Back in 2012, photographer Clare Gibson wanted to expand her photography hobby from being a weekend endeavor to a daily routine so decided to follow Dewitt Jones’s photo-a-day project.
The determined photographer saw it through with aplomb and posted a photo for 3,652 days in a row and is continuing into her eleventh year. Gibson tells PetaPixel that she estimates to have taken around 150,000 pictures over the course of 10 years.
“I haven’t missed a single day of the project. At the decade mark (including two years that were leap years) it was 3,652 consecutive days. I have now started year 11,” she explains.
Gibson, who lives in Edmonton, Canada, says she was inspired to start the project after reading an article in a photography magazine written by Dewitt Jones.
“His project was to take and upload a photo each day using his iPhone. I had just got an iPhone for the first time and I thought, that’s perfect, I can do that too,” she says.
“I remember getting to day 100 and feeling like it was a huge achievement, and other photographers congratulating me but warning me that it was a long way to go to get 365 days. That now feels silly!
“It got to the end of the first year and I had enjoyed it so much that I wanted to continue. I kept the same rules except that I could take it on any device I want rather than it being limited to iPhone.”
Gibson describes her photography style as “eclectic,” but rarely images people.
“It could be a bird, a flower, my pets, street photography, architecture, street art, an everyday object seen from a different perspective (like the inside of a cheese grater or macro shot of a seed), or just how light and shadow are cast on something,” she says.
“I like the shadows of bicycles (and that has been a repeat theme) but also shadows made by railings, newspaper stands, anything really. I enjoy photographing different things, but I think it would be too hard to achieve what I have done if I stuck to just one genre while trying to keep it fresh and ensuring that I don’t repeat myself too much.”
After 10 years of shooting, Gibson has naturally gone through a few cameras. The first year of the project was shot solely on an iPhone 4s and an iPhone has remained with her for the entirety of the project.
“Over the 10 years, I have had different lenses that attached to iPhone that were capable of making fisheye, macro, or extra wide,” she says.
Gibson’s first DSLR was a Canon Rebel and moved on to a Canon 7D II.
“I loved [the 7D]. The crop frame made it great for bird photography, it was pretty quick at focusing and took great shots with a pretty inexpensive lens and the high-speed continuous shooting was great.”
As mirrorless became more prominent, Gibson turned to Canon’s R series, first getting the Canon R and then the Canon R5.
“It is a pretty impressive camera though I still think it can’t beat my beloved 7D in terms of speed for nature photos,” she says.
“The RF glass is phenomenal though, and I am sure the camera body technology will catch up sometime too.”
Gibson has also used smaller cameras like the Leica D-Lux 6, Olympus Pen, and even polaroids.
Gibson, originally from Manchester, U.K., says that she has no doubt that her technical skills have vastly improved.
“I think the biggest improvement is my ability to see and the development of my creative eye. It is now totally second nature to me, things constantly catch my eye that I become fascinated by,” she says.
“I look at the world around me with the curiosity of a toddler maybe seeing something for the first time. I am acutely aware of my surroundings, and really think I ‘see’ much more than people just going about their day.
“It frustrates me when people think that people who are using their cameras lots are not in the moment, but I think I see and experience the beauty of everyday objects and environments where other people might think they are mundane.”
Gibson acknowledges that the project has not always been easy.
“Some days I totally do not feel it, particularly in the dead of winter, or if I am unwell, and might post something that I think is mediocre at best,” she says.
“As time has gone on, I think it is less about the individual photo and more about the collective work,” she adds.
Image credits: All photos by Clare Gibson.