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My Defective Ear

by mr.nige

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A 366-day pursuit in personal portraiture, presented by nige.

The challenge: to photograph, and post to this moblog, a portrait shot of myself, every single day, over the next year. Apparently, it's much harder than it sounds...

Perhaps more challenging: that i don't enjoy seeing my phizog in a photo at the best of times, and knowing that i'm probably going to annoy the hell out of the moblog community in doing this. So, sincere apologies in advance for this undertaking, but i just can't help myself. I promise to try and be creative, so you won't have to look at my mug every day.

Anyone interested in joining me? I think i'm probably going to need the company...

Dailyme report card:
365 Degrees of Kyoob
See Me
EverydayGirl
My Left Ear
Whose Shoes ?
Slice of Life
Joker365x
CCCLXV
Mikey365
Sexy Investment
wm08
Jen365



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366 of 366: It really is the end of the road

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On the 18th June 2007 I started a project to take a self-portrait every day for the entire leap year. 366 days later, i've reached my goal. Enough of the fake goodbyes and suicide notes; this really is the end. It's party time.

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I've been sitting at this laptop for ages trying to figure out what i want to accomplish with this last piece of text. It seems fitting that I should write about the personal difficulties and triumphs i've had throughout this undertaking, but thats not really what I want to say.

When I started this project a year ago, I didn't really question why I decided to do it. I had read about the idea on lots of photography websites, and I thought it would be a cool thing to do on moblog. It seemed like everyone had a lot more questions about the venture than I did, but I had very few answers because I had made the decision on a whim. I found that most of my own questions came during the year itself, and I'm happy to say that they have almost all been answered within 366 days. The first and most enduring things I asked myself were: What will it be like to force myself to take a picture - every single day - of the subject i least like to see in front of the camera? After i have done so for a year, will I still love taking pictures? Will I know myself a little more?

I won't give the answers. I hope they are obvious through my pictures, and the way the project developed over the last year.

This undertaking has forced me to confront myself every single day. It has made me earn the moments, and squeeze out a little extra effort to accomplish a bit more every day. Even on days when I felt like I hadn't contributed anything, I at least contributed my dailyme. It has stopped me from coasting; I haven't found myself saying "where did that week go?" as time goes hurtling by. The whole thing has been right there in front of me (and everyone else) in pictures, on moblog.

Now that i'm at the end I can say this: dailyme has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, and it's been that much better having the community here to witness it. I'm absolutely shattered, but I have loved the process so much that even though I will no longer post to this moblog, as long as I am able I will continue to take a dailyme every single day, for the rest of my life. Thats how profoundly this thing has affected me.

And so in writing this I now realise what it is I really want to say:
I want others to experience this. I want them to be affected like I have. To see their year, up close, every day. It's wonderful, believe me, and something that you will never, ever regret. It's harder than it looks, but easier than you think, and the feeling when you reach the end? Nothing short of amazing.
17th Jun 2008, 23:27   | tags:,,,,

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Alfie says:

Nige, this is simply inspirational. Thank you man.

17th Jun 2008, 23:30

nige says:

the pleasure was all mine baby, believe me :)

17th Jun 2008, 23:35

Congratulations Nige - this really is some achievement. Not only have you achieved your own personal goal, but you've kept quite a few of us very entertained in the process. As Alfie says, inspirational.

17th Jun 2008, 23:50

nige says:

thanks man. it's been a trip. the feeling of relax right now is quite overpowering.

thanks for the highlight too ; )

17th Jun 2008, 23:54

harimanjaro says:

Even without the weight of a year of self-portraiture behind it this would be a cracking good picture. Projects like this and 100 Strangers are real kicks up the arse for anyone who thinks they might be a competent photographer; they've certainly started me thinking about my photographic comfort zones.

18th Jun 2008, 00:02

bronxelf says:

Congratulations. If anyone could do it, I knew you'd finish it for sure.

18th Jun 2008, 00:04

nige says:

i'd urge anyone to try it. quite a few of us started, but for different reasons we're not all finishing. i think looking at it as an entire year can be quite daunting, but using the old AA analogy, dealing with it one day at a time can make the whole project more accessible. if it becomes too annoying, there's always the option to put it on hold, and come back to it at a later time. you might not want to once you've started though! i went on autopilot after a while, and it ended up becoming part of my day.

18th Jun 2008, 00:08

nige says:

thanks 'elf. glad i got your vote :)

18th Jun 2008, 00:09

shitake says:

I am on this blog very short because I am now very movly about Your text..Words fail me..that is why I give You my best regards!

18th Jun 2008, 00:20

nige says:

thankyou shitake. that means a lot :)

18th Jun 2008, 00:22

factotum says:

Nige, you know that there have been plenty of times during the last year when I've been tempted to start a Daily Me, and I haven't given up on the idea even now. I just need to tweak the idea into something that I have a reasonable chance of completing

18th Jun 2008, 01:11

swamprose says:

what? the end? how completely insensitive to people like me who wake up and think, hey, wonder what kind of insanity nige is up to today...wonder how he will be killing himself today...

coffee is not enough.

I am on nige dailyme coldturkey and tomorrow morning is going to be so hard.
thanks nige, for every step of the way.

18th Jun 2008, 01:56

i'll echo factotum's sentiments here - i have been tempted, 'tis true, but my excuses for not doing so have been stronger. maybe now i know it's doable i might give it a try.

18th Jun 2008, 06:53

Twiglet says:

*Cheers as nige crosses the finishing line...

18th Jun 2008, 06:56

Dhamaka says:

well done.
I'd be interested to hear how you feel about it this time next year
It's not something I think I'd ever do. I couldn't afford any other daily excuses for procrastination, or seductively creative ways to take my eye off the ball. However, from what you say with the image it's entirely possible that the daily notes and associated bits and pieces I've kept throughout my adult life provide a similar level of feedback. (edit) rambling due to a need to be elswhere - soz

18th Jun 2008, 07:17

taniwha says:

Thank you for sharing these thoughts Nige and for sharing 366 peeks at your life. I think this is the kind of project that many of us are called to but few stand up for. Good on ya.

18th Jun 2008, 07:45

Jane Doe says:

I've said elsewhere this has way exceeded my expectations.

I'm tempted to do 'something', but i think it would be more of the photo a day variety - and i use my moblog very much as a diary anyway.

I'm intrigued by hari's 100 Strangers, and am also interested in this project;
http://photocrossing-uk.blogspot.com/
/>
Well done, it's been both educational and entertaining

18th Jun 2008, 08:14

Geodyne says:

This photo puts such a smile on my face. :)

Well done for rising to the challenge.

18th Jun 2008, 08:50

JokerXL says:

Well done Nige, you da man!
It's been such a laugh, fantastic entertainment, inspirational photographic skills.
Thank you, I'll miss the daily chortle/wince/frown that your "DailyMe" has provided these last 366 days

18th Jun 2008, 11:15

Caine says:

A journey begun which will never end. It's been quite the ride, Nige. Thank you.

18th Jun 2008, 11:24

FilbertFox says:

Please don't stop mr Nige we need you! How about making it for a decade so wecan watch your wrinkles develop?

18th Jun 2008, 11:33

mara says:

xxx Nige

18th Jun 2008, 11:44

goode says:

"I have loved the process so much that even though I will no longer post to moblog, as long as I am able I will continue to take a dailyme every single day"

No longer post? How come? Great photo by the way!

18th Jun 2008, 11:57

hype says:

...and they all lived happily ever after.

The End.

Congrats on making the year dude.

18th Jun 2008, 12:03

billion says:

this calls for a power ballad moment.

(with apologies to shania twain...)

Looks like you made it
Look how far you've come my baby
You mighta took the long way
You knew you'd get there someday

They said, "I bet he'll never make it"
But just look at you holding on
You're still together, going strong...

18th Jun 2008, 12:11

nige says:

thanks everyone. it's a great feeling today, knowing that the year is behind me and it really has been a pleasure to do this project. i never expected that anyone outside of myself would have bonded with this adventure, but i'm so glad it did for a few of you. i feel really great about that.

facto, 'hobo, if it appeals to do a similar project without as much commitment, you could always try what Jane and Dhamaka have suggested - a photo a day of any subject matter, so that you are not hemmed in to taking self portraits. like Dhamaka has written, i'm betting that you probably take photos every day anyway, so it may not be such a stretch to formulate a project out of what you see every day. perhaps you could even try something like D's 100 Portraits project, which may be over a third less taxing in time (though not necessarily energy) than 365 days.

i know that i will start something else again real soon, albeit not on a daily basis, though perhaps weekly. i need some time to rest and think about it.

goode, i found half the effort to be in the posting, and getting it done in a timely fashion. not posting here from now on will relieve some of that pressure, whilst allowing me to continue the project. i've already taken todays shot!

hey 'hype, Happy Birthday my man!

and facto, HUGE HUGE HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

18th Jun 2008, 12:57

goode says:

Oh good so you're not leaving! :)

18th Jun 2008, 14:44

silar31 says:

Nige, you really are an inspiration. Wonderful post all around. :)

18th Jun 2008, 16:33

nige says:

:D

18th Jun 2008, 17:04

540air says:

Nice one dude, it's been entertaining looking to see what would happen next. Glad to read that there will still be occasional madness to come too!! :)

18th Jun 2008, 17:31

nige says:

always the madness, man. always...

18th Jun 2008, 17:53

jc1000000 says:

what a wicked way to end it!

18th Jun 2008, 18:16

PrincessJun says:

Brilliant - and glad you are going to keep posting - great post and shot, and what lovely comments you received from everyone, makes you all warm and fuzzy inside! Thanks nige!

18th Jun 2008, 19:21

nige says:

i am chuffed 'Jun. warm & fuzzy i am.

18th Jun 2008, 22:39

lilitiger says:

Congratulations!

I was wondering about the effort of posting every day, as well as taking a picture every day. I'm glad you answered that. But I bet sharing that daily picture instead of them stacking up in your camera is half responsible for your feeling of elation today?
I find that if I don't share pictures straight away, the spark is gone, and they remain in the digital drawer.

I've also heard the same remarks you make, from friends who undertook a daily spiritual challenge, either silence or Buddhist prostrations (in that case, you have to do 111'111, in any time frame you choose).

Great stuff Nige! Love the patchwork version, BTW.

19th Jun 2008, 01:51

nige says:

thanks 'tiger, and you are absolutely right - sharing the pictures every day has been key. it has kept me motivated right until the very end.

interesting what you write about sharing photos immediately. actually i don't always feel that way. i like coming back to shots some time after i have taken them to see if i look at them in different ways. often, my perception has changed, and i like that.

do you think you might undertake something like this?

19th Jun 2008, 02:35

Tori says:

Congratulations.

I am jealous.

Also, I will miss this blog.

19th Jun 2008, 08:52

nige says:

thankyou, fellow dailyme'r. i guess it ain't over 'til everyone has finished. i'm still watching.

i'm going to miss this blog too. got kinda attached to it.

19th Jun 2008, 10:08

Joe says:

*dofs hat

I couldn't have done it.

grats mate.

19th Jun 2008, 10:20

nige says:

thanks man :)

19th Jun 2008, 10:32

Ricky Gee says:

Easy bro, just wanted to send out some props for finishing. It's clear that the blog has had a profound effect on you and a positive effect on the people that have enjoyed your creativity....
like me.

Well done man and best of luck on whatever you choose to do next. Might see ya tonight man.

Peas

19th Jun 2008, 12:14

nige says:

nice one star. appreciate the bigup.

19th Jun 2008, 12:23

lilitiger says:

Yes, when I know I can commit to it. I'm fed up with not taking things to completion.
Or, when I find a project that's practical for the known future - I'm planning to be on the road again.

Once I attempted to take the same landscape every day, by the Mersey, only to discover I couldn't walk that way every single day (doh).

About old pics - I'll try that. I usually go through them more easily in print, and used to put a few up on the wall every time I start a new design project, pictures I thought pertinent.
Photos used to be for documenting purposes only! Not now.

20th Jun 2008, 01:58

Suzi Shoes says:

Niiiiiiiiiiiiige!! What a star! Well done. Very impressive and kinda moving.

So glad to hear you will still post. I plan to start again once baby's here...I have my pic planned and everything!

xx

27th Jun 2008, 17:43

nige says:

thanks mommy. i hope it's moving enough to move the baby ; )

27th Jun 2008, 19:19

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