About Me

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Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Naked Women and Three Years of Blogging

First I should apologize to those who came for the "Naked Women", I will explain this later, but you are welcome to move along.  Actually this week I wanted to write a bit about my photography blog. It seems a reasonable time to reflect on the process as I have been at this with varying degrees of dedication for three years. Also, considering the fact that for some time I suspected no one was reading this thing, for me it is an encouraging milestone to see that I recently exceeded 10,000 views. In three years I have ground out 67 posts, averaging a little less than 2 per month, To be fair, until this past year my blog was most notable for cob webs and the soothing chirps of lonely crickets. Over the last year I committed to posting weekly, trying to get something out every weekend. 49 of my 67 posts (73%) have been in the last year, The regular schedule has led to considerable pressure, but it seems to have garnered more interest. I have only recently learned how to review all the statistics on the blog and it is especially fascinating to see who is stopping by. The great majority of the audience is from the US, but the bog seems to have small followings in quite a few other countries, including England, Russia, Germany, India, Australia and Brazil. I am reluctant to report to my Mac friends that 78% of readers use Windows, only 11% Macintosh, although the number surges to 17% if we include iPods, iPhones and iPads. It has been instructive and fun for me to play with the numbers, but I'm sure that if I persist with the stats I will loose the few readers I have left.

Winners and Losers

Of course not all of my posts have been wildly popular. It is not always clear why some have caught on and others have died in obscurity. I suspect one important factor may be the titles. My most popular blog was bravely labeled "Call of the Sea" and despite it being a fairly routine, blatant self-promotion of a show of my seacoast images in Portsmouth New Hampshire last summer, it has received well over 400 views. My least visited effort was, I felt, a reasonable discussion of the value of going on shoots with other photographers. Unfortunately its uninspired title "Flying Solo ?" didn't generate the same interest. Only 7 people dropped by. Titles are important, so from now on all of my blog postings (or at least this one for awhile) will begin with the words "Naked Women". I deeply apologize to all those who have arrived under false pretenses, although I am confident you all left long ago. Good hunting.

A Second Look

Regardless of the reasons, there are a few of my posts that didn't get the interest that I felt they deserved. Perhaps it was the title, but some were published early when I had a nearly nonexistent following. Although they are all my children, I thought this might be an appropriate time to mention a couple that might be of belated interest.

One of the my most exciting recent photoshoots was a winter overnight at the Mount Washington Observatory on the highest mountain in New England. If you want to learn about cold weather photography there is no better place. Try 20 degrees below zero and winds gusting over 90 mph. For my readers in India that's 30 degrees below zero Celsius and 145 Kilometers per hour. To get a feeling for the experience check out my lonely blog from April 2009:
Winter on the Top of New England

New Hampshire's far northern region is usually referred to as the Great North Woods. I regret that I haven't been back to this photographically rich area since my weekend back in the spring of 2009. It is well worth the trip. Check out my brief early post:
New Hampshire's Great North Woods

In my first post in January 2009 I discussed my reasons for starting a blog:
  • To improve my ability to talk reasonably about my work without the usual pretentious "artsy" jargon. Sadly no tree, mountain or shrub has ever "talked" to me about how to capture its "essence". 
  • To tell stories about how my images were captured and processed. Story telling is, after all, what photography achieves at its best.
  • To share what I've learned and as a result expand my own knowledge.
  • To offer a forum to share information about my special and often under-appreciated corner of New England. 

At the start I had no conception of the amount of time and effort this would require, but I find that my goals have not changed and that the task remains remarkably rewarding. Now I have to start trying to find SOMETHING to talk about next week!   I'm thinking the snow outside (Finally !) may help.

1 comment:

  1. The map you posted on flickr enticed me to this blog entry, I generally don't read them. I've found the most popular photos I've posted are of my cooking; cats, however cute I think they are, don't get a look; architecture and cars do well; landscapes less so. I am surprised by how few hits some landscapes of which I think highly get. I've seen some pages with images of interesting spots in Chesterfield, I suppose that's your work- well done, you capture their interesting-ness. They're on my to-visit list in the back of my mind.