10 things I learned while shooting for 24 straight hours

This past weekend I spent 24 hours shooting for a fundraiser for the Photographic Center Northwest. It was an interesting experience to shoot for 24 straight hours, and I had a great time while raising money for a good cause. You learn a lot by staying awake and shooting for 24 hours. It pushes you physical limits, mental limits and creative limits. In the end, I always think I am better for having done something like this. It is an amazing sense of accomplishment. This time, I tried to think about what I would try to remember for the next time I am shooting for an extended period of time. So, in the spirit of Letterman here are the top 1oishthings I hope to remember for next time I am shooting for 24 hours.

  1. No matter what they tell you about the weather pack a lot of layers into the car. You will get wet, hot, cold and tired of the clothes you are wearing. Fresh clothes make for a fresh perspective.
  2. Taking a shower is something that should happen at least once in the course of the 24 hours.
  3. Drink lots. Eat often. Eat well. Never say no to watermelon or pizza.
  4. Point your camera at things you normally wouldn’t. You are there and time is abundant so click away. Discovery is abundant when you have hours to play with. When you are lost and tired is when your creativity can shine brightly.
  5. No matter what anyone tells you. You are on your own for part of the time. They will “need to take a quick nap.”
  6. Size matters, have big memory cards. You more than likely need more than one.
  7. The city changes hour by hour, so should you. You will find out things about your city that you didn’t know, and it will show you things that you didn’t know were inside of you.
  8. When you can’t think of what to shoot and the creative energy is gone, get a cup of coffee and write down what shots you think you missed while out and about. Sketch out some ideas of what you would like to shoot. All three things will recharge your battery.
  9. Tell people what you are doing, they love to hear your crazy 24 hour story. Their support for what you are doing with a kind word and a request to look at the back of the camera can really motivate you when the day starts feeling long.
  10. At the end of 24 hours, a neighborhood bar, great friends and a cold beer are  a fitting way to end the day.
  11. It takes a while to process 24 hours of shooting.
  12. You must really love something to do it for 24 hours and think at the end, “Hmmm, I think I am good for another 24.”

Seattle Library

All images taken on a Nikon D700 using Lexar UDMA compact flash cards.

June 22, 2011

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