Random Revisited #3 – How To Find Time For Photography

Random Revisited is a series of posts where I use the WordPress random post generator to revisit a post in the 35hunter archives, then compare it with where I am now and see how my photography has evolved.

You can see all Random Revisited posts so far here.

This time around the random post is from September 2017 – How To Find Time For Photography.

Back then…

I spoke about the struggle many of us have in making time for photography. I listed the four different areas of photography related activities I engaged in, and how I found time for each of them.

Where am I today? 

Let’s check in and update each area.

Research and Inspiration

This covers photography books, as well as blogs, Flickr, and other sites online, and is very similar to where I was in late 2017.

I picked up The Art Of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum again a couple of weeks ago, after not touching it for a few months. It’s a book to get your teeth into, to say the least, and I expect I’ll be dipping into it for months to come.

Online I enjoy a small group of blogs, and read perhaps two or three new posts a day. A couple I’ve found recently and now follow are –

Transactions With Beauty , which features lovely photographs, poetry and thought provoking posts. Very aptly named.

Gretchen’s Fireside Five, which has some wonderful pinhole and Holga photos and makes me want to reach for pinhole cameras again myself.

Finding time for these is quite easy and can be done in a break at work, some downtime in the evening, whilst waiting for a child in a class or club, and so on, I can fit these in fine.

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Social and Sharing

In this section I would include my own blog, both writing new posts and responding to comments. Plus interacting on other people’s blogs.

In September 2017 I wrote five new posts. This year I’ve been publishing every 36 hours which equates to about 20 posts a month.

So am I spending four times as long on my blog than back then?

Perhaps. But I think I’m probably more efficient with writing now, and don’t write long posts so often.

Comments in September 2017 sat at 80, and May 2019 is finished with over 370. Four times the publishing rate has resulted in over four times the comments, and I must be spending more time responding.

Currently it feels manageable. With my rejuvenated unplugged weekends, over the other five days of the week I would guess I spend maybe five or six hours in total writing new posts and answering comments.

I have a good chunk of time Friday afternoons when my son is in trampoline class (2h15m!) plus usually another couple of evenings I’ll spend 60-90 mins. Then comments mostly fit in between.

One reason I can maintain this also is, aside from 35hunter and the blogs I follow and support, I have virtually no other social media.

No Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram etc, and the conversation on Flickr is all but non-existent too, so I use it mostly for backing up and organising my photos, and sharing them here.

Where others might spend hours a week on each of these social outposts, I focus that time on blogging, which works so much better for me. Oh I don’t watch much TV either.

Editing and Processing

In the original post, my editing and processing involved LightRoom and converting RAW files to JPEG. This has changed significantly.

Where possible I use JPEGs straight out of camera, and my Pentax Q and Lumix LX3 give me delicious black and whites with no further processing.

When I do need to process, I use Snapseed to add a little contrast and drama, with a few presets. This takes about 13 seconds per image.

Whichever camera I use, the photos get downloaded to my MacBook, then automatically sync with Google Photos. I then edit on my phone or iPad in the Google Photos app, and by edit I mean sift through and delete those I don’t want to keep.

All of this is much easier to pick up in spare moments, rather than needing the dedicated longer periods of time I was committing to with the LightRoom approach.

So I’m saving time as well as money (LightRoom was £10+ a month, GooglePhotos £1.59).

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Making Photographs

Back in 2017 I talked about two types of photowalks. Short sessions, often at lunch breaks where I’d take a few shots. Then the longer more deliberate photowalks of 60-120 minutes.

As I wrote about very recently, I’ve all but dropped the short walks of “stolen photography” as I could never get into the same flow and immersive state as with the long walks.

I still walk as often, but almost never with a camera.

Which I believe makes me appreciate and enjoy the long photowalks more than ever, and make specific time for them.

In summary

So overall, I probably make a little more time for photography than I did nearly two years.

Partly by dedicating more hours per week, but partly having simplified and honed some of my approaches, meaning those hours are pretty well optimised for my needs.

How do you make make time for photography in the different ways it appears in your life? 

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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6 thoughts on “Random Revisited #3 – How To Find Time For Photography”

        1. I think anyone who blogs is by definition sharing part of themselves, and their lives. That’s the point. The original blgos (weblogs) were literally like online diaries.

          There are some which are set up more like an online portfolio of images, poems etc. But even those of course you’re sharing part of yourself in your work.

          I’m not sure how you could be a blogger and not talk about yourself and your life, then invite others to do the same. Without that mutual sharing of ideas and experiences, a blog wouldn’t exist!

  1. I was just today wondering how to find more time for photography. (And cycling) My schedule at work just changed so I’m planning to block out more hours during the week to do these things, weekends are just getting too full. Interesting that your comments have gone up that much, I hadn’t noticed. It seemed to me that your average has been pretty good for years. I don’t even own a TV, but occasionally watch with my housemate. TV has always ranked very low on my fun meter. I am almost off of social media, but since that the only way I keep in touch with some folks, I can’t seem to give it up. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks for your kind words Jon.

      I think with the comments, if you averaged it out per post, they’d be pretty consistent over the last year to 18 months. What has changed is since January I’ve been publishing every 36 hours, so I’ve had more comments in total over this period.

      Average per post is about the same, perhaps slightly down comparing 2018 to 2019 so far.

      There does come a sweet spot where people can only read and write so much.

      If I posted a blog every day, I wouldn’t expect my overall comments to go up in proportion as some readers would not want to read something new that often, or rather couldn’t keep up with that schedule. I know I wouldn’t!

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