Sunday, August 7, 2011

Why a Blog?

Everything has to start at the beginning. This beginning is little rough. I hope I'll be able to polish the look and feel of this blog but so far I'm not getting the hang of it very well – the back room nuts and bolts.

I read on a photographer's blog, whose blog made him famous (among face shooters), that every blog post should start with a photograph.  That's what the blog is all about.  So here's some predawn  lightning, compliments of Tropical Storm Emily this morning. goes.

I photograph in and around Fort Myers, Florida, often on our barrier islands, hence the title on the banner.  [The original title of this blog was Island Photography, taken from my website.] I do other things here too, but photographing is what this blog is mainly supposed to be about. 

I've been pointing a lens at things around here for a pretty long time, but for a painfully large portion of that time I really only sort of knew what I was doing. I thought I knew, but mostly I just didn't know what I didn't know. (Shades of Don Rumsfeld) Then the World Wide Web happened and that's when I found out how little I knew about how to make a good picture. I learned stuff from people on the web who knew more than I did. Maybe they only knew a little bit more than I did or maybe they only knew one thing that I didn't know, but I learned from them a little bit about how to make better pictures. After a more than a decade on the Web, I've picked up a few things, and discarded a few things, too, and there's plenty I still don't know. But I do know more about making a photograph than I used to.

The first photographic website I participated in was ShutterCity. It was an image critique site for general photography by photographers of all skill levels. Most of the photographers who posted there, me included, were rank amateurs, but a few knew what they were doing, more or less. They knew more than I did, at least. And I learned from their criticisms of my photographs and those of others. I had been fading in and out of photography as a hobby for years. ShutterCity re-kindled my enthusiasm and I resolved to be a real photographer. ShutterCity went defunct about five years ago

Shortly after signing on to ShutterCity, I discovered NPN, Nature Photographer's Network Online Magazine.  NPN is an absolutely first rate nature photography forum and image critique site. Skill level ranges from beginner to world-class with plenty of friendly helpful advice and sharing. I've learned a great deal about technique, gear, digital image processing, and photography in general at NPN over the years. It is a great source of knowledge and a repository of nature photographs that will knock your socks off.

My photographic journey has spread out from nature photography into architectural, urban landscapes, and portraiture. So I've been exploring photography websites outside of the nature genre. I've found some that aren't so good, with trolls, flamers, and infighting – bleh. I've also found some that are pretty good, but some have a fair amount of so-so photographs posted for critique that get fawned over. It makes it hard to learn about what makes a good photograph when critiquers label mediocre images with superlatives. And I don't find the camaraderie I enjoyed so much at my old sites, but that may just be me.

So... Here we are. 
I thought maybe if I started a blog I could get the kind interaction with other photographers that I haven't been able to find on websites.  So I hope that you, dear reader, will encouage me to keep it up.   I may not be the greatest photographer in the world but an expert is anyone who knows things about something that you don't know. Surely I can share some knowledge about photography that you didn't already know.  I hope you can share some things I don't know.   Also - I was told, "You should start a newsletter yourself.  You certainly have a way with words... and pictures"  (You know who you are.)


  1. Pretty lame. Can't you do any better than this?

  2. It's a great start! I am excited about seeing more of your fabulous photos and the story of their making.