Categories
Chicago General Photography

Returning to the Impossible

An Polaroid-style instant photograph depicting the statue of Abraham Lincoln in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood.
Lincoln Square, Chicago – 1 April 2020

From January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2014 I took a single instant photograph a day every day with a vintage Polaroid camera and ‘Impossible Project’ instant film. And then I stopped.

With all of this corona virus stuff going on, and us all trapped at home, and many of us unemployed, I figured it was time to start creating again.

To maintain my physical and mental health I’ve been cycling daily throughout Chicago (don’t worry, I’ve been wearing a mask and gloves, and keeping proper social distance from everyone else) so I decided to pull out some of my instant cameras and start sharing what I see with the world.

So, ‘The Impossible Year’ is back… for now. We’ll see how long I keep it up.

This content will be posted primarily to Tumblr via the original blog: https://theimpossibleyear.com but I’ll also be cross sharing it to Twitter and Facebook as well. I hope you’ll join me.

Cheers,

John

Categories
General Photography

The Impossible Year: Exhibition

From January 1, 2012, to January 1, 2014, I took a single photograph a day every day with a Polaroid camera and Impossible Project instant film.

I spent time documenting my friends, family, and the day to day bullshit of life, from the mundane to the extraordinary.

For the first—and possibly only—time, the complete collection of photographs from the project will be on display at my studio space here in Chicago.

The opening reception will be held on Friday, March 20, at 7:00 P.M.

Complimentary refreshments will be provided, and the talented Leyla I. Royale will provide background cello music for the evening.

The show opens Friday, March 20, at 7:00 p.m. at 2000 W Carroll Ave, Unit 302B Chicago, IL 60612. After the reception, the exhibition will be available until March 28 by appointment only.

Appointments to view the exhibition can be scheduled by calling me at (773) 916 7660 or contacting me via email.

I’ve worked very hard on this, and I cannot wait to share it with you all.

You can find more info on the Facebook event page.

Thanks!

Categories
Chicago Photography

An Event Apart Chicago 2012 in Impossible Images

Last week Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer brought their excellent design conference, An Event Apart, back to Chicago for the first time since 2009. As in previous years, I had the opportunity to play the role of photographer for the event. However, this year I decided to mix it up a bit and also take Impossible images to complement the regular digital photos and coincide with my ongoing Impossible Year project.

Without further ado, An Event Apart Chicago 2012 in Impossible images:

Categories
Photography

The Impossible Year

In 2010 I decided I was going to try to make a point to create and publish something every day. Whether it was a photograph on Flickr or a blog post here or elsewhere, it would be my own, personal accomplishment.

Unfortunately, I didn’t even come close. I could make excuses, but I simply didn’t succeed.

With the advent of Instagram in 2011, it became increasingly easy to do the “one photograph a day” type of project. As much as I’m a fan of digital photography, it takes very little effort to shoot a single image daily on your phone, and that takes all the fire out of it.

So I thought: “Go big or go home.”

At some point, I heard about the work of Jamie Livingston, who took one Polaroid photo a day from 1979 to his death in 1997.

Unfortunately, Polaroid ceased making new instant film in 2008, which seemingly ruled out that idea. At some point, though, I miraculously stumbled onto a group called The Impossible Project. ‘TIP’ is a group of Polaroid enthusiasts who set out to reverse engineer the good old stuff and are now producing new instant film compatible with Polaroid cameras.

Armed with film and a “new” camera, I have set out to shoot and publish one photograph a day using Impossible Project film. With that in mind, I’ve entitled my experiment “The Impossible Year” for a few reasons. The first and most obvious would be in tribute to the company making this possible. Secondly would be sorta tongue in cheek with myself as 2012 is the year the “world is supposed to end” according to the Mayan calendar, which if the world were actually to end, would certainly mean the end of my project. Lastly, it’s a challenge to myself not to fail, saying that my year would be “impossible” states that at some point, I might drop the ball and fail, thus pushing me to prove myself wrong.

So yeah enough BS. I didn’t write anything about this back in January because I wanted to make sure I’d be able to get at least one month under my belt. Now here we are, March is almost over, so it’s safe to say I’m going to keep at it. Please take a moment to look through the photos and feel free to leave comments or ask questions. Thanks!

Categories
General Travels

Whatever happened to that trip you were taking?

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated, and my apologies for that. I’m at a bit of a crossroads for Subism.com. I want to revamp the site to add a store, but I also want to integrate a responsive web design layout. Unfortunately, things require learning a lot, and I’ve been pre-occupied.

As you may recall, or if you scroll down two entries, late last year, I was working on a social media travel experiment. The gist of it was that I was backpacking through Europe via train. Along the way, I was taking people’s suggestions and recommendations via social media about where to go and what to do. The intention was to report it here and share the total findings at this year’s SXSW interactive festival.

For a while, I was posting daily; then, it crept down to posting once per city, and then finally, I found out that the SXSW panel was rejected. While that took a lot of the wind out of my sails, I intended to keep going regardless. I kept collecting data and working on it daily, just the same. I have a Moleskine notebook filled with notes, a ton of “starred” Tweets, and gigabytes of photos to share. However, the issue that remains is what to do with it all. Without the panel as a destination, how the data is presented requires dramatic rethinking. I will compile it with conclusions at some point, but right now, I’m unsure exactly what that will look like.

Aside from the SXSW rejection, my trip was abruptly cut short due to a death in my family. Despite my abrupt return to the states, I had still planned to head back out towards Asia and Oceania. However, after a little while, it became clear that it simply wasn’t the right time for me to do so.

All that said, I’ve been busy since my return. I’m working on a few different projects that I will hope to share sometime soon. I’ve also been spending a lot more time over on my Tumblr.

One of the things I will elaborate on very soon is something I’m calling The Impossible Year. Feel free to check it out ahead of time if you wish.

Cheers!

PS – The book is still on sale!