Photographer Woody Campbell is capturing his life, one day at a time, in a single black-and-white photograph. The lawyer and former Marine told BuzzFeed the project all started with a photography class that required students to shoot a “roll a day” using 35mm film cameras. “No excuses. You were expected to show up for the weekly class with seven contact sheets, one for each day of the past week,” Campbell said. Not only did the students have to take an entire roll of photographs, but they had to be good, as each was fiercely critiqued by peers and the professor.
Five years ago, Campbell got back to taking “the digital equivalent” of a roll a day. “I’ve owned and shot with just about every camera imaginable, including 4×5 and 8×10 large-format film, medium-format film, and digital,” the photographer said. Campbell said he is happiest when shooting on his Leica Monochrom, which shoots only in black and white.
The photographer posts a single image each day on his personal blog and plans to continue to do so for the rest of his life.
3. “It takes me 20 or 30 digital exposures to have some assurance of at least one decent image — some days I do many more — rarely fewer.”
4. “What does it mean to do one photo every day for the rest of my life? If I’m sick, even very sick, I hope to continue to shoot.”
5. “I actually post about a week after taking an image. This gives me a little distance and a perspective in terms of editing my own work, which is actually quite difficult.”
6. “A close friend was infected with a flesh-eating microbe while swimming in Uruguay, and was in a coma for 14 days. It seems to me to be fair to allow an exception for any days that I’m in a coma. We’ll see.”
7. “I’m best when I shoot light, not a subject. There are those occasions where there is a lovely, enveloping light.”
8. “It feels almost like an out-of-body experience if I’m able to get into the moment.”
9. Are there days Campbell struggles to find an image?
10. “Of course. These days have produced some of the worst and some of the best images in this body of work.”
11. What does Campbell hope his audience takes away from his project? “Whatever they find in it,” said the photographer.
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