Over the past 15 or so years, this site has expanded and grown outwards in a haphazard fashion. In all honesty I never really put a huge amount of thought into how things should be structured or laid out. It started off with me sharing pictures on Tumblr, and then somehow evolved into a full-blown photo blog.
Along the way, I started writing about cameras and lenses that I’ve collected – articles which have become some of the most visited on the site (I mean, I presume they are. If I’m honest, I don’t really check the stats). The trouble is that I suffer from a completionist attitude, where I hold off on publishing these posts until they are completely ready. I hate when you read an article by somebody that clearly just has substantive bare bones, and it’s clear that it was pushed out as quickly as possible to generate ‘content’. Whilst noble, my approach means that I have around 70+ unfinished posts sitting in my drafts at any one time. It was getting to the point that it seemed unlikely many of them would ever be published.
So, I’ve decided to change tact.
Embracing the idea of a ‘digital garden’ that I discovered thanks to my colleague Cheri, I’ve decided to treat the articles on gear as dynamic, ever-evolving pages – a collection of notes, specs, and thoughts on the cameras, lenses, and other bits and pieces that I use or discover, – as opposed to chronological blogs that are trapped in time This way, I can effectively banish the paralysing need to finish the articles completely before sharing, because… in essence they will never be done.
Shifting my perspective in this way has genuinely been liberating, and I’ve found that it makes this site feel much more alive, and cohesive. No longer is it a blog that I only occasionally update – but a place I can immediately jot down thoughts and have them available as a public reference.
To recognise all of this, I’ve created a dedicated page for the various posts I’ve made (or will make) on different cameras and lenses, which will be updated on an incremental basis.
I’ve updated the home page to highlight this, but also bring out some of the more interesting posts from across the site. Previously, finding anything was a nightmare – and hopefully now it will be much easier. Even if it isn’t, I feel good about it, and that’s all that matters.
A new Folio
While updating the layout of this incredible blog, I realised that my folio site had also somehow stopped working properly at some point. It seemed sensible to take that as a sign of a refresh being over-due a refresh, and I decided to recreate the whole thing from scratch.
Initially, this endeavour felt like a bit of a waste of time and energy, as I’m not actively seeking any photography related work (in fact, quite the opposite). However, it is nice to have a central place with a curated selection of some of your better images, and it does come in handy from time to time, if only to provide myself with some kind of inner validity. I took the opportunity to increase the number of pictures that I am sharing in each gallery, and while it might not include the greatest shots I’ve ever taken – I’m happy with how it’s turned out.
Go have a swatch over at stephenmcleodphoto.com.
Preservation, not Presentation
All of this ties into something of a revelation that I had recently about my attitude towards photography, and why I have been struggling so much with it over the past few years.
I’ll write about this more at another time, but I think what I’ve come to realise is that my focus was often on producing images for a blog, as opposed to having an appreciation of the value of taking pictures in of itself. This whole notion of moving away from a chronological blog being the primary means of expression in that regard makes complete sense because of that, and I’m keen to see where it goes.
Have a poke about, and let me know what you think.