Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"The Price of Silver View Blog 500 Posts, last published on Jun 5, 2007"

That's what it said as I was setting up to post today's blog entry. The photograph of me with the pelicans flying overhead was the one that I used on the very first post, when I first started The Price of Silver 500 days ago. Since then I've been posting at least one photo and a few paragraphs of text, which is usually about the photo: who, where and when, what was happening, why it was taken, and very often some info on the equipment I used to take the photo. In this case it was my Voigtlander Bessa L with the 15mm f/4.5 Super Wide Heliar lens. I was holding the camera in my left hand aiming b'guess and b'gosh as we used to say. The pelicans picked out their own places in the sky. The location was North Miami's Bayfront Park on N.E. 123rd St., at the beginning of Broad Causeway leading across Biscayne Bay to the beaches.

I started this blog for two reasons. The first was that I was made to feel uncomfortable on Photo.net's Leica Forum for stupid things like actually using film and Leicas for most of my photographs, as I had done for over 45 years. The hecklers seem to be friends of the forum owner and are above reproach. They do as they please. I needed a place to post my photos and what I write about them.

The second reason is that a lot of people had been (and still are) encouraging me to write a book about my life as a photographer. I kept starting, but nothing ever really got underway. The blog allows me to write in short spurts, one adventure at a time, and then later perhaps edit it into book form.

I always thought of myself as a good photographer but never had the ambition to own and run a studio, nor did I enjot travelling to the corners of the planet. A twenty-five mile radius from my house seemed just fine. It wasn't until I started writing and posting over on Photo.net, and corresponding with people that I was meeting there, that I realized that I'd met and photographed everyone from counter culture author Allen Ginsberg to civil rights activist Rev. Jessie Jackson to President Bill Clinton. Ballet stars and rock & roll stars. Several governors, a few presidents, bunches of congressmen and senators and mayors. I'd been the photographer for Barry University and the City of North Miami and Congressman Bill Lehman for a couple of decades.

When my son Jonathan was here last year he remarked at how everybody knows me, whether its the baristas at the local Starbucks or the people at city hall. Wherever I go I hear the familiar "Hey Al". It's a nice feeling. The self-portrait series started out as a way of documenting myself in my day to day travels about town, the places I go, the people I know, the things that I do. Those are mixed in with the older photos from my life as a photographer. And sometimes I'll just use a photograph as a take-off point to rant on about something totally unrelated to what's in the picture.

This blog became a Yahoo! Pick on July 31st last year, and a bit of searching found links to and praises of the blog at numerous other websites and blogs in other countries. Here's Yahoo's top 100 U.S. list: http://dir.yahoo.com/arts/visual_arts/photography/blogs/?b=60

It's also on the Yahoo top 100 list for UK and Ireland as well as
the Yahoo top 100 list for Australia and New Zealand:

On the one hand it's all very flattering but on the other it makes for a tough row to hoe, trying to maintain at that standard day after day. It keeps me on my toes, it keeps my mind active, and it's resulted in my meeting a lot of fantastic people, some just on the 'net but many in person also. Don't hesitate to email me with comments or suggestions, or to tell me you'll be in Miami and would like to meet for coffee.

I have some new directions I'd like to try on the blog over the next few months and your comments and input are welcome. Thank you all for your help in making The Price of Silver the success it's become. Special thanks to Todd Frederick for his Photoshop skills in reviving the faded images of some ancient color slides and posting all these pictures. Thanks to my old buddy Jon Sinish for occasional advice on making this place more "Google friendly" and catching the occasional grammatical or spelling error that slips by me late at night.

2 Comments:

Blogger Rav said...

Hey Al,

I enjoy your posts and agree with you about the situation at photo.net.

Keep posting and bloggin and most of all enjoying yourself.

Best regards and looking forward to the next 500 posts.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous MikeC... said...

I began reading your comments over on photo.net and now read your blog most everyday--very nice stuff and I enjoy sharing your daily life--thanks Al...

4:50 PM  

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