Another month has passed. They keep doing that. Last month I talked about getting my groove back. That groove has stumbled a little bit in August, but I’ve kept a relatively decent pace up. Sure, there were only four posts in the month, but most of them – the first three at least – were all posted roughly to an internal schedule (near enough every Monday) but things stuttered a bit towards the end.
The first post of the month was The Hawk Conservancy, a post I only just didn’t complete in July. It was a post I was looking forward to publishing as I’d visited with some of the members of my family that enjoy taking photographs, and admittedly there was a bit of competition (whether they knew of any competition or not is another matter). I was also pretty pleased with the set; I’d employed some techniques I’d learnt way back in February at London Fashion Weekend and it was a nice feeling to employ them myself. In fact, it was this trip – and wanting to post the images a soon as possible – that pushed me into finally editing and publishing both London Fashion Weekend and my Dance Show images from the Greenwood, because I wanted to be able to talk about the processes used with the proper context. That sort of motivation always helps, it gives me a focus and a clear order to working through my backlog, which now has images near enough a year old that haven’t seen the light of day yet.
My next post was in a very similar vein. Crane Park Nature Reserve was a bit more recent a post from a random trip down to a nearby park we’d only just learnt existed. It also marked one of the first posts where I’d started playing about with Color Efex Pro 2, a plugin that accompanied HDR Efex Pro 2, for slightly different post-processing of images. At times my choice of filter perhaps bordered on clichéd, but I got some decent results. Particularly, the shots of my wife on the bridge, and the interesting way the ‘Indian Summer’ filter brought out the details in the photograph of the padlock. We didn’t explore every inch of the area so we’ll have to return there at some point and have another wander. I was also pleased to get some pretty good results from my more traditional styles of shooting, such as the stepping stone image to the right. Ironically there was little wildlife to photograph, so hopefully we’ll go back at a time when the ecosystem has recovered a little.
My third post was another one from my recent trip to Cornwall: Old Padstow Lifeboat, a more abstract set of images of an old lifeboat located at Land’s End. It made quite a difference from the nature-based posts that preceded it. I was pretty pleased with the results; I don’t often do completely abstract shooting like that so it’s nice when it works out. I also really love the orange livery of the RNLI’s lifeboats and it was good to see that after over 40 years it still had its colour.
My final post of the month was a quickie, By the Railway. Intended more as a water-testing post for a theme of images I’d been pondering for a while, it ended up being a bit rushed and not very well formed, the result of me missing my self-imposed ‘post every Monday’ schedule and not having anything else anywhere near ready to post. This was reflected in the reaction to the pos, which only collected three likes. In hindsight I should have sat down and put together another Instagram set rather than throwing something more complicated together and ending up with a worse result.
Looking at the stats, Creative Splurges had 297 hits in the month, down from the 686 hits in July but still one of the highest monthly totals in 2013. The Daily Photo, meanwhile (which is still plodding on regardless) had 98 hits, the lowest since May but is probably about average for a monthly total. The latter blog continues to gradually add followers, and now has 243. Creative Splurges is also not doing too badly and now is just shy of 400 followers at 393. Its cumulative follower total, consisting of blog followers, Tumblr followers, Facebook page followers and Twitter followers is also now just short of 500.
Speaking of Twitter, for once this month I’ve not been thinking about shutting down The Daily Photo but have instead been contemplating the future of the @CreativeSplurge Twitter account. It’s been around for over a year – since May 2012 – but despite 747 tweets in that time it’s still only collected seven followers. And one of those is my personal Twitter account. And another my wife. And one is the twitter account of “your one stop shop for forklift parts” which somehow makes me doubt the validity of the reasons it’s following me. Admittedly there hasn’t been much promotion of the feed – the Twitter links at the bottom of this page point to my personal account, for a start – but it still seems a bit low for an account that tweets regularly (admittedly again, they are mostly machine tweets). I’m toying with the idea of moving the tweets currently coming from that account to my personal account (which currently has 106 followers, making me some kind of big shot).
So what about next month? I have nothing planned at this point. I did have a trip down to this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival yesterday planned, but unfortunately some debilitating back spasms on Saturday evening put paid to that (it is also the reason why this post is a bit late: I was moving our broadband modem at the time so we were without internet for over a day as I was unable to reconnect it – save for Vodafone’s shoddy network).
I still have a decent-sized backlog to work through, but I’m now reaching the point where I have to tackle some of the big sets (which are almost a year old by now).
I also have been invited on a what I like to term a photography date by a friend I haven’t seen in a while which might take place in September. I also need to get down to the Greenwood at some point as my photographs are now on display up in the foyer.
All that aside, my main focus is going to be my backlog. Because sooner or later I’ll have finished working through it.
Thanks, as ever, for reading.
The Hawk Conservancy
Crane Park Nature Reserve
Old Padstow Lifeboat
By the Railway
London Fashion Weekend
Bournemouth Air Festival