This Is Not A Photography Blog

A comment on a recent post really got me thinking about 35hunter and why I write here.

Despite what you might think, this is not a photography blog.

Neither is it a camera blog, or a cycling or bicycle blog.

Those subjects do feature, but they’re not at the core.

What is central to 35hunter is right there in the tag line – hunting for beauty and balance.

This is what I’ve been doing for most of my life – sometimes more consciously than others, and sometimes more effectively than others – and I suspect it’s exactly what you’ve been doing for most of your life too.

Without beauty, it’s very difficult to see the meaning of the world around us, or to make any sense of the chaos.

Without balance, we career and crash from one place (or day or person or addiction) to another, never really feeling fulfilled or satiated for long, if at all.

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Beauty need not literally be a beautiful object.

Like me, you might just as readily find beauty in a rusting bicycle in the woods, or a decaying door as in a delicate rose in full bloom, or the curve of a hip.

The need, and the quest to find this beauty, in whatever forms it takes, remains the same.

It drives us forward with eyes hungry and heart wide open.

Cameras serve many purposes for many different people. For me, they enable and heighten that hunt for beauty and balance.

Whether that’s hunting for a device that itself I find beautiful to look at, hold, and use, or the way it allows me to capture forever a scene or object in front of me that contains subjective beauty.

Beauty can also be found in the way a device works, and the union we’re able to create with it.

I’ve spoken repeatedly in the past here about finding invisible cameras.

But again it’s not about the inanimate object – that particular combination of metal, glass, plastic or silicon.

It’s about the feelings that object enables us to experience and channel.

It’s the same with bikes.

They can literally be objects we find beautiful to behold. Or, the way they enable us to do something we can’t do as well (or at all) without them can be the most beautiful aspect.

My bikes allow me to reach some of my favourite local photo haunts that would take too long walking. I get the bonus on the way of extra fresh air and exercise and immersion in nature, and the financial and environmental saving of not using a car. These are all great pluses for me.

Once again it’s back to the emotions they enable us to feel, how they help us in this hunt.

At various times in the past (and for some of these, still currently) I’ve been heavily into writing poetry, making music, painting, salsa dancing and yoga. And for each of these passions, there have been tools that I’ve enjoyed because they’ve enabled me to go further and deeper into the experience.

It’s not about the tools though – the notebooks, the guitar pedals, the paint rollers, the shoes or the yoga mat.

It’s about the gateways they open and the paths that unfurl ahead.

It’s about the connection they enable us to make with something else we can’t usually find, and how by using them often we then find these connections more easily and more deeply.

I think people only really do anything because of the feelings it gives them.

Sometimes it’s a more healthy approach and outcome than others, but there’s always some underlying motivation – to get closer to a certain feeling.

Sometimes it’s a feeling that’s not positive but its familiarity gives some perverse kind of comfort. So we repeat the habits that take us there.

And so the reason I’ve written thousands of poems, recorded hours of music, painted dozens of pictures, made hundreds of thousands of photographs, danced a million steps and rolled out my yoga mat thousands of times all comes back to that hunting.

All of these passions gave me a deeper and more direct route to finding beauty and balance, and to feeling happy, at peace, the world making some kind of sense.

I’ll say it again, this is not a photography blog.

It’s about the hunt for beauty and balance – mine and yours and all of ours – and that core reason for 35hunter’s existence remains as strong as when I began writing it three years ago.

Thank you for being a fellow hunter…

10 thoughts on “This Is Not A Photography Blog”

    1. Thanks Jess. It’s a lifelong search, and has to be that way, because we keep evolving as people. What we love in our teens changes as we go into our 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. Though I think actually it’s well worth remembering what we loved most in childhood and trying to find ways to recreate it in adulthood.

  1. Dan, I missed having a question in your post. I’ll make a comment anyway….I hunt for JOY in my life and find it everywhere. Glad we hunt together, Dan xoxo susanJOY

    1. The missing question was intentional, thank you for noticing Susan! I was just curious how people would comment with no specific prompt. 😀

      Yes, hunting for joy is esssentially the same, joy is another version of beauty in my eyes.

      Thanks as always for reading and commenting.

  2. Hi Dan,
    Firstly, can I say that I came across your blog whilst looking at a ebay listing,the seller had a link in his description of a lens to your blog… if I’m to be brutally honest I probably would not of come across the blog had it not been for me looking for that lens, why ??? well its been mentioned here many times that many blogs are just camera reviews or arty farty views on crap pictures…which bore me to death….. you recently asked for the reasons why the drop in comments on your postings, you have concluded from the comments in relationship to the decline that “this is not a Photography blog”….. Dan, I ask you this question…. Draw up 2 columns, One for “non photography related posts” and the other “photography related posts”….this will clearly define what “your” blog is about…. it would be interesting to see what the ratio is….

    Dan, in all respect…. this current posting brings the following thought to mind..

    You can kid some of the people some of the time but you cant kid all the people all the time… You, may think its not a Photography blog…. but in my mind it has “clear links to photography” be it through your writings or the comments made by people who themselves have photography blogs,camera reviews, photography interests or just plain old links etc etc… Oh, and of course lets not forget the many photos you post alongside the writings….
    Is this an issue for me… no, not really… why??…. because its not “my blog” its yours, and its you that it has to please …. not me…. if your happy with thinking its not ” A photography blog ” then that’s fine as well, but please don’t ask me to agree …. sorry

    BR

    Lynd

    1. Lynd, thanks again for your thoughts and comments.

      I think my point was photography is just one of a number of pretty major aspects in my life over the years that have allowed me to get closer to being happy and content, or put another way, finding beauty and balance in life.

      Photography is one of these, as are cycling and yoga currently.

      When I started 35hunter my main vehicle for the hunting was indeed photography, but not long before it had been dancing (which I would say I was more obsessed with than photography even) and since then cycling has returned. I’m sure there will be other “vehicles” in the future – either returning from the past, or brand new.

      I anticipate that 35hunter will continue and absorb and reflect these evolving interests, with the central theme of hunting for beauty and balance, or put a different way, finding what makes me happy.

      Maybe if my title for this had been this is not “just” a photography blog, it would have made more sense to you?

      Either way, it’s just labels, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t want to be constrained by being thought of as a photography blog – either in what and how I write, or what readers are attracted to the blog by. Because as you mentioned at the start, many/most photography blogs I think we both find very formulaic and dull.

  3. If you don’t want to call this a photography blog, then fair enough, but I think you will find it hard to convince some people, because to me it seems the majority of your previous posts are about photography, and that’s certainly how I found your blog. Also, I always thought the “35” in your blog title referred to 35mm film?

    1. Yes you’re at least partially write, as I wrote in my initial post three years ago –

      “35 is also my favourite film format, 35mm, the lens focal length I like using best (especially with compact cameras), and the approximate age I plan to remain for the rest of my life.”

      The 35mm film has pretty much disappeared, but 35mm is still my favourite focal length, and still my age. : )

      But as I’ve said to Lynd above, I was trying to just say that photography is just one medium or vehicle I use for hunting for beauty and balance, and there have been others in the past, present and future. I don’t want to limit 35hunter to being purely about taking photos and cameras. I don’t think it ever has been just about that, and I want to continue to let it evolve naturally.

  4. The result of your hunt for beauty and balance is, for me, a collection of captivating images and thoughtful commentaries all relating to the quest for creative expression.

    While I was initially drawn to your photographs, the evolution of your blog from finding (hunting for) the tools that allow creative expression to questions of aesthetics (beauty and balance) has been a good reminder of why I enjoy photography and creative endeavors in general.

    Thank you and keep up the good work!

    1. Peggy, yes yes yes! Thank you so much for understanding and getting what I’m talking about.

      And it’s not just creative expression in making tangible “art” but in all aspects of life.

      For me, finding beauty and balance means in perhaps more direct terms finding what makes me tick, happy and able to cope with the chaos of the big wide world.

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