A differing opinion and an announcement

As fellow photographer Steve Gingold has pointed out, the recent weather has been nothing if not frustrating. Gloom notwithstanding, I brought the camera along while I ran errands the other day. At one point I drove through Nippenose Valley and, on the way back, took a turn towards Ravensburg State Park, a place I introduced you to several days ago. I was glad that, once again, I had the place to myself. I took strange pleasure in walking. The ground had frozen, and had heaved a bit the night before. This produced a slightly raised, and friable, layer of soil. As a result, each footfall produced a satisfying crunch. I enjoyed both the sound and feel as the tiny shock-waves impacted my ear drums and the soles of my feet. I like the image I have presented here. I like it because it expresses lots of movement (on the right) and I really like the muted view of the shallows (on the left). I once read, in an online forum, that at least one professional photographer is of the opinion that long exposures of moving water were passé and overdone. I’m not sure why that may be and I do not agree in any case. Isn’t it the very nature of (liquid) water to be moving? Whether high in the atmosphere, in the conducting vessels of a Giant Redwood, or at the depths of the deepest sea … water moves.  A long exposure is the best we can can do, I think, to show in static view, something of the nature of that dynamic. To stop the movement would, I think, deprive water of its inherent nature. To be moving is what water is all about. Why depict it any other way?

Park

And now, I ask for your indulgence. I have always believed that I was one of a very small group of people on the planet without a Facebook account. It is with mixed emotion then that I report that is no longer the case. The opiate held no attraction for me because I didn’t want to add one more thing to my already-long-list of things to attend to. I knew that FB was about social media and social is not something I’m interested in either being or doing. And, I didn’t want to become one of those connected people who cannot distinguish the reflexive (unconscious or autonomic) need to breath from the conscious (somatic) or even Pavlovian desire to check their News Feed multiple times each hour. My world, free of FB, began to unravel when Joanna and my daughter both suggested that a FB presence could provide more exposure for this WordPress blog. To be fair, there were statistics that provided support for their argument. This blog has existed since March of 2011. In that time I have been fortunate to attract 458 followers. The site has received just over 70,000 visits from people residing in 126 countries. That amount of activity is laudable, in some absolute sense, but consider that the site of another photoblogger, whose site I frequent, has more than 30,000 followers. I stood firm in the face of these statistics and believed that the combination of photos and prose presented here would eventually elevate me from total obscurity to perhaps vague visibility. I was wrong. Sometime in August my daughter, a long-time FB devotee, decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns and, without my knowledge, established a FB page for me. Since then she has populated the site with a collection of her favorite Pairodox images and with a gentle suggestion to visit this blog. This past weekend, as part of our annual Solstice celebration, Molly presented me with the username and password to my Facebook site. I was not altogether sanguine about the idea but must report that I am warming to it, so much so that I felt the need to micro-manage the cover and profile images associated with my new internet presence. So, there you have it. I can now report that I am more like the rest of you than I was just a few days ago. I look forward to seeing how the ramifying influence of FB might affect this blog. Before signing off I need to thank Molly for taking it upon herself to drag her father into this twenty-first century. I would not have arrived without both her work and her persistence. I shall observe that when our kids are young, it is the parent who pushes, cajoles, entices, or otherwise motivates … for the good health and well-being of the child. As we get older, the balance of responsibility shifts and it is the now-adult-child who must push and cajole to get the parent to keep up with this rapidly-changing world in which we live. Thanks Molly for all of your dedicated work in support of my interests. Dad

21 thoughts on “A differing opinion and an announcement

  1. Definitely have to agree with you on the water comment. Nothing more exciting than to see movement captured in a photo. in regards to the FB account, didn’t Steven spill the beans at Scraggy this summer? I think it was an inspired idea by Molly. You never know who may visit your page. If it’s not out there, no one will see it. And Facebook is definitely the place to be seen. Even Lady Grace has a page! 🙂 But yes, another site to manage! No rest for the weary. You won’t see any comments from me on FB. I refuse to get my own account. Too much work. I have trouble keeping up with my e-mail. BUT … I don’t have anything of artistic value to offer … you do.

  2. I agree with you, long shot exposures of water is still interesting. I love them! I wish I would have been able to take more of them in the past, but I didn’t have the proper equipment. Anyway, I think each photographer should take the pictures he/she likes, regardless of what’s trending 🙂

  3. Oh, you social butterfly, you!

    I’ve had a FB page for years but I rarely use it. Eve keeps in touch with her large family in the Philippines via FB, and if someone from my very small family posts a picture or announcement that she thinks would interest me, she’ll tell me to take a look.

    About this post’s photograph, I have one question: did you consider cropping down from the top slightly to eliminate what appears to be the railing along a road or path at the upper right? Cropping in that way would also reduce the amount of leaning outward at the corners produced by the optics of the lens.

    One advantage of winter (and of inclement weather, too) is that you can go to a park and be the only person there. That way you don’t have to wait for people to move out of a picture you’re trying to take.

    • Ha! You picked out the one element that I spent quite a bit of time ‘fussing’ over! I cropped and the pushed the undo button … then cropped again and pushed the undo button. I thought that the result of the crop was to crowd the boulder on the left. In the end, I left the railing and hoped that no one would notice … I guess I was wrong. As far as the distortion is concerned, I did apply what LR ‘felt’ was the appropriate correction and was pleased with the result. In any event, any residual curvature perhaps lends a sense of movement to the final image …. no? Before signing off, let me say that I very much appreciate the constructive comments from someone who clearly knows more about this than I do. I am entirely self-taught and it’s clear that both my technical knowledge and artistic understanding both have large gaps … always feel free to fill those when the opportunity arises. In appreciation. D

      • I think very few people would be bothered by the railing. It’s a question of how much of a purist you want to be about excluding human elements from pictures of nature. I generally go for nature with no obvious human artifacts, but that’s not always possible.

        I’m largely self-taught in photography too and am likewise still learning things, especially about Photoshop, which keeps adding features.

  4. Oooh, I’m so interested in this post, as you can imagine after I took a run at social media on my blog a few weeks back! Like you (until recently!) I do not have a FB page. As I mentioned in my ramblings, I can see the power of having one to promote or inform so I shall watch for updates from you to see if it’s working. You never know, you may persuade me yet … I think that for your daughter to set it all up for you is brilliant, and actually, you do have something to share with a wider audience. Your pictures deserve more coverage, so I wish you well. Merry Christmas to you all, Jx

    • Yes, the motivating force was provided entirely by my daughter who has been convinced that FB would provide that audience. Although Steve Gingold, a photographer friend who I follow here at WP, reports that his FB page doesn’t seem to send much traffic his way. As I told Elke, I am a scientist … this is an empirical question that is being tested. I suppose we will all anticipate the answer, together. I’m guessing that, over the next months the FB page will be fairly active but that the activity will not spill over to WP. Just a guess. I should also point out that I have been immediately struck by the very different feel and nature of the FB ‘culture’ and the FB ‘experience’ as opposed to those which I have become used to here at WP. FB is replete with quick, brief, quickly-considered, interaction. No back-and-forth and nothing in any depth. That is certainly something that I value about what goes on here at WP. So, even after only a couple of days I don’t feel that FB has much to offer other than that larger ‘clicking’ audience. D

      • There can be back and forth in the comments if folks choose, but you are correct that there is not much. You will see more “likes” than receive comments generally. There are more back and forths in the message chat capability.

        • I have already commented, in a reply to JP, somewhere below … that already have found that the sort of give-and-take possible here at WP is much more satisfying than that which may be had on FB. It is already abundantly clear that the two platforms are very, very, different. I really enjoy WP … I will put up with and endure FB.

  5. The image matches the prose in a subtle way (as usual): Flowing water = change! Of course I like your site, and I liked it on Facebook!

    Do you see many users referred by your Facebook site to your blog? As far as I have followed the news about Facebook they made it tougher and tougher for page owners. Sometime last year the number of page visitors dropped significantly after FB had announced they will show fewer posts from pages to the timelines of their followers (you also don’t see all of your friends posts … some algorithms at play). Some people say this is because Facebook wants to nudge site owners towards paid ads.

    But I also noticed it works well if you share your page’s posts also to your personal timeline. In addition I believe beautiful images are what social media users are most likely to click on. I am curious about your experiences with Facebook! I have been a late adopter and joined just two years ago – mainly because it was a chance to reconnect with a geeky crowd of people, former colleagues mainly, whom I hardly ever met in person otherwise.

    • I have been a FB user for all of about three days Elke. My daughter has been working on the site since August and, as a Holiday surprise, just passed along the username and password to me. I’m feeling really out of my element and know next to nothing about how to manage the site – the learning curve seems fairly steep. I am really hoping that the site results in increased traffic to my WP blog – we’ll see how that goes. I’m already feeling a bit frustrated at the lack of editorial flexibility in the FB text editor although something tells me that there are perhaps apps out there that will allow me to do things like format with italics and produce linked text (rather than providing full URLs). Anyway … whether FB is going to work for me is an empirical question … we’re in testing phase RIGHT NOW. D

      • I meant referrers visible in your WordPress Stats. I wondered of you already had seen clicks from FB to WP in your stats as the FB page had been setup some months ago. I also had once noticed that before I was a FB user – when somebody else shared my stuff on FB. Thinking about it I think that may have even one of the reasons I joined FB as I wanted to know what was going on over there 🙂 So have fun with your Christmas present!
        (As for the editors: I haven’t found an easy way of formatting text yet.)

  6. As you would be justified in assuming, I enjoy this very much … I’d certainly be pleased if it was one of mine. I enjoy the perspective you have chosen and the inclusion of that really interesting chunk of stone in the brook. Just as much as the image, I like both the imagined sound of the crunch and the visual of the appearance of uplifted and almost bubbly soil. A phenomenon I always am happy to find in my walks as well. As far as the “professional photographer” and his opinion, I am unconcerned and am glad you are too. I am sure his pontification comes with an agenda to promote his way of looking at things. I just liked your page on FB, you already have a pretty good following.

    • I’m out-of-my-league with this Facebook-thing. Do you remember the Ed Sullivan Show? If so, do you remember the fellow who had an act that involved a bunch of bamboo poles and plates? He’s start one plate spinning atop one of the poles, and then another, and then another, and then another … and by the time he had the fourth spinning, he’d have to run back and give the first another spin, and then the second, and then the third, and then the fourth … and then he’d set a fifth spinning … and then he’d run back to boost the first … and so on. It was always fun to see how many he could get spinning before he’d lose one. Anyway, that’s sort of how I feel about FB at the moment. Too much stuff I feel I should be paying attention to, but aren’t aware of. Anyway, it’s a trial balloon. We’ll see how it goes and if it really boosts traffic here at WP. I did see your icon show up as having ‘liked’ the FB site … does that mean you maintain one there as well? [You see, just another thing I don’t know about FB.] D

      • Yeah, it is a time eater. The more friends you have and the more pages you like, the more stuff scrolls through your news feed. I have made some great acquaintances there and get to see a lot of awesome places. I have two pages there … me and also a photography page. I have not seen much of an uptick in visitation via Facebook. But I don’t promote it much either. I do remember the plate spinner. I also remember the horn-honking seals and the introduction of the Beatles along with many others. I don’t think Topo Gigio would make it today.

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