From One Year to the Next


The Concept

At midnight on December 31, one year ends and the next begins. A few years ago, I decided to begin using this as an opportunity to make a new photographic project. The idea was pretty simple: make an exposure that straddles midnight. With the camera on a tripod, make a time exposure that begins in one year and ends in the next.

From One Year to the Next

This is the first such image that I made. The view is from a pedestrian overpass in my old neighborhood in Tokyo. The shutter opened at 11:58 and closed at 12:02. I had originally meant to make a different image, but ran out of time on my way to the location and had to improvise. 

The next year, I photographed people waiting to enter the shrine in my new neighborhood in Saitama. Again, the exposure started just before midnight and ended just after it.

You get the idea. 

In all, I’ve done this four times, and it’s something I’m hoping I can do every year (or close to it) for the rest of my life. I love the idea and want to keep doing it with as much consistency as I can manage. But I also like the idea enough that I don’t want to keep it to myself. 

I  want to see what other people do with it, too. 


The Invitation

I want to see what you do with this concept.

This invitation is for anyone who wants to give it a try, whether or not you think of yourself as a photographer.

Starting with the 2020/2021 New Year’s transition, I’d like to invite everyone who has the interest to come and get involved. 

The requirements are simple:

  1. Make a photograph using a time exposure that straddles midnight on December 31. The exposure should start before midnight, and end after midnight. 

That’s it. You might want to do some planning in advance, but you don’t have to. Exposures could be anything you like, but a few seconds seems like a minimum for practical reasons, so you’ll probably want a tripod ready.

Right now, this project is in the extremely early stages, but will pick up momentum as others get involved.

NB: If you’re interested, but aren’t sure about how to handle the technical side of it, don’t worry. I’ll be putting together a simple technical guide to help people. 

What's in the pipeline?

  • The project will get a different name once I come up with something better. Suggestions are welcome.
  • Once the name has been established, I’ll probably buy a domain and build a separate website for the project.
  • Once the site is up, I’ll ramp up promotion, to try to get as many people as possible involved from as many countries as possible.
  • Because not everyone speaks English, I’ll set up the site so that the important stuff can easily be translated.
  • From January 1, 2021, people will be able to submit their work to be featured on the site. Copyright remains with the creator, of course, and all submissions will include full attribution and whatever links you want. 


Get Involved

I'd love to have you participate.

If you want to take part, bookmark this page and drop your email in the form. I’ll be sending out a separate mini-newsletter just for this and other special project. 

For more information about special projects in general, visit the special projects page.

4 Responses

  1. This is a fantastic idea. Given that our government is possibly/maybe *not enacting a curfew for us this NYE, I may be able to do it somewhere in the city. Heck, if there is a curfew, I can still try from somewhere in the apartment. 😉

    1. I’m glad you like the idea! And I think there’s a lot of possibility to what you can do with it. It’s my project and I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet!

    1. Hi Richard, thanks for participating! I realize now I didn’t make a clear plan for the next step! But I want to compile people’s photographs and start building a page for them, so for now, why don’t you email me ( with a jpg of the image (around 2,000px on the long side would be best) and any information you want to include with it.

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