It's another year and another photo project. I found that my Photo of the Day (POTD) project was a constant challenge: taking a new photo every day meant that I had to constantly think about places that I visited and what I had already shot. If I visited more than one place in a day and wanted to use a photo from the second place, I would have to return there again on another day. This would mean me getting in the car to make a special trip.
I don't want to do that again.
I also don't want to feel as though I have to take a photo, even if I'm under the weather or have stayed in the house all day. On days such as those, I felt my photos were forced.
Over 2017, I certainly took some stinker photos.
One such day, I had spent my entire time indoors, performing routine chores and laying low. The day had come and gone, and I hadn't given any thought to my POTD. As the hours came to a conclusion, I had found myself in a crunch.
As the day came to a close, I found myself sitting in my chair in my family room, my Android tablet on my lap, a beer close by. I had been playing a game for more than an hour when I realized that the time was nearing midnight. My camera was in its bag on the other side of the house.
I don't play a lot of games on either my phone or my tablet. In fact, I've never loaded a game on my smartphone and for the last three or four months, I don't have any games on my tablet. But for most of 2017, I had one game on my tablet that tended to occupy any down time that I afforded myself.
The game was CSR2, a drag-racing game where you earn virtual cash for winning quarter-mile and half-mile races against opponents. With your winnings, you can upgrade your vehicle: better tires, new engines, turbo, nitro boosts, exhaust, and more. You can earn points to win new cars. And, you could save up and buy cars from a wide range of makes and models.
For as long as I can remember, I've loved Ferraris. Even before Magnum P.I. made me drool over his red 308 GTS, I loved this exotic Italian sports car. But these days, my favourite Ferrari is the F12berlinetta. The scream of the engine. The lines. The power.
If you want to see a great review of this beautiful machine from Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, check out this video.
If that didn't make you fall in love, I don't know what does. I just don't want to talk about it.
Actually, that's okay. I have enough love for the both of us.
When I saw that CSR2 had an F12berlinetta in its lineup of fine automobiles, I wanted one. More than any car than I saw in the showroom, I wanted this car.
So, in the game, I won races. I saved my money, only spending on upgrades to my existing cars if they would ensure that I won more races, earned more cash.
It took a few weeks of playing the game, each day, for an hour or more. I knew that I would earn the money and make the purchase, but it was the slow accumulation from each race that made the anticipation all that great.
And then, one summer evening, when I had stayed at home all day, performing household chores, only to relax in my chair in our family room, had I accumulated enough cash to make my purchase.
In the CSR world, the Ferrari F12berlinetta was not cheap. The base price was $1.5M, plus the license plate, custom paint, trim, brakes, and interior. I admired the pretty pixels that comprised my dream car, and I swiped at the screen to make it spin around, allowing me to view this beautiful machine at all angles.
And then, I remembered that I hadn't captured my POTD.
With midnight fast approaching, with me comfortable in my chair, my camera out of reach, I made a decision: I was going to capture my new acquisition. My dream car.
It was a cheat. To call it a photograph was a stretch of the imagination in which I found myself with this car. I swiped the screen until I found an angle that made it look like I could actually be crouched with my camera. And then, I took a screen shot.
In the image, I had captured the CSR2 logo and other icons that allowed me to control the game. I had to crop them out. When I was finished, I had an image that I had captured, edited, and prepared to share on social media.
Midnight was imminent. I made the decision. This was my favourite car and I had captured it the way I wanted. I was going to use it as my POTD.
Over the course of 2017, on every day, I had used either my D-SLR or my smartphone to capture an image. On Day 199, I captured a real Ferrari that had crashed a short distance from my house. On Day 238, I captured an illustration, not with a camera, but with a device that contained a camera but with I had never actually used as one.
My dream car was an illusion. A fake photo.
Was I wrong? Did I cheat?
You tell me.
I'll probably never sit in a Ferrari F12berlinetta, let alone drive one. There's no chance that I'll ever own a real one. But on that day that I captured a computer-generated image of one, it felt real to me.