Monday, September 6, 2010

As Shot: 365 - Fin

Posted by Michael J. Cargill

On Wednesday September 1st I finally completed my year long photo project. The goal was to shoot a picture a day for 365 days that could stand on its own without being photoshopped. And to my surprise - I did it! Some people had asked the reason why I started this crazy endeavor in the first place, and the reason was simple. A few months before I began, someone was looking over my work and commented that while they liked what I was doing, they wished that I focused more on getting the picture right the first time, as opposed to relying on photoshop after the fact. Me being me - a person who has never been fully secure in my abilities as a photographer - this filled me great feelings of doubt. Looking back over everything I'd shot in the 5 years since I bought my first camera, I felt like a hack. That I really had no talent, skill, or understanding of what I was doing, and that if it weren't for photoshop, every one of my pics would have been crap.
So my personal goal in this was to answer the question - am I really someone who can call himself a photographer, albeit a casual one, or was I simply a delusional hack? By forcing myself to shoot and image that I knew couldn't be altered, I hoped to improve my answer this question for myself, and improve my skills at the same time.

Now, a year later, I'm ready to admit that while I'm no Ryan McGinley, Annie Leibowitz, or Ansel Adams - I'm not too shabby if I say so myself. After taking the final shot on the observation deck of 30 Rock, I felt a insanely happy and relieved that I had done it, but also a bit melancholy that the project was over. For the last year it's given me a goal, a purpose, and a direction for my often flailing creative energies. And without this daily task hanging over my head, I kept thinking to myself - well what am I gonna do now?  The answer I guess is to keep shooting til something comes to mind. But in the meantime, I hope you dig this last group of my favorite shots from the final month, and I thank everyone who has followed along as I've pursued this goal. Stay tuned for whatever happens next.

The Final Shot


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All Photos Copyright Michael J. Cargill Photography