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On 15 May 2012, the Swedish non-profit foundation Expressions of Humankind is organizing one of those events — — that makes sense only in the Internet age. On that day, they’re asking everyone who wants to participate to pick up a camera and take digital photos of your daily life. Once you’ve uploaded them — up to 10 per person — the group will be connecting your images to others from around the world and displaying them all online for everyone to explore. Photos will also be donated to historical institutions around the world for preservation and, if selected and if the individual photographers agree, included in a book, “A Day in the World,” and in digital exhibitions. None will be used for commercial purposes.

Adding a level of interest to the project is the categorization and keywording that participants will apply to their photos. There are three main categories — Home, Work, and Connections (anything that connects us to one another) — and each main category has a number of subcategories. Finally, has pre-defined some keywords within most of the subcategories, and you can add your own keywords as well — the more specific your keywords, the more your photos can be grouped with others that have been defined similarly. is backed by some big names — including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson, among a collection of scientists and former European heads of state — and was co-founded by Jeppe Wikström, a well-known Swedish photographer who initiated a similar photographic project called “A Day in the Life of Sweden” (he sounds like a Swedish version of Rick Smolan, who has coordinated a number of massive photography projects). A number of major companies have also signed on to provide financial and technical assistance, including Ericsson, Snapfish, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and more. Here’s hoping the technical infrastructure manages to hold up on May 15th, though will be accepting photos shot on that day for another few days afterwards. The uploading tool won’t be available until then, though you can sign up now to speed the process, and I’m told that early registrants will also receive ideas of what to shoot, feedback, and other information.


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Comments about Contribute Photos from May 15th to
(Comments are closed.)

Don Schaefer  2012-05-11 09:07
Adam, all entered images will be available for download and they accept no liability for commercial use or non-profit fundraising use. Nor do they say anything about whether metadata will be retained. They don't say what historical/research institutions they'l be donating images to (Getty is a historical research institution).

Aday doesn't make it easy to discover the above, so the public is largely unaware. Despite their stated "good" efforts, I see this project creating many orphaned images from well-intentioned people, and opening up those well-intentioned people to the rude fact of the exploitative nature of images on the internet today. (See Pinterest.)

Good intentions don't mean good conduct by other netizens. I wish Aday had thought more about these consequences and better provided for them. I won't be entering.
Their terms (pdf):
Rolf Adlercreutz  2012-05-12 01:13
Downloadings is only low-rez. I'll find out how small. All metadata will be saved, that's the whole point. It is also illegal in Sweden to change or eraze metadata. The Swedish National Archive will get the pictures as well as some other institutions around the world but Getty won't be one of them. But I will forward this to the editor-in AYPERI KARABUDA ECER, who is a vice president at Reuters, when she is not on leave for this project.
Don Schaefer  2012-05-13 15:55
Rolf, Thank you for your reply!

I represent an org that has been monitoring and reporting on competitions and artists' rights for 5 years now.

We'd welcome a chance to talk with you and Ayperi in more detail. Although we wish you the best in your endeavor, we do see some issues that are not fully explained on your site. Can you email us?

The best way is to use the contact tab on the link above.

Thank you kindly!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-07-23 12:46
You can now see the beta of the site with nearly 100,000 photos taken on May 15th, 2012.