Theme update…

Damn.

I’ve been using the same theme since the day I began this blog so long ago. Hold it… how long ago was it?

I opened up on 19 February, 2008.

Wow.

I knew I had started this thing not too long after purchasing my first dSLR (in December 2007), but it doesn’t really feel as if it has been almost 3.5 years. That’s longer than most every job I’ve held!

Anyway… Don’t think this change is change for the sake of change. Nope. Nothing that banal. I’m comfortable with… well… comfortable. I don’t usually feel the need to mix things up if only because I have that urge. Instead, this change has been brought about for a couple of reasons.

First, I had grown weary of the font size on my original theme (which was, if you weren’t around previously): a white-on-black theme. It was a smaller-sized font and this made it tiring to read at length in my opinion. Seeing how the blog is mine my opinion does have some weight and merit.

Second, and perhaps related to font size, was the problem with colour-shift of the font. It was common to notice a slight greying of the white letters at the periphery of my vision and while my eyes may now be 46-plus years old I remain 20/20. I can only imagine how irritating it may have been for others venturing to this online tome.

Third, and again related to font size, I have recently purchased a new laptop, which is actually a 13.5-inch variant as opposed to my previous laptops all being 15.6-inches. This had the unfortunate affect of making the already smallish font appear even smaller on this smaller screen. And as I do most of my postings for WP on the laptop… well…

Fourth and finally, besides wanting to address the font issues I wanted a theme which appeared simpler. Neater. Cleaner. Lighter. The dark white-on-black looked and felt heavy. While I have liked it up until very recently my opinion had changed of late and I believe I would have made this change even without the font issues.

However, while fiddling with the various options available to this WP theme I noted a handful of upgrades which could be had for a price. For instance, there is an option to alter both the font and font sizes for the header, titles and text. Cool. But it’s $30/year. Personally that seems a bit steep to me, but I am curious.

I have no intention of becoming a coder so that I can make my own blog, etc., preferring to leave such matters to the experts at WordPress. But I’m not certain I can justify $30/year for font creativity just so that I can more personalize my blog. Yet… I am intrigued and wonder if the $30/year price is per blog or per account. This is important because I have more than one WP blog, but they are all under one account. It would seem to me a more reasonable expense if I were able to utilize such across multiple blogs.

I think I’ll check into that.

So there you go. New theme. New style. Hell… I even changed my header picture to something different just to mix things up a bit. Just a bit. Oh! And since this is a blog dedicated to photography, how about a photo?

The Daughter

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Really….I’m trying my best. No. Really.

Having been on something akin to a sabbatical for many, many weeks, I have been, of late, attempting to get back into the full swing of life that is related to photography.

This means not only taking pictures, which I have done a bit of, but catching up on sites such as WordPress and Flickr. It also entails the knowledge that I have loads of pictures sitting upon my hard drive, anxiously awaiting my deft touch at processing.

Ahem.

Besides feeling the simple urge to get away from photography a bit, I have also delved into other matters, which have been keeping me both busy and occupied. Part of the current problem of catching up with photography-stuff is that I’m not letting go of the new things to which I have been engaged. Thus time becomes even more fleeting and is a rather large impediment to any sense of accomplishing tasks both necessary and desired each day.

But I promise, like a holy oath, that I’m working on catching up with everyone’s WordPress and Flickr site as well as moving forward to working on my own photographs and photography blogs. Thus far I’ve found it easier to play catch up with everyone else’s work than on my own. I’m still feeling something of a sensation to push away from the computer whenever I contemplate opening up my folders and going through my own work.

I cannot tell if this is just me reacting to a perceived lack of accomplishment in my photography or if it is something more sinister. No. That isn’t right. There isn’t anything more sinister afoot. You know…..upon reflection (and I’ve spent a fair amount of time reflecting on my photography while not actually doing any photography) I might be willing to concede that there is something of a crisis in faith going on here, which is really quite pathetic.

A number of folks I follow around WordPress and Flickr create fantastic images. Images I very much enjoy and hope that perhaps one day I’ll be able to create on my own. But the impediment to this creativity is myself. As I’ve lamented previously, I’m not a particularly creative person. So, if I know this fact about myself in advance, why should I feel anxious that I’m not creating pictures that are as interesting, etc. as those done by others, who are clearly gifted with creativity?

It would be like me envying Michael Jordan his basketball skills or Thierry Henry his football skills when I’m completely rubbish at sport because I’m hopelessly uncoordinated. And I don’t envy them their skills. But maybe that is because I haven’t ever had an interest in being a sports star, where I have thought it would be nice to be a player in the world of photography. Not a big player, but a player.

But you know something (yes, I imagine you must know something)…..now that I type this thought here, into WordPress, I realize how completely stupid it sounds. Not that my assessment is stupid, as it’s likely correctly. No, what’s stupid is that I feel this way at all.

Maybe I have to look at creativity from the context of who I am. Am I being creative for my own purposes instead of judging such against those whose work I admire and think of as being creative. I guess it is, in part, that we all aspire to believe or feel that we are really good/great at something and photography is one of those things for me. But I can live without being good or great at it. As long as I can derive pleasure from the act of photography then I should be happy enough and this is where I should be focusing my energies.

There….all better.

“On my way to somwhere civilised”

Earlier this year I became involved in a group project of sorts with an assortment of folks I had met through Flickr and/or WordPress. The idea was for members to take in turns the creation of a monthly subject/topic for all of us to shoot. We would post the image or images (no more than five) to our Flickr accounts and then write about them on WordPress and include the photo(s). So far it has been an interesting endeavor and turned out far better than I had originally hoped.

This month’s topic was a bit of a challenge for me (for reasons that will become obvious shortly), but I managed to put together an idea and it yielded results that pleased me to no end for a handful of reasons. As such, I’ve decided to copy the WordPress entry for my December 2008 submission here, on my main WordPress site.

Please to enjoy…..

Title: All Roads Lead to Rome

Let me tell you……this month’s topic, Street Antiquity, has been very, very difficult. Certainly the whole purpose of this endeavor was, and remains, to stretch ourselves a bit. To try the unfamiliar. To stretch the meaning of the topic. To render it in our own particular vision. But this time I was having no small problem determining how I could stretch my lens, so to speak, around this particular topic.

Certainly the obvious sprung to mind. The notion of shooting old buildings or structures found on, or as our British counterparts prefer, in the street was the most obvious route and not one to be scoffed at either. Of course, our British counterparts have things a bit easier in this regard as their fine island nation is rife with very old and antiquated structures. One need only exit their door, turn left, walk fifteen minutes and voila! There will no doubt be some home or pub built in the mid-sixteen-hundreds just begging to be photographed.

But what was I to do? Certainly I could find some older structures upon some road….there’s a farm house not far from here, which was built in the mid eighteen hundreds, but that hardly feels like antiquity. So I have been giving this particular subject great thought over these weeks of December and had come away with the idea of shooting some older buildings in the downtown Dayton area. As such I took to my vehicle this afternoon and headed down towards the city, but made a minor detour to a certain older neighborhood where I had hoped to grab a few photographs of holiday decorations.

While out of my car and moving around the road looking for the best angles, etc. I happened to notice something rather shiny upon the rain-moistened roadway..

IMG_4298

“What’s this?” thought I as I bent down to obtain a closer look. To be frank my first impression was that it was a dime (a 10-penny piece, if you will), but closer examination revealed that it was indeed a coin, but no coin of recent minting. Curious and anxious I snapped a few shots of the coin laying there on the wet bricks before picking it up and returning to my car. Further examination revealed nothing to me…..it was crudely struck, clearly old and tasted of silver. “This could be something valuable!” raced through my mind so I elected to cancel the rest of my journey as planned and instead drove to a local stamp and coin shop.

The proprietor examined my find for a few minutes, referenced a page in some book, placed the coin upon the counter and said to me “Congratulations! You have found a Roman silver denarius.”

“What? Really? Get out of here.” was my knee-jerk retort, but he continued “Yeah, the head is the likeness of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and was no doubt minted some time during his reign, which was…..” he glances back at the page in the book, “….161 to 180 A.D. Where did you find it, if you don’t mind my asking?”

I managed to stammer something about one of our oldest local roads just south of downtown Dayton and mentioned that it was just laying there..upon the remnants of this long-ago-built road. “Amazing,” he replied.

So there you go folks…..clearly this coin of a long forgotten realm was dropped by maybe a Roman Centurion making his way down this road south of Dayton heading to parts unknown. Or maybe it was a merchant on his way back to Rome with fine goods he had purchased and traded for while visiting Dayton. I don’t know…but I do know that you can read more about the denarius (and see a picture that looks remarkably like my coin) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denarius.