What You Love


It's that time of year again; the time for resolutions. We all know the usual suspects: exercise more, drink less, eat healthier. I propose a somewhat different kind of resolution. I want to spend more time doing what I love. 

Those of you who know me, know that I love photography. But sometimes I'll go long stretches without taking any photos, despite the fact that I love it.  Sometimes I'm busy, and tell myself I don't have time. Or I'm tired, and tell myself I don't have energy. Worse yet, I'll have plenty of both time and energy, but I'm just plain old lazy. I aim to change that.

In that vein, I am proposing a simple goal for myself: I will take photographs for at least 35 minutes a day, for 35 straight days, with a 35mm lens. 

Why thirty five? It's rather silly, actually. I recently purchased a 35mm prime lens—the Tamron 35mm f1.8 Di VC—and was excited to put to the test. As such, I figured I would create a challenge around the number 35. I never said I was clever; but it looks like I am corny. 

Note: if you're a photographer, and want to know more about what prime lenses are, and why they're awesome, Sean Dalt has written quite a helpful primer (no pun intended).

I actually started my resolution yesterday, on January 1. A gift I received for christmas from my girlfriend inspired me. She gave me a beautiful Jackson Wayne Full Grain Leather Composition Cover Journal for Field Notes Notebooks, and a few notebooks in which to write my thoughts. 

The journal is gorgeous, and though it may sound strange, is inspiring me to write more; this observation seemed a good starting point for an experiment on doing more of what I love. 

Now, it might seem like this challenge just takes the fun right out of having fun. After all, will I still love to do something when I'm disciplining myself into doing it every day? When I'm scheduling it? When I'm doing it even if I'm tired or not in the mood? Maybe, and maybe not; either way, I look forward to finding out. 

I will take notes as I go and, at the end of the 35 days, publish those reflections here on February 13. I'll also share a collection of 35 images: the best image from each day of the challenge. I'm not quite sure what the result will be, but I'm in the mood to experiment. And I hope you are, too.

As such, I invite you to join me in this challenge. The parameters of your experiment don't have to be the same as mine. It doesn't have to be photography, and it doesn't have to be thirty five days. Just make it something challenging, but attainable, and—hopefully—enjoyable. The rules are as follows:

  1. Pick something you love. It has to be something active—in other words, "watching Netflix" doesn't count. It also can't be anything you are already obligated to do, like a chore or your job. I'm thinking more along the lines of "I will play with my kids every day," or "I will draw every day," or "I will write every day." 

  2. Pick a timeframe. Determine a set amount of time you will dedicate to the activity every day, and stick to it. It doesn't have to be 35 minutes, but it should be long enough that you genuinely have to make time to do it—20 minutes strikes me as a good minimum.

  3. Pick an end date. Give yourself an attainable amount of days to engage in the activity on a daily basis (that means every day, no excuses). Again, it doesn't have to be a whole month, but I think at least two weeks will keep things interesting.

If you decide to join me in this challenge, please let me know. You can write it into the comments, send me an email at daniel@durazophotography.com, or message me on facebook or instagram. I'd love to hear about your project, and about your results when you're done.

Good luck, and I wish you a prosperous 2017, whatever your goals might be.

I decided to start my experiment photographing this journal because it reminded me that sometimes the point isn't the product, it's the practice.

All images shot with a Canon EOS 6D, and the Tamron 35mm f1.8 Di VC lens.