The two seem to go hand in hand; a hobby (or profession) and reading about it on the Web. For me, steam trains and the many railway preservation blogs are a significant part of my daily/weekly read. I don’t live near a preservation railway and the regular posts are a way of keeping up-to-date and in touch.
Photographically, there has always been a plethora of verbiage available to accompany my efforts. Sadly, as with so many sites in the blogosphere, the output has usually been limited to photographers with a working knowledge of cameras, lenses and/or post processing software, but not so much writing ability or creativity.
More recently, in an attempt to retain eyeballs, a surprising number of these would-be experts have moved to vlogging, populating sites like YouTube with a bewildering collection of badly planned and recorded how-to and look-at-me videos.
I avoid most like the plague and rarely manage to sit through more than a couple of minutes of the others. The endlessly wiggling mouse pointer, coughing, um-ing, er-ing and demonstrations that don’t work first time, the hallmark of a desperation to review/show and publish something before anyone else, regardless of how watchable and/or tolerable it might be.
Lots of bloggers have simply walked away from their sites. In a recent trawl through a lengthy lists of archived bookmarks, I’d say anything up to eighty percent have simply walked away without even as much as a ta-ta.
When Kirk Tuck announced earlier this week that he was taking a blogging sabbatical, I found myself surprised and saddened in equal parts. On the occasion of his 4000th post (DearSusan stands at way <900), Kirk is wearied and in need of a recharge of his blogging batteries. For as long as he is absent my daily must-read list, I will miss his quirky attitude and practical approach to making a living with a camera.
At The Online Photographer, Mike Johnson quotes Kirk thus; “…and “[I] can hardly shake the feeling that photography as we knew it and practiced it has changed so profoundly that the Visual Science Lab is now, more or less, irrelevant.”
Which brings us to what’s happening here at DearSusan.
There are three of us driving things forward; Philippe, Pascal and myself. With us is a veritable team of regular part time contributors, including Dallas, Art, Steve, Bob, Steffen and Adam plus a small group of very occasional writers. And with that, just about every brand of currently relevant camera technology has a user (or two) amongst the DearSusan glitterati; essential if you plan to write and/or opine about such things.
As regular DS readers will know, we share many behind the scenes group e-mail chats and often from these, an insightful, or interesting post will emerge. This genesis of this week’s Monday Post was one such conversation.
Doubtless more will follow.
In preparing this post, I asked Pascal for his views:
As TOP quotes, photography is changing and there is no “expert” middle ground left. There are people interested in gear and there are sites that cater very well to their needs. I feel Kirk sat in the expert tech part which very few people are interested in any more. People who enjoy gear for gear are rarely good photographers and people who enjoy making photographs have largely shifted to phones or, like me, to cameras they hope will eliminate the need to think about gear for the next decade or more. They usually don’t give a hoot about gear or software. Kirk can reinvent himself but he’ll probably have to find a new positioning to get back on track.
DS is special in that we don’t seek to make any money from our writing. So we can talk about anything and don’t look at the numbers so long as the engagement is motivating enough. I think our greatest strength is the variety of points of views and opinions. The fact that we don’t always agree with one another probably reflects the variety of points of view in the market. Our readers are usually experienced and educated photographers and I like that we speak to a very specific high-quality audience. We have huge engagement relative to our traffic.
All this to say that not only are we still here, but we’re not just surviving in spite of the general doldrums. We discuss far more fundamental ideas than the latest preset, so we’re here to stay and we’re having fun.
Feel like contributing? Drop one of us a note via the contact page or send us a comment and we can explore the possibilities.
To sum up – we’re still here and as long as it’s worth it – that is our visitor numbers continue to justify the considerable effort that goes into keeping DearSusan interesting and relevant – we’ll keep at it.
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