Blogging From a Deserted Island


©Blake Andrews – From the upcoming LPV Magazine Issue #1

I sent Blake an email about an topic that was circulating around a few photography blogs to get his opinion on things because his opinion on things always tends to be rather interesting.  I didn’t have much luck though because he told me he hadn’t been following the discussion and in fact found the idea that certain topics were making the rounds to be quit “bothersome.”

I think the ideal photoblog might be written on a deserted island free from any other blogs or images. It might be out of step but at least it would be original.

If Blake resides on a deserted island than I figure I must reside in the middle of downtown because for the last couple of years I’ve been reading and taking in as much as I possibly can.  It can certainly be overwhelming and at times the snark will get the better of me as those who follow on Twitter probably know, but overall I think being in the middle of everything has helped me learn more about photography and what’s happening on the web.

There are blogs that I should probably axe from Google Reader but I don’t because there’s an off chance a headline will catch my eye and lead down the internet rabbit hole.  Most people probably don’t need to go down most of those holes, so they end up making choices.

Which blogs do you follow and why?  I’m always interested to hear the answer to this question.

Mrs. Deane addressed it in a recent post and made an interesting point.

Taste equals know­ing what is good for your indi­vid­ual diges­tive tract, seek­ing out what nour­ishes rather than drains your energy. As much as there is an art to writ­ing blogs, there is also an art to seek­ing out the ones that are right for you.

Taste is also about exploring and sometimes getting sick from trying something you’re unfamiliar with. Some of my favorite blogs have ended up being those that I didn’t really think I’d enjoy at first, so taking a chance ended up enriching my photography experience.

Second and more to the point, “there is an art to writ­ing blogs.” I emphasized the word writing because it illuminates something I’ve been thinking about frequently about photography blogs.  For a number of people, they turn to blogs to ‘read’ about photography but not necessarily look at photography.

My first impulse is to think there might be a generational divide, with 18-30 year olds preferring image centric blogs while the 30+ crowd prefers reading about photography but since I don’t have any hard evidence about that, I’ll just have to say that it’s a hunch at this point.

I tend to look at a mix bag of image and opinion centric blogs.  Image oriented blogs are certainly much easier to publish, so I tend to favor those that put some focus on editing and try not to simply repeat work that’s been widely distributed on the web already.  Writing about photography is challenging and time consuming, so there are fewer of those type of blogs.  I prefer writing that focusses on wider issues in photography rather than about specific bodies of work or photographers.

It’s still the early days of publishing photography on the web and we probably haven’t figured exactly how we want to go about it.  In the future there probably won’t be as much of a bias toward viewing photography on screens as there is now and as more organizations, galleries and magazines start fully embracing the web, we’ll see more opinion and long form writing.

In terms of originality on blogs, I think we’re in an interesting place right now. I’ve spoken to several people who tell me that they can only follow one or two blogs, and count on them to stay on top of what’s going on. For a publisher, that presents a challenge.  I may pass on featuring certain work that’s been widely circulated because I don’t want to be redundant, but on the other hand, if people are turning to this blog to stay on top of things, then I’m not really best serving the audience.

In regards to sharing content, I keep the aggregating on other platforms such as Twitter and Tumblr because I’d like this platform to focus on original content, well, as much as that’s really possible anyway.

I fully support Blake exiling himself to a deserted island to write his blog. We’ll all benefit from that. I however am choosing to spend some more time in the hustle and bustle of downtown trying to figure out the right mix of words and images.

  • Frank Horvat

    great information!