Here is some background about my blog. My name is Steadman Watson and I live in Boulder, Colorado; I am a keen hiker and photographer.
Ghost of Blogs Past
This is not my first blog. In fact, I created two other photography blogs prior to this one.
My first blog was a freebie provided by my service provider. It was simple because it had the same look and feel as my portfolio site. On this blog I critiqued lenses, software and magazines. In retrospect, this first attempt did not have enough unique content. After all, there are thousands of photography blogs! A bright spot was my review of c’t Digital Photography magazine. The publisher noticed my favorable review and sent me a box of back issues! Sadly, US publication was halted in 2016; but there still is a German edition.
In 2013, I launched a second blog using WordPress. I created posts on technical subjects, including infrared photography, sensor size and Polaroid cameras. Mostly, the subject that I chose were what interested me. Thankfully, I did get a lot of interest in my posts on my old Konica Instant Press Camera.
In thinking about this new blog, I thought I should focus on hiking. To be different, I thought that I should downplay photography and only use it to illustrate hikes. After all, one of the reasons for relocating to Boulder was close access to hiking trails. I created a blog focused on day hikes and shared a link with some friends.
A good friend pointed that it was not a good idea to be so restrictive. He said it would be really hard to compete with the more robust hiking sites in discussing trails. For example, the larger sites generate a lot of helpful comments from their visitors. His suggestion was to merge my hiking and photography interests. I have taken this advice to heart. We shall see where this goes…
About my Hike Posts
I organize each day hike post as follows: summary; photo essay; observations on wildlife, photography ideas and resources. The summary covers the distance of the hike, vertical elevation change and my assessment of the difficulty. There is also information on the location, suggestions for parking and whether or not dogs are permitted on the trail.
The photo essay is a series of images to illustrate important features of the hike (terrain, trail junction, signs, etc.) and is interspersed with brief commentary. The wildlife section includes a summary of information published by the relevant authority, as well as my own observations. Suggestions for photography include some high level comments and a link to any of my relevant posts for that hike. Resources include links to the relevant USGS Quad Maps as well as a couple of interactive topographic map sites.
About my Route Notes
Also available for each hike (for a nominal charge) is a route note PDF download. This is a two page document that includes detailed notes with an annotated topographic map with my GPS trace. It is formatted to print nicely on a single letter-sized page (2-sided printing) that you can bring with you on your hike.
I created route notes because often the official trail map lacks sufficient detail, only include the portion of the trail within the park boundaries or part of the route has changed. With my route notes, you have a trace of the actual route, with distances and elevations determined from a topographic map. Any profits from the sale of route notes is donated to charity, as discussed below.
As an example, here is a free download for the Eldorado Canyon Trail.
About my Photography Posts
In some hiking locations there are several routes with similar photographic opportunities. Accordingly, I have organized my posts around general themes. My photography posts may link to several different locations.
Also, my photography posts will not be just about hiking. I will also discuss photo opportunities, ideas, strategies and technical considerations.
Not for Profit
Any profits from the sale of digital downloads on my blog will be donated to charity. (Profits are download revenues less service fees, hosting and software licensing.)
For 2017-2018, my list of charitable recipients includes:
Colorado Mountain Club, Golden, CO – CMC helps protect Colorado’s backcountry for wildlife and sustainable human-powered recreation. It also connects children to nature through active outdoor learning.
Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, Ft. Collins, CO – RMRP helps to save the lives of injured raptors and give them a second chance at freedom. It also helps teach children about the importance of wildlife and wild places.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative – CFI protects, preserves, enhances and restores the integrity of Colorado’s peaks over 14,000 feet. There are 54 peaks that exceed 14,000 feet in elevation. These are called the “Fourteeners”. CFI’s supporters ‘s volunteer for construction, maintenance and restoration of trails.
© 2017 Steadman Watson.
Licensed usages only. All rights reserved.