Blog - Photo Blog Written by John Shea
|For once I didn't have a problem with clouds. I did have a problem with skunks though. This was a test shot but I retreated when skunks appeared, so no further shots were taken.
I've been wanting to come to this rest area on this highway for awhile now. Tonight seemed perfect. It was a beautiful night and the sky was full of stars. But within minutes of arriving, clouds streamed across the sky and completely covered the stars. Having made the drive, I wasn't really in a mood to just give up and go home. So I started experimenting and after a half dozen test shots, dialed in on something interesting.
It's not the photo I wanted but I am happy with it. Sometimes you just have to think a little harder and keep trying when things don't go quite right.
|I was leaning out my bedroom window, taking some shots during a mild thunderstorm. Rain always seems to lead to some interesting photos. I was trying to capture drops of water hitting a leaf and ... SQUIRREL! ... then this little furry head popped out from behind the tree. He turned out to be an excellent model, turning around to let me take shots from all angles until I had something I was happy with.
This 365 day photo blog is more than a third of the way in now and I have an urge to talk about it a bit.
First off, it's something that has surprised me regularly. I've been writing on the web for a long time now so there are no illusions about what sort of reaction to expect. For every person that takes the time to comment about what I've put up, there are dozens, hundreds, thousands of people who will never leave a comment or send an email. That fact has burned out many writers on this site. Writing for a small site or starting one of your own is not for the weak of ego. There's a reason that the great majority of blogs wither and die rather quickly after being started. Yelling into the void is not good for a person's self image. The flip side is that if you write for a large audience, you're going to receive a higher percentage of nasty comments to go with more feedback in general. But at least they respond.
Obviously, this site is no longer a big traffic site. This has nothing to do with my ego being battered by a lack of response. It has everything to do with a personal decision that family and working toward a writing career was more important than serving up regular news and reviews. My apologies to anyone who misses that.
But now with the photo blog, I'm back to regular posting. Not the 10+ posts a day you could get here at one time, but at least it's daily posting. And to look at the comments here, you'd expect I was still not getting much response. And that would be shockingly wrong. I also post the photos on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Combined, there has been quite a lot of response. My stated hypothesis about reader responses remains the same but Facebook has given me a surprising peek under the hood of that phenomenon. Obviously, there I'm posting to people that I know personally, so I hear from them in other ways than comments.
What I've learned is that this project means something to someone other than me. Repeatedly I've been told that they look forward to it every day. I'm going to leave it at that because frankly, some of the responses have made me blush. I usually try pretty hard to deflect compliments because I get embarrassed by getting a lot of praise. But that's been pretty impossible with this project.
So that's been the best part.
That sounded like a pretty big but, didn't it? It sort of is. This project is a lot of work. There are plenty of days where I just don't feel like taking pictures. But because of that response I talked about, there's no way I can let myself quit or slack off. It's easy to quit when you don't think anyone cares. Not so when you know you have an expectant audience. I hear TV writers say often that they just don't have time for writer's block. They have an expectant audience to service so the work has to be churned out, even if it sucks.
Inspiration, it turns out, comes in waves. When I have it, the photos come out great and I feel energized by their quality. When I don't, the photos feel flat and boring. And the camera seems to weigh twenty pounds. I just don't want to pick it up on those days. Yesterday was a perfect example. I took very few shots, leaving me with a choice at the end of the day. Do I go with the dull photo with a funny detail or the ambitious photo that just didn't work? I wanted a third choice.
That's it for now. I may do this again down the road. Maybe not. Either way, the photos continue.
Sometimes the camera finds little details that I missed when taking the photo. It's only after getting it on my computer that I really see them. Many times I have found spider webs that were essentially invisible when I took the shot but are clear as day in the photo. But this is my favorite hidden detail so far. Take a close look at the left camera's lens.
I'd really love to see the feed from that camera.
|Okay, not actual tea made from fresh squeezed ducks (damn PETA) but my mother's old duck shaped teapot. Why this for a model? Because I completely forgot to take pictures today and had to go hunting around the house in the middle of the night looking for something interesting. Plus, I really felt like I might be putting up too many cat pictures.
Actually, I was aiming for the pollen in this shot. There was a lot of it, which impressed me, and the color contrasted very nicely with the petals of the flower. The soft light of early evening made for nice subtle detail too.
Yesterday I drove the whole family down to
I'm a bit late posting a photo for that day because I took nearly 400 of them and just didn't have the energy left to go through them all by the time we got home. I have several shots of planes roaring over head, which is a common sight at
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