Thursday, June 25, 2015

Benched: Rethinking Gardens, Photography, and Blogging

Bodnant Garden, North Wales

It's been nine months since my last blog post, and I confess (couldn't resist, sorry) that I didn't think I'd be coming back. But after reading some posts about the Toronto Garden Bloggers' Fling and especially about the talk Gayla Trail gave about resisting/rejecting the urge to make money and/or accrue followers, I felt the urge to rethink my approach. 

Garden Path at Snowshill Manor in The Cotswolds
Bodnant Garden
 Add to that the fact that I've been riding the photography roller-coaster known as microstock since January. This is the field where you get micro-pay for taking technically perfect (at the friggin' pixel level) photos of stuff other people might want to use to illustrate [fill in blank]. 

While I learned a lot and improved a lot, I found myself taking way too many shots of gravel, tree bark, doors, and hands planting flowers with lots of space to the left or right. I also spent too much time staring at noise, pixels, and things I had no names for and couldn't see at reasonable sizes.
Even my flower portraits were reduced to colored squares and fuzzy stuff. There were few real ideas and no love.  And I was rejecting shots that didn't fit the microstock commercial mold or meet the technical requirements.  But what about my requirements?  They receded--as did I--further and further into the background.

The Glades, Surrey, Canada
Maybe I'm approaching this all wrong. There are just too many people with too many cameras to "compete." Anyone can take a picture. Mine aren't the best or the worst, and the somewhere in between is too broad and varied a field to even begin discussing. But I still like to take pictures of things I like looking at.
I garden. Not well, not often enough for public display. But I like looking at plants and digging around in the dirt.  I enjoy growing things, and when I end up killing some of the things I tried to grow, I enjoy learning about why they died.
I can put words together better than some but not enough words or often enough.

So I have some skills, and I have some activities I sometimes let myself enjoy.  And I still have a blog--at least I still have the name and the space.

So I'm going to find a nice bench in a garden, sit awhile, and think my own thoughts.  And enjoy the view.

Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire