Sometime early Saturday morning, another remarkable milestone was passed. The number of page views for this blog passed 3,000,000. I am constantly surprised and incredibly flattered by the number of people who read this and would like to express my sincere thanks to all who do so and to those sites who link to here.
This is just so far from how this all started, with me writing what amounted to little more than a diary as an antidote to all the long hours I spend in front of a monitor screen, editing, captioning, keywording and uploading images for the stock photography sites that provide my income. Back then I imagined that I was pretty much writing it for myself, and it was a great way to look back on what I'd done, where I'd been and was also an opportunity for me to work on my writing. Being married to a university teacher who specialises in grammar, syntax and spelling, I was only too aware that I had many failings in that area.
So from what was a bit of fun, written for myself, it became apparent over time that I actually had a small audience for what I was writing, and later as this increased, I did start to become self-conscious about what I was writing, since I came to realise that my private ramblings were becoming increasingly public. However I have tried to stick with the principles that I started with and keep to what I believe should be the "spirit" of blogging. This for me means being spontaneous, writing in a way that is an accurate representation of how I feel at the time I'm writing it, and above all be honest in how I present myself and what I do. If this involves making mistakes, changing my mind and opening myself up to criticism, then for me that is part of the process.
I try constantly not to portray myself as any kind of "photographic guru" but as someone who enjoys taking pictures and writing about that process. Also someone who unashamedly enjoys the tools involved in doing that, the cameras, lenses and related accessories that make what we all love doing so fascinating. I've written before that I worked hard to be able to earn my living from photography just so that I could do it all the time. Being a photographer firstly as a hobby, then as a way of earning a bit of extra money which led to a "semi-pro" existence shared with a job as a musician and later as a college teacher, wasn't enough for me. Realising that my obsession with photography wasn't going to be satisfied until I was full-time, led me to make that move about 12 years ago.
However I still regard myself as somewhat of an "amateur photographer" in terms of my sensibility. By this I mean that I have no desire to restrict myself to set ways of working, I like to constantly experiment and try new things and new gear and attempt to take the pictures I do with spontaneity, mostly on instinct and try not to just go after "the money shot". I do obviously bear in mind that I do have to constantly sell pictures in order to eat and pay the mortgage, but I've never seen why it shouldn't be possible to make that as interesting and as much fun as possible. Indeed many of the photographers I admire have much the same attitude and like me, see no need to impose boundaries on what they do, both in terms of the time they spend on photography and how they use their imagination.
I'm glad that people find some pleasure and use in what I write and I hope that continues. Once again many thanks for all your support. It is much appreciated.