Saturday, December 31, 2011

Final Simple Assessment 2011

Man in a BoxA simple assessment of personal milestones and deliverables.

Photography

I started the year off a member of a 365 photo-a-day group. I had grand ideals, hoping that by applying a little personal self-discipline that I could improve both quantity and quality of my photography. I had collected a fair amount of gear, built around the E-3 and the E-P2, and it was beginning to sit around more than it was being used towards the end of 2010.

I managed to keep it up until mid-year (July), at which time my daily publication became erratic, and I dropped out of the 365 group. In total I published some 1,400 photos to my Flickr account, with a smattering to Google directly. Although I failed to achieve the goal of a photo specific for every day of the year, it did serve it's overall purpose of getting me to photograph far more often, and of far more varied subjects. I'll carry this on into 2012 and beyond (see below).

Blogging

This has been a blow-out year for me with regards to blogging. Up until 2011 my output was tapering off, year-over-year, to the point where 2010 had the fewest entries with 73. Before 2011, 2007 had the highest number with 199. This year, including this entry, I've written 405 entries, double 2007's. Speaking of number, earlier this year I passed 1,000 entries on my blog. This entry represents 1,100 total entries.

I started 2011 with the intent to blog at least once/day in parallel with my photography. I intended to tie the two together, showing the daily photo in each blog entry and weaving a bit of a story around it. Like the 365 day photography project, the 365 day blog entry became erratic towards mid year.

If you look at the raw numbers to the side you'll see that many months have more entries than days. And that's because I wrote multiple entries on a number of days. But you can see where the counts tapered off towards July, with the lowest number in August. This follows the same trend with my personal photography.

When I look back on that period I remember being tired and what appeared to be something of a personal burnout. It's hard being creative, especially uniquely creative. Many bloggers don't write nearly as much, only writing when their personal muse moves them. I choose to push myself if for no other reason than I needed the practice in writing.

Politics

This year saw the rise of Occupy Wall Street (#ows) and all the other parallel movements around the country and around the world, including Orlando. My wife and I attended the kick-off march from the Chamber of Commerce down to City Hall that Saturday, October 15th. My wife was in her wheel chair and I was pushing here around, with an E-1 and an E-3 dangling from around my neck and bumping into my ribs, chasing the body of marchers up and down Orange Avenue. I managed to get a few photos as well as this short video at City Hall.


We Are The 99 - Occupy Orlando from William Beebe on Vimeo.

More importantly Occupy helped me get a bit of my old life back. It helped re-energize what I had let fallen fallow, my need to engage with society for the good of society. Twenty-something years of trying to get the girls through the Orlando school system and into college had taken a lot of my time and energy, and I had grown inward and a bit selfish in the process. The Occupy movements knocked a lot of that detritus off and got me thinking and acting outwardly. While I only followed the Occupy movements for several weeks (when it became clear that the majority just wanted to camp out), it motivated me to re-join the ACLU and join the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association). If you're doing citizen journalism and you're in the thick of things like Occupy, then you owe it to yourself to join NPPA. Whether you're a member or not, the NPPA has your constitutional back covered so you can cover what's important to you and society.

2012

This past year, with my increased blogging and photography, has been a practice lead-up to 2012. I firmly believe 2012 is going to be a pivotal year, and I wanted plenty of momentum coming out of 2011 and into the new year doing both. I've already begun to think about several themes around which to weave my entries.

In addition to photography in general and technology (primarily Linux), I want to concentrate more on central Florida, primarily politics, the economy, and the environment. I might throw in some other subjects for a little variety, but 2012 is significant for the presidential election and the so-called end-of-the-world date of 12-21-2012.

Or at least those are my plans. Let's wait and see how the new year unfolds and what I finally did, at the end of 2012.

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