COLUMBIA — Columbia's "Hack Man" Derrick Fogle has proven that not all New Year's resolutions were made to be broken. On the eve of 2014, Fogle finished a year-long project to take a picture at the same point of Flat Branch Creek every day of the year.
He cut all the pictures together into a time-lapse video that shows the progressions of the seasons. He made three such videos, showing three different parts of the creek.
"I've done something that very few people have done in their lives, and for me that's an incredible accomplishment," he said.
Armed with a pocket camera and a few small man-made rigs, Fogle biked along the MKT Trail every day before and after work, shooting photos at three distinct locations along Flat Branch Creek.
"When I started, I really had no idea what I was doing," he said. "Really, the only part I was adequately prepared for was battery management."
During his daily trips, Fogle spent 30 minutes to an hour taking photos outside and nearly twice that time processing photos on his computer. The photos were eventually compiled into the three videos, which include weather statistics that chart temperature, precipitation and other data throughout the year.
The main purpose of the videos was to draw attention to the creek's health and get people thinking about what's happening to the environment, Fogle said. The project also combined three of Fogle's passions — biking, nature and photography. "The fact that I got to ride my bike, go out and observe nature and just be outside, that was really important to me," he said.
Not without its challenges
One of the biggest challenges to overcome was the cold, Fogle said, and January and December were among the hardest months to endure. "I almost didn't make it near the end there," he said, recalling the below freezing temperatures in Columbia last month.
Fitting the project around an already busy work and family schedule was another big challenge, he said. Fogle not only works as a systems administrator for the MU Academic Support Center but also does consulting on the side and raises two children with his wife, Ida.
Fogle said personal persistence and the support of family and friends kept him going. "I had enough interest in it and enough people who supported me." The feedback he received on social media was another "incredibly bright spot."
Advice for others
For those about to embark on a similar project, Fogle suggest they "don't do it like I did." He recommended using a higher quality, gaming camera that can be rigged with a permanent mount.
Fogle also recommended that people take a lot of time to consider what they want their final result to look like. "Think about what you want to get out of it before jumping in," he said.
Fogle said he'll continue taking pictures and is considering photographing a thunderstorm in Columbia for his next upcoming endeavor.
Supervising editor is Zachary Matson.