There are lots of 365 day photo challenges out there. Most of them focus on taking a photograph every day for one year. The motives include recording one's life, learning to use one's camera better, learning to take one's camera everywhere, and finding subjects even when it seems there are no subjects to be found. These challenges are hard, and they're meant to be hard.
Such a challenge would be extra hard for me for one particular reason: I do not lead a regular life. No, I'm not a secret agent or anything like that. I mean regular as in routine, with a schedule that matches most other people.
About one-third of my days are regular days. I wake up, I go do some stuff, I come home, I spend a little time on the internet, I go to bed. There is plenty of time and flexibility in such a schedule for me to reasonably challenge myself to take a photograph, do some brief editing, and formulate a short blog post about it. I could even do them in batches and post once a week - not easy, but not really an obstacle.
Another one-third of my days are non-stop work from the moment I wake up in the morning (6:30) until the moment I go to sleep at night (sometimes as late as 1:30). This is not an exaggeration. When I work there, I barely have enough time to pee when I want to, let alone have enough energy left at the end of a day to spend any time at all on a computer. Also, the internet access is patchy and questionable at best, and frequently nonexistent. If I want to bring my camera somewhere during the day, I either have to carry it around all day (that's a long day, and my camera gets heavy after the 15th or 16th hour), or I have to figure out some extra free moments before and after the time I want to have it with me, so I can pick it up and drop it off. I make this effort as often as I can anyway, because the nature shots are so worth it.
The last third of my days are spent recovering from the second third. If I don't have to be anywhere, I make a point of not being anywhere. I don't even exit my pajamas. I have been known to not leave the house for days at a time. This would also make a photo challenge difficult. I know there are many interesting things in my house I could find of which to take a photograph, but I think I would get bored with hunting down new subjects within my four walls.
What do I really want out of this? I don't want a record of my daily life (like I said, some days are really just not worth recording), I would like to learn to use my camera better and take it more places with me, but not if it becomes a chore.
What I really want is to get better at not passing up a shot.
This is my challenge. If I see something interesting that I want to photograph, and I didn't already have my camera out, I need to learn to stop, get out the camera, and take the time to get the shot I want. This will probably lead to carrying my camera around more.
This is not a take-a-photo-every-day challenge. This is a take-a-photo-when-a-photo-presents-itself challenge. I will not find one every day. Some days I will find more than one. Some days I'll be too tired to notice that there's even a world out there to be photographed. Some days the view (from my couch) will never change. This will be a 365 challenge not because it will happen every day, but because I'll keep doing it until I have successfully done it 365 times.
"It" being: See a shot, then get out the camera and get that shot. Exactly the shot that I saw.
The photo above is the first in my 365 challenge. Well, OK, the zeroth. It doesn't count because I took the photo before officially embarking on this journey. It fits the theme, though. At a friend's beach house, where games and puzzles and relaxation abound, I had been sleeping on the couch. As I awoke and sat up one morning, I peered over the back of the couch, across the card table with a puzzle-in-progress, and toward the sliding patio doors that lead to the porch, the beach, and the ocean beyond.
The puzzle was bright and colorful, but from the angle I was sitting, and with the morning light coming in through the glass, the puzzle pieces looked silvery and metallic. Sure, I dropped the saturation down on the photo later, but not by much. The scene was basically black and white already. I knew I had to get the shot, so before I did anything else that morning, I went straight for my camera. I think it worked out pretty well. Only 365 more to go.