James Tiffany Photography

Personal Project: Daily Chicago

James TiffanyComment

March 26th 2015

Last November I made my first significant relocation, moving from a small Wisconsin city of about 70,000 people to Chicago. Needless to say, this was a pretty big change in many ways and in hindsight, November was probably the worst time to transplant myself to a new home. During the dark and dreary evenings of winter I sure don't feel much impetus to explore or meet new people and what a long, cold winter it was. 


During the doldrums of winter, I found inspiration in an unlikely place, my new office. Several miles west of the city and nearly a dozen floors up, I discovered that I was blessed with a great view of the skyline. One day, impressed enough with the view, I took a photo with my phone, edited it, and shared it on Instagram. I noticed a drastically different view the next day and repeated the process and I suddenly found myself mentally committing to a photo-a-day challenge. 

The first attempt. 

Having not done a Photo 365 before, I decided on some ground rules right away:

  • I would post one picture of the skyline, every day, even days I wasn't in the office
  • On days I was in the office, the photo must be taken the same day
  • To cover days I wasn't in the office, I would take extra pictures during the week to create a backlog
  • Once edited and shared, I would delete the original photos. This was mainly to help make sure I didn't accidentally repeat. Somehow, this happened anyway.

125 (and counting!) photos, several different editing tools and changes in format later and I'm continually surprised by the dramatic differences from day to day. So far, this has been a great experience. By making sure that I'm taking and sharing at least one picture every day, I'm creating a habit. I've played with several different editing options, from solely using Instagram to a juggled combination of #VSCOCam, #Retouch and #SquareInstaPic for getting some variety in composition. 

One big thing that I've learned however is that limiting myself to only pictures I took the same day has resulted in there being many mediocre and uninteresting photos drowning out the ones that I'm especially proud of. If I were to start again (and perhaps moving forward) I would allow myself more flexibility in this area. This would also mean I would need to be more diligent about taking several photos on the "good" days. 

I'm excited to be nearing the 6 month milestone, and even more excited to see how else the view will change. Fall should be particularly fun. 

Thanks for watching!

March 18th 2015