Today, for me, the number 500 signifies the number of consecutive days I have taken at least one picture using traditional analog film. The longest journey begins with a single step, so they say, so I suppose this journey must have had some sort of beginning. That beginning was accepting the “picture a day” challenge on January 1, 2010.
Through the dark winter months of 2010, I set challenge after challenge for myself, using a make-shift light box down in my darkroom studio on days when the weather was simply too dismal to work out of doors. It was with only a little surprise that I found my camera still in hand when winter gave way to spring, spring to summer. By the time autumn rolled around to winter again, and it became evident that I would in all likelihood succeed in my challenge, I was reluctant to lay my camera aside. Over the course of the year, I had honed my skills, challenged my eye, my imagination and my stamina. I and I succeeded. Three hundred sixty-five consecutive days of photography, were under my belt, (and many rolls and sheets of film awaited processing and printing, but that is another story) But 365, a full year or not, is a very unfinished number. Neither 300 nor 400, not even comfortably between... 365 was just not fully satisfying. Four hundred days was only 35 more days; surely I could stretch my effort one more month or so to balance the numbers. And so I did. By the first week of February this year I had reached 400, and I knew I could not stop. Calendar in hand, I plotted my way to 500, May 16, 2011.
This is fun. My optimism grows as I imagine the next 7 ½ months filling out a full two years of photography, and it seems only a trifle foolish to imagine extending the challenge beyond that date.
Five hundred is a nice round number.