Photobloggers

Some of you know that I’m an avid photographer, but fewer of you also realize that I’m an active photoblogger as well.

What’s that? A Photoblog (distinct from the sort of rambling self-involved “regular” blog you’re currently reading) is about expressing oneself photographically. Ideally, a photoblogger posts an image regularly, and creates some kind of running narrative. These blogs are much more about the image than they are about written content. By internet standards we’re a relatively small community. Photoblogs.org it lists about 31,000 members, though I have the suspicion that many are less active and not particularly regular in their posting schedule.

There are photobloggers who keep a beautiful diary of their personal life. I’ve always marveled at what Alison Garnett shows at Hello – My La La Land. It always pops up a guilty reminder to go out and take more pictures of the kids. Look for the tiny pink arrow at the top to navigate through the images.

Many photobloggers are more dogmatic in their approach, and will only post one type of image. Travis Ruse of Express Train takes one picture a day on his subway commute to work. Click on the picture to see the one from the day before. Diane Varner lives in beautiful Northern California, as far from NYC as possible, and her Daily Walks photoblog is a beautiful compendium of what she finds on the other end of her lens.

But most of us simply use it as an online gallery to show what we’re working on, and to stay in touch with fellow members of the photoblogging community. You can see my work over at The Western Flatline, and if you go to the Links & About section you will find links to the sites of photobloggers I admire, or that I’ve become friends with.

Every year,  some of us meet up on the various continents, giving us a chance to spend some time in “meat space” or Real Life – rather than just on various online forums. There’s an annual meet-up in the US, one in Asia, and one in Europe. Last year the European Photoblogger’s Meet-Up was in Berlin, and I ended up being the local host. It was great fun! There’s something really rewarding about spending a long weekend with people who completely understand if you just want to stop and spend a few minutes “getting the shot.” Usually, our friends and loved ones have three comments:

“It’s nice.”– the dagger-in-heart well-intentioned-but-blank comment, familiar to anyone who’s ever tried anything creative…

“You’re gonna center that, right?” – for those shots where the subject is not in the middle, or possibly not entirely sharp, or somehow desaturated… a creative choice was made, but not understood…

“Wow, nice shot, you must have a great camera…” – it’s like telling the cook “Mmmm, yummy food, you must have great pots…”

None of these are confidence inspiring, and they certainly don’t end up in night-long conversations about composition, intent, and the decisive moment. So spending a weekend with fellow photobloggers is one of the great treats in life.

Alfonso and Fran, two photobloggers from Barcelona and 2008’s European Photoblogger Meet-Up hosts, put together a video for our 2007 Meet-Up in Berlin. You see a lot of our photography, and some pictures of our group.

Take a look, it’s a nice effort.

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