What is Photernal?
When I started Photernal, the tagline was “a photo a day forever.” Ambitious, eh? To be honest, the fact that I kept it going for five-hundred some odd days was a surprise to me. The purpose was to jump-start my own creativity. If I was forced to come up with something each day, I would always be on the alert, and my eye would hopefully become trained with regard to what might work as a photo.
The project has been extremely successful. I now see possibilities almost by default, without thinking about it consciously. So many possibilities, I could never stop for them all. I believe Photernal has created within me a mindset which I will retain forever: a permanent shift in the way I look at the physical, light-reflective world. This transition happened mostly in the first three to six months. After that, it started to become less of a creative exercise, and more of an amusement, just to see what I could possibly come up with. Considering my schedule, the seasons, etc., it was often an engaging challenge to try to come up with something that would actually make people stop and look. Challenge, of course, can be a good thing, but it had become a very different challenge from the one I had originally set up for myself.
Eventually, it became, on some days, drudgery. It was invigorating if I found a good shot, and I was excited to put it up. But if I couldn't come up with anything, I stressed about it, and invariably posted junk, just to be able to check that day off my list. Finally, I acknowledged that the daily thing had served its purpose, and was serving me no more; I decided to abandon Photernal in favor of a couple of other projects I have in mind. Those projects are still forthcoming, but will be slower coming to fruition than I had anticipated.
In any case, I had made a conscious decision to keep the site live, so the images would always be available for viewing. And more recently I decided, why not keep the good part of it going? In other words, lose the structure, and the associated pressure, but keep the images? The good ones, I mean.
And so I announce a reincarnation, Photernal v.2. No stress, no structure, no schedule. Oh, and no crap. Well, that’s always a matter of opinion, of course. ;) Thus, I will continue to update the site into the future, but at my own schedule, as time and creativity allow. If you don’t see a new post for a few months, don’t be surprised. Also don’t be surprised if I decide to post several images on the same day. One thing you can be sure of, though, henceforth: I will only post what I consider to be my absolute best work. No more quickie snaps to fill a gap. Only well-considered, carefully processed work. I hope that what I’m taking away in quantity will be more than compensated for by an exponential increase in quality. Also note that I am not taking down any of the old content. It all remains to be viewed, for those who are interested. Even the crap.
One last thing: down at the bottom of the page, where it says “Site Style: Light/Dark?” Click “Dark.” It’s better that way.
Who am I?
I am a professional photographer and graphic/web designer in Iowa City, Iowa. I do portraits, as well as commercial, editorial, and contract photography.