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The New Year's Eve Project: A Documentary Photo Essay

The consensus about New Year's Eve is that it can often be anti-climactic. But photographer Jill Waterman always has something to do, and it almost always involves traveling. For 27 years she has been globe-trotting, documenting New Year's Eve on 35mm black-and-white film.

"I photograph in the streets and at venues where I have prearranged access," she writes in an email, "and visit a dozen or more locations during one night. In my photographs, I look for the unraveling of a moment, the gestures found on the periphery of a standard pose."

The New Year's Eve Project, as she calls it, includes the crowds of New York's Times Square, folkloric rituals in Quito, Ecuador, Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the arrival of the new millennium in Bethlehem, Israel. "I have photographed the New Year as a remarkably international holiday," she writes. This year, her planned trip to Las Vegas was thwarted by untimely east coast snow, and so she will be photographing in New York City for the first time in 25 years.

If you're concerned about having nothing to do this New Year's Eve, follow in Waterman's footsteps: Grab a camera and document the night's events. It's a good excuse to go out and find the party. See other photos from Waterman's New Year's Eve Project at PDN, where she is an editor.