Friday, January 14, 2011

back to square one

If you've looked at my Flickr page in the last couple weeks, you've probably already figured out that I've started another 365 project. I finished my first one a year ago last Friday, since I started it a week into 2009. The rest of 2010, I took a respectable number of pictures, but there were several weeks when my only shots were of food for the 52 Weeks of Food. It was a nice break from the pressure of the previous year's project, but I ended up with fewer pictures of day-to-day things and fewer pictures in general. Most of the ones that I was really happy with were taken during our various trips, when I was carrying my camera everywhere and taking pictures of everything in sight. Without the daily photo requirement, I just didn't get the camera out as often. By the end of the year, I was feeling like I was in a bit of a photographic funk, unhappy with a lot of the shots that I was taking.
So I mulled it over in the days between Christmas and New Years. Option 1: give myself a lot of unnecessary stress by committing to a picture a day for the next year. Option 2: take pictures only when I really feel like it. Naturally, I chose option 1. Actually, I was—and still am—a little apprehensive about the commitment. I haven't forgotten how many days I spent grumbling about having nothing good to photograph. I also haven't forgotten about the pile-up of pictures to edit and post after every trip. With a vacation in Europe on the horizon this fall, I do worry that I'll have trouble keeping up afterward. But apparently, I'm not letting that stop me from trying.

This time, I started on January 1 to satisfy the old OCD. Day 1 of 365. (Eek.) Given that we had plans for New Years Day brunch at Beretta with Dan, Carmen, Rob, and Traci, it was an easy start. We got some dungeness crab arancini, a couple risottos, and a couple pizzas, but I picked the coffee pot picture as my official start for 2011.

1/365 new years brunch

Sunday, the 2nd, was pretty low-key. I put away the Christmas decorations while Steve worked on a truffle risotto to use the black truffles I had put in his stocking. I took pictures of the truffles and risotto, of course, but I went with the fox ornament and the bowl of "snowballs" that sat on our coffee table over the holidays. I filled the bowl the rest of the way with ornaments and then wrapped up the whole thing and stuffed it into a cubby in the office closet shelves. And there it will sit until next year.

2/365 fox in the snow

On Monday, I decided that it was a good day to finally go see Disney's Tangled in 3D, before it left the theaters. I really liked it, but I had learned two years ago that movie theaters don't necessarily make good photographic subjects. A picture of popcorn doesn't say much about a specific movie, and it only works once. Instead, I ended up taking pictures of funny wool animals in the window of a museum store downtown.

3/365 silly critters

For Tuesday's picture, I dipped into the list of reserve ideas that I had started. It seemed like a good time to take a picture of my main Christmas present before I started using it so much that it no longer looked new. Steve gave me an *emera camera bag this year, at my request. (I mean... It was a complete surprise!) While my Shootsac is still better to carry while walking around all day, this bag is better for instances like going out to dinner and seeing a show. I can fit my camera in it with the lens attached, still have room for the other necessities, and even fit playbills and Steve's iPad in the flat pocket. My laptop fits there too, but zipping the bag closed becomes impossible. It's nice to have options, though.

4/365 *emera

I saved Wednesday's picture taking for the evening, since I knew that we were going to walk to Noe Valley to try Patxi's, the newly opened branch of the Chicago-style pizza restaurant. I took a couple pictures there, but I wasn't really inspired by any of them. So I kept shooting on the way home. The wooden planes in the window of the toy store were my favorite.

5/365 toy planes

My picture for Thursday was a simple one: the two cookbooks I gave Steve for Christmas, along with the Post-It flags that we use to mark recipes we want to try. I was trying to figure out what Steve should make that weekend for 52 WoF. It's not a terribly exciting picture, but I still prefer it to some of the shots in my last 365. Progress.

6/365 r&d

I decided to go out again on Friday to find my picture of the day. My plan was to go to Off the Grid, a gathering of food trucks, and check out their Friday lunchtime Civic Center location. The objective: acquire a tiramisu cupcake from the Cupkates truck. Then, photograph and consume. Sadly, all they had left was double vanilla. I got one and proceeded to an open area in Civic Center Plaza to take some pictures of it before feasting. I liked the cupcake part, but the buttercream frosting was really rich and seemed a little bitter after a while. Next time, I'll go for a cupcake with a different kind of frosting. I have higher hopes for the red velvet (with cream cheese) and the tiramisu (with mascarpone).

7/365 civic center cupcake

That wraps up week 1 of the new project. I'm not going to promise that I'll do roundups each week, but it's possible that it will get done. At least it might keep my blogging more current in 2011.


  1. I really, really like that camera bag! How do the compartments work in it? That seems much easier to carry around casually than the usual style.

  2. The main compartments are velcro pieces that you can move around as you see fit. I don't pack it too full, so I've mostly left it the way it came. There are lots of pictures on their website, both on the "shop" pages and the "gallery" page:

    You should also check out Epiphanie bags, which are pretty cool too and cost about the same: