I’ve already talked at length about what this project is, and in the scheme of my 6 other 365 projects, I count it as Number 7, due to the pain and suffering in brought me during the process of making it just concentrated all in a single day instead of a year. I’ve also recorded a short podcast about this project and what happened throughout the process (this project was riddled with tech issues and logistical roadblocks at what felt like every turn).
So here it is, the project in it’s full glory. It took on a mind of its own and became its own entity as my mind slowly slipped into madness. When the point came where sleep was needed, I squeezed in a half hour of sleep in the last couple hours which only made my photos get weirder. I don’t remember taking a couple of these.
I had planned to camp but due to stormy weather I ended up taking shelter at my sister’s place next to a rainy window. How I would continue the project without disturbing their two dogs and two small children in the middle of the night ended up being one of the bigger parts of the challenge. How could I possibly come up with interesting photos by laying in one place for 3 or 4 hours? Well, it’s possible apparently, and whatever spirit was controlling my body like some sort of meat suit- Iron Man suit pulled it off.
As usual, all my ethereal and foggy effects are done 100% in-camera, no extra editing or photoshop required other than some color enhancements:
Hour 1: Started in SC. Packed my camera bag and my tent (which is all I brought), and started the trek in my second home AKA my truck.
Hour 2: I take the scenic route to Chattanooga through the Smokey mountains. Cell service is a challenge, but I’d much prefer that to the challenge of Atlanta traffic, which is the only alternative.
Hour 3: I hate fast food, but I always forget to plan my meals when I’m on the road. I think this burger is the point where I really handicapped my creative ability and fogged my brain up a little bit. Should have packed jerky and bananas instead.
Hour 4: Almost there. How can I get to my destination at a decent hour and not stop too long to take a photo? Photos while driving. (I did pull over and stop to edit and post it however, so don’t freak out.) The road trip element really made this challenge far more difficult, but on the other hand I think it gave me tons of changes in scenery to keep the photos fresh.
Hour 5: Dropped by Art Warehouse, my old work place, to say hi. They got a Star Wars mural while I’ve been gone.
Hour 6: Drove almost an hour to my sister’s house to pitch my tent. Checked the weather again, and the forecast was way worse than originally stated. Wimped out on camping.
Hour 7: Solid view though.
Hour 8: Drove almost another hour to meet up with Elijah and Liz for an engagement portrait session on Signal Mountain. (Drove from Lookout Mtn to Signal Mtn, not great for gas). Driving so much continues to bear down on me while trying to maintain this crazy project.
Hour 9: Had a great time catching up with Elijah and meeting his fiance, Liz. I’m really excited for them and pumped for the wedding next month.
Hour 10: We hung out and ended up chit chatting for quite a while.
Hour 11: Met up with Kelsey at The Bitter Alibi, which has, in my view, the best food in Chattanooga. Couldn’t resist ordering the dish called BA Ramen. It was in fact BA. The Yuengling wasn’t too awful either.
Hour 12: Stopped by Robert Schoolfield’s studio (star of the Special Delivery photo essay and upcoming short film) to catch up and see what he’s working on lately.
Hour 13: Further chit chat. The road trip element really allowed for changes in scene from hour to hour, so it was surprisingly tricky for photo-taking to be in one single place for multiple hours because I easily lose track of time (for which I am famous).
Hour 14: A drive back to Lookout Mtn in torrential rain. Had to snap a rainy noir shot of Chattanooga’s premiere landmark: Miranda’s Adult Bookstore. There it has sat, relatively unchanged since the dawn of man I’m pretty sure.
Hour 15: One thing I forgot about Lookout Mtn was that if it rains, you can’t see your hand in front of your face due to fog. Great for photos though.
Hour 16: The long night begins. The only inspiration for photos I had was me, the rain, a single light, and a window. The next few photos do a good job of conveying the delirium with which I was operating at this point.
Hour 17: I slightly re-edited this one due to how dark it came out when edited on my iPhone. When I brightened it, the enormous bags under my eyes were revealed. At this point it was hard to stay awake, so I watched a few episodes of The Office on my phone in order to not miss the next hour marker.
Hour 18: Help.
Hour 19: Ready for the sun to come up. Also ready for this project to end. It’s gonna be a long drive back to South Carolina.
Hour 20: The Sun!
Hour 21: Kenna (my niece) did not expect to wake up and find me in her house. It was fun to wake up (from a half hour of sleep) to this adorable face. “Uncle Weeeeeiiiillllll?????”
Hour 22: My newest niece: Josie! She’s a smiley baby!
Hour 23: I always enjoy letting Kenna play with my film cameras. This time I let her shoot some instant film, which was pretty confusing seeing an image appear on a piece of paper printing out of the camera. She really loved the picture of her I took though. Kenna loves Kenna.
Hour 24: And that’s it. Finally. Beautiful views once the rain cleared out a bit. It was indeed a long, exhausting drive back home. I’m pretty proud of pulling this off, and I’m working on planning out my next crazy photo challenge. I learned how valuable an exercise like this is: It’s like creative resistance training. I may not be the most physically fit guy, but I work hard to try and be a creative athlete. It’s projects like this that help make me be better at my craft. That’s the goal: To be better and get better every. single. day.