One Day – One Door
In my current 365 photo challenge I’m taking a photo of one door every day. In this article I will explain why and what it means to me. I will show you how much it challenges me and how I manage to integrate this project into my everyday routine.
The 365 Hype
If you’re a photographer, admit it: You’ve at least once started a 365 days challenge, haven’t you!? Well, I have. Once. I’ll give you that: I failed. In my first 365 challenge back in 2014, I didn’t have any theme at all. I even started with an analog camera and the idea was to shoot one roll of film (36 frames) a month. I used a Lomo LC-A camera, which is small and compact, so I could take it with me every day.
The project failed because I didn’t have a theme. I think. At some point, after 2 months or so, I simply started to forget to take a shot as days passed by. After work I realized that I hadn’t taken a photo, yet, and it was like 5 or 6 PM. And since I started in January, it was dark and I completely lost motivation. So I stopped with one and a half rolls of film. There was no recognizable series of cohesive photos at all and I was very disappointed by myself.
Well, this year i decided to set myself a theme. A theme that is challenging enough on one hand and abstract enough so I can actually achieve my goals on the other hand. By NYE I didn’t have a theme and then I took a walk. Suddenly I stood in front of this run-down dirty door and my theme was born.
Why a Door?
I find doors fascinating. There’s this one quote from the TV series House M.D. that actually means a lot to me. So much that I added it to my Master’s Thesis:
That’s what life is:
It’s a series of rooms and who we get stuck in those rooms with adds up to what our lives are.
(Eve, House M.D., S3E12)
I think this metaphor describes life perfectly. Going one step further, doors are what connects those rooms. Doors can be open or closed. We can actively open or close them. They come in all different sizes and shapes. This makes them kind of mysterious to me. I often see myself in a long hallway with lots of different doors. Some of them are open and others are closed. Some of them are locked and I don’t have the key to unlock them.
Since photography is my hobby, I have to integrate this project into my everyday routine so I can actually succeed. In my opinion, there are two major things to achieve that. First, I have a camera with me all the time, which I already did before this project. I use a Fujifilm X100F, which I can easily put in my bag that I have with me anyway. This camera is small and lightweight and offers everything I need. Second, I have to break with my usual habits when I commute to/from work. This means that I have to deviate from my usual ways and/or exit at different train stations. For example, there are 4 subway and 8 train stops on my way to work. I simply exit some stops earlier and take a walk in the district there, which opens a whole lot of new opportunities and inspiration. Plus, I sometimes simply walk and skip the subway part completely, if the weather is great.
Well, What do you do on vacation? I hear you ask. That’s easy: Doors can be found around the world and this is exactly what I like about my theme, it works everywhere. Vacation even gives me new opportunities and even more inspiration, because different cultures have different doors. I’ve recently been to Lisbon/Portugal and the doors there were amazing!
Well, enough talking, you want to see some results, right? Here are my favorite doors in no particular order.