A cold month of February has come to an end and as usual, here’s a brief look back, with some notes about my photography, the weather, and a summary of changes and news on the site.
February wasn’t just a cold month – we got a lot of excellent rain as well. What a relief! The landscape looks incredibly green and it’s hard to decide where to be right now – if I could, I’d be out on our nearby local trails, the desert, the coastal slopes and the back country all the time! The combination of cold days, bountiful winter rains and spring about to explode has been really intense already this month. I have been out with the camera often, chasing plants and waterfalls, and I still have quite some catching up to do with those photos. I’m hoping to have the second dozen of images for another “Signs of Life” gallery ready soon, as well as one or the other more extensive “Plant Portrait” gallery.
My photo “Ghost Copse” (from the recent blog article about Winter Moments in Southern California) and a few of my own observations made their way into an article in the San Diego Union Tribune: “February brought county a big chill” – check it out. :-)
Cleaning out the vaults
Realizing which photos I actually care about and want to show is a slow process, riddled with distractions, and on top of that, what’s “it” is a moving target too, of course. I feel like I’m getting closer to it though (as I’ve outlined in my 2018 Year In Review article), and thankfully, it’s often quite easy to make the decision, with the question: do I care enough about this photo, or do I not? There’s a lot of photos on the site that I do not care about enough, but when I put them online back then I asked the wrong question, namely: would someone else care about these photos?
With this realization, it was easy to remove some older content from the site that just isn’t “it” (sometimes, not anymore, sometimes, it probably never was). This will be a slow and long cleanup, and it also involves this project:
After a critical look at the photos in the most recent blog posts from my San Diego 100 Peaks list hikes, it was clear that they had to go – they are too documentary and too far away from what I want to present here. I like to document the hikes with photos of course and to do that, I began to move some of the more recent posts over to my personal blog, and will continue to do so (slowly, as time permits). I already moved the “overview” page, and placed redirects so that (hopefully) no one is lost in dead links. :-)
Why am I doing that? I could just leave that stuff alone, right? Not quite. In the back end of the site, I’m adding keywords to the photos and file them into categories – and it’s simply too much work for these documentary photos. I could sync the keywords from Lightroom directly to WordPress, but my Lightroom keywords are far more comprehensive that the ones I use online, so I manually enter keywords for each photo that I add to the site, and I found many of the photos from my hikes not even “archive worthy” to be quite honest (in the context of this site, I mean). They’re in the way, clutter the Media Library of the site, and simply cost too much time to deal with. It’s good that I reached this level of clarity.
And… I do continue to hike the list peaks, of course! :-)
Here are a few photos that I’ve added to the site in February, and that I’m quite fond of. On small-screen devices like phones or tablets, you can just scroll down. On larger screens, you may also click on any image to open it in the slideshow gallery view. For the best effect, I suggest switching your browser to fullscreen mode then. This is usually done by pressing the F11 key (and again, or ESC, to switch back).
Portfolio Additions & Changes
I updated the Algodones Dunes portfolio with two new images, below (yes, I still have photos from the various 2014 visits to the dunes that I haven’t evaluated and processed thoroughly!). In addition to that, I re-worked the “Chaparral Hillsides” portfolio and renamed it to “Shrublands” (more fitting, since the chaparral and sage scrub communities often overlap). I also added an artist statement – if you care to take a look, it’s below the image gallery here: Shrublands.
These photos also available as prints in my print-on-demand store. Your print purchase will support me greatly as an artist! Doesn’t have to be an enormous canvas… an 8×10″ is just as helpful…
In addition to the recent favorites and portfolio additions above, the following photos have been added to my photo archive, but do not appear in a blog article or portfolio gallery at present. I share these individually on social media (currently only my personal Facebook account and Twitter, and Google+ while it is still available) and combine them here for all those who follow my website via email (thanks!).
In February, I looked at old music that has a sort of an anniversary. My favorite Rush album was released 30 years ago, in 1989: Presto – and I had not listened to it in such a long time! I had forgotten just how good it is, played it repeatedly, and sung along – its lyrics and music are ingrained in my heart and mind forever. I’m not one to believe in magic – but I sometimes have a second sight.
That’s all from February. Thank you very much for following along and your support! See you around soon.