One Year Old Blog

It’s been one year since I started this blog. Read some thoughts about my first bloggerific year below.

When I started the blog a year ago, my main intention was to simply create a place where I could share my recent photos and thoughts in a more “informal” setting than my gallery site. During the first few months the blog became sort of a hybrid blog/magazine, as I was trying to supplement my daily thoughts and events with some worthwhile articles and interviews.

Eventually I’ve kind of run out of things to say, and since I’m reluctant to rehash all the same old photography topics that have been covered already ad nausem, my blog has perhaps inevitably settled into mostly a journal of my own activities. Hopefully this is enough to keep my like-minded readers’ interest, but I would like to continue to add some more real articles and interviews down the line.

The single most popular post this year by far was the Impromptu Rescue on Red Mountain Pass, which got almost 5000 hits in four days. I’ve never considered myself much of a “journalistic” photographer – in fact, quite the opposite – a deliberate landscape photographer. But I must admit I had fun trying to document this improbable morning. The pictures are still dubious, but the story told itself, and I got lots of inspired and encouraging responses to it. The truck driver who was rescued even called me up a few days later to say hi! I sent him some photos and gave him some contact info for the rescue team.

Besides the rescue post, the overall most popular posts have been my camera reviews. To be honest, I find this a bit disappointing. On one hand, I realize that this information is actually valuable to fellow photographers (I too seek out honest gear reviews from real-life camera users). But still I wonder if this trend hints at an insatiable appetite of consumerism, and the idea that there are many more people out there at their computers researching cameras than there are actually making photos. But I digress…

The best of my blog so far, in my opinion, have been the interviews with mountain photographers that have inspired me. The two email interviews I’ve published, with Kenzo Okawa and Kevin Thurner, are definitely the most worthwhile posts on this site so far, and I am grateful that they took their time to answer my questions. I have a few more interviews in the pipeline.

On a “deeper” note, the whole concept of maintaining a blog is a bit strange in and of itself. I read an article recently (I forget where) explaining that “We are all infatuated with our own digital reflections.” It is certainly a new era we live in, and there’s no doubt that much of our communication nowadays is via the internet. Do we now have a natural impulse to create our own digital identities and personalities? I think we do. The question, I suppose, is whether this is truly beneficial communication, or simply a further exercise in ego building. Perhaps a bit of both. In any case, it seems like progress to me that people all around the world can communicate so fluidly, if not personally.

One encouraging sign was the positive feedback I received from friends and family about my blog posts during my trip to New Zealand. Not only could they read about my adventures fresh after I experienced them, but I could post photos to illustrate the stories. In this circumstance, consider the advantage of a blog versus simple email blasts: Has anybody ever had a friend who sends constant and lengthy emails during their trips abroad? It can be a bit annoying and even pretentious, especially when the person normally never sends emails or calls. But with a blog, you can babble about your latest adventures to your heart’s content, and whoever is interested can read and comment. I think it works out well.

Another encouraging sign is the fact that running a blog motivates me to take more photos when I’m out and about, and also to write a bit about my adventures. Whether I’m out snowboarding in the backcountry with my friends or day-hiking by myself, even a quick snapshot can be worthy of a blog post, along with a brief story. I suppose it is a means of developing a little of the journalistic photographer in myself.

At the very least, I consider this blog a personal journal which I may savor when I’m an old man. If a few other people enjoy it in the meantime, then all the better!

What’s on tap for the next year? For the remainder of the winter, I’ll just be doing my thing here in Ouray: mostly slaving away at the computer building websites for photographers, and snowboarding whenever I have the chance. Hopefully a little bit later in the winter I’ll get out for some winter camping trips and some more serious landscape photography. Springtime will be more of the same… riding big lines in the higher mountains once the snowpack settles. I’ll probably head out to the canyonlands for some backpacking, and over to the Great Sand Dunes, which I haven’t visited in a couple years. Then, in mid July, I’m headed on another big trip… to Norway! That’s been my #1 dream destination for years, and now with recent cheaper airline tickets I went ahead and booked my trip. I’ll be there for a month and a half, from mid-July to the end of August. In northern Norway, my trip will start with 24-hour daylight, and by the end of the trip the days will only be 15 hours long. So, the photography should be quite fun with the long midnight sunsets, sunrises, and twilights. Then back to Colorado in time for fall colors… and that’s about as far ahead as I can possibly plan into the future.

Keep coming back… I promise one of these days I’ll post something other than snowboarding!

13 thoughts on “One Year Old Blog

  1. I’ve certainly enjoyed the year, Jack. Keep it up. Bloggish inspiration comes and goes. Folks like me who have an insatiable appetite for any outdoor photography don’t mind if you fill some time with documentary shots. When the interview possibilities arise or when deeper thoughts start to flow, stike while the iron is hot. I’ll be looking forward to your Norway work!

  2. Happy Birthday Blog! I really enjoy reading and seeing your adventures Jack. Even better if I get to be part of them! Thanks for showing us around the San Juans.

  3. I stumbled onto your via a link to the impromtu rescue post, and I’m glad I did. Your journal is fun to read for me.

    I too have a journal-like blog about my own activities that I keep because my memory is poor and it’s a comfortable form of expression for me. It’s great for people when they’re interested in something I’ve done, and I don’t mind when they’re not.

    I also put up a separate site called Outdoorism where I’ve attempted to create what I would consider “real content”. Much less popular than my personal site! Funny.

    So cheers to you and the perplexities of blogging!

  4. Congrats on the year anniversary, Jack. Interesting thoughts, especially on the drive towards consumerism. I just finished reading Brave New World and find a lot of parallel with Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future and where we seem to be headed as a people/society. I came back from a trip landing in LAX, and I became ill from seeing the gluttony and over-consumption of America.
    On a positive note, I enjoy seeing your skiing images, as well as your new work, and what you’re up to. While I might never meet you in person, it’s been my pleasure to “get to know” you through your blog.

    Cheers, mate.

  5. Jack,

    I’m a little late in responding to this particular post, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to congratulate you on the one year anniversary of the blog and to thank you for putting as much effort as you do into it. There are two blogs I check regularly: this one, and the one my wife and I created for our family and friends. I much prefer yours, but don’t tell my wife. If this next year of your blog is even half as good as this past year’s, then it will still be one of the best out there. Thanks again, Jack, and congrats.

  6. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  7. Hello ! 🙂
    My name is Piter Kokoniz. Just want to tell, that I like your blog very much!
    And want to ask you: will you continue to post in this blog in future?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you!
    Your Piter

  8. Just discovered your blog and it’s really cool. You are an incredible talent with a camera (and snowboard). Being from that part of the country, it’s great to read about and see photos of my old stomping grounds. Thank you for taking me to places I would never otherwise see. I’ve lived in Moab for the past 10 years, but did get to spend last summer in Ridgway, where I have relatives, including my cousin Gary Miller, who some of your readers may know.

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