Tag Archives: photography

100 Happy Days challenge

For about 4 months or so, I’ve had a browser tab open with the 100 Happy Days Challenge webpage.  I wasn’t looking to do a photo a day again, but the concept of reminding yourself about what makes you happy is one that had been on my mind.  This week the universe/great maker/nature told me its the week to start it.

For those not familiar with the 100 Happy Days Challenge, in brief, the concept is to post a picture once a day of what made you happy that day.  It doesn’t have to be artistic, it shouldn’t be about showing off, its just what made you happy.

I’ve chosen to use the default hashtag of #100HappyDays and my Instagram account as the platform.  Partially to give me an excuse to play with Instagram more.)

Yesterday was day 1.  Follow along for the next 100 days on Instagram!  When I finish, I’ll do another post talking about the experience.

Today we learned Evan needs glasses. He looks damn cute. #100happydays #day1

A photo posted by Keith T. Garner (@ktgeek) on

Trib Nation – Life Lessons: Photographing Chicago

Jason, Lena, and I took a class with two Chicago Tribune photographers. It was a good walking tour of downtown near our office, but more valuable was the quick photo review the photographers did after the walk. Having professionals look and comment was very cool and having a large group of people taking shots in the exact same area was great as you could see how different people approached where we were and caught things I hadn’t thought of.

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop” — Ansel Adams

I’ve come to the end of doing a photo a day in the year 2011 and I feel like I largely succeed in following my rules and meeting my goals.  I did either cheat or just plain old fail on a few days, but for a voluntary program like this, a 2% failure rate (which is roughly what happened) is okay in my book.

I think I’ve become a much much better photographer through the process.  You clearly see a big change after April 9th when I took the class at the Chicago Photography Center. The other part of it was the constant practice and repetition of shooting and editing. I still have a long road to go in terms of skill and eye, but its been an amazing year of growth.

Some things I’ve learned:

  1. Doing something every day is HARD, no matter what it is except necessary bodily functions. Its more of a time commitment than one would think.
  2. It’s very difficult to keep coming up with fresh ideas if you feel the need to have every day be a little bit different. There were days when I didn’t shoot anything all day and wanted to go to bed and ended up shooting stuff in the house. By the end of the year, I ran out stuff in the house. Also, I ended up doing accidental themes for days at a time because I couldn’t think of anything new.
  3. There are days when things don’t work out or you just shot all crap…but if you are gonna stay on the daily mission, you post it.
  4. I have a hard time asking people I don’t know if I can take their picture, or just taking a picture of unknown people. Hence, you got a lot of landscapes and buildings and whatnot.
Per the Ansel Adams quote I used for a subject, I think I got over 12 good photographs. I’m not sure if they are significant to anyone  but me, but I’m going to take that I had a good crop.

Here’s links to 23 of my favorites through the year in no particular order:

Here’s the top 5 most visited photos on the blog:

  1. Ice skating in flight – I’d like to reshoot this, I could do better now. Its very search engine friendly
  2. Any skirt in a storm – The Marilyn statue is still a big deal, and this shot got around to a bunch of blogs
  3. Food Porn: Matzo Softball – Search Engine friendly
  4. Will you be my date for life? – I pointed out it was Sarah’s and my 10 year anniversary
  5. Blue wall: Half-way done! – I think I talked this one up when I painted it. It’s just a nice blue

I really enjoy photography, so I’ll still continue to shoot. Hey, I gotta learn to use the backdrops more.  That said, the frequency of photo posts will be going down.  I might just hide for a month and take no pictures. I need a break.