Ten years ago, Woody Campbell decided to take a photo every day for the rest of his life.
Wednesday, on the 10 year anniversary of the start of his lifelong project, he went back to the scene of his first photo, a Jean Dubuffet sculpture in Manhattan.
It will be his 3,654th consecutive photo.
Campbell grew up in Utah and lives in Manhattan, but finds much of his inspiration in Connecticut. He and his wife have a weekend home in Warren — “The population is about 12 or 1,300,” he said. “There are easily that many cows” — and many of the daily photos he’s taken are of Connecticut’s people, sights and landscape.
Photography in Utah “is different,” Campbell said. The spaces are wider, the mountains loom. Places like Arches National Park and Canyonlands are familiar to even casual viewers.
“You can also find a point of view, achieve some distance and wait for good light,” Campbell said. In the hills and woods of Connecticut, though, “there’s rarely a point of view and when there is, it’s rarely interesting. That means you really need to focus on details.”
The other problem for Campbell is, he has chosen to work exclusively in black and white. That makes autumn in Litchfield County somewhat difficult to capture.
“Right now is the most glorious time of the year in Litchfield County,” he said. “Hard work conveying fall color in black and white.”
When asked why he would choose to set himself the task of taking a photo every single day for the rest of his life, campbell acknowledged the challenge. He’s a lawyer by trade, and does not like to mix the two vocations.
“If I did this for a living I’d probably be sleeping in the back seat of my car and cooking cans of beans on the exhaust manifold,” he said.
But it’s the challenge, he said, that drives him. Taking a photo every day means in even the days you are sick, even the days when you can only use an iPhone to “catch the path from your bed to the bathroom.”
“Doing something perfectly consistently every day - and keeping up high energy and focus is really hard,” he said. “Some of those days have produced the best work that I’ve done.”
Check out Woody Campbell’s work on his Instagram or on his website.