Adventures of a Daily Photographer – January 2024

January brought a fresh start, bridging the transition from the bustling holiday season to the budding hopes of an early spring. I am excited to be in my 11th year of daily photography! This daily project offers so many opportunities to learn new things while documenting our travels and capturing everyday life. I kicked off the project with a landscape that showcases the beautiful area we are camping in. 

Mountain, sky, desert landscape
Day 1 - New

The Desert Landscapes​​

It was great to spend time outdoors every day, either for a walk or hanging around the fire visiting with new friends. RVers flock to the southern states to enjoy the warmer temps and this year we are enjoying snowbird season in the Sonoran Desert area of Arizona. The landscapes here are incredible! Day 3 was a chilly sunrise with incredible pink/orange skies. 

Below, day 12 is my version of trees in the desert, Saguaros! Day 14 is the road leading into the ranch and part of my daily walking path. Day 23 is the incredible Harcuvar mountain range with low-hanging clouds. You will undoubtedly see this mountain range many times in this month’s images! 

mounain, sunrise, desert
Day 3 - Chilly
cactus, desert, black and white
Day 12 - Trees
road, sky, mountain
Day 14 - Walking Path
Mountain, clouds, blue sky
Day 23 - Quiet
sunset, black and white, high contrast
Day 19 - High Contrast
Church, Blue Sky
Day 26 - Broken

Location, Location, Location

I like to capture our travels and this month we visited Salome, Lake Havasu City, and Joshua Tree National Park in California. We also went to Quartzite but I failed to photograph anything there.

Day 19 was the high-contrast sunset in Lake Havasu City. I saw this image in black and white in my head and knew it had to be the photo of the day.

Day 20 was a trip to Joshua Tree to meet up with Grace and Jeoghne. It was a great day of exploring and hiking. Even though it rained most of the day it didn’t dampen our spirits at all. Seeing this image of a Joshua Tree brings back great memories from the day!

Day 26 was one of those days when I didn’t have time to be creative so I pulled this image of a tiny roadside church from the archives. It was a scouting trip for a future night photography shot. If all goes well you may see that next month!

Tree, Desert
Day 20 - Joshua Tree

RV Life at the Ranch

Our friends have a fantastic piece of property just outside of Salome, AZ and the views are amazing. There is a nice walking path around the property too! They held a rally during the month for other ATC trailer owners and the property filled up with lots of fun people. We shared meals, campfires, and lots of laughs. Day 5 is a view of our camp spot. Day 13 is me faking the roasting of a marshmallow with a fork. Day 15 was a fish fry dinner courtesy of one of the rally attendees who brought Walleye from Idaho (it was amazing!) and on day 25 we had a steak dinner courtesy of another supremely generous camper. Best steak I’ve had in a while! 

RV, desert, clouds
Day 5 - My World
Campfire, Marshmallow
Day 13 - Fork
Frying pan, Fish, cooking
Day 15 - Rally Fish Fry
Cooking, Grilling, Steak
Day 25 - Fire

A Plethora of Selfies

One benefit of this project is getting myself into more photos. I’ve learned some posing tips from other photographers which is helpful. 

My word for this year is authentic. The thought behind it is to just be myself, photograph what I like, and not worry about what others think. My personality drives me to focus too much on perfection and miss out on enjoying the moment.

L to R: Makes Me Happy, Explore, Child, Picture in Picture, My Walk, Where I Stand

RV, Camper, Self Portrait
Day 2 - One word/Authentic
Walking, Road, blue sky
Day 4 - Makes Me Happy

Getting Creative

A photography goal I have for this year is to spend time practicing a new technique and this month I chose Intentional Camera Movement. I’ve tried it before, but it was more of a one-and-done experience. This month I went out several times to practice and learned a few things along the way. I think the images improved significantly! You can read more about the ICM technique here

Desert
Day 18 - Desert ICM
Desert
Day 22 - Familiar Abstract
Desert colors
Day 30 - Low Light

All About the Toys!

I love creating scenes with my Legos! I have a decent collection and when they fit the prompt I can’t resist! My favorite prompt this month was probably “Toy” (bottom middle) and I had fun creating a Lego family portrait. Of course, they were a challenging group and then there’s that one guy at the end who ignored the themed clothing memo! That image required multiple layers for focus stacking and also the top right image to get the movie in focus on the screen. This is one of my favorite genres to photograph and I hope to do several images each month. 

Becoming a Daily Photographer

If you want to become a daily photographer, it is as simple as picking up your camera! I use both my DSLR and my iPhone for this project. I love the simplicity of the mobile device, so it gets used quite a bit. I am part of a group of daily photographers, and we have daily prompts along with tips to practice new techniques. We learn so much from each other too!

Here are 5 tips to get started as a daily photographer:

  1. Carry your camera with you. You never know when inspiration will strike. Think of yourself as the paparazzi of your life!
  2. Seek out the everyday wonders. Ordinary moments can add depth to your project. It’s fun to look back over the years and see what caught your eye.
  3. Join a project or create themes to follow like colors, textures, or a specific style (like food photography!). Having a guide can make it easier to get started.
  4. Test different angles, subjects, and styles. Learning can be fun, and it will ignite your creative spark!
  5. Experiment with editing tools to accentuate the mood or highlight details, elevating your daily snapshots to a new level of visual storytelling.
You can read more about becoming a daily photographer here and join 365 Picture Today (an amazing group!) here. Hope to see you there! 
Metal Floral Decoration
Cactus, Desert
Cactus, Flower
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My mission is simple: to inspire and empower adventurous souls like you to embark on unforgettable journeys into the heart of nature. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a passionate photographer, or simply someone who loves to wander, we’re here to fuel your wanderlust and provide you with the tools and resources you need to make the most of your outdoor adventures.

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