Sunday, February 2, 2014

An about face on blog design

I reinstated the photo pages because people do actually view them. I'm not so keen on the fact that it's possible to see all blog entries since the beginning of time just by scrolling but I'm not too bothered.

I remember being bored and writing a whole load of blog entries for my anti-business blog back in June or July. I think I wrote maybe 20 articles and set them all to auto-publish about a week apart. I never looked at that blog since then aside from scanning through the articles yesterday to see if there was anything worth saving to use in my blog on actual photography. There wasn't an awful lot. I didn't read every article - just skimmed to see if it was photography content or business content. The business stuff I just deleted. I don't even remember writing most of it.

Today I went and had a fairly uninspiring walk around one of the local flea markets. It wasn't a total waste though. It was very chilly and most of the stallholders were wrapped up in blankets. None of the interesting stalls seemed to be there any more which was sad.
There was, however, a bright spot - there was a very elderly vehicle with a bright and shiney current license plate. That was interesting. It looks in better condition than is actually the case. I wonder whether somebody has tidied it cosmetically in order to sell it. I offer no apologies for using a cellphone to take the photo. It's my most unobtrusive camera.

After that I had to check my mailbox which is currently situated within spitting distance of my old workplace. Needless to say, I went and had a look at my old workplace. Again, all cellphone photos. It looks pretty forlorn now. There was a huge skip outside that was full of smashed up fixtures and fittings. This is how the interior looks now:
It's a far cry from the place I remember. While it wasn't exactly bustling and was significantly less bustly toward the end, it was a living and breathing place. It was where I had my first job in the US and where I gained my first US promotion. Had the place not closed then I would probably still be there, still doing the same things and still scraping by.
After the store closing announcement was made, I made a job application on the advice of a friend that I met in a writing circle and pretty quickly had an interview. Then shortly after the interview I got called to do a drug test and then heard that I had the job. Thus, right at the end of packing away the remainder of the stock, I zipped off to my new position. As I joked to one or two of my friends - my job ended on Friday and my new job didn't start til Monday so for 2 whole days I was an unemployed bum.
It was a far cry from the full place that it was before the closing announcement was made. Yet, if the place had not closed then most likely I would still be unhappy. I would not be working 40+ hours and earning a lot more money in a company with a real career path and with better benefits. Even geographically my new workplace is advantageous - it used to be a 12+ mile drive to work whereas now it's a 7 mile drive. I tend to put $20 of fuel in when I buy fuel. I had to get fuel 2 or 3 times a week. Now I can get to work and back for an entire week on $20. That's a huge advantage.

So, I'm happier and more prosperous. That has a knock-on effect for several things. Firstly I'm more able to get out there and take photos on a whim as I now don't have to watch the pennies so carefully. This means more trips to more places. My travel photography blog is likely to get many more entries now.

One of the places I want to go next is the Blue Ridge Parkway. I've been there many times before but this time I want to get to one of the high points and spend some time there one night just taking photos of the Milky Way and starfield illuminated landscapes. Right now though, it's simply too cold for that. I was so intrigued by this fellow's work that I want to have a go at it myself. I did exactly the same with high-speed imaging when I saw a high-speed photography website. I went out, learned how to do it and had fun.
The effect is of a .177 airgun pellet hitting a shot glass, all illuminated by a standard camera flash. I'm just happy to copy the effects.

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