Why Are You Here?

I follow perhaps only 20 blogs at any one time, but frequently hit the Random button for inspiration on Seth Godin’s outstanding blog.

The other day it led me to this post about the purpose of a website.


Which got me thinking (as his posts usually do) about the point of 35hunter, and why it exists. 

My answer today is threefold.

1. To provide a place for me to write down and figure out where I’m going with my photography (and the rest of my life!).

2. To share photographs of things I’ve found beautiful and interesting that might usually be passed by without it glance, and ask if you might enjoy them too.

3. To provide a place where fellow photographers, writers and thinkers can exchange ideas, experiences and insights in an friendly and encouraging atmosphere.

So why are you here?

I’d love to hear what drew you to 35hunter – and why you keep returning. Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for looking.

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25 thoughts on “Why Are You Here?”

  1. I’m mostly here for number 3. You have done a great job of building such a community, and there are very few blogs like yours out there!

    1. Thank you Mel. Very glad to hear that’s working for you. I think when I began in 2015 there were a few more readers that had their own blogs too, like yourself, but if anything that’s reduced somehow, and many commenters here now don’t seem to have their own equivalent/similar space online, which is a real shame.

      1. Agreed! I miss the days when everyone was blogging… remember Windows Live Spaces? and of course LiveJournal and Blogger!

      2. I started out with Blogger. Before Google owned it. Alas looking at blogs still on that platform, the design and interface doesn’t seem to have changed since about 2004!

    1. Thanks Katie, that’s really helpful to know and I appreciate you saying.

      I think with a well written blog the subject matter and the post titles might be what draw people initially, but then the writer and how they write is why the reader stays. Certainly true for me and many of the blogs I follow (yours included).

      As with many hobbies, the actual act of making pictures is just the top layer. Below that, the driving reasons, the associated emotions and passions are common to most of us. This is why I dislike technical photo blogs. When it’s all about the gear and the numbers there’s little chance to connect with all that underlies it, it’s all surface and no feeling. Maybe some pople are just interested in tech spec, but it’s not my approach.

      1. Yup, I’m with you. I follow a few blogs but I realise that they’re on a variety of subjects and not just about my own topic of anxiety and depression. (This was what my blog was initially about but it has rather moved on.). You’re right, in the end we’re drawn to people and the way that they write rather than the subject matter.

      2. Actually what drew me to your blog initially was the title, which remains probably the most intriguing and memorable title for I blog I’ve come across. The first post I read was one where you’d returned after a hiatus and was quite angry. Subsequent posts have been quite different, and I’m glad I continued (and continue!) following.

  2. Dan, your posts often challenge me to question my own choices, workflow or focus. For the same reason, I still follow Eric Kim’s blog. I know many people don’t like him, but between all shameless self-promotion and quirky philosophies, he sometimes writes stuff that actually makes sense.

    All other photography blogs that I have followed in the past are, unfortunately, more or less silent after their makers have started to focus on Instagram.

    1. Thanks Robert, I do like to ask questions and understand the underlying motivation for doing what we do, in the way we do it. Rather than just drifting along mindlessly!

      I followed Eric Kim for a while. He did indeed write some interesting blog posts. The major stumbling block for me was he was giving all kinds of advice about street photography, when, in my humble opinion, I think perhaps only once did I see an image of his I found excellent. The rest were so mediocre. If people aspire to take photographs like him, as he is so popular, it’s just going to dilute what people might otherwise be capable of on their own. If that makes any sense!

      In short, great blogger, but couldn’t see the fuss about his actual photography.

      Instagram I just do not get… Let’s leave it there for now! : )

  3. That blog post is a great reminder, Dan. Thank you. I sometimes hit that random button as well. Then I enter into the search box the subject or topic of the post I landed on to see if there might be an update. At the link he wrote a follow up a couple years later. By the way, I thought you have a blog and not a marketing website (which is what Seth is talking about) … different animal, yes? https://seths.blog/2015/05/pretty-websites/

  4. Dan, I came to the site as I was buying a lens from ebay and the seller had a link to your site… as a review of said lens…. after subbing, I admittedly followed every post you made… sitting in anticipation waiting for the next to drop into the inbox, and of course sometimes I was enthused by what you had written and sometimes I wasn’t but that’s a natural part of reading blogs anyway…. what keeps me coming back….. two points…. point one is the writing …. the way you express your thoughts etc…. and point 2… I like the “themes” you follow/develop…. like the fairly new one of ..”camera a month”…. for just one example…Will I carry on visiting…. you bet…. as we say…here in Blighty… Keep calm and carry on…. cheers…. Lynd….

    1. Ah yes, I remember now Lynd. Which lens was it, do you remember?

      Thank you for your kind words, glad you enjoy 35hunter.

      I’m liking the themes/series posts too, it gives more structure I think and aids me in coming up with new ideas.

  5. Dan, Yes….. it was the Flektogon 35mm 2.8, if memory serves me right…. I do like the themes/series side of things on your blog…. and yes it does add structure which helps to not only new ideas but also it gives different views from readers in the comments…(like now)….all adding to the mix… ensuring a interesting blog and not just a interesting post….if that makes sense…. br Lynd

    1. Oh yes, I still have the Flektogon, mine’s a 35/2.4. My most recent trip with the GF1 was with the Flek attached. Stunning lens.

      Yes the rest of what you say makes sense. I always see my initial post as a starting point for the conversations, and others then add their valuable input. And quite often a tangential conversation in the comments gives me an idea or two for a future post, so it all feeds itself and grows organically.

  6. You have built something here that I don’t see so much on my own blog yet Dan (although its early days for me yet by comparison). Nice photography and pleasant chat.
    I make a point of not being so interested in gear at all on mine but I do find some discussions about it worthwhile sometimes – I can’t just forget my previous photo gear-centred life. Luckily it doesn’t come to MTF graphs and test shot comparisons here, I wouldn’t be a follower of that.

    1. Thanks Bear, but I disagree especially about the photography on your blog!

      I think it’s inevitable we talk about gear because we all have to use it. Photography only becomes photography if we use some kind of apparatus to capture the image – aside from our own eyes and memories.

      That said, like you I’m not interested in photographs of newspapers taped to walls, intricate lens spec comparisons, and endless discussions on chromatic aberrations at 100% crop…

      There are many aspects to a camera that I value higher, not least of all that almost undefineable feel and chemistry that no spec sheet can really explain until you hold the camera in your hands…

  7. Dan, I discovered your essays during a time when I was beginning to sharply question my desire or inclination to be involved (quite limited by design though my own circle may be) with the tangled-up, messy subculture of the web. You were exploring what I suppose would sort of be considered philosophical and process-oriented ideas about blogging itself and the timing was interesting for me to be exposed to some of them. It’s clear you’ve worked diligently to facilitate intentional community which can be a hazardous endeavor and so I’m pleased to see your efforts have borne fruit and steadily taken on a life of their own over time. It’s with some regret I’ve been mostly a lurker about your site thus far (I’ve left a few plinky notes, at least). Every time I think of something at least half-witted to say, someone else comes along and robs me of my originality and we certainly don’t need any more clucky copycatters. At any rate, I do appreciate your earnestness and it’s always a pleasure to see the different images you’ve been making…..

    1. Thank you for your words, they’re much appreciated. As you know, I greatly enjoy your writing and your blog is one of only about 20 I follow.

      I started out this blog intending only to write about photography really – the “concept” was (and is) hunting for beauty with cameras, and the hunting for the cameras that make this most instinctive and enjoyable.

      It was always my intention to try to encourage a community, but not really to write about blogging, which sometimes feels a little foolish – 1. Because whilst I’ve been blogging for perhaps 15 years in some form now, I have little “expertise” in the technical and monetary sides. I just write, share photographs and try to ask open questions so the reader joins in. That doesn’t take much learning or skill. 2. Because goodness knows there are already far too many writing about blogging, and as with many niches, there seem to be more people writing about how to do it, gain thousands of followers and make a ton of money (with wildly varying credibility) and I don’t want to add to that melee.

      So I write with caution about blogging, but hopefully offer enough of use, and stay humble enough not to patronise or alienate people!

      Much of the time, as with photography, I write about what I like in other blogs, and which of those aspects I’ve been inspired enough to try to create my version of here with 35hunter.

      I’m very glad you’ve gained something from reading.

      Oh and you don’t have to be bitingly originally or searingly witty to leave a comment, please just say what you feel about any posts that resonate with you and/or encourage you to think and ask questions.

  8. I adore art of all kinds- egyptian, klimt, i have a photographic memory , i remember things in pictures, but not technically. i have a rudimentary knowledge of what makes a good photo compositionally but really i read this for a different perspective to feed into my brain. I derive my output from lots of different sources of input. Ironically, the small rural town with long winters leads to much creativity among the dwellers, but it is ALL country art. While I’m inspired by nature here, I’m not inspired by nature copied. I don’t read many blogs, this one is a refresh, like the tiny creek that turns and becomes a rush of water. It makes me stop.

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