Five Years Of Blogging And Beyond

35hunter‘s first post debuted in December 2015, five years ago, when I was deep into 35mm film photography.

Five years later, I felt it might be a good time to reflect and review, ahead of the next phase – both in blogging, and photography.

In terms of audience growth and interaction on 35hunter, I’m really happy with how the readership has evolved.

Visits and views have gathered steadily, and in this fifth year it looks like settling at around 140000 views and 65000 visits for the year.

These are mind blowing numbers when I think it’s just little old me bashing away in my spare time. It reminds me of the amazing power the internet has to connect people all over the world.

I had no real goals for these numbers when I began, and still don’t.

The most important aspects of blogging for me are having an outlet to gather and share my thoughts, and a few people interested enough to want to talk about them too.

So with blogging, I have no plans to change anything.

A new post every three days works well as a frequency. It’s often enough for me to keep momentum and continuity, but not so frequent as it feels like I’m throwing posts together, blogging hand to mouth.

With photography, the last couple of months have seen me shoot less than any time previously in the life of 35hunter.

I still haven’t quite put my finger on why, though I’m not concerned.

In truth, the majority of pictures I’ve made this year have been of my family, and most of these by a long way have been shot with my Sony Android phone.

It’s more than good enough image quality, simple to use (I have it set up so a double press of the power button wakes it from sleep and instantly opens the camera app) and a bit of tweaking in Snapseed gives results I’m plenty happy with.

Perhaps this family aspect has played a larger factor in my photography practices than I’ve realised.

Having three children now has meant less time, and less desire to escape on my own into the woods or an ancient rural church.

On other photography projects, my One Month, One Camera (OMOC) venture is just finishing its second year, and has been a resounding success, especially in helping me find that balance between focus and variety.

Having too many cameras to choose from overwhelms me and makes me anxious, plus I end up second guessing whether I made the right choice once I’m out in the field.

But the thought of just one camera for a longer period than a month still seems too restrictive.

As much as I adore certain foods like greek yogurt and Green & Blacks 85% dark chocolate, I wouldn’t want to eat them every meal, for days on end.

I like a little variety with my camera choice, just at a slower pace than a different camera every time I go out to shoot – or taking multiple cameras out with me like I know some like to.

So it’s no surprise that I plan to continue the OMOC project in 2021 – not every single month, but probably more of them than not, as with the last two years.

On the gear front, I’d like to reduce further.

I have a handful of lenses I haven’t used in ages, and would rather see them go to someone who’ll put them to frequent good use. So I’ll dust them off (not literally, they’re safely boxed!) and offer them out some way or other in the new year.

If anything, the wider events of this year have made me appreciate the simple things in life even more.

Family, walking, food, photography, books, music. These are so fundamental to my life – and no doubt to yours too – that they’re not likely to change much next year – or any year!

How about you? How has the last year been for you, your photography, and if you have one, your blog? What plans do you have for the coming year?

As always, 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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15 thoughts on “Five Years Of Blogging And Beyond”

    1. Glad you made the most of limited outdoor time by taking home classes Sherry. Learning that I’m sure will influence your photography for the months and years ahead.

  1. I made more photos in 2020 than in any year before in my life. It was a sort of therapy against the pandemic and the constant adapting I had to do in it.

    As for my blog, it is entering a new era. Trouble is, I don’t know what that era will be about. My blog has had four different eras: the “what am I doing here” era, the road-trip era, the camera-review era, and now the learning-and-experimenting-with-film-photography era. But I think I’m running out of steam on the current era. I’ve done about all the experimenting I care to. I just want to make photographs. That doesn’t mean I won’t still do all of the other things, but that I will do them less. I don’t know what this means for the blog just yet.

    1. Ha, I think my blog will be in a “what am I doing here” era forever!

      I think as a fairly longer term reader (at least as long as I’ve had this blog anyway) even though you may have identified these eras, you still write about a range of topics that impact you, and I’m sure that will continue. Maybe you’ll just blog less often.

  2. My wife ans I had two major changes this year. We packed up after 47 years in the same home and moved four miles down the road. We contracted to sell the old house and buy the new one just as COVID-19 was beginning to be mentioned in the news. By the time the necessary work on the new place was completed and we were ready to move, New Jersey was in full lockdown. Fortunately our governor had included moving companies on his list of essential businesses so we were able to complete the move on schedule. So we went from being free in the old place to being locked up in the new place. It’s hard to know how much of our feeling of disconnection is due to the move or to the lockdown.

    My photography has slowed to a crawl. My long standing goal was, and still is, to develop one 12-exposure roll of film every week. Looking through my binder of proof pages recently I saw that I have developed just ten rolls so far in 2020. (I do have two cameras with partly used rolls so that number could go up a bit) I did print some of my father’s and my old negatives but have not hung any of them yet in the new place.

    My blog has also suffered. I suspect that some people waiting for the next installment of my series on bulk loading 35mm film may have given up by now.

    1. Doug, has your photography slowed because of less opportunity to go to places to make photographs? Or because your desire to has waned? I think in difficult times I take solace in familiar patterns and routines, so for me blogging has been a pillar of stability amid the storms.

  3. I lack your self-discipline for consistent and persistent posting.
    No, I have it but since I’m retired I don’t need it.
    “Whatever, whenever” is my motto now.
    Zen and the Art of Blogging.

    1. Funnily enough Marc I just mentioned in another reply that blogging has been a source of stability and normality for me this year. I probably need it more now than say a year ago! I take solace in the regular creativity and contact.

  4. “So with blogging, I have no plans to change anything.”
    Well, I hope so! Because I really love the way you get us thinking about little aspects of our lives (and of photography in it). This is at the same time small but profound things. It’s very similar to what photography can bring: stimulating our ability to look at small things to see the beauty behind it.
    How was 2020? Probably best defined as a year during which I continued to look at knowing myself better, rediscovering philosophy in the process, which I loved when I was in high shcool, and photography (quite happy that I kept my LX3 despite I had forgotten it a bit!).

    1. Thank you Joël, appreciate you saying. The beauty is in the details! I think 2020 has caused many of us to look at a great deal of our lives more closely, and appreciate all we have, and what’s most important.

  5. 140000 views and 65000 visits for the year is impressive. Congratulations. My blog is 17 years old this year and I’ll be lucky to get quarter that number.

    I started and stopped writing about how my year has been. Too much personal loss. Too much personal disappointment

    Bill Keane is oft quoted as saying : “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”

    Last year was a bag of rocks, next year is a coin toss, and this year I wish was history.

    1. Thanks Khurt. I think when we write our own blogs we can be very selective with what we share and publish. I’ve deliberated steered clear of talking much about the pandemic, even though it’s had a more dramatic and wide reaching impact on everyone’s lives than anything else I can recall in my lifetime. And over here is still spreading more than ever, with most of the country under “stay home” tier 4 lockdown. I’d rather continue to focus on and share what’s positive in my photography, and wider life.

  6. Let’s see… in the last year my photography did increase in output a bit, compared with the previous year, which was an all-time low. I also bought some new pieces of gear which I have been excited about.
    For he future… I’m thinking about a blog again, perhaps something that combines my faith and photography. Probably different from what people here would want to read, but I think it would have its own appeal. We’ll see…

    1. Chris I’m sure there’s a niche there, as there is in many hobbies crossed with a religious faith. How does your faith influence how you photograph? I wouldn’t have thought it has much impact or connection.

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