December 18, 2008

Idea: Noah’s Hand Everyday

Noah Kalina has famously taken a photo of himself every day for the last 8 years. The YouTube video of his first six years in sequence shows him growing right before our eyes.

Of course, Noah isn’t the only person who has done this, although he is probably the most famous example. But others have undertaken similar projects. All of them are fascinating.

Time-lapse portraits of a face may be the most obvious and compelling subject matter, but I think science and curiosity might benefit from time lapse portraits of other body parts, too. What if Noah had been taking a second picture all this time, of, say, his left hand? It would be interesting to see how his hand ages along with his face. There probably wouldn’t be much change now, but as he ages it would get more dramatic.

Less subtle and more interesting would be a couple who starts this project with a newborn baby, photographing its hand every day. We might not have as emotional a connection to a hand as we do a face, but wouldn’t it be cool to see a real person’s hand grow and change over a lifetime?

(I’m both entertained and disturbed by the thought of a day when this kid discovers that not all parents photograph their kid’s hands every day; and then the day he rebels as a teenager and refuses to let his parents photograph his hand anymore; but not until after he has a conversation where he tells his friends, “Sorry I can’t hang out longer, but I’ve gotta get home so my parents can take today’s hand picture.”)

Comments

I reckon it would breed obsessive compulsiveness in the child, because you’d try get them to take over in the younger influential years..

Surely someone is already trying this with their children.

There’s a short story-poem about exactly this in Joe Haldeman’s book of short stories None So Blind. The particular story-poem is entitled, appropriately enough, “Time Lapse.”

And by “exactly” I mean it’s about a father who obsessively records his daughter as she grows up; eventually she comes to resent it.

Noah’s eyes are pretty intense…I think that might be what makes his version so watchable.

I have to admire anyone who can remember to take that photo e-ver-ee-day.

They’re putting up a 6-story bank near my apartment. I had intended to make a stop-motion picture of it growing … I took a photograph from the same spot every sunday for 4 months.

ehh.

Noah’s eyes are pretty intense…I think that might be what makes his version so watchable.

I have to admire anyone who can remember to take that photo e-ver-ee-day.

They’re putting up a 6-story bank near my apartment. I had intended to make a stop-motion picture of it growing … I took a photograph from the same spot every sunday for 4 months.

ehh.

I liked this one. It covers 17 years, shows two pictures per day, and the man rotates.

I stumbled across your website by accident and I spent several hours looking at your posts.

I found this one and I was pondering about it. I then left to go get something to eat.

Then I thought of this, what if, instead of taking a picture of a body part each day, you take a picture of an inanimate object each day. (similar to what catnapping did, but more ‘personal’) Such as a refrigerator.

Over time you could find out many things: what you bought, what type of milk you drank, particular preferences of soda, when you cleaned it out, when you went through a vegetarian period of your life, when you last had friends over etc.

You can probably find out a lot about a person from their fridge contents.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1181540/Smile-The-proud-father-took-pictures-children-EVERY-day—13-years.html

This man did in fact take pictures of his children every day for 13 years.. and is still going!

Another version of the family pics, once a year.

http://www.smithtimeline.com/

David, you are right!

I took pictures of my two sons every New Year’s Eve for several years (side by side and alone) but when they became teenagers they refused to pose.
Maybe because they had to put on their bathing slips/panties only?
Maybe because the pictures were taken from front, right, left and back side like mugshots or science documentation?

Greetings, Susanne

I had a similar idea once but figured it wouldn’t work if the model refused to cooperate.
Here’s a time lapse idea I got while witing for the bus one morning: Photograph the sunrise from the same spot at exactly the same time every morning. Theoretically you should get a film of the sun moving sideways.