Update on Photo Project 365 From June 2012 :: P365.me

Project 365 June 2012 Update

Project 365 [Day 199] Waiting for the Rain in the Parking Lot

It’s the first part of July and I finally got around to updating my June Project 365 Photos (read about my Project 365 here). I am up to day 215, as of June 30th, which makes me 58.74% of the way through this project. Sometimes it feels like I’m taking the same photo every day, but I keep trying to find a unique image each day, and so far I have 215 unique images over my my Flickr gallery. My favorite shot (that was not published previously on my site) for the month of June is above, probably because it is a little more abstract. This huge storm came up while I was sitting in the Publix parking lot waiting for Deb to come out, and this shot was the result.

I still have mixed feelings about this project. It’s a pain in the neck, it takes time, it’s every single day with no break, and it’s a unbelievably accurate look at your life one photo at a time. Just like all photography, when I look at each individual image, I can remember great details about each day, just because I took one single photo. The mind is an amazing thing, and images create a very strong reminder in the brain, causing us to remember details we would otherwise have long forgotten. I know there is some psychological reasoning behind this, but once that image is taken, it takes certain details and moves them from our short-term RAM memory and places them in the long-term storage. That’s what I love about photography.

Just 151 more days and photos to take, and I can’t wait for November 29th when I can say it is finished. You can see a few previous blog posts on Project 365 here. To see the full gallery over on Flickr just go to http://P365.me.

Update on Photo Project 365 From May 2012 :: P365.me

Project 365 for May 2012

May is over and June is here. Hard to believe. I’m still working on my Project 365 for 2012, and so far, I haven’t missed a single day since November 29th (the day I started because that’s when my year starts). I am constantly amazed by this project. I have wanted to complete it for 15+ years, and I know why I haven’t up to this point, it still remains far more difficult than I had ever anticipated when I started last November. Something I have found quite interesting is my iPhone is the overwhelming king of this project. I have used it for about 75% of the shots instead of my Nikon, which I hadn’t really expected when I started.

In the same way journaling provides an excellent look back at what was accomplished, or just what happened on a particular date, this project is giving me a snap shot of my day, week, month, and year. Sometimes I have very little to take a picture of, sometimes I don’t remember until I’ve been ready for bed, then it’s a test of creativity to take a photo in the dark, of something interesting. Anyway, it has been a great project so far, and above you will see the snapshot for May 2012. My favorite for the month are below. To see the full gallery over on Flickr just go to http://P365.me.

Project 365 [Day 145] Photo Editing Day for Project 365

Project 365 [Day 145] Editing Day for Project 365 on My 27" iMac

Today was editing day for Project 365. I am truly amazed at how difficult it has been to keep up with this seemingly simple task of taking one image a day for 365 days. I have managed to keep up ok with actually taking the image, although some days it has come right down to the wire, but trying to keep up with posting said images has been a difficult task. I could have made it a little easier on myself and just posted raw unprocessed iPhone images on Instagr.am every day, but that just isn’t my style. So this photo above is, yes, a photo of my office where I am processing my photos, but that’s what I did today. To see the other P365 (or posts) images just go to the gallery at http://p365.me  over on my Flickr site where they are arranged day by day.

Is Mission Work a Success Without a Tangible Objective?

It’s hard for me to believe that in just three weeks our next team will be on our way to Uganda. I am basically still processing what our previous team did while we were there in early August, but our next team has been meeting now for months to prepare for our trip, which leaves on October 5th. The mission of these two teams couldn’t be more different in planning, people, and objectives, while all being unified under the banner of Matthew 28:19.

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to figure out how to explain, in actual words, what it means to “go”, at least in the context of going to Uganda. Since coming back from my last trip I have been asked many different questions, but the questions that are the most difficult for me to answer are the ones that require a tangible objective reached to be valid. They are perfectly valid questions when it costs so much to “go”, but it’s also mutually exclusive to the directive in Matthew 28:19, and a tangible result (or lack of one) doesn’t always equate to success or failure of the mission.

There are so many different churches, groups, and organizations working in places all over the world like Uganda that most “trips” are setup to specifically achieve objective A-B-C, and when they get back, they can say, it was a success, we did A-B-C. These are “clean straight lines” as our beloved staff member likes to say. Problem is, as I have learned, it isn’t that clean, and the lines are rarely straight. They aren’t arranged efficiently to move down from point A to point B while all done in the proper order. Of course this is mainly because we are dealing with people here, not data points or entries on a balance sheet to put it in accounting terms I’m familiar with myself.

No one travels over 16,000 miles without planning and preparation, and specific objectives they would like to see accomplished, but the words of Matthew that say “make disciples of all nations” isn’t a precise checklist, thank goodness. I took many classes in seminary that were specifically discipleship classes, and one basically spent the entire semester discussing those five words. For some teams “make disciples” means installing rain catch systems, for others it’s digging a well, or building a church building, or playing soccer. Sometimes, “make disciples” means building relationships, and how do you quantify that into points A-B-C, and why would we want to. And that’s what I love about our mission. We have done and are doing the specifics, but it’s for the purpose of building relationships with those brothers and sisters in Christ and for those who have yet to hear the Good News, and the results are not always quantifiable in western terms.

Our team that leaves in three weeks has every single day cram-packed at this point. For the first time we are going to be working with 60 Feet, an organization that “bring[s] hope and restoration to imprisoned children“, research in the science of clean water at the university level, and a host of other things in Buloba and the orphanage. Will these translate into tangible objectives reached? I have no idea, and I am starting to ask why it is so important other than to satisfy our western view of productivity and progress. If we were a corporation it would be totally different, but we aren’t, we are working for the objective of Matthew 28:19. Accountability and using the always limited resources of any non-profit is of the utmost importance to everyone, but I still think the end result has to be balanced with the goals of Matthew 28:19.

Years ago I probably wouldn’t have ever written this post, but then, a few months ago, I met the girl in the photo I took above, and realized that she doesn’t care about any of that. David Platt did a much better job explaining this than I just did in his book I reviewed back in March, Radical. This journey didn’t start for me back in March, or during this previous trip in August, and I don’t expect it to end with this next trip in October, because this is what God has commissioned us to do for those who believe in Him, and I hope I will always be involved in God’s objectives, tangible or intangible.

The New Daily Photo Blog is on the .net

I am making my New Year’s resolutions early this year (actually I usually don’t make any but I might this coming year), and one of those is to take at least a photo a day for a year. In the past many years as a photographer I have always wanted to put together a daily photo blog that would consist of, at least, one photo a day taken from the previous day. You probably hear this all the time if you are inspired to advance a creative side of your mind, but that doesn’t make it any less true. If you want to be a better poet, try to write a poem a day, if you want to be a better photographer, take at least one image a day, etc.

So, I have setup scottfillmer.net to be that place. Setup using a custom Tumblr blog, it will serve as a quick single daily photo post, and starting around December 1st (I do my annual things from December 1 to November 30 instead of January 1 to December 31) I will be posting a single photo from the previous day. It will be unique material to that site, not duplicated over here, so jump over there every so often to see what’s going on.

:: This has been moved over to http://mymisc.us

Long Ride to Florida and Key West by Motorcycle

Deborah Honda Shadow

Deborah Honda Shadow

Scott and Deborah

It usually gets to be about this time of year when I start dreaming about being some place warmer where the days are not 50-60* and gloomy (yes I know if you live anywhere farther north than the deep south 50 is not cold, but it is to us).  One of our favorite spots to go this time of year is the Florida Keys.  We have made more than a dozen trips down there over the years but a few years ago we did something different and road our motorcycles from Auburn Alabama to Key West Florida.

You may be saying big deal, who cares, but if you have never ridden a bike, or haven’t ridden more than about 50 miles at a time on a bike, it was a pretty big deal to us.  It is about 850 miles from here to there, and by car, usually takes us two days if we stop in Orlando.  That means long driving time in short light, and cold.  It was a great trip, and goal achieved, but one of the best and most memorable trips we have taken down to the keys (other than this one).  We didn’t make it all the way to Orlando the first night, and we only made it to Islamorada the second night, so it was a whole lot of very sore riding by the time we made it to Key West, but a memory I wouldn’t trade for anything.

So there are a few shots done with a point-n-shoot a few years ago, one while I was riding next to Deb while she was on her Honda Shadow VLX 600.  I was riding a Honda Nighthawk 750 at the time and loved to take pics of Deb while she was riding (of course).  We took many trips on these two motorcycles but this one trip to the Florida Keys was one of our favorite, and in one of our favorite spots in the country.