Time Away

It has been a while since my last post, in fact it feels like forever ago. Not only has it been some time since I published my previous post, but I have not been out & about with my camera either. It wasn’t my intention to take some time out from my site or photography. Sometimes life just happens.

I often wonder how bloggers who manage to blog daily or weekly manage it. Maybe it depends on the content that your creating, and/or the reason that you blog. Even when I have posted more frequently, I would struggle to post everyday. To be fair I struggle to stick to any kind of frequent schedule when posting, which I’m sure is frowned upon in the blogging world. I post when I post, and I’m sure that’s not the way to attract readers/retain followers, but I mostly blog for me, and it’s a bonus if people like my posts and want to follow my site.

This year has provided me with some big changes (good ones) & some unexpected twists. So I guess I have been a little distracted of late. Earlier in the year I decided to make a big career change, after 15 years in the same industry. So, I’m hoping now with a much better work/life balance I will have more time for photography and to get out exploring.

Watch this space for potentially some new/different photo themes than my usual photo work…

Nature For Everyone

#NatureForEveryone

Anyone who follows my photography knows that it is highly inspired by nature. So when I came across the Wildlife and Countryside Link‘s campaign for #NatureForEveryone, it caught my eye. Although I wouldn’t describe myself as an outdoorsy person, I do love getting close to nature. My first memories of properly connecting with nature was also when I first started dabbling in photography. I would head out with my camera to capture sunsets, this then evolved in to exploring local farmland and natural habitats. Today I love connecting with natural world around us.

I feel very privileged to live somewhere that is surrounded by so many green spaces, not everyone is so lucky. As our urban landscapes expand we need to find ways to balance these landscapes with nature. Campaigns like #NatureForEveryone are so important for our well being and the well being of our planet.

Enduring the COVID pandemic of the last 24 months has highlighted the importance of being able to get out and explore our green spaces and to connect with nature. It has certainly helped my sanity as well as being a constant source of photographic inspiration.

As well as enjoying exploring green spaces such as nature reserves, forests, beaches, and parks. I have tried to do our bit for nature by turning our garden in to our own green space getaway. Our love for nature has also made its way in to our house in the form of many house plants.

In Review: 2021

2021 was a tough year for us all, what with the continued pandemic and accompanying lockdowns & ever changing restrictions. Personally, I feel that 2021 was just an extension of 2020. Thankfully, we saw less lockdowns in 2021 compared to 2020 as we all tried get back into “normal” routines. Although a part of me misses the extra spare time that the lockdowns gave us. For me, the time to connect with nature more, as well as more time spent with my wife so we could do activities together. I’m sure I spent more time out with my camera during the lockdowns of 2020 (making the most of any outdoor exercise time we had, to go on photo walks).

As some routines returned to a variant of pre-COVID “normal” last year (such as work commitments) I tried to get out with my camera as much as possible in my free time. But I definitely struggled with motivation this time around (especially during the colder months). Days off spent not wanting to leave the comfort of our house. I can’t imagine how anyone who lives alone has coped with the last 2 years.

My Favourite Shots of 2021

I am grateful that we managed travel a little further afield (within the UK) when restrictions eased. Allowing me some opportunities to go exploring with my camera & capture some great photographs during last Spring/Summer. Some of which I have showcased below.

Photo Posts of 2021:

I managed to find some motivation/time to write a few blog posts last year (not as many compared to 2020), to share a collection of the photos that I captured during the year. Below are just a few of the posts of my favourite photo expeditions of last year. The writing part of my blog/website does not come easy to me, I try to write something (hopefully semi-interesting) with each of my photo posts so that I’m not just photo-blogging.

Hopefully in 2022 I will be able to venture out more with my camera and be more motivated. The last 2 years I have focused on nature & wildlife photography. I keep toying with the idea of working on other projects/subjects as well, I shall see where the year takes me.

Prints Available

I have played with the idea of selling my work several times over the years, but I have never found a platform that suits me. My love of photography is my way of expressing myself and sometimes a little bit of escapism. In part my decision to start selling some of my work is to hopefully fund the upkeep of my website so that I can continue to share my love of photography with the world (yes, making a little bit of extra income would be nice). So here we are, a New Year, starting a new endeavour (wish me luck).

After careful consideration of different platforms I have decided to launch my Print Store using the SmugMug, which will allow my followers and visitors to my website to purchase photographic prints of my work by visiting: https://ryangardenphotography.smugmug.com/ (you will also be able to access the store from links on my website/blog). I had initially wanted to my Print Store to be fully integrated with my website, so that clients would not need to visit a 3rd party site. Currently that is not a viable option, but I will review this in the future should my Print Store become successful.

Periodically I plan to upload more of my work to my Print Store, so please keep popping back for the chance to purchase my latest products & prints. If there is any of my work that you would be interested in that is not currently on the store please get in touch and I shall make it available.

I would like to thank everyone who follows my photography, your support is very much appreciated.

Word-Ads Trial

I have been debating for some time to activate the Premium Tools that WP has to offer. One of the premium tools that I have decided to trial is WordAds. I have been undecided about WordAds for sometime, as I’m not overly a fan of adverts on websites, as they can be intrusive. I figured the best way to help me decide if this is the right feature for my site/blog is to trial it.

I would really appreciate the opinions of my readers / visitors to my site? Have you used WordAds yourself? What was your experience if you’ve used it? What are your opinions of adverts on blogs / websites?

Update & Thank You

I would like to say thank you to my followers & readers, your support is really appreciated. Your likes & kind comments encourage me to continue to share my work & keep blogging.

I count myself as a photographer first and a blogger second. The blogging part does not come easy to me (as you can probably tell from reading my posts). Knowing what to write often has me staring at the screen as if starring in to the abyss, my mind completely blank. I have lost count the amount of times I have written a paragraph then rewrite it several times until I’m happy with how it sounds.

So my posts have been a little sporadic of late. It’s the double edged sword of lockdown & being furloughed, all the time in the world to do whatever you want (well from the comfort of your home) and having none of the motivation to do it. This past couple of months since being furloughed I am really struggling with being motivated. To my kinda followers & readers please bear with me.

I have a few ideas up my sleeve for future posts. I’ve managed to venture outside for a couple of local photo walks, which I plan to share. I am also continuing to work on ideas for my #LivingInLockdown project that I started during the beginning of the pandemic back in March 2020.

Over the past few weeks I have made some minor cosmetic tweaks to my website, which hopefully make it easier to navigate. I am also working on a potential new section to my website, which hopefully will go to plan and I will be able to publish soon.

Thank you again to my followers & readers. #StaySafe.