It’s unbelievable. I launched Light & Grain exactly one year ago with my first blog post New “kid” on the blog. And it feels as if it had been last week. The year has just passed in a rush with many professional and personal obligations leaving not much room for photography. Nevertheless, I managed to start with three so-called projects B/W, Color and Pinhole which quickly developed into small collections of 35mm and medium format photographs. Being rather unspecific, the project names had to be changed around summer, because I wanted to include genres like street or nature containing both color and b/w photography. By the end of 2018 two new projects, The last day and Dresden Bahn materialized and they had to find a home as well. In the end I decided to turn the old website a little upside down with the portfolio now displayed on the landing page and the real projects anchored in the menu bar. Since the portfolio didn’t match the original intro image, the fallen birch tree, this had to go as well. I think now the page looks much more professional, but see for yourself!
Producing a constant stream of content is a tricky one and well-illustrated by the frequency with which I was (un)able to publish my blog posts during the last year. In the beginning I had the naïve idea that writing a blog post every month would be an easy task. Being enthusiastic about the fact that I had managed to publish Light & Grain in the first place I thought that the writing part was the least difficult in terms of both topics and time. While I was correct topic-wise, time was a different issue. Same as now I used the commuting hours in the train to conceptualize the posts, but oftentimes I got stuck half way and ended up with bits and pieces of potential posts covering such different topics as gear, photo walks, history of photography, camera collections etc. Accumulating these texts on my computer did not help either with obeying to my self-set rule of publishing one post a month. On the contrary, there had been several months without any new online material, be it posts or photographs. On the other hand I sometimes managed to publish images and texts twice a week. Miraculously, at the end of the first year I had accumulated some 14 posts – more than the proposed 12 pieces of photography-related content I was dreaming of in the beginning. But now comes the interesting part: Is anyone reading it? Not very often to say the least. I must admit that I did not spend much energy advertising the page, yet…filling it was more of a priority for me. But attracting an audience is certainly something on my to-do list for the near future. As said in one of my earlier posts, even if the number of visits stays low, the webpage is still a very useful online dashboard for me to create and store content, which at some point in the future may serve a different purpose.
So, you ask, what did I learn from setting up my own photography page? Why didn’t I use Flickr or Instagram to expose my images and thoughts to a much larger community? Good question! To be honest: I am not overly enthusiastic about social media. And what you immediately learn is that no one’s waiting for you being present online. If you’re not actively advertising your content or use the different tools to get caught by the Google algorithms, no one stumbles upon your content. And even if someone landed on your page, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they come back. Why? The old Cartier-Bresson rule of thumb that your first 10.000 images are basically for the waste bin still holds and for me to pass that number is still some way ahead. If you are one of the few people who have visited Light & Grain in the past, please stay tuned as my website will continuously grow and its content will (hopefully!) mature over time. So, thanks for visiting my website during its first year of existence, and I am looking forward to meeting you here every now and then until the second anniversary of Light & Grain‘s online presence!