The Significance of 12:01 am – Shutter Photo Anniversary Competition, 2011
As the more astute of you may have noticed, our submission window for the Shutter Photo Anniversary Competition ends at 12:01 am GMT on March 18th (for all intents and purposes – that’s late tonight). Why end a competition 1 minute into a new day? Well, the dates, times and everything in this competition have a story.
February 24th and March 18th
These two dates hold a special significance to the history of Shutter Photo. As you may already be aware from our announcement, February 24th, 2008 was the date our first article, Black & White Photography As A Learning Tool, was published. The article – which contains one of my fundamental photography education philosophies – didn’t get very much hype at the time. We were new, and I didn’t expect to get much circulation. Therein comes the second date…
March 18th, 2008 is when we published our 9th article, The Photographer’s Skill Priority Tree. Once again, I dove deep into my personal fundamental philosophies when it comes to photography. It quickly became a popular article (relatively speaking, of course). It was the first article to hit 100 page-views, it was the first to receive comments (sadly, our comment history from the first couple months was lost – we learn from our mistakes). Something about that article and how it was received by our reading public changed the way I looked at this magazine. My philosophies – which I had always thought were slightly skewed from the great majority of photography educators – might earn some respect among a niche audience. I started to speak more about how my philosophies have helped me to grow as a photographer. I spoke about how I learned by ignoring the “rules” and how my mentor instructed me to seek out color first and foremost. I admitted to the sheer number of my own photo failures, the large quantity of photos that never made it to public eyes – an admission that helped the confidence of many of our readers (Even skilled photographers throw out 90% of their attempts?). So I consider March 18th, 2008, the day that things started to click for me – and so the date is host to a personal accomplishment.
Those were the days of our infancy, and I still had a lot of growing and learning to be had. I really don’t think this site started to earn any serious respect until a year or so later. But those early days really helped to shape the future of Shutter Photo. Wisdom, philosophy and inspiration became the primary focus and our future was charted.
12:01 am GMT
In my ignorance of blogging in the early days, I frequently set articles to go live at 4:01 am Eastern Time (where I reside), which is 12:01 am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). That is of course assuming I had planned far enough in advanced to do so. Sometimes articles were published the minute I finished them. But 4:01 am – so my immature blogging logic told me – was the best time of day to release new content. It was at least an hour before our (hopeful) readers would pull up their RSS readers for the day. It was a time of day where our server had plenty of processing cycles to spare (little did I know that a blog isn’t very taxing on our server. Lessons learned.). As for one minute past the hour, that’s just arbitrary so it’s not exactly the hour. So 4:01 am just seemed like a good time. These days, we schedule most of our articles for 9:00 am or 12:01 pm when multiple articles are released in a given day. But for the sake of history, the competition ends exactly three years after that fateful March 18th article.