How Everything Clicked Into Place | Darrin Henry
New image 1000 is in the bag, which means in 1000 days 1000 pictures were successfully taken, one per day, no blanks.
How many years is 1000 days? Well, it’s two years, eight months and 26 days, to be exact. (A leap year, 2016, included in this count)
An uninterrupted run of 1000 days, 1000 images has been an endurance test for sure.
Ok, it doesn’t quite have the consequences of failure like the Tendai Buddhism endurance test on Mount Hiei, but still, it’s a major milestone for us.
Modern World History Timeline
Since 1 January, 2016, we have picked up a camera and captured one new image, every day, without fail. Back then we were daunted by the challenge just to complete a year. In fact, just reaching 100 days was one of the most euphoric moments on the whole journey.
After that the Forrest Gump effect kicked in, we just kept running. By the end of 2016 the habit had us hooked, so we kept going into another year.
The photography backdrops to this Project 1000 adventure have mostly been our everyday life on St Helena. Much of it very ordinary.
A few months after starting, we began adding captions to each picture, usually something cryptic and connected to world events. This turned the project into a small but fascinating, modern world history timeline.
Looking back over the last 1000 days there have been some big moments.
How Long Is 1000 Days In World News
In the last 1000 days the world lost singer, Prince; boxing legend, Muhammad Ali and world renowned physicist, Steven Hawkings. Other celebrities who passed on included magician, Paul Daniels; footballer, Johan Cryuff and country music legend, Glen Campbell.
Chris Bertish became the first person to ‘stand up paddle’ board solo, unsupported across the Atlantic, Leicester City won the English Premiership and Donald Trump dumbfounded people all over the world to become president of the United States.
In 2016, citizens of the UK voted for Brexit, Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa set a new 400m world record (43.03 sec) at the Rio Olympics and a picture of Ieshia Evans taking a peaceful stand against riot police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, became an iconic image of the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA.
In 2017 research revealed that horses killed more people in Australia in recent years than all venomous animals combined. French sailor François Gabart set a new world record for the fastest solo round-the-world navigation, beating the previous time by more than six days. His time was 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds. The Me Too movement (founded in 2006) went viral in 2017, focusing an intense spotlight on sexual abuse and harassment of women, particularly in the workplace.
Already 2018 is full of momentous headlines.
Saudi Arabia allowed women to obtain driving licences in 2018. Divers in northern Thailand rescued all 12 boys and their football coach from flooded caves, 17 days after they got trapped underground. Sergei Skripal, an ex-Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia Skripal were poisoned on the streets of Salisbury, England, and survived.
Apple became the world’s first public company to be worth $1 trillion (£767bn).
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married at Windsor, France won the World Cup in Russia and Bryn Cartelli (15) became the youngest person ever to win The Voice USA, all in 2018.
Project 1000 Goes Shopping
The last 1000 days has seen some extravagant spending around the world.
Japan, 2016 – 30 Ruby Roman grapes sold for a record $10,900.
New York, 2017 – a painting by an artist who died at 27 from a heroin overdose, sold at auction for $110.5m (£85.4m).
Italy, 2018 – Juventus football club paid £99.2m for 33-year-old Portugal striker, Cristiano Ronaldo.
If all this makes you think some people just have too much money, you’d be right.
According to an analysis by Oxfam released in January, 2017, the gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population was much bigger than previously thought. Just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owned as much wealth as 3.6 billion people.
1000 Days Of Weather
Over the last 1000 days there’s been plenty of weather news to get excited about – or worried, depending on where you live.
In September 2016, super typhoon Meranti shook the southern tip of Taiwan, packing sustained winds of 185 miles per hour.
Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever recorded, smashed through the Caribbean in September 2017. The British Virgin Islands felt the full force with massive destruction of homes and infrastructure.
The joint hottest summer on record for the UK as a whole, and the hottest ever for England was registered in 2018.
The news throughout this time it seems has been full of floods, drought, landslides, earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, deep-freezing winters and all manner of natural disasters.
Just yesterday, at the 2018 United Nations General Assembly, Secretary General, António Guterres, said,
“According to the World Meteorological Organisation, the past two decades have included 18 of the warmest years on record, since record keeping began in 1850.”
Take a moment to let that sink in.
1000 Days 1000 Pictures – The St Helena Story
Not quite the same scale, however, St Helena has also lived through its own eventful 1000 days of island history.
St Helena 2016
St Helena witnessed a huge thunder and lightning storm just off Jamestown in 2016. Considering the last one on this scale was 35 years earlier, you can see why this was a big deal.
In May, What The Saints Did Next held a photographic exhibition entitled, ‘Labour Take-On Time’ paying tribute to the stevedores who worked the RMS St Helena.
A drought was declared in 2016. A new spire was installed on St James church, 36 years after the old one was removed. Lucy Johnson introduced a 24/7 service with the launch of V2 taxis. Anthony and Di Essex of A&D’s Mini-Mart opened their new supermarket building in Half Tree Hollow. Lisa Honan, née Phillips, became the island’s first female governor and Kimley Yon was crowned Miss St Helena 2016.
St Helena 2017
A brand new legislative council was elected in 2017.
There was a shark attack on neighbouring Ascension Island from which accounts of heroic bravery were to later emerge.
Simon Henry won two gold medals for St Helena in shooting at the International Island Games in Gotland.
The MV Helena made her first call at St Helena in April while in the same month the cruise ship, Astor, left without landing any passengers due to rough seas. In October, cruise ship Albatros landed passengers at the new Rupert’s jetty because of the swells in Jamestown. Problems in March with the RMS St Helena’s starboard propeller meant a whole voyage running on one engine. The entire voyage 255 in April was then cancelled while the ship underwent dry dock repairs.
St Helena 2018
Chants from a public protest march echoed down Main Street, Jamestown, in 2018, something almost as rare as the lightning storm in 2016.
The minimum wage increased to £3.05/hr in 2018. Modern GPS measurements discovered St Helena’s true position was actually 732m away from its 1990 calculation. A controversial plan to poison rabbits was eventually scrapped. The island’s first zebra crossing was installed in Jamestown. Gemma Lawrence won the 2018 Miss St Helena pageant.
The First Generation photography exhibition used 44 Saint models to raise awareness of the liberated African burial ground in Rupert’s.
In August, Dr Rebecca Lawrence MRCVS, returned to the island as St Helena’s first qualified St Helenian vet.
1000 Days Of St Helena Airport
But these last 1000 days for St Helena has without doubt been dominated by the airport story.
It began with a swell of optimism in 2016 as we counted down to the grand opening, non-event, in April. Then came wind shear, damning international headlines and months of apparent confusion over what to do next.
The first glimmer of hope for the beleaguered airport arrived in the form of a red and white RJ100 Avro and Atlantic Star Airlines. This was soon followed by the blue and white of a sleek, Brazilian Embraer E190 on a mission to tame the winds.
The original Comair deal to provide an air service was abandoned in 2017, in came SA Airlink and finally on 14 October 2017, St Helena’s inaugural scheduled air service began with weekly flights from South Africa.
Of course, the wind hasn’t gone away. The winter of 2018 has been hit with a series of delays and uncertainties as travellers to St Helena have been frustrated by weather disrupting flights.
In the middle of this turmoil the first air medevac took place, there was an airport runway dash to raise money for charity and everyone got used to meeting new arrivals at Prosperous Bay Plain instead of the Jamestown wharf.
One of the more curious moments took place on 26 April, 2017. An ExecuJet, Hawker 4000 aircraft alarmed people in Jamestown with an unusually low flight down through James valley. Apparently this was carried out to establish a safety route in the event of an emergency.
The Day We Said Goodbye
One of the saddest of the last 1000 days was 10 February, 2018, when the island said a tearful goodbye to the beloved RMS St Helena. In true RMS St Helena form, the ship returned (briefly) two days after her official goodbye for a medical emergency.
1000 Days 1000 Pictures – How Everything Clicked
Throughout all of this, we have remembered every single day to take a new picture.
Of course, 1000 days 1000 pictures was never the original intent. We set out to attempt a Project 365, a one-year challenge. We just didn’t stop.
It’s been an incredible photographic learning experience trying to come up with new and interesting images for the project. In fact, as I’ve already blogged, there’s no better way to learn photography.
In a bid to keep the content fresh and exciting we’ve pushed ourselves to explore all types of techniques. Night photography, long exposures, studio pictures, sport, nature, travel, strobist, time-lapse, sunrise, sunset, street photography, modelling shoots, food… the list is long.
We bought a set of toy cars and created a series of miniature scenes with the macro lens. We ransacked the kitchen cupboards and experimented with different ways to photograph what we found inside. Big events in the world we documented via the live TV screen – a real screen shot.
The Most Interesting Thing To Point A Camera At, Is…
The real character of our daily picture quest though has come from, people. Random encounters across the island and on our travels, snapping a ‘street picture’ of everyday people doing their thing. From fetching feed with a donkey to boat maintenance on the wharf, and from icing a cake to selling newspapers on the street. People will always be the most interesting subject to point a camera at.
Two DSLR cameras, two compacts and one mobile phone has been used over the course of the project. We’ve made use of natural light, strobes or speedlights, studio flashes, candle light, torch light, car headlights, moon and starlight.
What happens next?
Well, of course, we’re going to keep going and see how far we get. I’ve just had a peek at the calendar and seen that 1000 days from now will be 22 June, 2021. It seems an awfully long way away. Let’s just get to the end of 2018 first and see how we feel. Even Forrest Gump decided he’d had enough eventually.
For now, we’ll just enjoy the moment of completing a successful Project 1000 photography challenge.