Some of you have commented on the dropoff on my frequency of posting and you are right. I missed the 2800 post milestone, which usually results in profound observations and commentations on my part. However, I also missed the celebration for post no. 2700 as well. By December 1, the Curmudgeonly Professor will have run for 3 years, which is 2 years and 11 months longer than I ever thought it would run when I timidly opened it and posted my first photos and learned comments.
Some of my blogging experiences have been a joy, others a hassle, and still others plain drudgery. But the main factor after three years is the evaluation of the amount of time I have spent on it, to the exclusion of learning and doing other things. I especially enjoy posting flower and scenery pictures that bring a smile to my viewers. I never know, however, which posts will draw a stream of viewers. Some pieces I wrote three years ago still attract several page views a week. The recent photos I posted of grandchildren and great grandchildren and of our family reunion have been extremely popular, thus suggesting that many viewers are interested in family and people as well as flowers.
The frequency and numbers of foreign viewers from all over the world have increased sharply in the past six months. I would just like to hear some comments from some of you in the far-flung corners of the world, so use my message box and let me hear from you.
I have decided that I need to take time to learn some other things I need to learn, which means less time blogging. Right now, I'm learning how to do triple digital mats on images 20" and larger. These triple mats are just incredible. Plus I am doing more work with textures, multiple opening mats, building my own multiple opening mats, and a host of other things. Besides, it is way past time that I spent more time on the Pandora's Box called PhotoShop CS5, which is definitely not a photo editing program for morons, of which I am one, some times.
I have been cleaning photos on my hard drive and have ended up with 18,000 on Aperture on my Mac, and over 35,000 on my PC. For three years I have added and added and added, like the junk piled on my desks, without attention to sorting, and now I am paying the price. As I sort through this multitude of photos, I am sometimes astonished all over again at how good some of the early photos I took are, photos that were taken with (by today's standards) primitive camera equipment. Many were also horrible, of course. I can also see that, although I have failed miserably to read my books about how to take better photos that through trial and error and hit and miss, I am gradually becoming a better photographer. I also need to pay the price and move up the learning curve on my new (a year ago) Canon 7d which, again, is not a camera for those 7 bricks shy of a load. Similarly, I need to do much sorting and much printing.
I stopped by Costco the other day to see if they had received a sample of their canvas wrap photos from their lab, and they did have one. I thought the result was quite good and certainly worth trying, especially since they charge about half the price as the big color labs charge. MPix (MPix.com) certainly does a fantastic job on canvas wraps and, my favorite, metallic prints. There are at least a dozen photo books I need to sort, organize, and get printed. I am using more album pages built on Lumapix (Lumapix.com) and with QuickMats (QuickMats4.com). The learning curve on QuickMats has been steep for a slow-witted economist, but thanks to the ever-patient and wonderful help I have continually received from the creator of QuickMats, John Hartman, I have more or less mastered much of what I need to know.
The beauty of QuickMats is that all matting is done digitally. When I take my large matted photos to the frame shop, they cannot believe that the matting was done digitally, on the computer. Many others ask where I was able to buy the mat board in the many brilliant and colorful shades that I can use on the computer just by keying the mat color to colors in the photo. Now the next trick is actually to print a large 20x30 triple matted photo and see how that comes out.
I do give credit to blogging for accelerating my interests and limited skills in photography, without which my life might have been quite dreary of late while we have dealt with some health issues. I have not equally advanced my writing skills, and I still have many manuscripts I need to write and complete.
As I proceed, I am going to overhaul my Zenfolio gallery blog (dmblood.zenfolio.com) where many of my prints are for sale. I know that many of my prints are as good as a lot of them I see on Etsy (etsy.com) and other for-sale print blogs and at art fairs. However, I have yet to sell a print, although I have given several dozen away. I would rather have them hanging on someone's wall than just ramain stored in my inventory. Some people think $20-$100 is pricey for a photo print, but those of us who play this game have thousands and thousands of dollars invested in equipment and software, all of which must be continually updated, not to mention the investment of time. Besides, buyers will save anywhere from $20 to $75 or more on custom mats by buying my digitally matted prints. Thus, the most that many of us will ever achieve is some minimal income to help recover costs and continue our expensive hobbies.
All in all, I don't regret what I have learned by blogging. One disappointment is that my average of daily viewers has not increased as much as I would have liked, but I am continually reminded of the advice that we blog for ourselves, and if anyone else gets anything out of our work, more the better. But you will probably see fewer pictures and posts for awhile as I make a serious effort to shovel out my den, clean up my hard drives, learn advanced digital matting, master PhotoShop at least somewhat, and learn about my camera equipment.
Thanks to all my viewers who faithfully follow or stumble on to my posts. I will continue to bring you photos of interest and beauty that I hope will provide a bright moment in your lives. Please continue to keep in touch through my comment box or through email. The Curmudgeonly Professor.