Near the end of 2013 I decided to take a photo each day for a year. We had been living in England for 3½ years and I wanted to get an accurate idea of the weather. I thought a photo every day with a note about the weather would let me see how many days with sun we get each year.
It was an interesting time to start this project because a storm system was moving in and we had the wettest winter in over 100 years. This was followed by a beautiful spring and summer, and the driest September on record.
The MET Office announced that 2014 was the warmest year on record in the UK (record keeping began in 1910). Every month except one was warmer than previous years. Guess which one was colder? August, the month when children are out of school and most families take their summer vacation. The month when we had our week at the seaside in Cornwall, which I booked during the July heatwave. You can never depend on the weather here.
The photo above is from 7 February 2014. Iron Age fortifications around the Painswick Beacon. Sunshine and blue skies.
My weather reports are mostly for the Cotswolds where we live, but include several trips we did this year – Italy (Sicily) in April, France (Languedoc, Provence) in May, Italy (Tuscany) in June, England (Cornwall) in August, Switzerland (Bernese Oberland) and the French Alps in September – so it is not a complete record of weather in England.
Taking and Posting the Photo
I posted my daily photo on Instagram and then shared the post with Facebook and Twitter. Occasionally I posted more than one photo, but mostly I kept with one photo per day. It made it fun for me and was easier for anyone following my posts. My text was short and usually about the weather.
Instagram works only as an app, on your phone or tablet. You cannot upload to it from the computer, which is where I usually work on photos. I started out taking photos on my phone (Nokia Windows Phone) but it always felt fumbley. Maybe because I started out in the winter and was managing gloves and phone and cold. I used my iPad a few times but it only worked when taking photos at home because I don’t like carrying it around. I ended up getting a new camera with Wifi (Canon G16) so I could use a good camera for the photos and then easily transfer them to my iPad. From there I posted to Instagram.
The photo above is from 12 May 2014. Wild flowers at Haresfield Beacon, on one of our favorite hikes.
Selecting the Photo
The first few days I took the same photo of my garden, because we have a nice view and you can see the weather. Then I realized how boring this was and took a photo each day when we were out walking.
We go out walking most days, but knowing that we needed to take the daily photo got us out of the house more. In wet or cold weather we usually walk through our village so many of the daily photos are of Painswick. We have an interesting churchyard, with an historic church, tabletop tombs and 99 Yew trees, so there is much to photograph there. The village is very pretty too, with old cottages and narrow lanes spread along a hilltop.
On bad weather or really lazy days, the photo was of something near the house. There are many photos of trees and plants in our garden and many of our lane. When I wanted attention, I photographed my cat Buddy – always a popular choice.
January 7 was the only day that I forgot to take a photo and uploaded an old one. One day in March I had a bad cold so Steve took the photo when he walked into the village to get me cough syrup. Steve ended up very involved with the project, frequently pointing out a perfect subject for the photo or a different way of looking at something.
The photo above is from 8 July 2014. Walking with friends in the north Cotswolds. This day was a bit overcast, but July was very good weather – hot and sunny (a little too hot at times – 75F+)
My Year of Photos is Finished
I am finished with my daily photo, but I loved doing it. Would someone like to take the baton and post a daily photo in 2015?
This was a rewarding project. These photos give me a good overview of my year. I can look back and remember what we were doing each day. It made me realize how good the weather is in England. Sometimes I only remember the rain and cold, and forget how lovely a sunny winter day can be. It made me appreciate things more. I have never had the discipline to write a daily journal entry, but I did have the discipline to take a photo each day for a year, and I am pleased with that.
For 2015 I am going to start #weeklyphoto and post a photo from the week on Friday of each week.
The photo above is from 4 October 2014. The Painswick churchyard which was the subject of many of my daily photos. There are 99 shaped Yew trees and many of them are hundreds of years old.
My advice – If You Plan to Do This
Set up a system for hashtags. I didn’t use them at first but then used #dailyphoto and one or two location tags (e.g. #painswick #cotswolds). I don’t like posts with dozens of tags, but I think I could have used tags better.
Make a folder on your iPad or phone (where you do the post) and move the daily photo into it. I was sloppy about this and ended up with photos on my photo stream on the iPad, but also on my camera (duplicates) and then could not always remember which one I used.
Thank you to everyone who clicked LIKE or commented on my photos. I didn’t have a big following, but I had a quality group who gave me fun feedback.
The Daily Photos
I created a page with the list of 365 photos for 2014. >> Photos and monthly weather summary.