Extending ’10 Things I Saw Today’

Let’s extend the 10 Things I Saw Today exercise. Look through your archive, review the images you took yesterday. Select one image that is particularly compelling to you. Spend at least 10 minutes writing a journal entry about this image. Your entry could respond to some or all of the following questions:

What interests you about this picture?
What do you ‘see’ in the image?
Describe the formal composition — talk about line contrast, scale, etc.
Does the image elicit or convey an emotional quality?
What were you thinking about or feeling when you took the picture?
Have your thoughts about this image changed?
Does looking at it now make feel different from when you actually took the picture?
Does this picture tell you anything about yourself?
What is the story that this photograph tells?

Make a ten minute reflection like this a part of your daily journaling process. Every day select at least one image to write about. Of course, ten minutes is the minimum. My hope is that you will completely lose track of time, find that 10 minutes is far too short and that you don’t want to stop, and that you want to write about several of your pictures.

Use the writing prompts above as your starting point. You may find yourself using certain ones repeatedly, skipping others, and beginning to come up with your own new prompts as well. Feel free to customize and build towards a unique personal process.

Since this is the first of many writing prompts you will find in The Deeper Dive, now is a good time to consider the tools you want to use in your journaling process, the form you want to give this work, and how public or private you want this work to be.

For many readers, it will be attractive to consider using a blogging format. As with the general world of smart phones and social networks, there are a variety of blogging platforms that make it easy to publish your writing, and of course it is very easy to combine your images and your text. There are phone apps that allow authors to publish images and written posts directly from their phones. Posts can be completely public, or private, or password-protected. There are infinite variations and nuances to how you might organize your journal. Not everyone wants to make their personal musings part of a public conversation. There is a wealth of useful electronic journaling software that allows readers to do this work entirely privately on a personal laptop. And let’s not forget the wonders of a spiral notebooks, a pen, and actual photographic prints.

This is a creative choice and an opportunity to consider your individual sensibilities. Do you want to create an artifact that is entirely electronic, immaterial, ethereal? Do you want to share your images and your musings with all the world, or with a select group of friends or followers? Or is this work for your eyes only? Would it serve you better to actually create a tactile object with weight and heft, a vessel that will bear the trace of your actual human marks? You have multiple options when it comes to audience and form. These are exciting creative decisions, so savory the creative opportunities as you reflect and plan.

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