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participate in the six minute project

Be a part of the global project


  • Grab a camera. Grab a timer (cell phones work great). Charge them before you start.
  • BONUS: Use an extra battery and/or memory card for your camera.
  • set:

  • Check that your camera is set to the correct date and time.
  • Set an alarm. Cellphones work great, so do egg-timers. We use our cell phones.
  • go:

  • Take a picture every six minutes, for 24 waking hours.
  • You don't have to stay awake 24 hour straight. Go to sleep normally. When you wake up, start where you left off.
  • finish:

  • When you're done, burn your pictures to a CD and send them to:
  • six minute project
    1239 W Adams Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90007

    Questions? Concerns?

  • Shoot an e-mail to smp 'at' sixminuteproject 'dot' com. On a typical day, we'll get back to you in 24 hours. In the mean time, here's an FAQ:
  • FAQ:

    How do I get the time to show up on my camera?

    You don't. Just make sure your camera is set to the right time.

    All digital cameras record exactly what time photos are taken using something called EXIF data. As long as your camera is set to the right date and time, you'll be fine.

    What do I do when I'm sleeping?

    Sleep. You don't have to take pictures. The idea of the project is to document your life, so act normally. When you go to sleep, stop taking pictures, and plug your camera in to charge. When you wake up, start wherever you left off. For example, if you took 13 hours of photos and then went to bed, you'd start off the next day needing to complete 11 hours.

    What if my camera dies? Or I forget to take pictures?

    All is not lost. Take a deep breath and don't sweat it - this happens to a lot of people. Simply charge your camera, and start taking pictures again as soon as possible. Make up for the lost time, by adding time to the end of the project.

    How will I know when it's been six minutes?

    Most people we've talked to use the alarm clock on their cell phone.

    If you have unlimited text messaging, you can set up a Goggle calendar event every six minutes, and set Goggle to text message you every time the event occurs.

    Should I wait until I'm going to have an interesting day?

    If you do the project on an interesting day, that's great. But a "boring" day can be just as interesting. The project is about examining every day life six minutes at a time.

    What should I take pictures of?

    Whatever you want. Pictures of yourself, what you're looking at, what you're doing. Anything.

    What if I'm doing something I don't want to take a picture of?

    Like if you're going to the restroom, performing a sexual act, or committing a federal crime? We probably don't want to see your bits and pieces, and you probably don't want to show them, so with the exception of the federal crime, just take a picture of something else that's around - we'll figure it out.

    But wait, some of these projects have more or less than 240 pictures!

    Once you're halfway into your project, you'll see how hard it is to keep track of how many pictures you've taken. Do your best, we'll cut you some slack.

    Ugh! Why do I have to mail you a CD?

    Yeah, that part sucks. We're working on an upload system. If you'd like to upload your pictures somewhere and send us a link, contact us, and we'll work it out.

    Correcting EXIF data

    When your pictures show up in our mailbox, we load them onto our computer, run a script to put a uniformed time stamp on them, and import them into our gallery. So, if your pictures aren't on a consistent or correct time scale, it really screws with the project.

    When you've taken your pictures, put them on your computer and make sure the EXIF data is correct. This means that each picture says it was taken when it was taken, and that each picture is six minutes apart.

    If the data is not correct, we need you to fix it before it gets to us. Unfortunately, this means going in to each file and changing the EXIF data. If you're on a mac, you cannot do it with iPhoto. iPhoto changes the date/time of the photo when it appears in iPhoto, but does nothing to actually change the encoded EXIF information.

    For the macintosh we've found a program called Reveal that does the trick, but unfortunately only opens one photo at a time. We've been told that PhotoInfo works well for batch editing, but we haven't tested it yet.

    For PC, we have been told that Exifer is a good choice.

    If you know of something better, for mac or pc, or if you've had successes or failures with the above software please let us know.

    Feel free to contact us with any questions about the project.

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