My Year Long Selfie Project

Not all photography has to be art. A hobby is to bring relaxation and enjoyment and is not meant to be always serious. A great way to just enjoy taking pictures is to set oneself a project with a goal: something to work on with an idea in mind.

As part of my hobby I listen to podcasts about photography, photography of all types and flavours. The other day I was listening to man who was describing the frustration of the Covus Virus lock down. His photography business was really slow and he had time on his hands. So he set himself a project to take a portrait of himself every day for a year.

I was discussing this with Susan and saying that the idea appealed to me and she said that I should not copy what that person was doing but put my own spin on it. Well, as the days go by in this retirement thing, I get to the end of some days and wonder what I did that day. So that was it: I would photograph myself doing something each day: something that I would have been doing anyway.

The more I thought about it the more interested I became. I would do a record of a year in my life which was fleeting by, unremembered. I will post the pictures as the days go by right here and an my Facebook page for those who are interested. (If you are interested in what this old man does you really should go out and get a life!)

Anyway, here we go:

 

14 July 2020 – I am sitting at my desk in the place where the girls aren’t allowed. This was taken while I was considering my project and wondering how it would look.

17 July 2020 – Susan’s garden is the source of thousands of photos year around!

15 July 2020 – Every morning I make myself a cappucino and sit on the patio and watch the early morning sun. Some mornings Susan joins me..

16 July 2020 – Susan wants a window on the patio off the bedroom to keep the rain from blowing in. I am making window frams which I intend to fill with stained glass panels based on the flowers in her garden.

18 July 2020 – I am not much use to Susan in the garden. I have no idea how to do what she does. But the grass I can figure out: grass high then Flynn cut. It is not rocket science! So, the lawn has become mine and I actually enjoy it.

19 July 2020 – Once I had finished Susan’s window frames it was time to sand and paint them.  With that done I then had to plan the panels to put into them which was going to be more difficult than making the frames.

20 July 2020 – I don’t work in the garden but I can handle the watering. Of course Susan takes great pains to instruct me in the proper way to do it It seems simple but apparently is is very complicated. At least that is what I am told, over and over and over!

21 July 2020 – “Under the Fig”  When the grass is cut, the garden watered, the frames are painted, it is time to take a moment to relax under the fig tree. That’s me in the picture so I am sure this will classify as a selfie.

22 July 2020 – “The Chair”  I found a kit for a lawn chair at Costco for less than I could buy the lumber for. All the hardware, cut out, drilled and countersunk. So I bought two.

23 July 2020 – “Beans”  Susan is the gardner and she grows the beans. But every year I put the poles up for her and her beans. And they certainly seem to like my poles!

24 Jult 2020 – “The Chauffeur”  Today I drove Susan and Maria to Home Depot to look for garden lights for Maria. I promised to go over to her place on Sunday morning to install them.

25 July 2020 – “Basilico”  Today we harvested some of the basil that Susan grows in pots around the pattio. We then ground it up with olive oil and put it in the freezer.

26 July 2020 – “Pesto”  Where there is basilico there is pesto. Where there is pesto there is happiness!

27 July 2020 – “The Chair”  Today my first chair is finished. Dressed in the colors of the Italian Flag it is very handsome. It is also very comfortable. Now I have the second one to make. I will get to it this coming week.

29 July 2020 – “Mountain Walk”  We decide to spend the day hiking in the mountains. About an hour from home, just South of Squamish, is the Sea to Sky Gondola lift to the top of the mountain. From there there are trails in all directions with really beautiful views. We turned it into an all day outing and plan to do the same next week and expolore another part of our Province.

31 July 2020 – “B.B.Q.”  Today we had Kate, Colin and Sarah, Flynn, Keiko and Olivia and Sophia over for a BBQ.. I am afraid my apron over my shorts makes my costume appear a little funny. But it can’t be helped. We do have to cook.

28 July 2020 – “Piselli”  It is time to pick the peas. Here I am trying to find out how many peas a pea picker could pick if a pea picker could pick peas! 

30 July 2020 – “Real Men Suck It Up”  Susan and I try to share the housekeeping chores most days.

1 August 2020 – This “photo a day” project is proving a bit of a challenge and I think it will get only worse. How many interesting ideas can I come up with? I’m afraid I will run out of ideas. 

Also, it is becoming time consuming to set up the shot, compose the picture, do the post processing and then I have to post the results and do the comentary.

Well, I guess it wouldn’t be worthwhile if it was easy. I just hope I don’t run out of ideas.

 

1 August 2020 –  “Barthes”  Today was beautiful and fresh and I was able to take a few minutes to read. Unfortunately, I chose Barthes “Camera Lucida”. I know it is widely respected in photographic circles but I am afraid I just don’t get it. I guess I am just not an intellectual.

3 August 2020 – “Fiori e Latte”  I start every day with my coffee on the patio. The sun comes up over the garden but I am shaded by the grapes overhead. I read CNN on my smart phone or read a book until my coffee is gone. I don’t rush!

6 August 2020 – “Serenar”  Often my old cameras require repair work which I am learning to do. Very time consuming and requires special tools. but I am getting better at it. Here I am working on a Canon Serenar lens from the late 1940’s.

7 August 2020 – “Maple Leaf”  My second chair is done! Now we have a Canadian and an Italian chair in our yard. Oh, and it is raining on my chairs.

2 August 2020 – “The Next Chair”  Now that I have finished the “Italian Chair” it is time to get to work on the next chair, “The Maple Leaf”.

4 August 2020 – “The Flower Shooter”  As we all know I love to take pictures of Susan’s garden. Some days I become totally immersed in my picture taking.

5 August 2020 – “In the Year of Covis”  I guess we should have a picture to remind us of this year of the virus. When we go out we wear the mask. We are not going dancing or out to eat. It is driving us nuts, but that is the way it is.

8 August 2020 – Susan was out for the afternoon so I made past for Nico and I for lunch. Garlic, oil, tomatoes and basilico all tossed together in the pan and then with the pasta added.

9 August 2020 – Chilling out on the front porch amid Susan’s glorious flowers. She keeps this place looking amazing. I don’t know how long she will be able to keep this up, but for now, I am grateful.

10 August 2020 – I go to the grocery store often for Susan. Here I am at Safeway trying to find garbage bags for her. People gave me wierd looks when I set my camera on a shelf to take this picture.

11 August 2020 – “Love amongst the Beans”.  This year the beans went to the top of their 10 foot poles and then back down again. Just amazing!

12 August 2020 – The figs this year have been incredible! I have never seen them so large or so sweet.  It is a shame the season is so short.

13 August 2020 – I used to collect rifles but now, I collect Canons. Far less paperwork!

15 August 2020 – On Susan’s birthday we had a small BBQ in the backyard which turned out to be a great party. The Big Tomato made an appearance!

16 August 2020 – The day after the party we were cleaning up but took a break for a few minutes.

14 August 2020 – Susan wanted me to clean up the old bench in the yard for her birthday party BBQ. I rebuilt an arm, splashed on some white paint, and, added some national color. It turned out better than we expected and now it matched our two new chairs.

17 August 2020 – And here I am taking a selfie of myself going out to take a selfie of me. That sounds a bit confusing. Let me try again. Here is a picture of me about to take a picture of me. There! That’s better. 

Well, here we are a month in and I am still taking my daily picture. It is becoming a bit of routine now and I think the pictures are getting better. It is easy on these summer days but I wonder how we will do in the grey days of winter. But that challenge lies in the future. For now the summer is fabulous and we are going to enjoy it.

I worry about how long this page will be a few months from now. I may have to break these pages into mulltiple pages to keep them manageable. We shall see when we get there.

 

18 August 2020 – Raoul came over for lunch today. He does not like to be photographed so I set the camera up in the corner and kept the remote trigger in my hand. Susan put out a wonderful lunch and put together a basket of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and figs for Raoul to take home to Jo-anne.

19 August 2020 – This year it is time to make some more blackberry wine. Of course, that starts with picking blackberries which Susan and I did two days running. It was late in the season but there were still lots of berries.

20 August 2020 – Once we have the berries we have to grind them to make the liquid we’re going to ferment. It was actually delicious without the fermenting. But everything is improved with a little alcohol!!!

21 August 2020 – Reading is one of those joys I never seem to have enough time for. Probably because I spend too much time taking silly pictures of myself.

23 August 2020 – I enjoy my photography but it is the final prints that are the real reward. They are so beautiful.

24 August 2020 – Time to make another batch of pesto. Basil, garlic, oil, cheese and, of course, pine nuts. Simple really but it makes one of my favorit pastas.

22 August 2020 – Harvest time at the 220 Liberty gardens. The beans are ready and I was recuited to help pick them. It is hard to believe that this jungle is part of Susan’s little garden!

25 August 2020 – Today we went with John and Vi to Steveston for fish and chips.  It was a beautiful day and we walked out to the point thru the park and around the wharf. Then we stopped for Latte and across the road was a gelato shop. So we had gelato as well.

26 August 2020 – Susan and I have taken up cycling after giving it up in our teen years. I am afraid we are a bit wobbly, but then, that comes with age.

27 August 2020 – We have a red maple tree in the front yard that needs trimming a couple of times a year to keep its shape.

28 August 2020 – The grass requires my attention once a week or so. This has been a good year for the lawn.

29 August 2020 – Today we went to a BBQ at my daughter Kathleen’s house. Great day to sit outside, eat great food and have a beer.

30 August 2020 – This year we decided it was time to make some more blackberry wine so Susan and I spent two days picking blackberries on the local bushes which grow wild everywhere. We were late in the season but there were still enough for us.

1 September 2020 – The apples are almost ready. This is a great little tree. 

31 August 2020 – I am testing a 300mm lens from the 1970’s on a modern digital camera. It is fun to see how good these old lenses were.

2 September 2020 – We’ve started to go cycling but the bikes are old, very old, and need a lot of upgrading. Actually, if we do this a lot, new bikes will be required.

3 September 2020 – My window panels for Susan are proving to be a bigger project than I anticipated and Susan is getting impatient.

4 September 2020 – Still taking pictures with my old film cameras.

6 September 2020 – I develop my own film in the bathroom. I shoot only black and white because I like to develop my own. Once done, I scan the negatives and then work on them on my computer.

8 September 2020 – The patio door has been stiff for years.  Finally it frooze completely. So Nico and I  finally fixed it. Works great now.

9 September 2020 – Susan’s tomatoes this year are fantastic. Chop these up and add to oil and garlic in a pan, pick some basil, toss with pasta and cheese – Wow!

11 September 2020 –  Now I am working on the second of Susan’s glass panels. In this case I am foiling a piece of glass getting ready to solder it into place.

5 September 2020 – Window panel one is done! Well, almost done. I still have to add the brass edges and mount it in the frame. And then I have the other two to do. But it is progress.

10 September 2020 – The grapes are ripe and it is time to pick them: “La Vendemia”. Everything is ready. It is such a shame that I all comes at once and not spread out through the year. Well, we got out the pressure canner a few weeks ago and it has been busy!

Mid-July to Mid-September

Well this seems like a good place to end this page. Two months, more or less, of my twelve month project. The page is long and it is getting cumbersome. I will start a new page for the next two months of images as we head into fall.

This started out as a simple photography exercise but it has become both educational and challenging. And, as I look through the pictures so far, it has become a source of reflection on the life that I live. Where that line of thinking will take me I don’t know.

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