Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

1/6/2017

Daily Photography

Filed under: Art,Fun,On Creativity,Photography,Stimulus and Production,The Tools — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I encourage you to indulge in your hobby daily.

My favorite hobby is photography.
I’ve wanted to learn photography since I was in high school, but, until the birth of digital photography, it always felt beyond my reach.  I got interested again because, about ten years ago, someone asked me what I liked to do for fun.  At the time, I was stymied for an answer.  My shock at not having a hobby led me to take a good portion of my savings at the time and buy my first DSLR.  That led me to a Flickr account and some fooling around.  That led me to doing the 365 Project, just as a way to learn my camera.  And, I can tell you, shooting a self-portrait every day for a year straight was an amazing experience.  I’m not sure that I’d go so far as to say it was “life changing”, but it sure did make me a lot more comfortable with my camera.
If you’re one of the lucky people who got a new camera for Christmas this year, you may be looking for a project to get your feet wet.  I highly recommend some kind of 365-day project.  If the idea of a self-portrait every day is too much, why not take a look at the 365 Days of Shooting Prompts Challenge at Photoblog?  They have a shooting prompt for every day of the calendar year in 2017, all in a downloadable calendar.  I know this is posting on the 6th, but you can easily catch up, or just go until January 6th, 2018!
I’m firmly convinced that your photography will improve with shooting every day, whether you use a professional-grade DSLR or the camera on your smart phone.  What do you have to lose?

Incidentally, I think photography is going to be my theme this month.  Not everything will be entirely free, but I’ll probably include some links to free tutorials for paid software, so it’ll be pretty close.
Enjoy and have a great 2017!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

4/6/2012

The Dangers of Professional Photography

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:26 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

It’s no secret that I’m a contrarian in many ways.

I’m an amateur photographer.  And, I’m good at it.  Not great, but good.  I know a lot of photographers who are at all levels of skill and accomplishment.  Many of them are in a totally different place with their photography than me.  I do it because I love it and I find it relaxing.  It’s totally different from what I do to make money, even though skills from my professional life compliment my hobby.  But, I have met a lot of amateur photographers who would really like to be professionals.
Personally, I think it’s better to stay amateur.  People don’t think that shift from hobby to profession through very well most of the time.  There are all kinds of things that change when you start doing things professionally.  For one thing, you have to collect money.  It sounds fun until you have to actually do it, especially when someone doesn’t, or suddenly can’t, pay.  Trust me.  And, when it’s something like photography, well, sometimes, you just have got to get the shot, no matter how dangerous it is!
Think I’m kidding?  Then just feast your eyes on this little “Reality Check” from The Photo Society.  Click that link and see actual dangers, faced and mostly survived, by National Geographic Photographers!  Burns and acid-dripping caves?  Broken bones and tear gas?  No, thanks!  And, those aren’t even the worst!  Flesh eating parasites?!?  And, worst of all, I think, is the dreaded “penis fish”!  Yikes!  I think I’ll keep my amateur status, thanks!

Also, on the same site, for those of you who are good enough, or already semi-professional, they offer some advice about how to respond to requests for free photography work you might get.  In fact, they suggest that you just go ahead and link right to that article.  So do I.  It’s not quite as good as what Harlan Ellison had to say about people asking for free work from him, but, it’s pretty close.  (Note that he does get a little loud and may use some slightly colorful language, so watch your volume at work.)

So, there you are, dear readers.  Some fun things to think about over the weekend while, hopefully, you pursue your hobby and not your profession!

6/17/2009

A New Level

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Fun Work,Life Goals,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:15 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

No, I’m not talking about leveling up in some game.

I found out last night that my blog has reached a new level.  It’s self-supporting.
Do you see the ads over to the side there, on the right?  The rows of words and phrases that are linked?  Those are ads.  Last night I was checking something at the site where those are bought and sold and where I get the code to allow them to be sold on my website.  When I signed in, I saw that this month, I had finally, after nine years having a blog and four or five of having advertising, finally, I had made more in a month than my hosting fees.  Not much more, but enough that this little hobby, this obsession of words and pictures, this dance of code and graphics, pays for itself, and a little extra.  Enough to buy a latte and a piece of pastry.  Enough.

That may not seem like much for the people who are trying to make a living at this, but I’m not.  In fact, I’ve been hoping to find just what’s happened; that magic balance between effort and reward.  I’ve hit that perfect equilibrium where I post enough, rank enough, and pull enough traffic to pay for myself.
It’s not a big goal, perhaps, but it makes me happy.


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