Weekly Fifty: Five Years Later

Good morning everyone,

I wanted to do something a bit different today and fill you in on a couple of things that have been on my mind regarding this blog. But first, lest you think otherwise, know that Weekly Fifty is not going anywhere. I have no plans to stop doing the blog any time soon but I do have a couple of changes that I will be making and as a result I wanted to let you know what might be different in the coming weeks, months, and years.

When I started Weekly Fifty on March 8, 2013, I had been interested in digital photography for about a year and I realized that unless I used my camera regularly I wouldn’t exercise the creative muscles I needed to in order to improve. I tried a couple online forums with challenges, daily/weekly image posts, and other such avenues for accountability but none of them really fit my style. I settled on the idea of doing a weekly photo blog because it was just the right amount of commitment I could handle given that my wife and I had a toddler running around at home along with work and school commitments. (I was getting my Master’s degree at the time as well, which means I didn’t have a lot of spare time!)

I also only had one lens at the time, a 50mm f/1.8, which I still use to this day. Because of these constraints, Weekly Fifty was born and continues mostly unchanged to this day. And oh my goodness what a fun journey it has been, thanks in no small part to the incredible community of commenters who take time to leave thoughts, feedback, questions, and other input every single week. I don’t know if I can quite convey how much I appreciate the thoughts of all of you who choose to share them, but just know that it’s your input that really does keep this blog going. I don’t know if I would have the personal sense of drive to do it otherwise, and your comments mean so, so much.

Thank you. Thank you. And thank you :)

So what’s with the changes? Well, the original goal of Weekly Fifty was to help me improve my photography and I can say, without doubt or hesitation, that it has absolutely done just that. I’m kind of horrified to look back on some of those early posts and see how bad I was at creating compelling compositions, using light and framing to showcase subjects, and even just simple things like manipulating aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to get the pictures I was looking for.

I hope it doesn’t sound conceited to say that I’m a much better photographer now than I was five years ago, though along with that is also a realization of just how much I don’t yet know and understand about photography. The more I learn the more I figure out that I don’t know, and I hope to continue improving until either my fingers or my cameras finally give out. Which hopefully won’t be for a very, very long time.

Along the way I have picked up a lot of new gear as well, and the more I use it the more I feel like I want to showcase some of the images here on the blog. But since I’ve limited Weekly Fifty to just the 50mm lens, I have to go out of my way just to use that one piece of gear in order to meet the constraints of the blog. I’ve taken images I really like with my other lenses such as my 70-200, my 85, and even my new Fuji X100f with its fixed 23mm lens, but I can’t share them here because they’re not 50mm focal lengths.

Therefore I have decided to shift gears a little bit and post images here on the blog that I take with any of the cameras and lenses I own. I’ll still use the 50mm lens of course, but I have found that I enjoy using other focal lengths too and I’d like to showcase those pictures here as well. I’m not changing the name of the blog but it will become kind of irrelevant since it won’t be limited to just a 50mm lens, but the idea will still be the same: one picture each week, posted at 1am CST on Wednesday morning, along with audio commentary.

So here’s to many more weeks, months, and years of Weekly Fifty. The name and format won’t change, but the pictures might look a little different, and I hope that’s OK with you. I’m excited for the future, and I’m so glad to have you along for the ride.

-Simon

Comments

  1. Arun pai says:

    Awesome.. Your 50mm photos have always inspired me a lot.. I’m sure you will continue inspiring me and many others with the new lens, compositions and point of view! Wishing you the best!

  2. Marybeth says:

    Long live Weekly Fifty! I am glad it will continue, and I look forward to seeing the differences among the various lenses!

  3. No problem, Simon. Read recently somewhere that the only photos you should compare yours to, are the the ones you that you’ve taken before.

    • That’s good advice John. Too often I get caught up in comparing my photos to others I see online, by photographers I’ve never met, and usually end up feeling like I could never make images that good! But looking back at my past photos I can definitely see a sense of progression, and that’s always a good thing.

  4. David Beresford says:

    Good news and good move.

  5. Dear Simon

    I’ve dipped in to check out your photos and commentary from time to time and enjoyed the way you took us on your photography journey. I’m very happy to know you’ll continue and look forward to seeing some of your other perspectives.

    With much appreciation

    Gideon

    • Gideon, I’m thrilled that over the years my photos and commentary have been interesting to you and I’m glad to have you on board for whatever the next phase holds!

  6. Susan Ringsmuth says:

    I look forward to seeing your photos and I don’t care what lense(s) you use, just continue to use them!

  7. I have enjoyed seeing your images and the reading or listening to the process through which you captured them…I would enjoy seeing images made with any lens or camera.

    Regards,

    Joel

    • That’s very kind of you to say Joel, and it gives me a lot of confidence in the idea of taking different photos with different types of gear in the coming months.

  8. Looking forward to it!

  9. Sharon Brown says:

    I love the idea of keeping the name the same and sharing your growth of where the journey has taken you. Photography is a lifelong ever learning experience and this will be reflective of this. Again, I love this!!

    • And I’m thrilled to have you visit and comment on the photos, Sharon! Thank you for your kind words :)

  10. Bring it on, Simon. Looking forward to it.

  11. Good News!

  12. Jacqueline says:

    Good for you, Simon! Looking forward to seeing your other images as well. For myself, the challenge is not to use my 50 1.8 as much. I have other lenses, but the 50 is still my favorite. :-)

    • You know…as much as I like exploring other focal lengths there really is something kind of magical about 50mm. It just works, even though it might not be the widest or longest lens out there. It gets the job done though, and that’s why I like it.

  13. Becky Reed says:

    Looking forward to the change and seeing what lenses you are using. I really enjoy seeing your posts each week—continue sharing you great photos.

    • Thank you Becky! I’m looking forward to it too. It’s kind of liberating not being constrained to a single focal length anymore :)

  14. Cindy L Grohs says:

    So looking forward to what you have in store. I have enjoyed every photo you have posted and I am also trying to get to know my camera better. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

    • I’m glad to hear it Cindy, and if anything I’ve done here has inspired you or helped you get to know your camera better…then I’m honored to have helped you in your photographic journey :)

  15. Wallace McIntosh says:

    Just as your other readers have said, we enjoy joining you on your photo journey. Focusing on the 50mm is/was a great idea but at times limiting. You helped us to see what we can do with one lightweight lens. ( As you have noticed, hauling around a 7100 with a telefoto and filters gets heavy). My thoughts——-> CONTINUE ON AS BEFORE!!!! Keep the name. Tell what equipment was used. Include a little as to what your chalange was on that shot.
    (The post processing is helpful too )
    My wife grew up in Granville. She is a OSU fan. I’m an USC fan (NROTC in WWII). How did you like the Cotton Bowl game?

    • Thanks for your encouragement Wallace, and I’ll definitely be keeping up the blog posts! Always nice to meet OSU fans too, and you can rest assured you’ll continue to see lots of images of campus here on the blog :)

  16. Looking forward to seeing what you have learned by using other lenses. I think it just shows the importance of continuing to learn. Thanks for the weekly inspiration.

  17. I enjoy your blog! Photography is my hobby and I love it!!! At this time I only own a 50 and a 135 AND a very old Canon Rebel lol! But I have to start somewhere, so it works for me. Getting ready to purchase an external flash. After I master that, I will look into a new camera body. Keep inspiring me!

    • There’s always new things to learn, Kathy! I have an external flash and barely use it, and one of these days I might come asking you for help!

  18. Carolana R. says:

    I look forward to sharing a new adventure with you. I learn so much from your narratives and thought processes. I always learn something new from your blog. I agree with you…..the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. I can’t wait to see where you will lead us.

    • Thank you Caroline! I’m glad you learn a lot from this blog, and I’ll do my best to keep it going as long as I can :) I appreciate having you as a reader!

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