Jim Brandenburg set a challenge for himself in the mid-nineties: take only one photograph each day for ninety days.
The so what here is that Jim Brandenburg is one of the best photographers in the world. Working for National Geographic, it is not unusual for those who chronicle events visually to take upwards of 1000 rolls of film to produce just twenty or so images for their articles. For Jim to limit himself to one, one photograph each day for 90 days is remarkable, scary, and fairly gutsy. The result of this deeply personal challenge is "Chased by the Light", an exquisite book published by Northword Press in 1998.
I set a challenge for myself in March of 2009 to paint daily for 100 days. Like Brandenburg, I had my reasons. Unlike Brandenburg, I'm still a novice at oil painting and had alot to learn. During a pleasant conversation recently about the process of daily painting, my friend Jack dashed off to retrieve a book he thought I'd enjoy. The book he shared with me is Brandenburg's.
Day 2 Early March 2009
I allowed myself a break recently in my 100 daily paintings due to many committments that were piling up. I could have crammed a painting in each day, but didn't want to reduce the project into an assembly-line slop-and-go sort of thing. I've had a chance see the images that were selected each day of Brandenburg's project, and had the honor of reading his thoughts, his convictions as he trekked the forest of northern Minnesota on his quest.
I know now that I'll see the last 27 days of my goal differently. I look forward to investing myself just a bit more deeply than I had before. I'll honor the act of recording daily, when it had become a bit of a chore before my break.
Day 65 At Last 2009
Thanks to Jack for sharing this beautiful book. Thanks to Jim Brandenburg for sharing his thoughts along with some achingly beautiful images.
I'll be back at my 100's on July 6th. The break has been refreshing, and also helped me realize how much I enjoyed that challenge. Who knows? Maybe 100 won't be enough.