When I quit my job, I went looking for fun projects to fill some time. Of course there are tons and tons of things to do associated with our house, my bikes, horses, dogs, gardens and whatever else. But one thing I really began to enjoy when I was living abroad was taking lots of photos. Living over there, and traveling back and forth offered many opportunities to stretch my creative legs, and to that end I took a few hundred more than 20,000 pictures during the 5 years I was on the road.
In 2007, while wasting some time in a business meeting I stumbled on photography website called pbase. Basically a large storehouse for amateur and professional photographers. I kept coming across the term “PaD” as in “My 2006 Pad Gallery.” It took me a few minutes before the light bulb came on and I realized that it stood for “Photo a Day,” or more specifically a collection of pictures taken every day for a year. I gave it a shot and took 365 pictures between July 2007 and June 2008, capturing people and places and things, pretty much all over the world. It was fun. For a while, at least until it became a real drudge, right around picture 304 when I was so close and yet so far from finishing. It certainly improved my eye for things, being forced to find something interesting will do that. But I was glad to take a break when it was done.
I began my second PaD about 2/3 into my stay in Dalian. My first shot was a snowy city scene outside my Kaifaqu apartment and my 366th was the same out my office window at home. A nice pair of bookends that included trips to Beijing, Shanghai, Datong, Yunnan, Tibet, Xian, home, Mexico and every airport in between. Again it was time for a break when I wrapped that one up.
By the time I completed that PaD of that one, I was fully unemployed, not going anywhere in particular and looking for things to do. I decided (we’re now in the spring of 2011) to take a spot in my lovely village of Corrales and document it on a weekly basis for a year. We’ve all seen those stop action videos of flowers opening up and Soybeans breaking the soil in Nebraska, but I was interested in a more macro perspective – all the changes you might see walking past the same spot for a year. I chose a ditch bank up the street from my house and centered my experiment on flood gate, near a spot nicely surrounded by trees and bushes. The resulting video (all the individual photos patched together) captures a year, one second at a time: