35hunter And The Future Of Writing

Nearly three years after starting 35hunter, the time’s come for an important decision about its future.

When I began, the intention was to write about my ongoing photography journey. Back then I was using 35mm film compacts almost exclusively, having discovered film three years previously.

Indeed early draft titles included thirtyfivetwopointeight.com, after the lens spec of all my favourite cameras.

Knowing my life and interests comes in phases, I eventually settled on the less specific and more flexible 35hunter.

This worked on multiple fronts – a reflection of the type of photography I favoured at the time (35mm film), the age I’d decided to stay for the rest of my life, and the fact I was always hunting, whether for a camera, or something beautiful to capture with it.

I was of course wise to do this, as I oscillated between compacts and SLRs, before my (re)discovery of digital and how it offered me virtually all that film did (and sometimes more), saw me leave film and film cameras gathering dust on the shelf.

In the 33 months since, my photography has evolved, though I hope that this blog has offered a certain consistency in what I’m aiming for, and the quality of the writing.

Over the last couple of months I feel I’ve reached a watershed with photography.

I’m no longer endlessly chasing the next (almost) perfect camera, and have settled on five compact digitals for the vast majority of pictures, and a couple of film cameras for that increasingly unlikely occasion that I might want to shoot film again.

So I’ve arrived at a kind of endgame, which has meant taking a breath or two, before deciding where to go next with the pictures themselves. I’m in no rush.

This has coincided with a rejuvenated interest in bicycles (I might have mentioned it recently), spurred initially by wanting to find a more sustainable way to commute to work, and become fitter.

Then fuelled further by remembering that I actually love riding bikes and want to do it much more again. And explore different options that I never really did or could in the past.

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So as I see it, the immediate future of 35hunter (and blogging in general for me) can go one of two ways.

Either write new posts for 35hunter that are only photography related as and when I’m inspired to, and see how often they come.

Plus start a new sister blog (35cyclist?) to write about my new adventures with bikes.

Or, and more simply, just merge the two passions together, and write about both photography, cycling, and everything interconnected here in one place on 35hunter.

This would not exactly be a revolutionary approach.

One of the blogs I read most often is Jim Grey’s Down The Road, which contains a fair chunk of posts about cameras and photography, but others on roads, bridges, buildings, cars, travelling, family, social media, blogging and sometimes politics and religion.

Its eclecticism is unified of course by Jim himself, and whilst I prefer some posts to others, it doesn’t ever feel like a disjointed or scattered blog.

So I think this is the likely approach I’ll take.

A couple of my other favourite blogs (Wouter28mm and Lovely Bicycle (Thanks for the tip Jon!)) both revolve around a core topic (photography and cycling respectively), but feature far wider reaching thoughts and subjects, and readily embrace how photography and cycling offer both metaphors for life, and help us get through the difficult times more unscathed that if we didn’t have them.

To you the reader, you of course have the choice as to what and how much you want to read.

I’d love for you to stick around, continue to read what you enjoy, and leave what you don’t.

I’d also welcome feedback (right now, and in the future) about 35hunter, what you enjoy about it and why. It helps encourage me to keep writing. And the blog would be a pretty lonely place without your conversation!

So please leave any thoughts you have on the evolving 35hunter (and indeed on how your own blog has evolved over time) in the comments below, I’m really interested to hear. 

(Oh and remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.

25 thoughts on “35hunter And The Future Of Writing”

  1. Bicycles, As transport, as absorbing mechanical objects: you had only to write and I am re-ignited after many years away, enlivened by the thought of a vintage three-speed, musculoskeletal wear and age notwithstanding. I have a line on a 1952 Raleigh. Cream and white. It is just up the street, only wanting rubber & tubes, brakes, a bit of wrench, squirt of oil. Perhaps a new seat.

    Dan, while folks may come for the conversation about photography (or bicycling, or the surprising vagaries of personal perspective and unforeseen shifts in tastes and mental furniture), they stay for you, and your take on the flow and swirl of life.

    We identify with that. Unless rigidly set in ways and beliefs, existence is a wide river of rich currents. Our courses alter, change, by attention to things in the flow. To do otherwise is to settle into the silt. So. The hunt for beauty is a mix of media, means and ways. No need to divide – in us, all is one. Let the bicycle carry all of you, a lunch, a camera, a library of topics.

    1. William, I would certainly go and take another look at that 1952 Raleigh…

      Thank you for your kind words, and, as with my favourite blogs where the subject is not of paramount importance if the writing is interesting anyway, I hope I provide some of that on 35hunter.

      “Hunting” covers a wide range of aspects of life – for the gear to use (bikes and cameras), for the people to spend time with, for the pursuits that make us feel most calm, most alive, most ourselves. The hunt is lifelong!

  2. I’m staying for the writing and take on life in your corner of the world. I like bikes, cameras and attempting to stay fit. My blog is on a variety of topics also so welcome to the club.

  3. The great thing about blogging is you can pretty much do whatever you want. Keeping two different blogs is more work, and the combination of the two subjects sounds pretty unique.

    1. Thanks Julie. Great points about the extra maintenance of two blogs. I like to keep things simple!

      Your blog is an ongoing inspiration for me, the depth and emotion and vividness of your writing is wonderful, and a constant reminder to try to up my game here.

  4. I am getting to that point too. I have started to sell some more loved cameras that I said I would keep. Now I have started I am finding it a bit easier. I can’t possibly use all the cameras I have so why not use the money I get from them on film for the ones I truly love. I can then blend my walking and camera posts into one venture. Go for it, we will still read.

    1. Just gets tiresome after a while doesn’t? For me having lots of objects just seems to add a mental and emotional weight that I could do without. Now at the point where all of my cameras fit on one shelf in a bookcase (a small shelf at that, about 0.4 x 0.2m) I’m very happy.

      Thanks for still reading!

      1. Exactly! I realised that after I left my last home. I had to sell or give away almost everything and I felt so light afterwards.

  5. Dan, I’m just hoping I don’t lose contact with you again so will follow along with your journey as long as it connects in some way with mine. You have renewed my passion for photography. Doing a blog doesn’t interest me anymore as never really got enough interest and conversation to keep me inspired xoxo susanJOY

    1. Susan, glad to hear you’ve been inspired to photograph more again. I think it’s something that is so simple, so fundamental, that it will manifest in some way for the rest of my life.

  6. Interesting. My blog started with a Cycling and Photography (plus a few other random things) focus and then evolved into photography only; as my cycling activity declined (much to my belly’s delight). I have been considering bringing back the cycling element with my bike(s) being the transportation for my photography exploits but so far failed.
    Good luck with your new direction. 🙂

      1. It’s a good question and one I ponder over often. There are two main reasons cycling became a frequent activity for me; commuting and group riding. Commuting is possible for me but most days I am ride sharing with my wife as she works across the street from me. She is not a cyclist and certainly a 15 mile each way cycle would be too much for her; even for me without access to a shower cyclin in the heat is not ideal for work here. So commuting at the moment is an occasional thing and needs planning. Group rides were a thing and I used to enjoy 30-60 rides with a group of very ft friends. For one reason or another (mostly moving to USA) I have lost touch with those friends and with the few that I have access to no they are above my current level and would find my speed frustrating I think. SO what I have been struggling with is trying to find either a new group of friends (at a similar level) local to me or finding more enjoyment in cycling alone. Alone has been okay to some extent but it doesn’t push you physically and I miss the social aspect which has always been a big part of cycling for me.

        1. Interesting to hear people’s experiences, which, as with photography are always varied.

          I’m almost the complete opposite of you, both photography and cycling I do as way to escape from the crowds!

          I used to ride once a week with my then best mate and we’d catch up on news, but I’ve never been part of a group or club. Just like to do things at my own pace and as and when I want.

          I do use mine to commute but like you the heat is a factor. I’ve done the commute (only 3.5 miles) on a regular MTB a few time but even taking it fairly easy I get uncomfortably hot. Don’t care if I’m just in my civvies and can change at home after, but I don’t want to be arriving at work sweating.

          We also have showers but it’s just not worth the time and effort for a 15-20min max bike ride to shower, change clothes etc. I’d have to leave earlier to make up the extra hours, it just wouldn’t be worth the time lost at home with family at the start/end of the working day.

          Which is why I got an ebike! It’s working very well, when I feel I’m getting a bit hot I can just ease off and let the motor do the work. Feels like cheating, but I bought the bike purely as commuter transport as a greener and cheaper and more enjoyable alternative to using a car and travelling approximately the same average speed as the bike of about 15mph due to traffic. Without ending up sweating and uncomfortable.

          Are there any local cycling groups you’re aware of that you could explore?

          When you said you share rides with your wife my first thought was of course a tandem.

          1. It’s not the heat that bothers me so much (living in Cali would make it impossible) it’s more turning up to work sweaty and uncomfortable for the day.
            I don’t mind cycling alone per se it’s just it get’s tedious after a while. I kind of learned to ride in a group (training for charity rides and such) and I am a social kind of guy so like the interaction. When I was in the UK, cycling with friends was kind of my escape from what could be described as loneliness.

  7. Please keep at it. Life is flux and that’s a good thing. Do what interests you and those of us who enjoy will follow. In the end what does it really matter? I love the mix of cameras and bicycles since I enjoy both also. So go for it !! We are all on a wonderful journey here on earth. One thing I’ve learned as of late is that it’s my journey, as yours is yours. Carry on !!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Lisa Marie.

      I think the blogs I enjoy most are ones that seem most genuine, people writing about what really interests them, rather than what they think people might want to read.

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