A few days ago a friend of mine was looking for a photo project to do. I thought back to my days in photo school and remembered an assignment we were given.
The idea was that we had only one frame of film left on our roll and we needed to make a great shot within 20 steps of our home. Sounded easy enough; until you went out to shoot something.
At first it was kind of easy to just go out and shoot something and be done. But before long that last frame became a treasured commodity; one to hold onto and not waste on some random shot.
I began to really think of what I wanted to use that frame for. I'd pick a subject and wait until the light was right. Carefully set up the shot, making sure everything looked right in the camera because there was no "Photoshop" then. I would meter carefully, then with just a little hesitation I would trip the shutter. That was it. Done.
I wouldn't know if I got the shot until I developed the black and white film and made a contact sheet. I can't remember what I photographed, or what happened to the prints, but I do know that the exercise helped me to "see" what was right in front of me.
I suggested to my friend that she give this project a try, and I think I will revisit the project too!
Now, with rapidly changing technology, the rules are a little different and open to interpretation. The camera type does not matter, an iPhone is perfectly acceptable to use and I am even ok with apps like Instagram and all it's filters. If you want to use an "old school" 8x10 view camera, that is cool too! The key is that you only take ONE photo, and it has to be within 20 steps of your door. It can be your front door, back door, side door, garage door, or even a door at work. The point of the project it to get you to "see" things.
So here is my first "20 step" photo.
"Buddha on deck"
Please feel free to join in on this project and challenge yourself. Leave your blog URL in the comments.
Check out my friends 20 step blog entry here http://nvalentine.blogspot.ca/2013/03/20-steps-outside-my-door.html
For more inspiration, here are some other people that are also doing the project: