One man's Odyssey: Seven years of photography blogging
It was in 2009 that it occurred to me to start a photography website. At the time I had made something of a name for myself in my home town as a landscape photographer. I had learned a great deal from other photo enthusiasts on the internet and felt myself ready to share something of what I had learned and experienced.
I used Apple’s MobileMe and iWeb to knock together a website. Looking back, the design is particularly old fashioned, although at the time I suppose it was quite avantgarde. So began my learning curve which continues until this day. When I look back at my earliest blog posts I am embarrassed by the naivety and the stiffness of the writing style. Silence reigns over the photographs: What I then understood by “post processing” would today be condemned as vandalism. By a stroke of good luck, however, for years I had been shooting RAW files so that many of these old pictures can be reincarnated in a more acceptable and impressive guise.
One of the main turning points in my “photographic” life (after the change to digital in 2001) was my discovery of the M9 in 2010. I don’t know, but I sat in front of my monitor and couldn’t believe the pictures I was seeing from this new camera (at the time I was running a Canon 5D II). Moreover, I reckon some ancient genetic memory must have been reawakened (or, perhaps, I was in receipt of post-hypnotic instruction). Anyway, it didn’t take long before I had the new Leica in my hands.
I don’t know what invisible drug Leica smears on the outside of its cameras, but from the very moment I first had the M9 in my hands, I felt I had discovered a new universe. It was a larger, more beautiful universe, and it was a universe seen through frame lines.
Naturally, I played all this out in the blog and I began to explore my very own rangefinder world. I am still here. Other cameras also inspire me—the Fuji X100 in its various guises, or the X-Pro1 are such objects of desire.
But everything flows, nothing remains the same. Along came the M240 and I was an early adopter. I am one of those people who always seek new horizons [Editor: Join the club]. Blog and content grew and Google Analytics showed that out there were people who were happy to read my website. I got to know many interesting and great people through the blog.
Last year my dalliance with iWeb became tedious and, at last, I decided to wipe away the cobwebs and start anew. I switched to a Wordpress-based website in a new, cool design.
The latest milestone in my Odyssey is the Leica Q, a camera that I bought after a great deal of procrastination. But once I had it, it became clear that I had totally underestimated its practical value. Or, perhaps, Leica had developed a more perfidious and potent drug to smear over the camera body. Nevertheless, I use the Q on fully equal terms with the Leica M and no camera has ever had this honour.
Back-to-back shooting: The Leica M with 28mm Summicron (left) and the Leica Q (right) competing on equal terms (click to enlarge)
But now we come to the simple reason for this historic diversion. A couple of days ago Mike Evans, who runs the successful Macfilos website in London, contacted me. Mike speaks good German and has followed my blog for some time. It had occurred to him that it could be a good idea to make some of my articles available to an English-speaking audience. Linking was an obvious option but it isn’t really a good idea to link to a foreign-language site that the majority of readers would be unable to understand.
In view of this he suggested the possibility of translating specific blog articles and then publishing them on his site. After I’d recovered my composure (after all, Macfilos has a large readership approaching a million annual page views) I found the idea highly attractive. Above all, the exchange of material would enable me to publish Macfilos articles in German, perhaps to the advantage of those who, for various reasons, are not such fluent readers of English websites.
Macfilos is non-commercial, as is my site, and concerns itself with technology (largely Apple), Leica and some other cameras such as Fuji. In this way we are totally complementary but, because of the language difference, non-competitive.
As an opening salvo I have translated Mike’s review of the Leica M262 and I am sure this is a theme that will interest my readers. I will follow this with something on the Fuji X-Pro2 which is also a camera that we Leica users have an affinity for.
I was so pleased to find that Mike thinks my site worthy of cooperation and wishes to add me to his list of illustrious co-authors. I am not such a hypocrite as to be unable to admit that I like having my ego stroked. I am enthusiastic and optimistic about this cooperation between our websites.
You can find me at home at Messsucherwelt.