'Take One a Day'

A Prescription to Boost Your Photographic Health and Improve Your Seeing

Clive R. Haynes FRPS

I recently completed a year-long project that proved to be a source of endlessly fascination images and a constantly rewarding experience.

The idea was to take at least one picture per day and keep this up for one year. The concept sounds simple enough: just discover a subject each day worthy of pointing the camera at. However, in reality, like all apparently simply ideas, the practice took rather more discipline. For one thing I had to remember to take a picture each day - and occasionally at, say, 11.30pm, the dreadful realisation would come to me that I hadn't taken one! Panic-stations - find something - anything - and just do it.

Having to work quickly and spontaneously frequently provided amazing material and yes, sometimes very strange-looking images which could be revisited and developed later.

It doesn't matter when in the year to start - but the main thing is to start.

The object of the exercise wasn't to simply plod away, mechanically taking a picture each day for 365 days. Rather I wanted to find something every day that would be 'worthy', with the ultimate objective of printing at least one image from each day to make a series of 12 books - one for each month. The subject matter and the resulting images, would have to be good enough to be included in the books - and what's more the books would be seen by others, whether fellow photographers, friends, family or guests attending one of my talks.

As quick method of presentation, I used a comb-binder machine to produce the 12 books.

Above: Com-Binder unit
Above: Completed book

For a more prestigious appearance, for, say, a 'best of' selection of pictures or a book showing a more specific project, I use 'Book Art'. This is a heavier-duty, attractive and professional-looking alternative to comb-binding. 'Book Art' is available from digital fine-art paper specialists, Permajet Ltd of Warwick (www.permajet.com). The product is a re-usable A4 size, hard-cover loose-leaf style book with an integral grip-binder system. It's simplicity itself to use.


Once the prints are made to either single or double-sided paper ('Book Art' includes 10 sheets of Permajet Double-Sided Lustre 285g paper by the way), it's easy to fit the pages between the transparent fly-leaves. The pages and fly-leaves are stapled together. When the pages are inserted into the spine, two self-adhesive strips secure everything in place and the book is complete.

To further grace your coffee table, 'Book Art' is supplied complete with a 'window aperture' pre-cut in the front cover to reveal a tantalising glimpse of your chosen cover picture as shown below.

Above: 'Book Art'
Above: 'Book Art' front cover
Should you wish to order 'Book Art' or any other product from Permajet, please use the code number below, as it will attract special reductions applying at the time: PP7007

As you can imagine, taking at least one picture each day was quite a discipline but one I immensely enjoyed. When the final day of the project dawned and I made the last exposure for the project, there was a sense of relief - I'd made it. However the following days and weeks lacked that essential drive and sense of mission.

Could I do it again? Well yes, but not in the same way (otherwise I would probably find myself repeating ideas to provide a quick answer on days when I lacked inspiration). If I wanted to tackle such a project again I would have to approach it from another angle - perhaps by deciding upon a strong theme to link the images.

I can heartily recommend 'Taking One a Day' to improve your photographic health, to boost your seeing, to stimulate your ideas, to give you at least 365 more pictures and to present the resulting images in books - not only to amaze your friends but also to impress your colleagues.
A selection of my 'One-a-Day' images can be viewed in my gallery section. The Gallery is in two parts, below is the direct link to Part 1

Take One-A-Day

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