I recently passed a nice anniversary. My first blog post was on February 10, 2009 so this past February marked five years of blogging. Encouraged by colleagues Denise Bush and Terry Wilson I jumped into the WordPress world and, suddenly, it’s five years later. I’ve enjoyed it very much. I’d always wanted to write and the blog gave me an opportunity less intimidating than a book or even an essay although there has been at least one of those*. Serendipitously, the blog has been a place to display some of my photography which, in turn, has provided a raison d’etre for the writing. What a happy fit.
On the photography face of the coin here’s a recent image. These are about 8″ tall and I used to have to lie down to shoot them horizontally. That’s become too demanding so I have a new toy called the CamRanger. It plugs into the camera and transmits the camera’s view and settings to my Samsung tablet so I can focus, adjust the other settings and take the shot while standing or sitting comfortably nearby. Ahhh, technology.
Writing has been a demanding Muse. First comes the anxiety of not having posted for a while; then there’s the anxiety of what to write about; finally there’s the anxiety of whether what I’ve written is worthwhile. I may start out holding on to a steeeep slope but as I get going it always seems to evolve such that I feel good about it. My recent Hawaii travelogue was one such post … today we went here and then we went there etc. But, it evolved comfortably for me. I’m reminded of bird carvers who say, “The bird was inside the block; I just had to cut away the rest of the wood.” This post on the other hand has been fermenting and has rolled out easily. For any post a first draft eventually appears but then it is a process of review-correct-add-change, and then do it again. Each post gets reviewed and tweaked several times and yet, amazingly, I’ll reread an old post and find a typo or grammatical error.
The stats? 166 posts by the anniversary date (four more since then), over 900 images along with five audio clips, a short poem (The First Beach Nap of Summer), a handful of videos, and over 32,000 views. About 5% of those have come from seventeen foreign countries across all continents except Antarctica. My colleagues have had more views but my count is probably because the blog is more of a journal than a pure photography blog.
My all-time most popular post is Selected Beach and Sea Images With Sound Accompaniment That surprised me but also pleased me since I have such a bond with the sea. Two others that continue to draw readers are Charleston and the Low Country, and The 18th and 19th Century Fairmont Park Houses. Both of those lost out, however, to my three-post series on Hurricane Sandy, which drew a broad audience because of its news nature and its fearsome effects.
I find (and confess) that I enjoy my own work; I frequently scroll through old posts and re-enjoy a phrase or a sentence or paragraph. Who among us is without some narcissism? From time to time I’ll copy some of that and save it in a special folder which might …might … yield a book one of these days, of selected images and comments. Anyway, it’s been fun and satisfying and I hope to keep cranking them out. As long as I don’t run out of film … or words.
Thanks for reading this! How about a closing image?
* The one essay that I wrote is included as a page (tabs at the top of the home page) rather than as a general post, and I originally only circulated it to some of my photography buddies, seeking their thoughts. It had to do with coming to terms with my disappointment with what I was shooting. It’s entitled A Photography Phunk – An Essay.