So far, I’ve mostly been posting parts of the experiment that don’t involve people. I don’t know why that is the case, but it’s what I’ve been gravitating to in my selection so far. Maybe it’s because I am so used to people photos by way of social networks, and this feels different – closer to why I do photography.

But it’d be a mistake to say I don’t love taking photos of people – I do. I think I may just save those photos a little while longer.

This is a couple different angles of some spider webbing I found at Gowlland Tod.

seaside flightpath

Near Iona Jetty.

Part of the experiment was to do things I wouldn’t normally suggest doing, such as shooting directly into the light .. but I thought why not do that? A card from Oblique Strategies set (a deck of cards meant to spur creativity) says something to the effect of “find the flaw and amplify it.” So I exposed off of the sun glare on the water to capture the isolation of this old thing in the ocean off the coast of the YVR airport.

The Experiment

It occurred to me that my iPhone (4, upgraded to 5S last year) was getting better at photos, filtering them, making them pop, and sharing them nearly instantaneously. So far as photos that are meant to capture “now” and be relevant to the moment, my dSLR was – and continues to get – further and further away from being capable of competing with the iPhone.

So, more than a year ago, I decided to do something a little different with my digital SLR. I would continue to use my iPhone out of convenience, but I’d also bring my dSLR along to events, days and evenings that I want to remember in a context outside of likes and retweets.

My experiment, then, was to juxtapose the devices as much as I could. To do that, I:

  1. Did not empty the memory card for a whole year (I could delete photos, but the number I could keep at the end of the year had to fit on the memory card);
  2. shot in RAW the whole time so that I could really get the most out of editing on the computer and post processing if I wanted;
  3. shot in black and white the entire year to concentrate on developing a style that centred around lighting, contrast, shape and texture more, rather than colours;
  4. shot with a 50mm lens the whole time – this forced me to spend more time composing and moving around the space I was in to get the shot I wanted.

So what did I get out of this?

  • 516 photos, some of which will be put up on my walls in my home
  • a style emerged from the creative constraint, which you’ll see in posts on here tagged “experiment”
  • a great deal of enjoyment while figuring out my style
  • a sense of what not to take photos of – because now i know what wont make the cut
  • the ability to turn the weakness of a device (lower level of connectivity) into a strength
  • something else, which will remain secret
  • I love photography again


“Is it more important in life to get what we want, or to like what we get? Many people work very hard to achieve their aims, and then find them a disappointment.

Might it be better to relax, and just welcome anything that floats our way? Best of all, perhaps, we could learn to like what we cannot avoid, and strive only for what we can attain.

But, how do we know what we can attain without trying?”

– John Cleese

diversity is my university