1149 – Hope There’s Someone

Sorry for the delay, this is the post for Saturday. Both images are from Saturday morning, the Image of the day taken from my study, the other from the balcony. Nice sun, but that was the last we had that day.

The fog rose within minutes, and for the rest of the day it stayed as a grayish-white blanket in a height above 100 meters, and when it really thinned out for some minutes, I could see clouds above, thus it didn’t even make sense to drive up a mountain.

I had to go shopping that afternoon, and hoping to get some winter landscape images, I tried my luck down at the river.

It was depressing. Snowy winter landscapes can be a great sight, and you don’t need sun at all. Take for example “792 – Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” or “778 – My! My! Time Flies!“. Both were made on bleak winter days, but at least there was a thick snow cover. The real problem with days like Saturday is, that there is not enough snow, and what there is, quickly goes away, leaving patches of brilliant white between dark, wet ground, wet wood and soggy dead leaves. It’s pretty hard to make interesting images of that.

OK, this should be enough to explain why I post these images: I have no others. I’ve tried and failed. But why this title?

On just that Saturday Paul Butzi posted an article about popularity, concluding that it

appears that if you want to get a large readership, the thing to do is write posts that take a contrary view on a social issue, write lots of equipment reviews, reviews of materials, and vitriolic rants about stuff that frustrates you

As I commented on Paul’s post, it’s the same here. At the moment I get more hits than usual, and the popular posts of the moment are those about the Tamron 17-50/2.8 VC. It’s pretty obvious why, because there is not much material on the Internet about this lens, and at the same time there is much interest, because the lens seemingly fills a gap, at least in Nikon’s lineup.

More or less the same happened when I bought the D300. I got it the day after it appeared, and my series of posts was one of the first sources on the Internet. I’ve tagged it a review, but of course it was mainly a set of observations of a user, but exactly that is what people are looking for, especially in a time when it is hard to tell journalism apart from PR.

Photoshop tutorials are another classic. I’ve posted a few, and they still contribute a substantial part of the hits.

Joe Jarosak (sorry, you didn’t leave a link) replied to my comment, saying

Andreas please don’t play to your audience I enjoy your blog to hear why you might have photographed what you present. Same with Paul’s blog, I’m not interested in the tools so much but the results they produce and the thinking behind them.

And the music of course. 😉

Thanks, very appreciated. I promise, I won’t post any “10 Top Point’n’Shoot Cameras Of This Winter”, and I will also not write about the “Rule of Thirds” and other “rules” of composition. Basically I know how to get hits, I know what draws them, but ultimately it does not matter that much to me. I try to post things that interest me, try to get some feedback, try to connect with people, but not at any price.

On the other hand, as Amy Sakurai wrote in her comment to Paul’s post,

readership numbers greater than zero are about all I look for… otherwise I can just keep my babblings locally on my own computer

Well, this goes right to the heart of blogging. Why do we do that? Why do I do it? I mean, for at least some people, blogging is a source of income. Mike Johnston comes to mind and of course Ken Rockwell. Other people use their blogs to advertise their main business. Just think of David Ziser or Joe McNally.

I don’t do that. I don’t support a business. If you want a print of one of my images, you can just contact me and we’ll arrange something, or of some images you can get them via the Fine Art Photoblog. If you don’t want my prints, well, we can still be friends 🙂

Do I do it for the ads? Oh dear, don’t be silly. There is no money in that either. I suppose it gets interesting when your readers number in the tens of thousands, but what I write is read by a small number of hundreds per day. So far my ads have not generated enough income that I even have bothered to collect it 🙂

Then why do I do it?

I think a part of the answer lies in my desire to communicate with people who are interested in the same things that I am interested in. Or variations thereof. The problem is, you can’t communicate with yourself only. You need an audience. It’s the first hurdle that every blog has to overcome.

When I began blogging, I was relatively active at the forums of the now gone Radiant Vista, and my trick was to change my forum signature daily, always containing the titles of the three latest posts as links. It took some time, then people noticed and began to visit.

With this and similar PR, I have managed to come into safe territory, having a readership definitely beyond zero, and that while doing what I want to do.

And suddenly we are back to Saturday’s pictures. If you look closely at #2, the house, you see my Imaginary Friend, the friendly snowman. It’s only about two weeks until Christmas, and you see an incredible lot of decoration here, all lit in the evening, and although this is kitsch of the worst kind, this snowman somehow touches me.

There is something symbolic in this mute, friendly smile of the plastic snowman, something deep, pointing to our desire to communicate, pointing to a certain remoteness, a remoteness that is also in blogging. We stand there on our balconies, smiling friendly, waving, hoping there’s someone, who will wave back.

That’s not bad and I like it 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Hope There’s Someone” from Antony And The Johnsons’ 2005 album “I Am a Bird Now”. See him live on YouTube.

6 thoughts on “1149 – Hope There’s Someone”

  1. Andreas, it’s very interesting to me that you have so far received no responses to this particular post. I didn’t get here yesterday and perhaps not the day before. But if this is today’s (Monday, Dec 7) post, then perhaps some people are at work and haven’t had time to come here and comment yet.

    Recently April and Usha have started their own blogs. April kept her’s up faithfully every day for the 30 days of November. But since the ned of Nov, April hasn’t posted anything else. To me as a viewer, this is disappointing, as her work is so incredibly interesting and enjoyable. But I know she’s bust and didn’t promise to post daily any more.

    Usha so far has only one post to her blog. And this is disappointing, too, for I consider Usha to be a great and constantly developing photographer, especialy of people.

    You wrote: “Then why do I do it?

    “I think a part of the answer lies in my desire to communicate with people who are interested in the same things that I am interested in. Or variations thereof. The problem is, you can’t communicate with yourself only. You need an audience. It’s the first hurdle that every blog has to overcome.”

    I too love to communicate. Which is what I try to do when I post images to The Mindful Eye’s forum. But few people respond to my images, so I know enough not to try to start a blog. It would be a mostly fruitless endeavor.

    Some people, like Roland, Wes, April, Usha, Ted and certain others can always count on getting at least a few responses. When you used to post at the now-closed Radiant Vista forum, people would respond to your images, too. If you came back (to the TME forum), you also would get responses.

    Some people – you and those I listed above – have a knack for making your captures appeal to a wide range of viewers. This is your talent. I still seem to be stuck at the picture postcard level, no matter how many workshop and classes I’ve taken. So this is my lack of talent. In spite of what Craig says in his article “The Myth of Talent.”

    So, bottom line: people who can make images that appeal to a variety of viewers are those who will also succeed with blogging. Those who don’t make images that appeal, will not succeed with blogging.

    I love your image – at first I thought it was of the ocean! But when I viewed the larger size, then i could see that what I’d thought were waves are really little mounds and puffs of snow (in the foreground). The line of trees in the distance plus the darker hills/mountains I thought were the distant shoreline. It’s a lovely and very intriguing image.

  2. Totally agree with Flo. Your blog captures my eye and invariably engages my mind. And for me the song of the day is the icing on the cake.

  3. Thanks all. Yes, although these are Saturday’s images, I have posted the entry only hours ago. Insofar I am quite surprised to already find answers. Thanks again 🙂

    As far as forums go, I have stopped visiting them. It consumes too much time. The only forum that I participate in at the moment, is the Nikon forum at Photo.net. I like that place for its non-fanboy attitude and because they have a nice mix of beginners and experts. I wouldn’t be there though, were it not for the fact that you can subscribe to the forum via RSS. Actually, feeds are my almost exclusive way to keep connected nowadays. The problem is, the forums at TME have no feeds. You can’t simply subscribe to them in Google Reader and get updated when something is posted. You have to actively go there.

  4. Sorry Andreas I generally don’t leave a URL but I’ve included one this time. Since this blog and its author is of the “Kinder Gentler” nature. And we share a some what similar photographic out look I don’t mind sharing. 🙂

    Joe

  5. Joe, I’ve just been over there, browsed through your images, and I’m very impressed, especially of the b+w images, if I must point something out. Thanks.

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