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Meet the Vancouver man who has taken pictures of the sky every day for six years

"It's this moment of mindfulness every day."
Vancouver's Nik Rust has shared a couple thousand photos of the sky on Instagram at @yvrsky.

Every day for six years Nik Rust has looked up at the sky around noon.

And, following that, he's posted a photo of what he saw on Instagram. Rust runs the account @yvrsky, and he does one thing and one thing only there: shares photos of the sky over the Vancouver area.

"It's something that's easy to take for granted but it's a huge part of our visual field," says Rust, a local designer.

The sky also, importantly, changes every single day. Rust, who's always been fascinated with the sky, decided back in November of 2015 to post a daily photo of the unobstructed sky.

"It's kind of checking in with the sky; it's not a meditation, it's this moment of mindfulness every day that takes you out of your location every day and taps you into something bigger," he explains.

The photos are different and the same, in a way. Each is taken close to noon, looking up at the sky without anything else in the frame, except maybe a sneaky bird. There aren't any electrical lines, plane contrails or aircraft. 

"I have to stop what I'm doing and go point my camera at the sky," he tells Vancouver Is Awesome. "If I'm in a public space it generates a certain level of interest as people try and figure out what I'm gazing at."

Occasionally, to keep the streak happening, he's been aided by a handful of helpers.

Through the daily photos he's found a global community of people doing similar things; one Dutch person takes a photo of the same lamppost, framed the same way, every day at the same time. There's also someone taking a photo o the same canal, every day. 

Now that Rust has collected over 2,300 images of the sky, he's looking to do something more with it, but a specific project hasn't formed yet. He notes that the photos form a sort of visual database; on @yvrsky he juxtaposes that visual data with monthly statistics on the weather. These are the only other posts on the account aside from the sky.

"Adding that as a layer to it I find is an interesting touchstone against the visual data," he explains, noting it's a very different interpretation of what goes on well above our heads.

With no end goal in mind there's no end in sight, Rust says, though he's considered handing it off to someone else to continue the streak. 

"Sometimes I consider stopping, but it's hard to stop now," he says. 'It feels like a daily ritual."


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