POWER BLOGGING and YOU and ME: Photo 101 Five-in-One

Conundrum of the day: I’m ambivalent about email notices. I’m fairly new to the blogging scene, my site is only a few months old, I have only a handful of followers who actually follow me, but many more who “like” me from time to time. And this week, I learned a new word regarding bloggers: “power blogging.” OK, two words. I’m not quite sure of the definition, but I’m told if you google it, you can find a list of the “top 50 power bloggers.” I have not taken time to do that. Yet. But I might sooner or later, just to find out what the concept, and the hype, is all about.

One thing power bloggers do, I hear, is they post like a gazillion times in one day. I’m not sure I’m following any power bloggers, but I am following a couple folks who post—if not a gazillion—quite a few times in one day. And not just some uplifting quote from some famous author or another site, but a whole section or chapter of a book, apparently. And not one day, but every day. Those people, together with all the other people I’m following, have taken over my email.

I’ve got a gazillion email notifications telling me people I’m following have posted something, or liked something, or commented, or responded to a comment, or something. And I’m annoyed. Because, what if Tina wrote, and I didn’t know it because I haven’t deleted or sifted through all those messages? What if the IRS tries to inform me that I have a $5000 rebate coming? Oh shit, that reminds me, I have to do my income tax return. I’ve been out of the country for long enough that I don’t have to pay taxes, so I won’t be receiving any notice saying I’ll get a rebate. I’m just saying, what if I miss some important email buried in the effluvia.

I’m ambivalent because I like getting those email notices. I want to know what those people are doing. I want to see their photos, read their stuff, or see the map of where they’re headed next. I want to “like” their stuff. I want to comment on their choice of bokeh over a deeper depth-of-field background.

A couple of friendly followers have recently informed me how to deal with this situation, turn off the email messages, but, remember I’m that procrastinator I previously warned you about. So, now my laptop weighs like three more pounds than it should because it’s full of all those email messages—this is the kind of trick your brain tries to play on you when you’re stressed.

One reason I’m stressed is because I’m taking the Photo 101 course, and I’m supposed to post a photo a day relating to the theme of the day. Again this week, I have not posted daily, and therefore, I will submit all five theme photos today in this one post—not so much because I’m a procrastinator, but more because I’m busy; I have a sort-of-a life, dude, with responsibilities…apparently, quite unlike those power bloggers who obviously sit at their computers 12 hours daily posting one after another. And why?—is my question. Do they just want a lot of likes, or a lot of followers. Are they making money? Are they narcissistic (that is, more narcissistic than the rest of us who blog because we think someone might give some tiny flying freak about what we post)?   Ok, on to Photo 101:

1. POP & COLOR:

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Amsterdam’s 17th-century Canal Belt is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Red Light District, which was the center of the city during medieval times, has been undergoing an extensive renovation. They say they will reduce prostitution by, say 30 percent, and highlight more of the historical aspects of the oldest part of Amsterdam (what is more historical than prostitution?). You can imagine how difficult it might be to perform any kind of construction work in such confined spaces as the narrow streets along these canals. Even collecting garbage is a fine art in Amsterdam. This photo is the Damrak, a canal just outside the Red Light District. I have wandered in to that district from here to see what is what (so to speak), but I’m not a customer—if you were wondering. And just so you know, I’m not old-fashioned, close-minded, smug or ostentatiously virtuous, nor opposed to the concept at all. I’m just shy. And maybe too cheap to pay for it.

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Who knew you could rupture your belly button? An umbilical hernia—what is up with human bodies—just when you think you understand it, something like this appears. I don’t usually take, nor show, photos of posed people. But my best travel buddy, Lisa, flew from Minnesota to assist me when I had an operation and could not drive, move well, or lift anything for a couple weeks while healing. You gotta love a friend with that kind of devotion. And she’s the best house cleaner in the world, really. And she loves to clean. You walk into her house, it’s like walking into a brand new home, and still has that “new-car” aroma. If I dropped a grape on her floor, I would pick it up and eat it. I wouldn’t do that in my house. For a couple weeks while she visited, I had a very clean home. Plus, in the photo, there was that splash of fuchsia of her jacket offset by the green of my apartment building and the Arabian Gulf in the background.

  1. ARCHITECTURE & MONOCHROME:

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Years ago, I read a pretty good book called Going Back to Bisbee, by Richard Shelton, a fairly famous poet and writer living in Tucson, AZ. The book is about his journey in a blue Dodge van (not-so-creatively named “Blue Boy”) outfitted for him to live in. He drives alone out of Tucson and winds his way on back roads through the desert landscape and history toward Bisbee. The book is more about his adventure on the road and people of the past, and less about Bisbee. Bisbee, now an artist community with fewer than 6,000 residents, was once known as “the Queen of the Copper Camps” and was one of the world’s richest mineral sites: copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc. In the early 1900’s, it was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco, and very “cultured.”

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Don’t get me wrong here, because I love dogs. But in this particular bungalow where I stayed the summer a couple years ago in Ubud, Bali, a guard dog lived on the grounds. Her name was Juliette; she not only barked, but came up to me menacingly growling every single time I came through the gate. Every time. I’m good with dogs. I’m good with cats. I’m good with horses. I’m good with hermit crabs. Vipers—not so much. I tried petting Juliette. Still barked. I tried talking to her softly. I tried kneeling. Still barked. Then, I started bribing her with dog food I’d buy at the Bintang Market. Still barked. But she did begin slinking over to my bungalow, and actually began sleeping by the veranda sometimes, waiting for food. She never let me pet her. Generally, dogs are not treated well in Bali; I imagine she had a terrible trauma when younger. Juliette refusing to befriend me was one of the worst experiences I’ve had in Bali, maybe anywhere I’ve traveled. This photo is the kitchen window of my bungalow. Juliette would not usually bark at me if I was in my bungalow, but she did a few times. Quite literally, a bitch.

  1. MOMENT & MOTION:

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Komodo dragons “lick” the air with their forked tongues and can smell a dead body miles away. If you get bitten by one, but you escape, you will probably die anyway from the toxic bacteria that lives in their mouths. Komodo dragons can knock down a water buffalo with their tails. Komodo dragons will eat you if you lie down by a tree and take a siesta during an afternoon walk on the island of Komodo—it happened, they found only the man’s camera by the tree. I was using 50 ASA (ISO?) slide transparency film, and there wasn’t much light, so when I shot this dragon on Komodo Island in the far eastern section of the Indonesian archipelago, his head blurred as he turned my way. You can also notice his left front foot (to your right), or rather, his claws, are blurred. That dragon is about ten feet long, maybe 2000 pounds. This photo was always a disappointment to me because I never thought I’d be able to show it because of its “motion” flaws. But, hey if the theme accommodates a blurred foot, fine by me. This dragon seems a little miffed at me; I did want him to come closer, but minus that attitude. Only one thin strand of string attached to a circle of bamboo posts stood between me and those dragons. A circle of string, one strand! And maybe fairy dust? Or magic? Or just belief?

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You can find all manner of art, restaurants, shops along Ubud’s main street, known as Jalan Raya. I was standing across the street from this shop, thinking maybe I could get a shot of a family of five riding on one motorbike, which is a pretty common occurrence here. But I’ve never been able to capture a good photo of one. I look across the street, and notice this young woman walking my way. There was something about her, some ge ne se quois that I can’t quite put my finger on, that instilled a desire to take a photo of her when I normally would not—she’s not wearing traditional clothing, probably a tourist, holding a cell phone, sewage grate in the foreground, lousy background, un-chic flip-flops. What’s to like? But something made me rip my camera out of my pack and quickly snap her photo. And I like looking at this shot for some unknowable reason, even though she is blurred because I did not have time to set my exposure. It’s not exactly what the 101 theme required for “motion,” perhaps, but it does offset the Komodo Dragon’s attitude.

  1. SCALE & OBSERVATION

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They don’t call it the Painted Desert for nothing. This section is just south of Utah’s Monument Valley, just off historic Route 66 (for those of you old enough to know what I’m talking about), and very near the Petrified Forest. It took millions of years of settling and shifting and earthquakes and volcanic action to create this layered landscape. You can get views of the desert that stretch from where you stand to the horizon. You can get stunning shots of the desert with a fiery orange sky at sundown (I’ve seen those photos). I, however, arrived during the worst time, generally speaking, for photographers—mid day, with that kind of sun and light. If you look closely at the left, bottom third of the photo, you see two hikers whose shadows puddle directly below them.

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Like most things on Bali, kite flying has a spiritual background to it. These days, flying kites has become a national past time. In July, Bali’s “kite flying” season, they hold a giant Kite Flying Festival in Sanur. But on any day when there is wind, you’ll find kids toting their kites into the rice paddies to fly them. Kites come in three varieties: fish, bird, anything you can imagine. Some look like Harley motorcycles. Some look like automobiles. Some need more than one person to fly. The kites make a rather endearing humming sound: endearing that is, after the first time you hear one believing it to be some giant creature with malicious intent circling your bungalow. The kites can be fairly small, or very large. Some kites may be 30 feet long, with a tail of 400 feet. This black kite above is maybe 10 feet tall, a fish model. The boy was happy to pose for me, and it took him and two friends to carry the thing into the field. As luck might have it, a short while after launching, their string broke, and their kite drifted miles away fairly quickly—the boys went screaming and running after it through chest-high rice.

  1. LANDSCAPE & CROP

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Utah’s Monument Valley is home to the Navajo Indians. Monument Valley was created by nature as material eroded from the ancestral Rocky Mountains, and was deposited and cemented into sandstone. The formations you see in the valley were left over after the forces of erosion worked their magic on the sandstone. A geologic uplift caused the surface to bulge and crack. Wind and water then eroded the land, and the cracks deepened and widened into gullies and canyons, which eventually became the scenery you see today. Natural forces continue to slowly shape the land. The scenery in this photo reaches all the way to the horizon.

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This is another view of the Painted Desert. Here in this part of the country, and a little further north, the Anasazi Indians dwelled. We’ve always called them Anasazi. But recently, it has been acknowledged that “anasazi” is the Navajo word for “enemy ancestors” and is now considered offensive by some contemporary tribes related to them. However, nobody agrees on just what else to call them. The Anasazi (sue me, I like the exotic sound of this name) cultivated this land from about 200 BC to AD 1500. The earliest phase of their culture is known as the “Basket Maker” period. They were quite developed as a culture: they farmed the land and built “apartments” in cliff-side caves.

While I’ve been writing this post, I fear my email has added at least 50 new messages. I don’t usually use words like “right now I’m going to”…do such and such. But if I were to say something like that, I’d start with: right now I’m going to stop blog notifications on my email. Check back with me next post, next week, and see if I procrastinated, or actually performed the physical act. Or decided to handle it a different way. If you hadn’t noticed, I did finally install my new super-badass Badfish logo to my header. Baby steps. Or as Ann Lamott says: “bird by bird.”

Oh, and I just took a moment and googled those top power bloggers. You are not going to believe this: one of them makes $20,000 a month. And get this: one of them makes $200,000 a month. Ok, I’m in. Where’s the HR office for Power Blogging?

45 comments

  1. I love the first two photos with all of the colors in the blue sky. I have had a couple of bloggers, nice people, but they blogged 20 or more so times a day and I just do not have time to keep up, and I have been quilty of blogging three or four times in one day-usually photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous collection of photos and stories. I love reading your stories. You are a natural story teller. The only photo that doesn’t appeal to me is the boy with the kite. The rest are great. Sorry to add to your email 🙂
    A.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I was informed by a few people how to stop email. I followed directions. Email is still coming!!! Now, I need to discover if I can change my blog to another email, just for blog traffic, so I can read actual email. I do want notifications, but…jeesh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Separate email’s a good idea. It doesn’t bother me. I’m just used to facing anything from 40 to 140 emails each morning. I get to delete most of them quickly enough, and take a quick look at posts I’ve commented on to see replies. Biggest thing that takes up time is reading blogs I follow, but I just do the best I can. I basically live in 2 worlds – the travelling world and the blogging world.
        A.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yeah, it’s that 40 to 140 emails to sift through…every day…that bothers me. Sometimes I don’t get to it, and then I have 80-280 to sift through. And then…you need time to read the blogs you want to read! People warned me blogging took a lot of time, I had no idea much of it would be deleting emails! I guess I’m in two worlds now, too: blog world, work world. But funny, more and more of my time is becoming blog world.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t know how people who blog that often have time to do anything worth blogging about! I can’t even answer all the comments I get or visit my followers, which I feel guilty about and i know I’m missing lots of awesome stuff. You can earn money here form advertising apparently, if you have a huge following.
    Great photos by the way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!! And, yeah…really, I can’t delete fast enough to read my actual email. I delete a page and three more emails arrive! And how much can one man say/write in one day?

      Like

  4. I’m giving notice at my job tomorrow and I’ll got from posting 1.5 times per week to 12 times per day. Oh wait, I’ll be out of ideas in a week.

    I love the top photo. It certainly does have color and pop and shows something sort of unusual, a contrast of ugly/industrial and beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, and I was so pleased to find the water so calm that late in the day in Amsterdam.
      Listen, I’ll quit work, too. We can become partners, we’ll start a new blog: “Blogs-R-US” maybe. Or just simply “GIVE US YUR $.” You post 8 hours half of the day, I’ll post 8 hours the other half of the day. We’ll split that $200,000.

      Like

      • I like it! Of course, with that much money involved, inevitably there will be greed, a power struggle, a scandal and corruption. But that is years away. For now, let’s start blogging! Oh, and I’m going to need about 500 ideas to write about.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Try the blog-only email account route, open the email account on your desktop and your laptop will immediately be three pounds lighter. Or, publish a bunch of weird and/or bad stuff. Then no one will “like” you. That’s worked well for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The photos and stories are so good, so good, that it tastes like chocolate with chili pepper! It with worth spending time preparing this post, isn’t it? I think so, as your follower. We wait but get the best quality. Like vintage wine.
    So, what’s the interest of being a power blogger? You may have another blog to do that but please keep the fish away from it. Your badfish is not bad like that. The numbers are impressive and I wonder what they are doing (so well?) to get so many followers, and clicks, and money.
    Coincidently I often shoot the same canal houses at the Damrak, and even added them to the Changing Seasons Challenge of Jan and Feb in my blog. They are cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lucile, now that is one of the best compliments I’ve ever received: my stuff is “like chocolate with chili pepper.” Gotta love that. And right…I don’t think I’m the power blogger type (whatever that is), but you gotta love 20 or 200,000 bucks a month! I’d be happy with 1,000, or make that 3,000, God. I would not want it to become a business, and a pressure, and something no longer fun. Fun is where it’s at. Damrak–such an interesting row of houses, eh? And that bar (I think you can just make out a couple people sitting there in the right side, in the shadows), such a cool place to people watch, but too busy, really, to sip a Heineken to relax. Do you have a photo of the canals frozen over? I’ve never seen that. Another thing for my To Do list.

      Like

      • I’m happy you got the depth of the compliment. Only a chocoholic can grasp that!
        I agree with you. It’s a significant amount of money being made literally not based on quality of delivery but the quantity of repetitive crap they are able to get attention for. There is some clever mechanism behind it though.
        Read the blog of Harsh reality and the posts he describes exactly what he does. He claims to make no money though. But he’s a power blogger.
        I do have photos of the frozen canals. I’ll send to you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • And thanks again…you put chocolate and peppers together…how can one not see the depth? I think you mentioned Harsh Reality once before (or someone did), so I went there. I was interested in what he said about power blogging, but who wants to spend their time “following” 2000 blogs a day, day after day? Have you skated on the canals?

          Like

  7. Where to start? Where to start? Outstanding rant up top! LOVE it. You rant with panache! And the stories that you used to talk about your photos, wonderful. Seriously… Juliette the dog! OMB! and that window was Amazing! Don’t know what the colors are (would have liked to see) but hey, some other day.

    I don’t get to travel much. Just been around places in this country, and Canada. Life has taken me in other directions, and I’ve come to realize that it is through good folks like you, that I get a peek at what I’m missing. Maybe in my next life, I’ll travel like you do. Or maybe I’ve already done that, but can’t remember, because I don’t have my crystal ball (the one that goes backward and forward) anymore. SO I an grateful for passage through the world, with you, and through your psyche, just because.

    Oh my gosh… you live by that water? I hope it’s in the short buildings, with the balconies (they do have balconies right? Or am I just imagining that?)… And what an angel you’ve got… I happy that you had someone to help you out.

    Okay, since I’m writing another book here, and I’m being called for high tea.. My absolute favorites here, are the Bisbee! WHOA! The history, the exquisite sense of days-gone-by and bringing thoughts of soda fountains, and egg-creams… Beautiful, beautiful. AND the 5. Landscape, Monument valley with those delicious brown rocks, that look like there might be caves tucked in there. Was there? I love caves. I would want there to be caves, because I could wander in and feel the eons swirling around, catching whiffs of another age, maybe even another lifetime of mine… I can dream.

    Don’t ever stop what you’re doing. Finding your way to blogging, here, Badfish that you are, is a gift to use who follow you. Your decked out av is bitchin’!

    Peace Out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fim, you should write a blog using your comments to folks if you write like this to all!!?? I love your comments. “Ranting with Panache”…if I were to change my blog’s name, that would be it. My guess is you traveled in your last life. What’s this life about? Do you feel like an old soul? You seem like one from here. I don’t think you’re missing anything in this life. Perhaps, another way of looking at things is that I’m missing what you have (high tea!)? Those are balconies in the short buildings, and I “wanted” to live there, but they are three bedrooms, reserved for families. I live in the tall one. Okay…there was a cave in the rock, and lots of hieroglyphs, and an arrowhead. Happy?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You made me smile! Yes, I’m happy. Hieroglyphs! and an arrowhead. NICE. You’d make Daniel Jackson proud. But when you go through the Gate again, head for Tantalus! As for how I comment. You inspire me to comment the way I do to your beautiful photos, and your own narrative.

        It’s funny, about the ‘old soul’ thing. I had a ‘reading’ done by someone who actually put it that way. And from what you said in your response, I’ve decided I’m just not gonna worry about what I’m doing in this life. Gonna just take it as it comes – wait, that’s what I’ve already been doing. Then I’ll just keep on, keepin’ on.

        What a view you have. What’s out, ‘beyond the sea’ (from the song of the same name)? Can you see forever, on a clear day?

        Peace out!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Maybe that’s the coolest thing about blogging—not so much the posts, but more the connection to others. I’ve been wanting to write for years (decades), and now I actually sit and write “something” if not exactly what I would have. And lord, if that can inspire someone to write a blog of her comments, well, how else can we define “happy”? I live on that island, so I have a view of the sea, but then beyond that, the island of Abu Dhabi, not the open ocean. It’s pretty cool at night.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa, thanks for visiting. I love the gas station, too, something about its vintage…ness? And I’m soooo glad someone else besides me can appreciate whatever it is in that photo of the woman walking!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ha! And here is another e-mail, hope it doesn’t send you over the edge. After I got going with my blog and started getting inundated with e-mails about new posts, another blogger took pity on me and told me how to turn off the e-mails. I now have only a select few coming in to my email, and then I try to go through the Reader every day to hit everyone else if I have time. Let me know how your power blogging goes. You’ll have to send me a special email because once I get more than two posts in one day… off you go to the Reader list.
    I liked the dragons the best, I don’t know why because they are sort of scary.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I figured out how to turn them all off, and get this–I miss the notices! I think someone just informed me how to choose which ones I turn off. If it doesn’t work, I’ll be asking you! And you are right, the dragons are very scary, but there is something very cool about the way they look, the way they move. That animal is probably one of the oldest still living relatives from dinosaur days. I wouldn’t call them “regal” but they are very impressive. Anything that will eat you is probably impressive, eh?

    Like

  10. oh dear badfish, and now i risk getting a zillion emails from badfish commentors!
    i told ya before, your comments are as interesting/funny as your posts!
    i mean who likes/reads long posts in this hey presto instant age ?? page doesnt load up in a second and its closed down!
    well i read yours, lengthy or not! and they are funny and likeable and interesting!
    i even read the lengthy comments!

    okay, I’m waiting to hear about your new site Ranting with Panache, and i reckon someone here should investigate those power bloggers to see how they made it so big?

    ive gotten into the habit of reading the first comments cause they might have replies to me, looking out for ‘likes’ followed by a reply from the same person – more likely to be commenting on my comment – then after a while, just delete. theres just not enough time in the world.

    okay, who is doing the visuals for Ranting with Panache? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow..you like my comments! Haha. Now that’s funny. But I actually have fun writing back to people’s replies. Maybe that’s funner than figuring out what to post??? I think we’ll have a contest for the visuals for “Ranting.” Have people pay to enter. Start my power blog off right, eh!!

      Like

      • actually i like reading the CONVERSATION. esp between you and fimnora, and you and lucile. so funny! i love reading the banter and the growing friendship between bloggers, its wonderful.
        okay, how much are you setting the entry fee for RwP visuals? great way to start your power blogging, lol.
        yours is the only one i read most of the comments too, because they are a blog unto themselves. others, once i’ve read the replies, i just delete others comments from email without looking, cause they are variations on the same, “beautiful, good shot’ etc, nothing much new.
        but with your blog, there is a CONVERSATION going on, and most of the time its quite funny.
        anything that makes me smile or laugh out loud is good, in my opinion.
        Now, off to do my 199th blog post for today.
        i didnt mention that i was a secret power-blogger did i?
        time to come out of the powerblogging closet! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. They are all great pictures in my opinion. However the one of the girl caught my attention. If you notice she sets off the art in the background and looks almost as if she just walked off one of those paintings. I also enjoyed the commentaries that went with. Ya done good!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I get email notifications from a handful of blogs that I follow. I’ve turned the email notifications off for most of the blogs and I get a “weekly notification” for the rest of them. I use gmail and set up a filter, so that all the notifications end up in a separate folder.
    I used to get email notifications for all the blogs, but it just turned into complete chaos.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A great set of photos. I also like the first two the most. I usually get well over 100 email notifications trickling in throughout the day, but lately for some unknown reason, they all appear at once at 6pm which is very inconvenient.

    Like

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