If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you probably know that I've been participating in 52 Frames, a creative exercise consisting of weekly photography challenges. There are 52 weeks in a year, hence the name.
I started doing this in January 2021, and I managed to continue doing it for 114 weeks straight, a little over 26 months. And then I missed some...
The first week in March, macro photography was my challenge. I started doing some macro work early in my photography journey, but have mostly eschewed it since then. Simply put, it's hard and I'm lazy.
Not far from my apartment, I spotted this wilted flower, focused closely on it, and took a picture. I tried a few different angles for framing it, but this shot was my favorite.
It's kind of ironic that a wilted flower would be my last submission.
The following week, I failed to submit a photograph. I had sixteen people visiting from out of town, and so the challenge ("Complimentary Colors") quickly crept from "I'll do that later" to "oh, hey, Sunday is over and I never did that."
The streak was broken.
The week after that, I was hard at work on a performance for a livestream recital for time class.
It's the kind of thing that I wanted to give my all to because I had a weird idea, and I wanted to take advantage of briefly having the motivation to work on it. So that's where I focused my energy.
And apparently I exerted quite a lot of it, because I spent much of the day of the performance, and the following four days feeling sick and tired and unable to concentrate.
It was easy enough not to do that week's challenge too.
Looking back at the body of work I've created by doing these challenges, it's easy to feel pride. There's something rather delightful about being able to look at each of these images, each in its own colorful square.
Some of them are half-assed, but some of them genuinely represent some interesting experiments. A few of my favorite photographs live among them.
I'm grateful that I was able to sustain this creative practice for 114 weeks. It has been really nice to be forced to try new things, or to think about particular types of artistic expression, even though sometimes it has not been my preferred way of thinking about things.
If I look ahead at the next set of photography challenges (at least into 2023.15 in April) -- all of them are repeats of things I've already done. There is value in repetition. There is value in a consistent exercise.
But I am generally out and about taking pictures and thinking about photography with or without these challenges.
In the immediate next few weeks, I need to focus more of my energy elsewhere -- on my scrambling class, on my work, on my music, on my writing, and on different types of photography that I do not get to showcase on 52 Frames.
There is value in the exercise, and if I had more time and energy, I would continue it. But unfortunately, I am not infinite.
Consider my 52 Frames submissions to be on hiatus for now. But I look forward to resuming them when I have more energy and motivation.
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