Enter Tumblr

If you’ve been following me here for any length of time, you’ve noticed that the volume of posts has, ahem, fallen off quite a bit this past year.

There are a few reasons for that, mainly having to do with time — as in, not enough of it. Time to think about topics I think you’d like to read about; time to develop those topics into well-written blog posts of a length adequate to do justice to the subject. I am by nature a long-form writer and thinker; I tend to want to wrap my head around a topic, ponder it, and explore it thoroughly in words. Lots of words.

But this kind of thinking and writing takes time and energy, both of which I’m finding increasingly in short supply around my many other commitments. This crunch only got worse when I started writing for Fraction Magazine. I practically stopped writing here at all. It was tough enough to maintain a flow of high-quality written output for one or the other blogs, let alone both.

Moreover, my penchant for bulkier prose seems to run counter to the prevailing blogosphere zeitgeist, which wants more-frequent and shorter posts that emphasize images and video over text alone. That is fine with me; I’d like to do more posts based on images —mine or others’— to prompt sharing and discussion. So I’m trying to re-train myself to think in shorter chunks of prose, with more emphasis on images, which I can post more frequently, yet still meet my own expectations for the quality of the output. Though WordPress has steadily improved in this regard, images and video still seem a bit like grafted-on appendages here, rather than organic parts of an integrated whole.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot more with my Tumblr account. For those of you who don’t know it, Tumblr is a very simple and attractive micro-blogging platform that makes it easy and nearly brainless to post text, images, video, audio, or what have you. Whereas WordPress is on its surface a blogging platform, underneath it’s a high-powered Content Management System for websites. Tumblr, on the other hand, is much more lightweight and simple. Tumblr can’t do everything WordPress can do; but much of the time, it does what I need.

I’ll keep this blog active, and I’ll use it when it seems appropriate. I’ll also try to cross post from Tumblr to here, and vice versa, at least for a while. And I intend to send out a notice to Facebook and Twitter whenever something gets posted anywhere. Keeping all of this straight is exhausting, and I’m investigating the tools necessary to make everything automatic. Bear with me as I get it all sorted.

So thank you for your attention and support here. Keep this blog in your feed readers, and in your hearts and minds; but make room for (yet) another one, my Tumblr feed.

It will live at http://blog.michaelsebastian.com.



Autumn in the air?

I’ve been loving the cooler temperatures and dryer, clearer air that have prevailed the last week or two. Almost enough to make me believe this soggy, fetid summer is behind us.

I never had a real autumn until moving to Kentucky twelve years ago (this December—hard to believe; longest I’ve ever lived anywhere.) It’s been my favorite season since the crisp October day I interviewed for a job here, and which likely sealed the deal.

I’m looking forward to enjoying more light like this:

Or, more subtly, this:

Summer dog days

Swim meet, louisville, 7/18/10
Swim meet, Louisville, 7/18/10

With our recent sweltering temperatues, getting out and shooting has seemed like a painful chore.
Welcome to the summer doldrums.

I’ve busied myself mostly with work (the day-job kind of work); with ferrying kids hither and yon as they do their summer activities; and with relays of visiting family and friends.

Creating new work has been slow lately. I’m keeping my hand in by editing and revising existing work, and sending it out into the world to further seek its fortune. To wit, I’ve submitted my project 52 Miles to the Conscientious Portfolio Competition 2010, and I’m buffing that same work also for Critical Mass. That deadline is a mere 5 days hence, so I won’t be idle. This body of work is mature and (mostly) stable, and I’ve showed it and worked it extensively in the past, so I’m 90% ready, already, to submit it. Being the compulsive sort, though, I’ll obsess about it some more before seeing if it has further legs with a new set of viewers. Continue reading

Photographers I Like: Mike Peters

Mike Peters is a New Jersey-based photographer with whom I became acquainted after discovering his work on Flickr. Working on film, Mike has produced an exceptional body of portrait work in and around his hometown of Kearny, New Jersey, and NYC.

In addition to the galleries of work on his site, Mike has also put together a slideshow (is that the right word?) of the work, entitled The Dream, that is also highly worth your time.

I encourage you to check Mike out. I could say more—as is my wont— but instead I’ll just let his work speak eloquently for itself. Congratulations, Mike.

Dan Winters on Portrait Photography

Interesting video, from FLYP Media via YouTube, of one of my favorite photographers. A film shooter, no less. And 4×5 even. (If you’re not seeing the videos in my home-page feed, click on the Read Full Article link to view.)

Thanks to David Hobby over at Strobist for highlighting this video today. FLYP looks like it’s well worth your time. I’ve subscribed. ‘Cause I don’t spend enough time online already.

One more, in case you haven’t had enough: