Archive for May, 2009

How I Came to This

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

The idea of a blog is not recent.  Nor did it start with me.  Nearly a decade ago I came across a really interesting photography site – www.davebeckerman.com.  Dave is a street photographer who lives in New York city.  I found his site fascinating not just because of the excellent photography – which it is – but also because he maintained a daily, online journal which presented his thinking around a whole range of mostly-photography-related issues.  Dave had been working in IT, making good money, and then did what most of us only fantasize about – he ditched all that to follow his art.  His online journal (the word ‘blog’ had yet to be conceived) provided a remarkable insight into everything – his struggles (many), the cameras, film, and developers he used, his first forays into digital (and then back to film, and then back to digital), his evolution from the wet darkroom to digital printing, and basically the whole struggling-artist thing.  His honest commentary was a rare glimpse into something special.

As good as his photography is (Dave is the only photographer I’ve ever purchased a print from), it was that online journal of his that kept people coming back to his website (Dave migrated to a blog a few years back – you can find it at: dbeckerman.wordpress.com/).  And so when I ended up between jobs myself after the dot-com bust in 2001, I decided to take Dave’s cue and maintain an online journal of my own – one dedicated to motorcycles.  Alas, although I had registered a domain (www.jeffreyhughes.net) and secured a hosting provider, I never got around to actually building the site.  The “online” journal I maintained for nearly two years remained locked in a Word file on my computer, never published.

It would be five years before I’d finally get around to setting up that website.  And “The Motorcycle Diaries”, as I came to call that memoir I created back in 2001-2003, never made it.

In the meantime, the world of blogging exploded.  Everyone does it now.  Including, apparently, me.

As I mentioned yesterday, this will be something of a work in progress.  But the one thing I’ve long noticed about my website is that whereas it’s fine for the major stuff I do – going on a trip and taking a bunch of pictures that I later want to put up in a web gallery, or sitting down and writing an essay on something – there’s not been a good way to present the smaller, one-off, casual, more frequent, ad hoc kind of stuff.  I’m expecting this blog might provide a venue for that kind of thing.

As an example, last weekend I went downtown to take some pictures.  The one I most liked made it in my PAW (Picture of the Week – www.jeffreyhughes.net/photography/2009_PAW/2009_paw.html#the_wall).  But there was another image I liked, as well.  Only I didn’t have any really appropriate place to post it.

Now I do.

Boys at the Wall

Boys at the Wall

Does the World Need Yet Another Blog?

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Well, I’ve finally joined the ranks of the world’s bloggers.  I put it off for awhile, not sure I wanted to go there.  Many blogs are terrific, with lots of interesting content.  But their quick-publish nature and (often) abbreviated content lend themselves to narcissism, banality, and superficiality.  I’m not going to pretend this one won’t be all of those!

Seriously, the question is how to provide meaningful content in a blog, given that I already have a website upon which I publish my photography, articles, and essays.  None of that is going to change.  So what will this blog provide?

I’m not sure.  It’ll be a work in progress while I sort all that out.  For certain it will continue the themes of my broader website – motorcycles, photography, writing, guns, finance, and the like.  Hopefully while affording the opportunity to post vignettes and slightly less structured slices of all those things than the main site provides.

Jeff