National Analog Day

This post is a little late because I was waiting to develop my film before putting anything up. Below is just a sampling of the fruit of the Inaugural National Analog Day. The event began as wishful thinking in a Facebook post about living simpler, at least for one day, and reconnecting (to friends, oneself, nature, etc.) in a way that didn't demand modern forms of digital technology. Eventually, I was encouraged to pick an actual day and set up an event and National Analog Day was born. The event page explained the following initiative: "National Analog Day is about taking a day to get back to older processes, but also to appreciate life with the valuable, tangible, and at times higher quality things that are being lost in the shadow of a digital age."  Of course, the question arose, "What exactly is analog, and what does it mean to live that way?" "Can I listen to music?" "Can I drive a car?" I listed ideas for people to try, including writing someone a letter, taking photos with film, and enjoying the great outdoors. It was never meant to become a strict non-digital day, but it was fun to see how much everyone who joined the event were willing to actually try. Someone even listed the plans that she and her friend made in anticipation of the event:

My best friend will be visiting me that day and she’s the one that told me about (this). We have planned fun things so my 5 kids will be doing it as well — a walk in the woods, bike ride, and drawing topped the list of things they can’t wait to do! We’re also talking about flipping all the power off for at least 12 hours in the day if not longer and cooking on an open fire!

Plans like this and a general sense of enthusiasm really made the event more communal and exciting for me. I began to conjure up my own plans. First, to design and screenprint some postcards to send out to friends or to whoever requested one through the event page. Second, a weekend of camping in Yosemite and photography with my trusty Holga camera.

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Here are a few snapshots of the process of screenprinting the postcards I sent to everyone in the mail. Grey ink topped with a blue/yellow split fountain

Here are a few snapshots of the process of screenprinting the postcards I sent to everyone in the mail. Grey ink topped with a blue/yellow split fountain

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Below are some of the better shots that I got with my Holga in Yosemite, one of the most beautiful and majestic places I have ever been to. I went with my parents, brother, and cousins. The photos are of our hike to Vernal Falls. I got some really cool light leaks and natural vignettes, reinforcing my love for analog (lomo) photography.

Above: my dad sitting in the spot we stopped to eat lunch. Vernal Falls is in the background framed by the trees.

Above: my dad sitting in the spot we stopped to eat lunch. Vernal Falls is in the background framed by the trees.

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My brother Ryan standing in front of Vernal Falls. Double exposure.

My brother Ryan standing in front of Vernal Falls. Double exposure.

Vernal Falls, overlapping an image of the stairs leading up to it

Vernal Falls, overlapping an image of the stairs leading up to it

The car broke down on the way out of Yosemite. Fun way to wrap up Analog Day! Yes, we had turn on the cell phone to call someone to jump the car.

The car broke down on the way out of Yosemite. Fun way to wrap up Analog Day! Yes, we had turn on the cell phone to call someone to jump the car.

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This is Bi, a good friend of mine, who actually went shark fishing on the east coast on Analog Day. He caught 5 sharks!

This is Bi, a good friend of mine, who actually went shark fishing on the east coast on Analog Day. He caught 5 sharks!

To me, the event was amazing and is something that I would like to make a habit into. Maybe turning off my phone and getting outside to try something different once a month. Overall, 428 people attended the event, representing 11 different countries. I sent out somewhere around 30 postcards and received 3 in return (one of them delivered by hand on the actual day). I snapped 1 roll of film in one of the most beautiful National Parks in the US. And I can't wait to do it again! Here are some other stories from people who participated:

On National Analog Day, instead of logging on and plugging in, I unplugged and reconnected with the things I love; baking, reading books, interacting with family, and the day was very enjoyable and quiet. Nice change!
I had National Analog Day the hard way. We had a massive power outage. I don’t have any transpo and it was very hot, so I didn’t want to go any where so I just hit the pool and read a bit.