March 28, 2014

Documenting Life … One Second per Day

This may be surprising to those of you who know me and my passion for documenting real life, and especially my own family’s everyday real life, but … before this year, I’ve never undertaken a 365 Project. I must admit, it’s with a healthy, humble dose of fear and trembling that I’m undertaking one now. And the ironic part? I’m not taking a photo per day. I’m taking a 1 second video each day.

I don’t particularly see the world in “video” form, so this is a challenge, indeed, for me. In fact, the first month of my project was so challenging that I found that I took very few “still” photographs on a daily basis – all my attention was being sucked in by this new video thing.

I’m happy to report that by the second month, I’d found a workable groove.

Here are the details of my project and my best tips for getting it done!


Firstly: I’m using the 1 Second Everyday App on my phone ( It’s available for both iPhone and Android now. It’s the app that pulls up my daily videos and allows me to choose which video and which 1 second splice I want to use. The app also mashes all the 1 second videos and presents you with a single .mpeg4 movie file.

Secondly: I’m taking all the video on my phone, not my big girl camera. I’m keeping things simple here. I’m also not using the video feature built-in to the app; I just use the video feature of my phone camera directly. The app will keep track of all the videos regardless which function I use to create them.

Below is a picture my son took of me when I was enticing (with a “treat”) my dog to run to me while taking video with my phone.  The phone screen shows the 1 Second Everyday app screen as I pull in the video and choose my 1 second splice.



Each day I try to think of what is a potentially unique moment of this day. And I make a mental note to grab video of it.

Movement is important!!! I choose my 1 second based upon which 1 second has the most interesting movement. (note: 1 second is NOT a lot of time. Many of my fav moments get cut off before they’re done.) I film longer than one second, but try to keep all videos under 10 seconds (for the sake of space, and for the sake of ease of editing/picking my 1 second)

For the “boring” days when nothing new is going on, or when I forget til the last minute, I keep a few “generic” ideas in reserve: like, grab a second of a tv series we’re all enjoying, or flipping pages of a current book, or cleaning or cooking something (yah, right …), or a snippet of scenery while out driving from point a to point b, and weather is always fair game.

Film ONLY in landscape mode, not portrait. You’ll see why on my “day 3”.

And have fun with it!

I’ve found in the short time I’ve been doing this project that I’m catching bits and pieces that I wouldn’t otherwise probably photograph. Like the Teen coming out of driver’s ed class. Or Skyping with long distance friends. Halo explosions. The coffee that keeps us going. Walks. Repetitive, hum-drum, daily doings. And there may be embarrassing evidence that, yes, the dudes do wear the same clothing on successive days. It’s all in there in 1-Second splices. And it all kinda makes my heart happy

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