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!