I’m typing this from Heathrow Airport on my way back to Austin after a lovely week in Scotland to celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday. The week involved three parties, lots of catching up, visits with old friends and quite a lot of coffee drinking and shortbread eating. It was wonderful to see so many folks I’ve not seen in up to 20 years and also to have some more time with my British nephew and nieces.
Prior to my arrival, friends had organised a surprise party on the Saturday before Dad’s birthday. The surprises continued on Tuesday, his actual birthday, when I arrived, unannounced, at his front door and joined him and friends for his “official” birthday lunch at Ristorante La Vigna, our by-now-traditional venue for all major celebrations held in Lanark. On Saturday, brothers Ian and Alastair, along with their families, flew in for another lunch, this time at the Shieldhall Hotel near Biggar where we spent a very leisurely afternoon eating, drinking and making merry in the lovely country hotel.
I didn’t take too many pictures this week, but here are a few I did grab during the festivities.
That’s a picture of my elder son’s first birthday party back in 2000. This blog isn’t quite as old as Cameron but today is its 9th birthday! The first post appeared on June 10th, 2003. Over the years, the focus has shifted somewhat with this blog now essentially acting as a repository for long-form posts and tutorials that wouldn’t fit into the format of my daily photoblog. It’s also a place that I enjoy sharing videos I’ve found (see yesterday’s post for an example) and quick links to other helpful or amusing sites.
Over the 9 years, I’ve written 596 posts and received 487 non-spam comments. On days when I don’t post, the blog doesn’t get a lot of traffic but occasionally a post gets linked from a popular site and I see a huge spike in views. The highest spike to date occurred on January 14th, 2010 when my “Best of 2009” post was linked from DPS and just under 1500 people clicked through the link.
Here are the top 10 posts in terms of views since I moved the blog to the WordPress platform in February 2009:
- Best of 2009
- Best of 2010
- HDR Tip #7 – Magic Blue Sky Halo Removal
- Real Photographers Shoot In Manual Mode (or not)
- HDR For Real Estate Photography
- Shooting Skylines at Night
- Cracking the HDR Noise Problem
- HDR Tip #1 – HDR From A Single RAW
- Hamilton Pool
- HDR Notes for PhotoNetCast Listeners
All being well, I have every intention of keeping the blog running for the foreseeable future. Thanks to all of you who take a little time out of your day to read my scribblings!
This blog is 8 years old today. I posted my first entry on June 10th, 2003 and have added a total of 548 more since then, averaging one post every 5 and a half days. My posting rate has gone down over the last couple of years as I’ve started concentrating more on my photoblog but this site has become a great vehicle for long-form posts and tutorials that don’t fit well with the photoblog format.
Looking back over the early posts, it’s clear that a great deal of water has passed under the bridge since I started writing. I’ve posted goodbyes to my mother and my wife’s step-father, news of the construction of our home, a job change, first days at school, trips to Guatemala, hints at my first forays into HDR and reports after teaching HDR workshops, pictures at an exhibition, news of our family vacations (and here, and here, and here) and umpteen other unrelated, though interesting or topical, snippets.
Although the focus has definitely shifted very much more towards photography over the last 3 or 4 years, I’ll try to keep the content varied moving forward. The older the blog gets, the more I am delighted I started it all those years ago since, as my memory becomes increasingly unreliably, it’s great to have this continuous stream of family history to look back through and refresh the neurons with.
Today is the 7th anniversary of the first post to this blog. Back in June 2003, I imagined the blog purely as a way to keep the rest of my far-flung family up to date on news but in the following years, it’s morphed more towards photography than news (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing).
Moving forward, expect more photography articles and tutorials (these are definitely the most popular posts on the site) along with the usual collection of images, background technical information and general chit-chat.
Thanks to everyone who reads the blog – I know you’re out there even if you don’t comment a lot 🙂
Our oldest “baby” (second from the right in this picture) turned 10 last Wednesday. It hardly seems any time since I was pushing a stroller around our neighbourhood late at night trying to get our little, colic-suffering bundle of joy to stop screaming and go to sleep. I’m glad to say that most of the screaming these days if of the “scream for joy” variety, thank goodness.
We celebrated on Friday night when a group of his friends came over for a food fight, hot tubbing, marshmallow roasting and many, many hours of video game playing. They had a blast and, thankfully, kept the whipped cream outside and off the carpets.
On Saturday morning, we got together with all the guys in the Cub Scout den and played Blazer Tag, something that was greatly appreciated by Dad as well as the boys. There’s something amazingly therapeutic about racing around a darkened, 3 storey arena blasting people with a lazer gun 🙂