Tag Archives: Greenland Colorado

Still At It

Cottonwood Trees, Two Stands

Cottonwood Trees, Two Stands
Near Greenland, Colorado, 2014

I started writing this blog in February, 2013, which means I’ve been at it for just about 2 1/2 years now.  I’m still doing it, and I plan to keep on doing it, but lately I’ve been asking myself why.

When I started this blog, the idea was that it would be about 1/2 an exercise in marketing and 1/2 an exercise in personal expression.  On the marketing side, my thinking was that having a website with a blog, wherein the content was updated about once every week or two, would provide those interested in the content with a reason to keep coming back, thereby driving traffic to my website.  On the personal expression side, I thought it would be fun not only to post my images, but to provide (hopefully) interesting remarks and observations to go along with them.  Personally, I really enjoy reading the blogs of photographers who regularly provide inspiring images and well-written content, and I hoped my website and blog might provide a similar resource for others, at least maybe in some small way.

In practice, neither of these goals seems to have to come to pass.  On good days, traffic to this website peaks only in the double digits, which seems kind of low.  Moreover, based on the paucity of comments and offline feedback, I don’t think this blog is getting much readership (although I really value those of you who do read it – thanks so much!).

So why do I remain committed to doing this blog?

I’ve been puzzled by this question, since, as mentioned above, this blog really is not hitting the goals I set for it.

A couple of weeks ago, though, I think I found my answer when I listened to a podcast by Brooks Jensen at Lenswork Daily.  The podcast was called “Your Next Deadline,” and the basic premise was that having a deadline to work under is a good thing because it provides motivation to get things done.  For photographers, of course, this means creating new work.

Now, I don’t have an actual deadline for this blog, but I do start to feel a bit edgy if I don’t get a post out about once every week or two.  I don’t know why, maybe I just like seeing the unbroken line of archived posts stretching back to 2013.  In any case, writing a post means needing an image to share, and needing an image to share provides motivation for me to create new work.

It’s as good a reason as any to write a blog, I suppose.  With any luck, it will keep me at it for the next 2 1/2 years.  If so, I look forward to seeing you in February of 2018.

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30 Minutes and 30 Yards

Cattails on the Prairie Near Greenland, Colorado, 2014

Cattails on the Prairie
Near Greenland, Colorado, 2014

Just one guy’s opinion, but I think the image in this post, “Cattails on the Prairie,” looks quite different than the image in my previous post, “Cottonwood Copse.”  For example, last post’s image is higher in key with less contrast overall, while this image is overall darker in key with much stronger contrasts.  The prior image is pretty simple in composition, maybe even bordering on minimalism, while this image has a few more elements to it.  Perhaps most importantly, I get a much different feeling from the two images – the prior image feels to me sort of cold and wintery, while this image feels much more warm and summery.

Thing is, these two images were taken about 30 minutes and 30 yards apart.  This post’s image was seen about 30 yards up the road from last post’s image.  The cottonwoods in the previous image are part of the line of cottonwoods in this image, just seen from a different angle.  If you look closely, you might even see a fence in these two images – it’s the same fence in both.

There’s a couple of things I take away from this.  First, as a photographer you really do have a lot of latitude to interpret your photographs in whatever way you want to, and editing the image in post processing (whether in a wet darkroom or on a computer) is a decisive part of the artistic process.  Never think your images have to look just how they came out of the camera.  Have a vision for them, and make your vision happen.

Second, it’s amazing just how much creativity you can add to your photography with some simple fieldwork.  Don’t stand around in one spot – move around, look at what you can see in all directions, wait a few minutes and see how the clouds move, how the light changes.  Be an active part of your photography process.  When I do these things, I often find there’s more photographic possibilities for a given subject than I originally thought.

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