Blogosphere, Film Photography

Film photography blogs you should follow

It’s time for my annual list of film photography blogs! A great joy of film photography is the community of people who enjoy everything about it: the gear, the films, getting out and shooting, and looking at the resulting photographs. Lots of us share our adventures on our blogs.

Bathroom mirror selfie
A portrait of the blogger

This list has shrunk a little since last year, by five, to 101 entries. Yet 16 blogs are new to the list this year, meaning that 21 blogs from last year’s list stopped updating. This list has done nothing but grow each year since I first created it — could the pandemic have cooled off people’s blogging?

Not that long ago, most of the blogs on this list were about vintage film gear. But now, a growing number are about making photographs, and it happens that they are on film. I like this shift toward writing about film photography and not just gear. I think this shows that film photography has become far more alive and well than any of us could have imagined just ten years ago!

If you don’t see your blog here, I hope you won’t feel put out. Maybe I just don’t know about it. Let me know which blogs I’m missing in the comments!

If you do see your blog here but think my description misses the mark, go to my About page and send me a message on the contact form. Tell me in up to 25 words what you’d like me to say about your blog. I may edit it but I’ll use it to update this list.

You’ll see little emoji next to some blogs:

  • ✨ is a blog that’s new to this year’s list.
  • ❀ is one of the blogs I look forward to most.
  • πŸ“· is a blog that’s part of a little kaffeeklatsch I belong to where we talk about photography and photo blogging.

Also, I list only blogs that have posted recently and post regularly, and have an RSS feed so I can aggregate them into my reader.

  • 127 Film Photography β€” A blog dedicated to 127 film and cameras, and the major proponent of 127 Day, held annually on July 12th.
  • 35 millimetre β€” Film photographs by Charlotte Davis in the UK.
  • 35mm Chronicle β€” Rob Lowe does some lovely work in black and white.
  • 35mm Film Shootist β€” Black and whites from Martin Smith’s Leica.
  • πŸ“· 35mmc β€” Hamish Gill and his crew write about cameras and films and photographic skills
  • ✨ 6×6 Portraits β€” Kenneth Wajda shares his excellent work and writes essays about photography.
  • πŸ“· Alex Luyckx β€” A dedicated film photographer shares his work. His film reviews are the most useful on the Internet.
  • All My Cameras β€” Christoph in Germany and his growing collection. In German and in English.
  • πŸ“· Aly’s Vintage Camera Alley β€” Alyssa loves obscure old cameras, and shoots as many as she finds.
  • Analog Cafe β€” A group blog of photo essays, reviews, and stories.
  • Analogue Wonderland β€” The blog of Analogue Wonderland, a film store in the UK.
  • Andrew Bartram β€” Film landscapes of the Cambridgeshire Fenlands in eastern England.
  • πŸ“· Aperture Preview β€” Reviews of vintage film cameras, by Eric Jason.
  • Aragon’s Eye β€” Chris shares photographs and film-camera reviews.
  • ✨ arhphotographic β€” arh shares his work and gear reviews.
  • Barnaby Nutt β€” Barnaby documents his life with his film camera.
  • Bernard Prunesquallor β€” Essays on many topics, illustrated with film photographs.
  • πŸ“· Bill Smith’s Photography β€” Bill shoots 35mm and medium format, and shares in a visual diary format.
  • Broken Camera . Club β€” Mostly reviews of mostly obscure gear.
  • ❀ πŸ“· Camera Go Camera β€” Peggy reviews lots and lots of gear, some of it off-the-wall stuff she bought while living in Japan.
  • ❀ Camera Legend β€” Sam collects legendary cameras and writes about using them.
  • πŸ“· Canny Cameras β€” Gear reviews and photographs by Alan D. This site explained why the Lomography 110 film I use sometimes leaves light spots on some images. A tip of the hat for that.
  • ❀ πŸ“· Casual Photophile β€” This site written by James and his crew sets the Internet standard for vintage gear reviews. Excellent writing, excellent images, great cameras. I read every post, from beginning to end.
  • Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris and Carol β€” Photos of gear from their extensive collection, mostly Yashicas.
  • Christopher May β€” Christopher shoots both film and digital, but film keeps calling him back.
  • ❀ Earth Sun Film β€” An exploration of gardening and photography, by Jerome Carter.
  • πŸ“· EMULSIVE β€” A place for film photographers of all backgrounds to share their knowledge, experience, and thoughts about everything related to film photography.
  • Film Advance β€” Gary shares images from his eclectic collection of film cameras.
  • Film Based Traveler — Nicole works in a biomedical research lab by day and shoots film in her spare time.
  • Film Photography Blog β€” A straightforwardly named blog from the Film Shooters Collective.
  • FilmPhotography.Blog β€” Film photographs from northeast England.
  • Film Photography Project β€” You gotta include the blog of the FPP gang.
  • Filmosaur β€” The photographer behind this blog asks us to rise above the oppression of bad photography!
  • Fireside Five β€” Gretchen shares her photos from her vintage cameras as she lives her life.
  • ❀ Fogdog Blog β€” John takes his Nikons and his Pentaxes (and sometimes his Leicas) along the northern California coast.
  • For the easily distracted… β€” Rhianne in the UK shoots film, and lots of it.
  • Found Film β€” Simon Hawketts finds old film images and shares them here.
  • fourohoh β€” Film photographs from the Hawaiian coast.
  • Going Lomo β€” Dan likes alternative film looks as he photographs the places he visits around the world.
  • GQGlasgow β€” Film photographs of a life in Glasgow.
  • I dream of sumac and milkweed β€” Personal essays and film photographs.
  • Japan Camera Hunter β€” Bellamy lives in Tokyo and finds lovely old cameras for you. And writes about film photography.
  • Joe Van Cleave’s Blog β€” Experimental film photography by Joe Van Cleeve.
  • John’s Old Cameras β€” If it can make an image, John Margetts will give it a try and share his experience here.
  • πŸ“· Johnny Martyr β€” Photographing portraits and live music on film.
  • ✨ Journeys in Film β€” Matt publishes lovely film photographs, and tells stories about the places they represent.
  • ✨ Junk Store Cameras β€” The blog of one of the longest-tenured film-camera sites on the Internet.
  • ❀ Katie Shoots Film β€” Katie shoots film all over the world, using a small stable of cameras.
  • πŸ“· Kosmo Foto β€” Stephen dispels the myths about film: that it’s too hard and too expensive, and breaks film-photography news.
  • Lily Schwartz Photography β€” Lily is a European documentary photographer who often shoots film.
  • Marcus Peddle β€” Marcus shoots film all over Korea, where he lives.
  • Mere Film Photography β€” Shooting film, printing digitally, thinking and writing about the craft.
  • ✨ Michael Elliott Photography β€” Michael shoots film in part because it makes him more deliberate.
  • πŸ“· mike eckman dot com β€” Long form histories and reviews, from common cameras to wacky stuff you’ve never heard of.
  • Mostly Monochrome — A photo-a-day blog with a surprising number of color photos given its title.
  • My Favourite Lens — Lee shoots vintage lenses on his mirrorless digital cameras as well as his film cameras.
  • myvintagecamerasblog β€” Kathleen experiments with cameras and film.
  • Natalie Smart Film Photography — A film photographer in Brighton, UK, who shoots 35mm, 120, and instant.
  • Nick Collingwood Vintage — Nick shoots Polaroid and Super 8.
  • ❀ North East Liberties β€” Michael shares scenes from the region of Northern Ireland his blog is named after. His specialty is printing.
  • Now Developing β€” Dylan is a hobbyist photographer who aims to feature good work from the film photography community.
  • ✨ Old Nikons and Other Photographic Items β€” Wes writes primarily about Nikon rangefinder cameras.
  • ✨ Outside the Shot β€” Nathaniel writes about classic gear.
  • Peter Barker β€” A blog about photography and, sometimes, classic cameras and films.
  • Peter Barton β€” Peter takes pictures, collects cameras, drinks coffee and travels a little, though not necessarily in that order of preference.
  • πŸ“· Photo Thinking β€” Theo Panagopoulos writes a friendly and informative blog on photography, photo processes and the wonderful and varied cameras used to create pictures.
  • Photo-Analogue β€” Nicholas shares photos from his 20 film cameras and discusses tech and technique.
  • ❀ Photography and Vintage Cameras β€” Mike does great work with his old cameras, especially in black and white. He can make an old folder or box camera really sing.
  • Rambling Camera β€” Lance King with essays about film photography, plus gear reviews.
  • ✨ Rambling Polymath β€” Tobias tells stories, regardless of whether they are told with a camera, a pen, a blog or in the newspaper.
  • Random Camera Blog β€” Mark shoots frequently with his old cameras and shares the results here.
  • reCap β€” Gear and photographs. A German blog in English.
  • Richard Haw’s Classic Nikon Repair and Review β€” What it says on the tin. Extremely informative.
  • Rick on Film β€” Rick Scheibner chronicles his film photography journey, including his best work right along with mistakes made in this medium, all with the goal of showing growth along the way.
  • ✨ S.H.O.U.T. β€” Andy in the UK shares his analog adventures.
  • ✨ Sasha Krasnov Sasha reviews gear and writes about artists.
  • Seeing Wide β€” Photo walks and street photography, on film, by Monette.
  • ✨ Shoot With Personality β€” A combination personal and pro blog by a photographer who shoots film.
  • Steel City Snapper β€” Medium format and 35mm photography from Sheffield, UK.
  • Steven Lawrence Pictures β€” Steve makes film photographs mostsly around Seattle, where he lives.
  • Street Dances β€” Simon shoots the street, mostly on film.
  • ✨ Studio C-41 β€” A group blog about film photography, including breaking film news.
  • Ted Smith Photography β€” Pro photographer who favors film, especially for his personal projects.
  • TeGieeR β€” Michael Sikorski is a Polish photographer who favors 35mm film.
  • ✨ the carrot room β€” Nigel and his film cameras, mostly VoigtlΓ€nders.
  • The Glass Aerie β€” Nicole shares her film photographs
  • The Resurrected Camera β€” Joe proves that film photography doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • The Unrecovering Photography Addict — Sam loves everything about photography, from the gear to the process to the result.
  • The View from the End of the World β€” New Zealander Steve Mitchell shares his film photographs.
  • The Vintage Lens β€” Tim Jeffers makes photos with cameras at least 50 years old.
  • thegashaus β€” Mark has collected about 500 film cameras. He shows them off and puts film through them.
  • ✨ This Old Camera β€” Lots of gear reviews.
  • Tim Dobbs Photography β€” This Welshman shoots film.
  • Toivonen Photography β€” Henri in Sweden likes old gear and unusual films. He shares what he’s learned about printing and scanning, too.
  • ULTRAsomething β€” Gregory Simpson has returned to film, and wants to share his work.
  • Uncle Jonesey’s Cameras β€” Gear reviews, stories, and images, all about vintage film cameras and the darkroom.
  • Urban Adventure League β€” Bicycling, geography, history, and film photography.
  • ✨ Urban Decay β€” Andrew shoots dilapidation he finds in Mississippi and surrounding states, mostly on film.
  • Utah Film Photography β€” Shaun Nelson with vintage gear photographs and reviews.
  • ✨ Vintage Camera Lenses β€” Reviews of old lenses.
  • Why Use Film Cameras? β€” Frank in Luxembourg shoots film, proving every day that it’s not as expensive as you think.

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Blogosphere

Two years with Ko-Fi — and thank you!

Until about two years ago, I ran ads on this site to help cover its costs. It was an unpleasant experience. Despite my ad provider’s promises to the contrary, the ads generated pop-ups and videos that played automatically. Sometimes music would play, and there was no way to shut it off. I had to keep emailing their support team to make the ads behave. My few inconspicuous ad placements generated about 20 bucks a month. I could have made more if I had plastered ads all over the site, but I think that would have turned many of you away. The money I made wasn’t remotely worth the hassle. I finally had enough and disabled the ads.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Some of you told me that you’d like to support my work, so I set up an account with Ko-Fi and put their “Buy me a coffee” button on my site. Each time you click it, you can send me $3, or any multiple of $3.

Since then, I’ve dropped that button at the end of every post. I announced it at the time, and I mentioned it one other time, but otherwise I’ve not promoted it. To my astonishment, you have responded generously! In an average month you donate $30 on Ko-Fi! That’s one third more income than the annoying ads, and I do next to nothing extra for it. Win!

Your donations have bought a ton of film and developing as well as several old film cameras, all of which I have featured on this site. They also helped me buy a dedicated scanner for 35mm negatives, which significantly improved the quality of the scans I share with you.

As always, any time you click that button I will be most grateful. Every time Ko-Fi notifies me of a donation, I feel honored and validated — my work matters enough that you’re willing to support it financially. But if you never click it, you are always wanted and welcome here!

I considered other platforms to help me cover this site’s costs, but they were more complicated for me and for donors, and to get the most from it I would have had to create special content for those sites. I’d rather share all of my writing and photographs here!

Ko-Fi offers many of those features, and they keep offering more. They recently announced an integration with the Discord community platform, and soon will release Ko-Fi Memberships where supporters can subscribe monthly at whatever level they choose. But you don’t have to use their extra features to get value from it, as my results show — and the basic Ko-Fi service remains free for creators like me.

If you’ve supported me via Ko-Fi, again I say thank you! And thank you to Ko-Fi for your easy and valuable platform.

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The future of Down the Road

If you take my monthly newsletter, Back Roads, you read this a couple weeks ago. The main point of Back Roads is to give subscribers previews of what I’m working on and let them be the first to know when I publish a new book. I’m also a little more personal there than I am here. If this sounds good to you, sign up here!

On February 7 my blog will turn 14. When I started it, I had no idea where it would go or how long it would last. I wrote about whatever I wanted and hoped I’d attract an audience. I paid attention to which topics got the most interest, whether in pageviews or in comments. I wrote about those topics more, and l left behind topics that readers ignored.

My blog has had four phases over the years:

  • the “I’m not sure what I want this blog to be” phase
  • the “I hope to become Internet famous by writing about old roads” phase, which failed
  • the “I hope to become Internet famous by writing about old film-photography gear” phase, which is how I became best known, though it falls short of full Internet fame
  • a phase where I gave up on Internet fame and leaned instead into building community around the topics I’m interested in, which has succeeded

It feels like this blog could be entering its fifth phase. I don’t know what it is just yet, or what to call it. But I’m starting to lean harder into publishing books of my photographs and writing, and that has implications for this blog.

NO

My next book will be of photographs I made last summer around my neighborhood. I never wanted to live in a modern suburban neighborhood like this one. I’m a city boy through and through. But it made practical sense to move here when I married Margaret, as she was already here and it let her youngest finish at his high school.

Egad, but do these houses ever feel flimsy. Even a moderate wind makes my house creak and pop. In a strong wind, you can feel the house flex and twist, especially upstairs. It’s appalling.

But that’s not what my next book is about. Instead, I’ll show you what you see as you walk this neighborhood. From the front, every street looks fresh and cheerful — stiff neighborhood regulations ensure it. But walk this neighborhood, especially the main road that loops around it, and you’ll see that everything’s not so pretty. An Interstate highway borders it, bathing half the neighborhood in the sound of heavy traffic. A high-voltage electrical transmission line cuts through, its towers visible from most angles. A natural gas and a petroleum pipeline also cut through, creating wide gaps between houses. Houses back up to the main loop road; a low fence isn’t enough to obscure all the backs of those houses. Because of the way the houses are arranged, and because of the electric and gas lines cutting through, the backs of lots of houses are exposed. A private back yard is hard to come by here. From the back, these houses just look cheap — too few windows, huge swaths of vinyl.

I really noticed the beauty and banality of my neighborhood last spring and summer. I worked from home thanks to COVID-19, and to keep active I took walks and bike rides around the neighborhood. I brought cameras along to document what I saw. I felt sure there my photographs could be arranged to tell this neighborhood’s story.

Also, I want to work on another book of essays and stories culled from this blog. I don’t know if I can deliver both books in 2021, but both are on my mind.

I also have an idea for a book about how to use a blog to share your creative work, find other people who do similar creative work, and build a community. Who knows, I might slot that in before the next book of stories and essays.

Sometimes I experience a creative flurry and write a whole bunch of posts in a short time. That happened to me in November and December last year. By last Christmas I had written posts for this blog through my blog’s anniversary date. I wrote most of this newsletter on Christmas Eve!

Other times I burn out a little on creative pursuits. That’s happened to me this month. I had hoped to produce the photo book by now, but I’ve done very little.

I have only so much time to work on my blog and my books. I have a full-time job and a family. The more I lean into books, the less time I have for blogging.

For now, I’ll keep my blog’s six-day-a-week schedule. I know the world doesn’t hang in the balance of me publishing as often as I do. But when I publish this often, you respond with the most visits and comments. When I publish less, I get less of both. When I publish more, interestingly I don’t get more of either. Six a week is the sweet spot.

Besides, this blog is how most people know me. And I love writing in it. I can’t imagine stopping. But depending on how my budding publishing career goes, I can imagine writing in it less often someday. Or maybe I’ll be incredibly fortunate and end up like Mark Evanier and John Scalzi, who both write for a living and write in their blogs several times a day. Oh, probably not; I love what I do for a living and am not looking to change it. But it’s a fun dream.

I will keep writing about the same things. Sometimes I’ll publish something on the blog that I know will end up in a book someday.

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Blogosphere, Film Photography

Film photography blogs you should follow

It’s time for my annual list of film photography blogs! A great joy of film photography is the community of people who enjoy everything about it: the gear, the films, getting out and shooting, and looking at the resulting photographs. Lots of us share our adventures on our blogs.

Side mirror selfie
A portrait of the blogger

If you don’t see your blog here, I hope you won’t feel put out. Maybe I just don’t know about it. Let me know which blogs I’m missing in the comments!

If you do see your blog here but think my description misses the mark, go to my About page and send me a message on the contact form. Tell me in up to 25 words what you’d like me to say about your blog. I may edit it but I’ll use it to update this list.

This list has grown a lot since last year — it has 106 entries now, up 29 from last year. Not that long ago, most of the blogs on this list were about vintage film gear. But now, a growing number are about making photographs, and it happens that they are on film. I like this shift toward writing about film photography and not just gear. I think this shows that film photography has become far more alive and well than any of us could have imagined just ten years ago!

You’ll see little emoji next to some blogs:

  • ✨ is a blog that’s new to this year’s list.
  • ❀ is one of the blogs I look forward to most.
  • πŸ“· is a blog that’s part of a little kaffeeklatsch I belong to where we talk about photography and photo blogging.

Also, I’m listing only blogs that have posted recently and post regularly, and have an RSS feed so I can aggregate them into my reader.

  • ✨ 127 Film Photography β€” A blog dedicated to 127 film and cameras, and the major proponent of 127 Day, held annually on July 12th.
  • 35 millimetre β€” Film photographs by Charlotte Davis in the UK.
  • 35mm Chronicle β€” Rob Lowe does some lovely work in black and white.
  • 35mm Film Shootist β€” Black and whites from Martin Smith’s Leica.
  • βœ¨πŸ“· 35mm Retro Photo β€” Vintage gear reviews and photographs from John Hanson.
  • πŸ“· 35mmc β€” Hamish Gill and his crew write about cameras and films and photographic skills
  • πŸ“· Alex Luyckx β€” A dedicated film photographer shares his work. His film reviews are the most useful on the Internet.
  • Alex Yates Photography — Pinholes, Polaroids, and 35mm from this Norwich, UK-based photographer.
  • All My Cameras β€” Christoph in Germany and his growing collection. In German and in English.
  • ✨ Aly’s Vintage Camera Alley β€” Alyssa loves obscure old cameras, and shoots as many as she finds.
  • Analog Cafe β€” A group blog of photo essays, reviews, and stories.
  • Analogue Wonderland β€” The blog of Analogue Wonderland, a film store in the UK.
  • Andrew Bartram β€” Film landscapes of the Cambridgeshire Fenlands in eastern England.
  • βœ¨πŸ“· Aperture Preview β€” Reviews of vintage film cameras, by Eric Jason.
  • Aragon’s Eye — Chris shares photographs and film-camera reviews.
  • Attempts at 35mm β€” Pekka waxes philosophical about cameras and street photography.
  • Barnaby Nutt β€” Barnaby documents his life with his film camera.
  • Bernard Prunesquallor β€” Essays on many topics, illustrated with film photographs.
  • ✨ Between light and shadow, a borderline β€” Roy Karlsvik takes his film cameras with him all over the world in his work as a sailor.
  • πŸ“· Bill Smith’s Photography β€” Bill shoots 35mm and medium format, and shares in a visual diary format.
  • ✨ Blogging a Dead Horse β€” Neil Piper reviews films and gear, and shoots some pinhole as well.
  • Broken Camera . Club β€” Mostly reviews of mostly obscure gear.
  • ❀ πŸ“· Camera Go Camera β€” Peggy reviews lots and lots of gear, some of it off-the-wall stuff she bought while living in Japan.
  • ❀ Camera Legend β€” Sam collects legendary cameras and writes about using them.
  • πŸ“· Canny Cameras β€” Gear reviews and photographs by Alan D. This site explained why the Lomography 110 film I use sometimes leaves light spots on some images. A tip of the hat for that.
  • ✨ Captured by Film β€” Film photographs on classic film cameras.
  • πŸ“· Casual Photophile β€” This site written by James and his crew sets the Internet standard for vintage gear reviews. Excellent writing, excellent images, great cameras. I read every post, from beginning to end.
  • ✨ Christopher May β€” Christopher shoots both film and digital, but film keeps calling him back.
  • ✨ Colin Devroe β€” Colin writes mostly about technology but also slips in some film photographs along the way.
  • ✨ Daniel Veazy β€” A serious blog by a serious man, mostly about film photography.
  • ✨ Earth Sun Film β€” An exploration of gardening and photography, by Jerome Carter.
  • πŸ“· EMULSIVE β€” A place for film photographers of all backgrounds to share their knowledge, experience, and thoughts about everything related to film photography.
  • Filling the Time β€” Karen explores photography and film cameras.
  • Film Advance β€” Gary shares images from his eclectic collection of film cameras.
  • Film Based Traveler — Nicole works in a biomedical research lab by day and shoots film in her spare time.
  • Film Photography Blog β€” A straightforwardly named blog from the Film Shooters Collective.
  • Film Photography.Blog β€” Film photographs from northeast England.
  • ✨ Film Photography London β€” An amateur film photographer in London shares his work.
  • Film Photography Project β€” You gotta include the blog of the FPP gang.
  • ✨ Filmosaur β€” The photographer behind this blog asks us to rise above the oppression of bad photography!
  • ✨ Fireside Five β€” Gretchen shares her photos from her vintage cameras as she lives her life.
  • ❀ Fogdog Blog β€” John takes his Nikons and his Pentaxes (and sometimes his Leicas) along the northern California coast.
  • For the easily distracted… β€” Rhianne in the UK shoots film, and lots of it.
  • ✨ Found Film β€” Simon Hawketts finds old film images and shares them here.
  • ✨ fourohoh β€” Film photographs from the Hawaiian coast.
  • ✨ Going Lomo β€” Dan likes alternative film looks as he photographs the places he visits around the world.
  • ✨ GQGlasgow β€” Film photographs of a life in Glasgow.
  • I dream of sumac and milkweed β€” Personal essays and film photographs.
  • ✨ Island in the Net β€” Film photographs and a lot of beer, from KhΓΌrt Williams.
  • Ivan Pilov Photography β€” Film photographs, mostly from Israel.
  • Japan Camera Hunter β€” Bellamy lives in Tokyo and finds lovely old cameras for you. And writes about film photography.
  • ✨ Joe Van Cleave’s Blog β€” Experimental film photography by Joe Van Cleeve.
  • John’s Cameras β€” If it can make an image, John Margetts will give it a try and share his experience here.
  • πŸ“· Johnny Martyr β€” Photographing portraits and live music on film.
  • Katie Shoots Film β€” Katie shoots film all over the world, using a small stable of cameras.
  • πŸ“· Kosmo Foto β€” Stephen dispels the myths about film: that it’s too hard and too expensive, and breaks film-photography news.
  • ✨ Lance King β€” Essays about photography, plus gear and film reviews.
  • ✨ Lily Schwartz Photography β€” Lily is a European documentary photographer who often shoots film.
  • ✨ Marcus Peddle β€” Marcus shoots film all over Korea, where he lives.
  • ✨ Marcy Merrill Photography β€” Film photographs from the person behind the Junk Store Cameras site, one of the longest running film photography sites on the Internet.
  • Mere Film Photography β€” Shooting film, printing digitally, thinking and writing about the craft.
  • πŸ“· mike eckman dot com β€” Long form histories and reviews, from common cameras to wacky stuff you’ve never heard of.
  • Mostly Monochrome — A photo-a-day blog with a surprising number of color photos given its title.
  • ✨ My Favourite Lens — Lee shoots vintage lenses on his mirrorless digital cameras as well as his film cameras.
  • myvintagecamerasblog β€” Kathleen experiments with cameras and film.
  • Natalie Smart Film Photography — A film photographer in Brighton, UK, who shoots 35mm, 120, and instant.
  • ✨ Nick Collingwood Vintage — Nick shoots Polaroid and Super 8.
  • North East Liberties β€” Michael shares scenes from the region of Northern Ireland his blog is named after. His specialty is printing.
  • ✨ Now Developing β€” Dylan is a hobbyist photographer who aims to feature good work from the film photography community.
  • Olli Thomson Photography β€” A career ex-pat who lives all over the world, shooting his film gear and sharing his work.
  • ✨ Peter Barker β€” A blog about photography and, sometimes, classic cameras and films.
  • ✨ Peter Barton β€” Peter takes pictures, collects cameras, drinks coffee and travels a little, though not necessarily in that order of preference.
  • Photo-Analogue – Nicholas shares photos from his 20 film cameras and discusses tech and technique.
  • Photo Jottings β€” A lot of film camera tests and reviews, from Kurt Munger.
  • ❀ Photography and Vintage Cameras – Mike does great work with his old cameras, especially in black and white. He can make an old folder or box camera really sing.
  • πŸ“· Photo Thinking — Theo Panagopoulos writes a friendly and informative blog on photography, photo processes and the wonderful and varied cameras used to create pictures.
  • Random Camera Blog – Mark shoots frequently with his old cameras and shares the results here.
  • reCap β€” Gear and photographs. A German blog in English.
  • Richard Haw’s Classic Nikon Repair and Review — What it says on the tin. Extremely informative.
  • Seeing Wide β€” Photo walks and street photography, on film, by Monette.
  • ❀ short stories — Gerald, amateur photographer, professional misfit.
  • Slow Photography β€” Jordi shares his experiences with gear and technique.
  • Steel City Snapper β€” Medium format and 35mm photography from Sheffield, UK.
  • ✨ Steven Lawrence Pictures β€” Steve makes film photographs mostsly around Seattle, where he lives.
  • ✨ Street Dances β€” Simon shoots the street, mostly on film.
  • TAZM Pictures β€” Tom films everything, and often on actual film.
  • ✨ Ted Smith Photography β€” Pro photographer who favors film, especially for his personal projects.
  • ✨ TeGieeR β€” Michael Sikorski is a Polish photographer who favors 35mm film.
  • the6millionpman β€” Ed Worthington loves his film TLRs, but is also known to shoot a little 35mm and even Polaroid. He loves Italy and shares a lot of photos from his visits there.
  • ✨ The Glass Aerie β€” Nicole shares her film photographs
  • ✨ The Image Attic β€” Mike Warman shares images from his large archive of negatives.
  • The Resurrected Camera β€” Joe proves that film photography doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • The Unrecovering Photography Addict — Sam loves everything about photography, from the gear to the process to the result.
  • ✨ The View from the End of the World β€” New Zealander Steve Mitchell shares his film photographs.
  • ✨ The Web Darkroom β€” Andrew Sanderson has made a life in analogue photography, and shares his experience on his blog.
  • ✨ thegashaus β€” Mark has collected about 500 film cameras. He shows them off and puts film through them.
  • The Vintage Lens β€” Tim Jeffers makes photos with cameras at least 50 years old.
  • ✨ Tim Dobbs Photography β€” This Welshman shoots film.
  • ✨ Toivonen Photography β€” Henri in Sweden likes old gear and unusual films. He shares what he’s learned about printing and scanning, too.
  • ✨ ULTRAsomething β€” Gregory Simpson has returned to film, and wants to share his work.
  • ✨ Uncle Jonesey’s Cameras β€” Gear reviews, stories, and images, all about vintage film cameras and the darkroom.
  • ✨ Urban Adventure League β€” Bicycling, geography, history, and film photography.
  • Utah Film Photography β€” Shaun Nelson with vintage gear photographs and reviews.
  • View from the Carrot Room β€” SilverFox moved from the UK to the US and records his life on film.
  • Why Use Film Cameras? β€” Frank in Luxembourg shoots film, proving every day that it’s not as expensive as you think.
  • Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic β€” Photos of gear from his extensive collection, mostly Yashicas.

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Blogosphere

Promoting your creative blog in social media: for now, the key is Facebook

Promoting your blog and its posts is work, and it takes time. If you want to put your blog in front of more people, however, you have little choice but to invest the ongoing effort.

Facebook has proved the most valuable way for me to promote this blog, which is a creative and personal blog. I don’t know what’s best for other kinds of blogs. I’ll explain how I do it, and why I think it’s the best option for creative/personal blogs like mine, in this post.

In case you have negative feelings about Facebook

Welcome to the club. I may quit Facebook someday as I think it has become a net negative for society. But until then, I’ll milk it.

Be realistic about your prospects

Despite my promotional efforts, Facebook drives but a fraction of total page views. In 2018, Down the Road gathered 212,035 page views. Only 14,815 of them came from Facebook. In contrast, search engines delivered 57,965 page views with no effort on my part.

None of my other deliberate promotional efforts have been as effective as Facebook.

Creative blogs have legitimate, but limited, appeal. Facebook may be the best way to reach people who will enjoy your work, but it won’t unlock Internet fame.

However, sometimes one of your posts will really resonate. My post about Traders Point, Indiana, (here) got a lot of traffic after I shared it on Facebook in a couple Indianapolis and Indiana history groups. It turned out lots of people were curious about that former town’s history. Every now and again someone will reshare it and it’ll get another couple hundred views. Most of its 7,300 all-time page views have come from Facebook. But that’s about as good as it gets.

Why other social media is less helpful

I also promote my blog on Twitter, but to little effect. I think it’s best for echoing outrage, and I don’t post anything outrageous. I admit I haven’t worked very hard to build a giant Twitter following, which would help. But I’ve talked about it with fellow photo bloggers and we all have the same experience. Twitter just doesn’t generate engagement with creative content.

I used to use Instagram to promote my blog, but because you can’t put links in posts it did little good. That limitation is by design — Instagram wants you to keep scrolling to see the ads. I built a decent following by seeking out other film photographers and following them. A good number of them followed me back. I put a link to my blog in my bio. I’d post a photo there from every new blog post, tell about what was on my blog today, and added “link in bio.” Almost nobody bit.

A few times, Reddit has brought a lot of visitors to my blog. Reddit has subreddits about anything you could ever blog about, and offers a vast audience. But Reddit aggressively frowns upon all but the most occasional self-promotion, and bans users who flout the rule. I’ve gotten traffic from Reddit only when someone else shared one of my posts there.

I know some people find Pinterest to be a good way to promote their blog. From what little I’ve seen, blogs about crafts, interior design, fashion, and the like do best there. I know little about Pinterest otherwise.

The key to Facebook is Groups

Your best bet today is to promote your creative blog in Facebook Groups, given the sheer number of people on Facebook.

Join Groups related to things you blog about. I’m in a bunch of film-photography and film-camera groups as well as groups about old roads, roadside architecture, and roadside attractions. I’m in groups for the Indiana cities and towns I’ve lived in or visit a lot. I’m even in a couple groups about heartfelt personal writing. That covers my blog’s subjects! To find groups, type keywords related to your blog’s topics into the Facebook search box and see what turns up.

Read and heed each group’s rules. A few forbid posting links, especially to your own blog. Some groups don’t mind if you share links to your blog if you participate in the group otherwise. Some groups are happy for you to only share links don’t as long as they’re directly related to the group purpose and are interesting to members. In all cases, it’s good etiquette to Like and comment on other posts in the group. And don’t carpet-bomb any group with your links. You’ll be seen as a gadfly.

You can also create your own groups, although it takes some work to promote them to build a following. Whatever you blog about, others are interested in it too. A couple other film-photo bloggers I follow created a group where members share photos of the old cameras they buy (here). The group creators use it specifically to share posts from their own blogs, and encourage shares from other bloggers (like me). I’ve used that group to share every last one of my film-camera reviews. It’s helped bring people to the blog, and some have subscribed.

Even if groups already exist for your favorite topics, you could create another one anyway. There appears to be room for many similar and overlapping groups. I’m in a bunch of old-car groups, for example. Some are general and some are specific, such as the one that’s for photos of entry-level models only, with no chrome and dog-dish hubcaps.

How to share a post in a Facebook Group

First, create a Facebook Page for your blog (instructions here). My blog’s page is here. Link your blog to your Page using WordPress Publicize (instructions here), so that each blog post automatically posts to your Page. This makes it easier to share your posts to groups.

You can also build a following on your Page, which can lead to new blog subscribers.

From there, here’s how you share a post in a Group.

  1. On your Page, find the post you want to share.
  2. Click the Share button. A menu appears. Click Share in a Group.
  3. A popup opens. In the Group box, type letters from the group name. A list of groups appears. Click the Group you want.
  4. Click the Include Original Post box until a checkmark appears. This shares your post with a link to your Page, which helps build your Page following.
  5. In the “Say something about this” area, type a custom introduction to the post.
  6. Click the Post button.

As group members interact with your share, it’s a good idea to respond, at least by clicking Like on comments. That encourages them to keep interacting with your shares.

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Blogosphere, Road Trips

What to do with aging Web content that is still important?

I’ve had a Web site since about 1995, when the Web was young. The Internet crackled with excitement and openness and promise. Nobody could imagine that it would turn into an advertising and surveillance engine, as it has.

I coded my original site by hand in Notepad, created a simple logo in Microsoft Paint, and uploaded it all via FTP to the free space my ISP gave me. My original address was http://members.iquest.net/~jimgrey. I submitted the URL to Yahoo! in hopes they would include it in their original human-indexed search engine, and to my delight, they did!

The Jim Grey Page, jimgrey.net, last updated in 2014

At first it was a site about me and my family, like we all used to do then. But shortly my wife objected to me sharing family info online, so I turned the site into an info resource about central-Indiana radio stations. I’ve always had a deep interest in radio and it was fun to catalog local stations while teaching myself advanced (for the time) Web development techniques.

In about 2000 I got Microsoft FrontPage and Corel PaintShop Pro and redesigned the site to the design it still wears. I switched my ISP to Comcast and therefore my site’s address to http://home.comcast.net/~jimgrey. In 2006 I got proper hosting, registered the jimgrey.net domain, and moved my site there. I wanted jimgrey.com but someone was, and still is, parking on it and I didn’t and don’t want to pay them to get it.

I’d started my road-trip hobby and began to write long-form reports of those trips on my site. They’re still available; see them all here. When I started this blog, my original vision was that my main site would stay about road trips and the blog would be about everything else that interests me. By 2010 the blog got way more traffic than the main site, so I started writing road-trip posts here too. They’re all under the Road Trips category; see them all here.

In 2012 I stopped adding content to jimgrey.net to focus on the blog. In 2014 I made a few code changes to make it more compatible with mobile phone browsers. Since then, I’ve ignored jimgrey.net.

Three things prevent me from killing it. First, I’ve had it in one form or another for 25 years, which makes me a genuine Web old-timer. I like having the evidence to prove it. Second, since 2011 my blog address (blog.jimgrey.net) has been a subdomain of jimgrey.net; for that to keep working, I need to keep owning the jimgrey.net domain. It seems silly to keep it and not put anything on it. Third, those road-trip reports are now historic records, as much has changed along those roads over the years. I don’t mean to be grandiose; the Library of Congress hasn’t come inquiring or anything.

Here’s just one example. Here’s the Michigan Road, the Dixie Highway, and US 31 southbound, 6 miles north of Plymouth, Indiana, as it looked in September, 2007. US 31 curves off to the left under that overpass, and the Michigan Road follows that one-lane ramp toward Plymouth. That overpass is northbound Michigan Road, which merges with northbound US 31 to the left just outside of the photo.

Southbound

Since I made that photo, US 31 was rebuilt on new terrain from South Bend to a point a few miles southeast of here. From Google Street View, this is what the road looks like from about this same spot today.

Β© 2019 Google

Former US 31 was removed from here to where it meets up with the new-terrain US 31. The overpass that carried the Michigan Road was removed and the road rebuilt in the same place at grade. The four-lane former US 31 still exists from South Bend to here as a county road.

Off the top of my head I can think of six other major changes to roads, or to things along the roadside, from what I documented long ago! I’ll bet if I repeated all of my old road trips I’d find scores more major changes.

It’s a head scratcher, what to do with all this interesting content I created so long ago. It deserves to live on as a sort of historic record, for the small audience who finds it interesting or useful. It’s heavily deranked on Google now, I assume because of its age and because it’s on straight HTML pages. I’d like to make it easier for that audience to find it.

I could recreate it all here on the blog. It would be a massive project, and I’d be sharing now information I gathered as long as 14 years ago. I suppose I could title posts to reveal the year I made the trip. It would enhance the ability for interested people to find this information when they search for it. But I’m not sure it would interest most of my regular blog audience.

Another option I’ve considered is blowing away my old HTML jimgrey.net site, setting up a self-hosted WordPress instance there, and moving all of my old road-trip pages to it. It would still be a massive project, and it would still make that info more searchable, but it would remain a separate site to maintain.

I’m not sure what’s best! But I do know that it’s time to stop putting this off.

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