2000 – Blue

So here it is, another #2000, this time not the absolute number of posts but the number of posts with images. For administrative reasons there were some posts without, mostly to keep you updated and from being worried in cases of delays.

The weather here is a solid gray again and it’s not supposed to get any better today. I sit here on this late Easter Sunday morning and I figure I can as well post some pictures from a few days ago.

The blossoms are on a fruit tree that I passed by on my recent excursion into “unknown Villach”, five days ago. From the looks I’d suppose cherries, at least they look like the blossoms on a genuine cherry tree that I used to take photos of.

Blossoming trees are a pretty common sight these days and I think the world definitely does not need any more pictures of them. It may be that I need them though, at least I do it every year and it still does not bore or tire me. Hope you don’t mind either πŸ™‚

2000 images, one for each and every day in five and a half years. Why do I do it?

Interestingly enough, I recently found a term that I like on a blog that I discovered during my search for reviews of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (did I get that right? It’s so stupid), and that I follow since. Of course I speak of Robin Wong’s “simplyROBIN“. He is mostly engaged with street photography in the sense of photographing people on the streets, quite different from me, but he is a true master at what he does, and he has coined the term “Shutter Therapy”.

Shutter Therapy. Therapy. Medicine. Healing. Health. Sanity.

I think that does not completely describe what I do and what what I do does for me, but it puts the focus on one important function that photography has for me: It allows me to completely step out of my life, my sorrows, my burdens, my relations, my thoughts, my knowledge, my prejudices, my believes.

It is not that my life is tragic or in any way unbearable, not at all, I enjoy my life, but regularly stepping out of it and immersing myself in raw experience is actually healthy, and exactly that is what happens when I have a good photo session. I see things that I wouldn’t otherwise see, I slow down, I literally take time, freeze it and take it away with me, later to be looked upon, to be caressed, to be cherished, to be refined and distilled into my images.

You see, it’s not about numbers and not about pride. It was in the beginning. When I started my blog, I had some notion of showing off. I deliberately made this a daily blog because I wanted to prove that I can do it, not only to others but to myself as well. At that time I had taken pictures for about two years, first with a Kodak bridge camera and then for four months with the Nikon D200. I had followed Craig Tanner’s and Mark S Johnson’s videos on their former website “The Radiant Vista”, had participated in the forums, and doing so had accumulated self-esteem and pride, leading to the idea of creating my own blog.

Again deliberately, I numbered my posts right from the beginning. This was not only showing off but also kind of a tool for self-discipline.

It started off very, very slowly, a monologue with almost no visitors in two weeks, but within a year it grew to a daily number of a little more than a hundred unique visits. Today there are around 330 subscribers to my feed. Both, visitors and subscribers, have been slowly rising until about November 2009, since then the numbers have been fairly constant.

Some people steal my content, but at least they link back to me. I really don’t care.

I do run advertisements for the music used in my Songs of the Day, but although I did so for about five years now, my earnings amounted to less than $30. I don’t care either.

I know that I can increase the number of visitors considerably and I know how to do that. The recipe is to provide content that people are looking for most, i.e. reviews of gear and software, and of course tutorials. I’m pretty sure that by being aggressive at that, by adding more ads, by “optimizing” my content, I could also monetize the blog and generate some revenue. It wouldn’t take me to the heights of The Online Photographer, but I guess at least the site would pay its bills. It would turn blogging into a job though. I suppose I need not tell you that I don’t care at all πŸ™‚

What I do care about, is all that I get out of it for myself. This may sound egoistic, but hey, it’s my time, right? And besides, it is not a bad thing at all. In fact it is the only thing that makes me sure we’ll meet again at #3000 and then further on.

In that sense, Happy Easter Sunday, and if you don’t care about Easter, at least take the happiness. This can’t be wrong πŸ˜€

The Song of the Day is “Blue” from Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album of the same name. Hear it on YouTube.

12 thoughts on “2000 – Blue”

  1. Well written! – “Shutter Therapy. Therapy. Medicine. Healing. Health. Sanity.” – The skill of stopping, it is important. Luckily the practice of taking photographs offers a way.

    In a way, photography is a selfish thing – “immersing myself in raw experience” – but paradoxically it is also a selfless thing – “stepping out of it”.

    Thank you for inspiration, and encouragement!

  2. In all the excitement I forgot to say that the photograph with reflections is a rather remarkable one. I have returned several times to have a look at it.

    1. Well, it looks kinda retro sci-fi. Originally I wanted to call it “For A Better Future II” (or III, don’t know), but as I happen to run a color series just yet, I decided for “Blue” πŸ™‚

  3. Reminds me of a shiny fabric – perhaps it could be a scarf – some people like to wear bold colors and designs.

    I too appreciate what you wrote. I’m away from home resting up before the long drive home tomorrow. This was my week away for “shutter therapy.”

    1. Oops, forgot to say I really love those cherry blossoms – you caught them at their peak of loveliness. The depth of field seems just right, too, sort of like my vision when I stand under these trees and admire them.

        1. Andreas, I think these are cherries. I can see a horizontal scar around one of the twigs. Cherries have horizontal scars around their trunks and on their branches. So if you go look at the tree again, look at the trunk – if you see these horizontal marks, then it’s indeed a cherry. Otherwise, it’s a crabapple.

  4. A great post, Andreas. I think that I fall in line with you, save for the daily posting. πŸ™‚ I remember the beginning when I had zero visitors, then one, then two, and away it went. It’s been fun and I tried advertising for a bit, didn’t earn much of anything, then took it away. Like it is for you, it’s just plain old fun! Keep posting. I’ll keep reading!

  5. A good news post for sure πŸ˜‰

    With beautiful photos as well. I’ve been following your blog since the 15th or 16th century I believe and here you are entering a new millennium. Rest assured I will be here for the next one, after all, I’ve got the easy part, just see, read, enjoy. Thanks.

    I’ve also been following Robin for quite some time now and also enjoy his style of writing and his philosophy. His photography is right up my alley as well.

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