Photography

If you tried to buy my new book, Textures of Ireland, this morning and got an error message, I’ve fixed the problem. It was totally my fault. I’m sorry for the frustration!

TexturesOfIrelandIcon Textures of Ireland Book

A copy of my book, Textures of Ireland, printed on demand and mailed to you from Blurb.com.

$14.99 plus shipping

Buy-Now-button

If you’d rather buy my book in PDF form, click the PayPal button below. I’ll email you a download link !

Textures of Ireland PDF

A copy of my book, Textures of Ireland, as a PDF — which I will email within 24 hours to the address you provide.

$4.99

 

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I fixed the order link

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Film Photography

My new book: Textures of Ireland

Ireland is a country of color — especially green, in astonishing shades across its rolling countryside.

texturesofirelandcover1.pngYet I shot black-and-white film all over that country, looking for light and shadow. What I got was a set of images with such texture that you want to touch them. When you do, you’ll be surprised not to feel the textures in your fingertips, as if they were pressed into the pages in relief.

My new book, Textures of Ireland, shares the best of my black-and-white photographs. You’ll see scenes from Northern Ireland in the region where the show Game of Thrones is filmed, country scenes from Ireland’s rich northern and eastern counties, as well as ruins and modern architecture from cities and towns.

I’m offering my book in two ways: a traditional paper book printed on demand at Blurb.com, or as a PDF. The PDF is the fastest and least expensive way to see my book — but the textures come out best by far in print. I hope you’ll buy a copy today!

Textures of Ireland by Jim Grey, 36 pages, published via Blurb.com.

TexturesOfIrelandIcon Textures of Ireland Book

A copy of my book, Textures of Ireland, printed on demand and mailed to you from Blurb.com.

$14.99 plus shipping

Buy-Now-button

Textures of Ireland PDF

A copy of my book, Textures of Ireland, as a PDF — which I will email within 24 hours to the address you provide.

$4.99

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Blogosphere

Recommended reading

The feature of my blog that you told me most often that you missed is this one, my weekly roundup of blog posts I liked. That tickles me no end. I love a good blog post, and I love sharing them — and I love seeing you in the comments of blogs I introduced to you.

And now, this week’s blog posts:

A hike through Eagle Creek Park

Pentax K10D, 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 SMC Pentax-DA AL

Playing moneyball might get you more wins. But as Ken Levine laments his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers’ loss in the World Series, he believes it sucks the humanity out of the game and the fan experience. Read Open letter from a Dodger fan

Kodak still makes a lot of kinds of film, and Josh Solomon over at (the terrific) Casual Photophile gives a mini-review of each one. Read A Quick Guide to Kodak Film and When to Shoot Each One

I’m a sucker for old cemeteries, so when Heide shared photos of a lush, sprawling old one in Paris it was a foregone conclusion I’d share it with you. Read Paris’ most famous cemetery

I’ve decided to stop sharing camera reviews here. As old cameras and film photography have become so much more popular in the last couple years, the number of people writing reviews has mushroomed. I can’t keep up! So I’m going to stop trying.

But I’m adding a new feature to this roundup. When I find an especially stellar article in a mainstream publication, I’ll share it here. It won’t happen every week; the bar is pretty high to be included here. But one article cleared that bar this week:

Writing for The New York Times, Orhan Pamuk shares the wonderful photographs Ara Guler made in Istanbul in the 1950s. These black-and-white images of Istanbul’s back streets and everyday people tell a good story of life in that city at that time. Read I Like Your Photographs Because They Are Beautiful

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Photography

How does Flickr’s new limit of 1,000 photos for non-paying users affect you?

Photo-sharing site Flickr is back to making controversial decisions about how its service runs.

Flickr-LogoFor years, Flickr has had free and paid tiers. Since 2013, the free tier gave an astonishing 1 terabyte of storage, but showed users advertising. The paid tier offered unlimited storage but removed the ads.

New owner SmugMug has announced that they will soon limit free accounts to 1,000 photos. They want to change their business model to drive less revenue from advertising and more from subscriptions.

They say that this is also about encouraging Flickr to be a stronger photo community. I’m not sure how this does that, but it’s a nice idea. Flickr’s community used to be so rich, and it’d be great if that could come back somehow.

I work in the software industry and know how hard it is to come up with a viable revenue model and the corporate and product strategies that support it. I never understood how Flickr could make money offering a terabyte of storage to everyone.

Flickr’s blog post about this change says, “The overwhelming majority of Pros have more than 1,000 photos on Flickr, and more than 97% of Free members have fewer than 1,000. We believe we’ve landed on a fair and generous place to draw the line.”

Yet in the photo forums I follow, many photographers are upset about this change. Perhaps it’s hobbyist photographers like us who make up that 3% of Free users who’ve uploaded more than 1,000 photos.

I’ve been a Flickr Pro user for years now with 15,863 photos uploaded as of today. (See my Flickr stream here.) I’ve found my Flickr Pro subscription to be worth every penny just for my ability to share my work anywhere I want to on the Internet, including and especially on this blog. I’m grandfathered at the old $25/year rate, but even if they bump me to the current $50/year rate I’ll pay it and keep on Flickring.

Click here to get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week!
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Blogosphere

Back after a month away from blogging

A great story of the British Broadcasting Corporation in television’s infancy is that as the war broke out, television operations were suspended. That was on Sept. 1, 1939; a presenter was speaking on camera when word came down and the telecast was cut short.

It wasn’t until June 7, 1946, that the BBC resumed telecasting. The same presenter appeared on camera and began with, “Now, as I was saying when I was so rudely interrupted…”

And with that, my fall interruption is over. I’m back on the blog.

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Although I didn’t publish, I did write some blog posts. I had shot several cameras during September and I didn’t want to forget my impressions of them. So when the film came back from the processor I wrote up those reviews right away. Also, I worked on this post little by little all through October, and I wrote a couple other posts because the words came to me and I didn’t want to lose them.

But I did put the time to non-blog use: I completed a new book of my photography, which I’ll announce on Monday. Hint: Éire dubh bán.

I also took up journaling. I’ve had some challenging things to sort out and I do it best when I write out my thoughts and feelings. It put me back in touch with some creative energy I’d been overlooking while I’ve been so busy with Operation Thin the Herd and keeping my publishing schedule going. I’m sure I’ll rework some of those journal entries into posts and share them with you.

But at no time was the blog far from my thoughts. Even on hiatus, I checked my stats, thought of topics I could write about, and made photographs I intend to share with you.

The blog had become a treadmill. It’s a lot of work to post six days a week! I started that schedule several years ago because I wanted to practice daily writing and I knew publishing pressure would help me stick with it. But I kept that schedule well beyond the point daily writing had become a solid habit.

But pageviews went way up with my frequent posting, and that was addicting. A part of me really wants to be Somebody Well Known And Loved, and rising pageviews felt like lottery tickets to stardom.

My pageviews dropped by a third while I wasn’t publishing. It was a shock, as new posts generate far less than a third of this blog’s daily pageviews. New posts must create an energy that brings readers to the archives. Ceasing to post was like abandoning a house — shortly, the gutters start to fall, mice get in, the roof leaks, and after a while it’s easy to see the deterioration from the street.

But like neighbors checking in on that homeowner they haven’t seen for a while, a few of you told me how much you missed the blog. It reminded me that good neighbors are better than celebrity any day.

To try to fill that gap for you, I started sharing old posts on the blog’s Facebook page and on Twitter every day. It put me back in contact with some work I love from long ago, and let many of you read them for the first time. This gave me the idea for another book, which I’ve also been working on during my break — a collection of stories and essays from this blog. I know that many of you didn’t read this blog in its early days; those stories will be new to you and I think you’ll enjoy them. I have much more work to do on this book. If I’m lucky, I’ll publish it before Christmas.

My break reminded me that while I’ll never be famous from blogging, I’ve built something valuable here that I want to keep. I feel so fortunate that anybody at all wants to read what I think and look at my photographs. After all, I’m just an ordinary middle-aged man from Indiana.

But it’s time for me to stop posting things just to fill an open slot. If I don’t have something to say or show that’s I think will be interesting or valuable to you and me, I won’t post.

And with that, I’m back. Posts are queued for the next couple weeks, starting tomorrow with my roundup of blog posts I enjoyed this week, and then Monday with the official debut of my new book.

Click here to get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week!
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Personal

Fall break

I’m taking a break from my blog, starting today.

I want to use my blogging time to focus on other projects. With any luck they will include a new book of my film photography. I’ve wanted to start these projects for months but life is full. That time has to come from somewhere.

I’ll respond to comments, and I’ll still comment on your blog if you have one, but there will be no new posts here. I’m not exactly sure when I’ll return but November 1 feels about right.

Indiana State Road 45

If you miss the blog while it’s taking this break, know that there are 2,154 posts in the archive. That’s eleven and a half years of my photos and stories! The archives do get lonely and would love your visit. Click the button to be whisked to a random post from the past.

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See you soon!

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