daily image project- without the constraint of always using an iPhone. But not yet. While I want to keep shooting, I also want to stay free of obligation for at least a little while. Let the fields sit fallow. I’m planning on purchasing a new camera in September, and I want to pick it up hungry to shoot, not worn out from obligation.
Until then… watch this space for more.