Taken on 12th March, 2010 in La Candelaria, Bogotá, Colombia. Show on Flickr.

With Day 516 just 3 months away, I want to take some time to write about where we've come over the past 425 days.

After a couple of months in New York, we sped on to Texas and Mexico, where we spent 4 months and found our second temporary home in San Cristobal de las Casas.

In Guatemala we volunteered briefly on a farm and I blogged quite extensively about the exploitation we found there.

We left most of our stuff behind and headed off on a loop around Belize, Honduras and El Salvador before returning for another while in Guatemala.

We then travelled quickly through Honduras again to Nicaragua where Cat spent time volunteering and I took to the road by bicycle and learned to re-appreciate the act of travelling.

Then it was full steam ahead, skipping over Costa Rica, and quickly through Panama to get to Colombia in time for Christmas. We've been here ever since and have made another temporary home for ourselves in Bogotá where Cat is currently studying and teaching and I'm working on some soon-to-be-released projects.

On Day 1 I set out some specific goals for Day 516. We're not there yet but I think it's a good time to review them now. Are they still relevant and how close am I to completing them?

On Day 1 I hope that on Day 516:

I have posted an entry for each of the past 515 days and am preparing to wrap up this project.

Apart from one inexplicable oversight I've posted something here for each day. I'm really happy with some of the work that has come out of this project. I've also blogged about the inevitable bad days which are part of the territory.

I still have a number of clients in Dublin who value our relationship and come to me regularly with new work opportunities.

This has become more difficult over time. In 2009 I had more than enough work but it's certainly slowed down this year. I hope I've not burned any bridges and that I'll be able to re-ignite client relationships when I return to Dublin but this side of things has undoubtedly suffered from my prolonged absence.

On the bright side I am exploring options for my own revenue-generating projects and would love to reach a point where I become self-sustainable.

I can comfortably hold a conversation in Spanish and have made many friends and at least one client with whom I speak only Spanish.

This has been a difficult one. On Day 194 I I wrote a blog post, in Spanish, about the difficulties I was having and how my fear of making mistakes and sounding stupid was keeping me quiet. Since then I've definitely managed to shed some inhibitions and do regularly have conversations in Spanish.

While staying in Hostel La Libertad in Granada, Nicaragua, the owner, Chepe, asked me to update their website for them. It was a small job. I uploaded a few photos, added twitter and facebook information and a link to their blog. In payment he wrote off my US$100 room and bar tab and I went on my merry way. A couple of days later I realised I had had my first client with whom I spoke only Spanish!

I have continued to submit work monthly to Film Night Knight, which has grown to become an engaging outlet for burgeoning filmmakers throughout Ireland.

Film Knight has been more intermittent than monthly unfortunately but it does provide great opportunity to produce short films.

In New York Cat & I shot and produced What is Immigration? for Film Knight and the Human Rights Film School Competition, for which it was long-listed.

Other, more experimental, pieces I've done have been At Grass and Nature, you.

We also collaborated on Frank Kelly's 140 project and have signed up to participate in One Day On Earth, a collaborative documentary to be shot later this year. I blogged about each respectively here and here.

I have continued to develop my own personal projects in different media and have proudly completed at least 5 significant pieces of work over the past 515 days.

Significant is a strong word! I'd say the most significant projects are still in progress: a collaborative photography site I blogged about last year but only now have had time to start developing, and my first iPhone app as discussed here and here.

As well as the bits of film work, other side projects I've worked on while travelling include: NextBus.ie for Dublin Bus times, along with Pádraig of Super Crazy Awesome, and twitter companions Tweet #1, Twequency and? *cough-cough* Who Just Farted on Twitter?

I have comprehensively explored the potential of selling work through stock photography archives and have either discarded the idea or it forms a significant (30%+) part of my income.

Wow there's that significant word again. I have not explored this avenue and do not think I will be. I don't think my style of photography is suited to stock distribution and I have no interest in trying to push myself in that direction.

I think my main motivation last year towards considering this was the idea of having an independent income, of selling my work directly rather than producing work for clients. With this goal in mind, iPhone development seems much more up my alley than stock photography.

Catherine and I are happy about the amount of time we have spent in Latin America. We have learned and grown, individually and together, from our experience on the road.

Our current ?plan? is to spend another few months in Colombia before continuing on to Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina by the end of the year. In December I'll head back to Ireland for Christmas and the wedding of the century between my sister, Siobhán, and the very lucky Damien Logan in February before returning to spend 2011 in Buenos Aires.

Plans are only plans, but it's safe to say Latin America is treating us very well.


  • avatar
  • Aileen wrote:
  • 13th March, 2010

Wow Oisin, you have so very much to be proud of. It's such a treat to tap into your trip and such inspiration to see how much you have made of it. Don't stop....

  • avatar
  • Oisin wrote:
  • 13th March, 2010

Thank you Aileen. It's been a great experience so far, and will continue? to Day 517 and beyond!: )

Keep on keepin' on Mr Prendiville. BTW what happens in terms of photography once the 516 days are up (sorry if you've already explained this elsewhere). No more daily photos? That would be a pity.

  • avatar
  • Oisin wrote:
  • 14th March, 2010

Thanks PJ. After Day 516 I'll breath a big sigh of relief and I imagine that will be it for *daily* photos but I'm thinking about other types of photo projects. Daily blogging has certainly helped put photography back among my priorities but by Day 517 I'll be looking for a new outlet!

  • avatar
  • Oisin wrote:
  • 14th March, 2010

I did briefly consider registering http://day1516.com though, or http://day5160.com : )

  • avatar
  • Eileen wrote:
  • 15th March, 2010

It is hard to believe that you are this far into Day 516 - it seemed like such a long term project at one time and now the finish line is within sight. I will certainly miss the excitement of checking in, reviewing the photographs, finding the ones that regularly make me gasp or say WOW! The best bit though, is when you have added in a written entry, a picture of Cat, a picture in which you magically appear, or when I have heard about a special picture and I go in search of it. These ones really make my day. On days when I am swamped with work and really under pressure I often take a few minutes to check the site and browse - it cheers me and inspires me. Instead of rushing back to work I spend time on these days browsing over past entries (imagining I have nothing to rush to), smiling at your adventures, laughing at the typical 'Oisin shots' that regularly appear (windows, geometrical patterns, odd angles etc. I love the 'One Year Ago Today' spot, the" Feature' and the 'Random' spot. Enjoy the next 3 months - Day 516 itself will be a very strange day!

  • avatar
  • Oisin wrote:
  • 16th March, 2010

Lovely to read about your visits to the blog.

Day 516 will come and go before we know it; it did seem like such a distant point at the beginning!