Unguided Tour Has Moved

March 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Unguided Tour has moved to its own URL: http://www.unguided-tour.com/

Please check out my new post, “A Dedication to Creating.”

2010 in review

January 10, 2011 § 2 Comments

Happy New Year

Recently, I received an email from the Word Press People, describing the success of my blog, by how many people visited it. I was surprised by their note, which was unexpected to me, as well as by how many people spent a few minutes reading my blog and viewing the images that I posted. For all of you, who have made this blog successful, thank you. I truly appreciate the time that  you have spent. Every year, I keep telling myself that I will post twice a month, yet I can never seem to get into the groove of following through with this promise. However, I will be making a more concerted effort this year, as I already have a long list of ideas, events, book reviews, and articles that I would like to post about photography.  Additionally, I have several blank fields in my blog that I will also be filling in, which I hope a few readers will find useful.

Exciting personal news, in the forefront of mind anyway, is that I am working on the redesign of my current website. I started this process back in October of 2010, and I am hoping it will be live by Lunar New Year. The redesign is very exciting, as it will be more conceptual in nature, and mimicking certain aspects of the History of Photography, related more to the pre-digital era. Also, there will be a new photo-essay that I have been printing since August, on the Shanghai Provence of China. These images and this essay is finally coming into fruition, and will be posted at the launch of the new website.

Below is the email I received from Word Press, describing the health of my blog. Once again, thank you, to all of you, who have taken the time to view my postings and my photographic endeavors, on my current website, http://www.thomaslindahlrobinson.com

Happy New Year,
Thomas

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 3 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 35 posts. There were 62 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 37mb. That’s about a picture per week.

The busiest day of the year was February 22nd with 74 views. The most popular post that day was Daniella’s Birthday Party And Her Grandfather, Alberto.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were thomaslindahlrobinson.com, blisterina.wordpress.com, facebook.com, networkedblogs.com, and en.forums.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for stefan jora, alberto del rio, no conversation, unguidedtour wordpress, and alberto del rio house.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Daniella’s Birthday Party And Her Grandfather, Alberto February 2010
3 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

About The Author November 2009

3

About My Rhythm November 2009

4

My Photographic Journey February 2010

5

Technical Notes February 2010

To photograph or not to photograph?

October 20, 2010 § 1 Comment

In late summer, I had an opportunity to travel to Kona, Hawaii; the big Island for seven days. This was more or less suppose to be a vacation, an opportunity to rest and relax, for the first time, in a long time. When possible I do like to take a weekend excursion, yet it is usually photographic related. My dilemma was to photograph or not to photograph?

It is a difficult and indecisive decision at times, as photography or art can become not only an obsession, but a way of life. The idea of simply lying around and reading a book, unless it is a compelling photography book, is difficult for me to comprehend, especially when you are surrounded by moments of eloquent light. As always, indecisiveness seems to set in, and the question became more clear; to photograph or not to photograph?

The next morning, I talked to one of the guys at the hotel, hoping he can give some leads of some of where the fisherman hang out, surfers, or more of where the local community is. He was an older caucasian man with, with a plump belly, an oval-shaped face, and white beard with plenty of aloha spirit; a Hawaiian Santa Claus. However, when I asked him about these ideas and what I hoped to photograph, he suggested I relax at the beach, and later go to the local bookstore to buy a book on the local surfers. I was bit taken back and disappointed with his suggestions, that I decided to see what I could photograph on my own.

The key to any successful project is gaining trust of those of who want to photograph and for what purpose. Day 3 was soon ending, and not much luck on any front. I decided to drive to more of the local beaches, talk to a few Hawaiians, and when I asked them if I could photograph them, they would often state, “I have aloha spirit, you should have aloha spirit too brah, and go to the beach, relax and swim, this is Hawaii brah.”  Okay, things were not going very well, and Day 4 was fast approaching. After a few mai-tais, I thought maybe this would put in the aloha spirit, but I was hoping to find a little more adventure.

The following Day, I decided to rent some snorkel gear, go to a reef and see what was underneath the water. The reef was spectacular, teeming with life of oddly shaped and colored fish. It was incredible, I just entered another world, a world I had access too, but not the right equipment. I made no attempt in finding a pro-camera rental shop that would rent such gear either. This adventure was apart of the aloha magic, something to be experienced and appreciated for what it was and in the moment. In the end, I wound up photographing the least likely suspects, and the ones who would be least bothered by my presence as a photographer, and photograph the tourist swimming at the reef. Perhaps, next time, I will choose not to photograph, yet the temptation and the desire are often, far stronger and more intriguing, than sometimes lying around reading a book or hiking on volcanos.

Day 4, rose and set, as quickly as the light, a flash, a brief the moment I spent mesmerized by the dazzling colors of the fish and their shapes. The next day was a planned a trip to Volcano National Park, yet still eager to find something to photograph and swim at the reef, I decided to skip the drive and all day hike; besides I was hoping to photograph people, interesting people, the people who live and breathe Hawaii.  I finally realized that unless you live on the island it would be a difficult project to carry out. Their have been times, when I have been able to travel to a foreign place or domestic city and photograph. However, the difference was that I had someone who help me make the connections prior to my plane landing. Since this was a vacation, I figured, I would relax.

Introduction

November 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

I am currently in the process of migrating my old blog (unguided-tour.blogspot.com) to word press. This will take say some time, so please be patient, as I continue to build this blog. One can only hope that they have something inspirational to say or images to post. In the meantime please stop by website: http://www.thomaslindahlrobinson.com.

Thanks,

Thomas

New Website

March 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

http://www.thomaslindahlrobinson.com

Hopefully, I will start having more time to update my blog. For the past six months, I have been working on creating a new website. When I started this project, I did not realize how long the entire process would take; from conception to getting one portfolio online. I was hoping that by the time the web designer finished that I would have had three portfolios ready to go, but this is not the case. Overall, this has been an exciting process for me; revisiting older work, editing, and sequencing, yet, I found the process to be quite challenging and time consuming, making one change after another.

The most challenging decisions, however, were the ones with the smallest details, but unchangeable; like the domain name. I struggled with this for at least a month or two, just trying to decide what the domain name should be. I was debating between several different names, and whether or not there should be a “photo” or “photography” related word. Quite a few suggestions were made to me by those I frequent with at cafes, and in passing conversations. Their suggestions were to create a domain name that is short, easy to remember, and to add the word “photography,” which is a little difficult to do when you either have such a common name, or a long name already. The domain name that I eventually decided was the least popular by those who offered their advice; they don’t know yet, but will find out soon enough that I did not adhere to their advice. Hopefully, they will understand that I had good intentions when I asked them, and won’t be too offended.

Additionally, I found it quite difficult to write a bio. It is such a personal thing, and how many people really care? A lot, of the bios that I viewed, seem to have the same formula, name, accomplishments, education, awards, and clients. Please don’t get me wrong, these photographers should be proud of their accomplishments, awards, and clients that they worked hard to impress, as it can be challenging to gain a client’s trust and respect, especially if they have never worked with you before. In the end though, I would like to think that it just simply a matter of what kind of person you are; are you human?; do you really care about the plight of others-their happiness, their sadness, their stories. Certainly the photographers work that I viewed all seem to deeply empathize with their subjects, who allowed them in their lives to be photographed, but it did not come across in some of their bios, and awards or client lists cannot always reveal such details.

The other challenge that I faced was that I only had one portfolio ready to go up on the website. I really wanted to have a minimum of three portfolios, however, knowing how much I love to procrastinate, I knew that if I waited any longer, it would take another half a year before the website would go live. The same friends who offered their suggestions for the domain name, bio, and a few of the other details, also suggested to go live with just the one portfolio, and continuously and religiously, update the website. So, I am currently working on two additional portfolios; Hong Kong, and new edit and sequence of my work on Tibet. I hope to have both projects up and running by the end of April, but knowing myself, chances are I will only have one up.

The last challenge that I am faced with, is that I have about 15 years of photographic work, and all in the form of negatives; no digital files of any kind. So, I have been experimenting with either having the negatives scanned, or printing them in my darkroom, then scanning the prints. I have found that the having the negatives scanned, then editing and sequencing them is a much quicker process for me than printing fiber base prints, and then scanning the same prints. However, printing the images and then scanning them is more satisfying for me, which I also believe, renders a more beautiful aesthetic, even for the web, especially since my printing skills are greater than my photoshop skills. I find that I can bring out the slightest details or tonalities that I would never seem to be able to enhance otherwise. On the flip side of this, I had one severely damaged (scratched) negative, which wound up being one of the key images (image #2) for the current portfolio on Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy). Because of photoshop, I was able to remove all of the scratches from the negative, and this was something that I was never able to accomplish in the darkroom with that particular negative before. By the end of the day, I had a choice to either move quickly on adding portfolios to my website by scanning the negs, or really taking my time, and printing fiber base prints, and scanning them. Depending upon how the scanned fiber base prints of Hong Kong and Tibet appear, this will determine the process for how I build the rest of the website.

I don’t really have much insight as to which one is better; I am simply more accustomed, and enjoy the process working in the dark than I do in the light.

My next article will be more about the Hansen’s Disease project; an old article from “Life” magazine about Carville and some of its patients, some of the images that were edited out of the photo-essay, and hopefully an interview from a former resident of Carville.

I hope all is well in your part of the world.

Thomas

January 12, 2008 § Leave a comment

In case there are any avid viewers that frequent this blog; I am taking a little holiday from blogging. I hope to return sometime in the spring with new material from recent trips from Asia (Hong Kong and Thailand). In addition, I will continue to post older images from previous projects.

I have quite a bit of work to organize this year, which is my New Year’s resolution.

Thanks for viewing . . . Happy New Year!

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