Semi-Retirement/Sabbatical

(a version of this post originally appeared on 75CentralPhotography.Com)

As many of you probably know, besides architecting/managing software development, I do photography on the side, mainly for fun/relaxation/small source of revenue to fun the hobby itself. 

For over fifteen years, I’ve shared a photo every day on 75CentralPhotography.Com. I’ve never missed a day, despite travels, work, personal things and even being sick with Covid for a couple of weeks during the earlier part of the pandemic. However, I recently decided, after much soul-searching, that I needed to step back a bit and defocus and breathe. Below is the post I shared on that site announcing my change-of-pace.

 

 

Fifteen Years. 5,511 days.

If you’ll recall, back in August, I celebrated the 15th anniversary of posting a new photo every day at 75CentralPhotography.

That’s 5,530 photos, only a small fraction of the 441,751 photos I’ve captured in that time.

Every night, I queue up a new photo for the next day, carefully combing through my Lightroom catalog for a new photo that I hope will delight, inspire and add a little joy to your day.

I started 75CentralPhotography on a whim in 2007. I’d just gotten back into the photography hobby/semi-profession after a long absence because digital SLRs had finally reached the perfect intersection of affordability/quality that made it worth pursuing. No longer constrained by the cost of film and processing, I started shooting. A lot. I’d spend Saturdays and Sundays going on “photo drives” around my home of North Texas. A quick jaunt to Hico or Fort Richardson or Marietta was a great way to spend the day and explore. I soon decided to start sharing my work with others. First on Flickr, then on my own site. I never meant to make it a daily thing, but it soon became one.

Life kept evolving. I got married. Moved a couple of times. Got a dog. Lost a dog. Got more dogs. Did a fair amount of traveling with my wife: our home state of Texas, Canada, Alaska, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, to name a few. In my professional life, I moved up the ranks and changed jobs a few times.

Photographically, I moved from Canon to Panasonic to Sony systems. The site itself moved from a homegrown ASP.Net-based CMS to WordPress (along with a rebranding).

But the constant, daily ritual of posting a new photo was always there. A single thing that I had to do. If we were traveling and I knew I’d be away for a bit, part of my pre-travel duties, beyond packing and planning, was to queue up photos for the duration of our trip. It was a like a constant buzzing in the back of my mind—something that I had to do to feel “complete”. Not unlike, I suppose, and possibly related to, the urges of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

But now I’ve decided that it’s time to step back a bit. I’m not retiring (this has never been more than a serious hobby for me that brings in just enough revenue to pay for itself and a few vacations, so there’s nothing really to retire from), but I am going to start to slow things down a bit. It seems that at some point in the last few months, doing a daily photo has become more of an obligation than a hobby, and I don’t like the way that feels. I want photography to be fresh and exciting to me again.

I won’t make photography the main focus of our travels. Won’t get up early quite-so-often for the perfect sunrise over the lake. Won’t interrupt evenings spending time with my wife and our dogs to make sure I have a new photo queued up. Won’t lug around so much gear on trips.

Instead, starting next week, I’m going to begin to transition this site to more of an “occasionally-updated” state. For a while, I’m going to reduce the number of new photos from daily to at least three per week. Then maybe even less than that. Maybe I’ll eventually just share only the best on rare occasions. My hope is that this will reinvigorate my creativity and passion since it won’t feel like an obligation. Who knows? Maybe at some point in the future, I’ll start posting daily again.

The archives will, of course, stay up on the site—they’re not going anywhere. Clients can still license photos or order prints. I’m still open to commissions. You can still follow me on Twitter and Instagram, where I’ll keep posting—just not as often. And I’ll still keep taking photos—just not quite so many, but maybe more-meaningful photos.

Finally, I want to say thanks to everyone who has supported me over the last fifteen years. Beyond my family, it’s the encouragement of my followers on social media, readers/viewers of 75CentralPhotography.com, and the clients that have purchased prints or licenses over the years that have kept me going this long.

A Touch of Newness

First Post

If you’re at all familiar with me or my work, you’re probably familiar with the fact that one of my passions in life is photography. In fact, you probably stumbled here from my photography site, 75CentralPhotograpy, where I’ve been publishing a new photo every day for over 11 years now. 

However, photography isn’t my only interest in life. For example, when I’m not taking photos, I do software and solutions architecture for a global telecommunications company, with a focus on cloud solutions such as Salesforce, as well as Microsoft’s .NET platform.

And, when I’m not doing either of those, I like to spend time with my wife, Laura, our three dogs, Millie, Etta and Bonnie, and our cat, Alice.

I started this blog as an outlet for my non-photography-related interests and observations, as well as a way to share some of the weird and wonderful things I’ve collected over the years, such as old postcards, old photos and interesting books.

If you’re interesting in more photography-specific items, I do occasionally (for a very-generous definition of “occasionally”) blog at blog.75centralphotograpy.com.

Otherwise, please go ahead and bookmark this site and I promise there will at least occasionally be something of interest here.