Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday to Y.I.P.!

One year and 235 posts later, I’m pleased to say that The Year in Pictures has reached its first anniversary!

It’s been a pleasure looking out for things to share, getting down to the actual process of writing, and joining the brother and sisterhood of bloggers and blog readers. As someone who started in the old fashioned print world I am amazed by and grateful for the incredible technology that makes blogging so easy, incorporates such an elegant interface, and above all (and astoundingly) is free to produce and access. Thank you Google (owners of Blogger).

The most frequently asked question I get is how I find the time to blog. The answer is simple - the trade-off has been giving up most t.v.! Not such a loss these days. Perhaps more relevant is the question of how and why to keep it going. Your viewing and comments and the growth of the readership from 0 to over 50,000 a month are the main reason. So please continue to visit and spread the word.

Can I ask one favor? I would love to hear your comments on what you like and what you don’t, and what you would like to see more of. The “Weekend Video” is often the post that takes the most research, and whether it’s because of the natural decrease in weekend viewing or whether it’s like the person who’s always bugging you to listen to their favorite songs even though they’re never to your taste - it seems the least appreciated part of the blog. But do give it a try. In going back over posts from a year ago the videos are still some of my favorites and they’re all there in the archives. Anyway, enough about that.

While we’re all figuring out how to combine being spiritually replenished and financially depleted, let me quote Rahm Emanuel:
“You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.”


Ads said...

Happy birthday YIP!!

For me, the weekend video is sadly the least anticipated bit - only because I access your blog from work and embedded videos don't work for me!!

My favourite part is your commentary and broad spectrum of posts. A lot of photo blogs I subscribe to have little or no commentary and just pictures (mine is one of them!). Yours has a nice balance. Keep it up!

Oh, and of course the giveaways are a favourite.. will be even better when I win next time!

One thing I've found is obtaining the readership of a blog is the hardest thing.. now that you have a good share of the pie, perhaps you can help propagate readership to other blogs by having a featured reader blog each week or month? Just an idea..

Anonymous said...

Happy blogoversary! I do enjoy your blog.

Anonymous said...

Wishing you a very happy birthday!
I'm so glad I subscribed to your blog, you've introduced me to some beautiful, inspiration and moving images over the last year - it's appreciated!
Photography isn't something I know much about (in fact anything I've learnt comes from this blog!) so 'what I like' is just being exposed to artists that I would never come across in the normal course of my day. I guess this is too vague to be much help to you!

Anonymous said...

happy birthday!
I do not know much about art, but I like learning and seeing new things through your blog. very entertaining!

Paul Pincus said...

congratulations, james!!!

ps i love that image. gosh, she couldn't take a bad picture if she tried!

Anonymous said...

I definitely do not like the Weekend Videos. I watched one and that was it. Your specialty is photography, so please stick to it. Frankly, I'm also disappointed by your uneven, indecisive taste in photography. When I critique some of your choices (ie Sharon Core), I find that you frequently get defensive in trying to substantiate why they're worthy. It seems that like MAO and other sites that are financially vested in the artists/photographers they promote on their blog, when someone points out a differing point of view, you become very defensive. I understand it's difficult to talk badly upon an artist whom you own or represent, but that financial interest often taints objectivity. I like gathering information, so your site is definitely a must-read, but I don't take it as seriously as 5B4 or Conscientious for example as they seem more scholarly and objective.

porter hovey said...

What a wonderful thing to celebrate!!!

Anonymous said...

congrats on reaching One. Keep it up.

chook said...

Happy Birthday.
I too enjoy the wide range of subjects and your informed and (seemingly)impartial commentary. Don't change a thing!

Sara said...

I'va always been a photography fan, and never knew or did enough of it, never had enough money to get as equiped as I wish I could. But reading your blog keeps me updated and makes me want do more of it. Some of the artists you've introduced in the last year are very inspiring and even those that are not so to my taste can teach me a lot.

Happy first year, hope you'll stick around for a long time (and it's true that I am not a big fan of friday's videos, but until last month I had a very very slow internet acces, things might change)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

As the Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, has said [sic].."Every obstacle is an opportunity."

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your inspired blog. I live in Cape Town, and as much as there are amazing things to look at (and shoot) here, great photographic exhibitions do not come around here very often! So to me, your blog is kind of like a virtual gallery/museum. You have introduced me to so many wonderful new photographers and artists, and in the true spirit of blogging I have passed them on to others. I appreciate your running commentary too, as you really seem to a great knowledge and understanding of the topic. So happy birthday, and please, keep posting...

lookinaroundbob said...

Happy Birthday - Y.I.P is as good as blogs get. Different angles on the same subject. I always look forward to giving it a click.

Unknown said...

Oh, Congratulations! I have to say that yours is one of the first blogs I stumbled upon. It may have been via researching art for work, but I found I couldn't stay away!

Also, to be featured twice was an honor! {and made me totally bashful}

I do have to admit that I don't always watch the weekend video. Sometimes, but not always. I'm not sure why though. I'm a bit crazed on Fridays though.

*I love that photo of Marilyn Monroe ...I've never seen it before. {I am lucky enough to share a birthday with her :)1976 though, not 1926, lol}


Generation Next said...

I never (and probably will never) watch the videos bc I'm just not that interested in video and usually I'm reading at work, so I don't have time and/or can't watch videos there. I get disappointed when there's a bunch of videos and feel like there's been hardly any photos lately.

Anonymous said...

I lived in NYC for 10yrs and was a Photographer and what i enjoy about your blog is the diverse content and depth of knowledge you share with us, the weekend videos have been great, Janis joplin is a case in point,Keep what your enthusiastic about and drop art your less impressed with. You have a wealth of great experiences and influences to share and I for one am inspired. Hugh Gannon Ireland.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the weekend videos. Keep it up!

Raphael S.

Anonymous said...


William Stafford - The Little Ways That Encourage Good Fortune

Wisdom is having things right in your life
and knowing why.
If you do not have things right in your life
you will be overwhelmed:
you may be heroic, but you will not be wise.
If you have things right in your life
but do not know why,
you are just lucky, and you will not move
in the little ways that encourage good fortune.

The saddest are those not right in their lives
who are acting to make things right for others:
they act only from the self—
and that self will never be right:
no luck, no help, no wisdom.

QBParis said...

The weekend video, in particular the Janis Joplin video, is one facet of your passion that you pass along to us. We have the choice of coming here to read (and see) what you wish to share. Trust your intuition and trust us to appreciate what you offer.

Anonymous said...

I love the blog for what it is: "[A] record of photographs (and a few other things) that have captured his attention." A fan of TYIP is really a fan of James Danziger's point of view on photography (and other things). Or a fan of of the process of one person revealing what makes them tick. Or a fan of understanding how a professional gallerist and collector/curator develops his worldview. What I, an investment professional, glean from the WSJ or Grant's Interest Rate Observer or the UBS Mortgage Strategist to use in my everyday work life, doesn't connect in any way with a professional life spent in the arts, but I appreciate what James gleans from his various inputs in order to be successful in his work. It's all about the work, the attitude and the passion. How does James Danziger become James Danziger? Or Anna Wintour become Anna Wintour? Or Tina Brown become Tina Brown? What's important to them? What do they like? What don't they like? What is at the root of their perspective? The basis of my enjoyment of TYIP is a lot like why I liked the movie Unzipped. I have nothing in common with Isaac Mizrahi, but I connected with his love of his work and his work process. The triumph of TYIP is that it's not "scholarly", and it's "uneven" and it's not "objective" (to quote Mr. Anonymous above), because it is not intended to be any of those things. If that's what you're looking for, Mr. Anonymous, no wonder you're disappointed. (Although I dare say that James D. could probably have an off-line discussion with you on the techniques of Ansel Adams etc., etc., etc. Frankly, it would bore me.) Rather, I would venture that the triumph of TYIP is that every single one of its readers would like to have a beer with James Danziger if ever given the opportunity.

For what it's worth, I don't always like the weekend entries, but I always check 'em out.


Guy Hermann said...

I love this blog because of the pictures, and then I read your comments and I love it even more. The combination works. I also really like your videos. The only problem with them is that they are out of context. I ask myself "what does this have to do with photographs?" and never have an answer. But then, that is their real value, they mix things up and make this more personal, more human, and I like that. Please keep it up!

Anonymous said...

A Very Happy Birthday!

This blog works so well because your knowledge comes across in a simple, easy to read style, not an egotistical, self-righteous tone.

Maybe I haven't discovered that many new (to me) photographers through this blog but I have learnt so much about the ones I did know of. Thank you.

Also, I like your thoughts & comments on the fairs you attend and other gallery exhibitions.

The Friday video gives us an insight in what makes you tick other than photography.

Don't go changing and here's to the next year.

liv said...

Congratulations! Your blog is always a great read, I like your comments on photographs used in news and media and your introduction to contemporary photographers you like. I find the videos a good contrast to the photos.

Anonymous said...

happy birthday, james! ;)

Alice Olive said...

Congratulations. Your blog is definitely one of my favourites. I love photography so your blog is a wonderful way to be introduced to new photographers as well as discover new-ness to those I already know. Thank you. No suggestions. I love it the way it is.

frank_ezelle said...

Congratulations on the 1-year anniversary. I haven't been here the entire time but I have certainly enjoyed the last few months. I'm one who happens to like the weekend video feature. I like the variety.

Thanks for your dedication to this project. It has brought information and entertainment to many such as myself. Best wishes for year #2.


frank_ezelle said...

Oops, I do have a suggestion and I forgot to add it on my previous comment. I think it would be great if you added Labels to your posts, maybe not going back and adding to existing posts, but at least going forward.

It would be great if every "Weekend Video" had was labeled so a person could pull them all up at once instead of searching through the various months of posts. Likewise, it would be great to look down the list of labels for a particular name, such as Edward Weston, and be able to pull up all posts on that subject. I really think this would be a great addition to the blog for your readers and it only takes a few extra seconds per post.


Anonymous said...

Hey! Happy Birthday!

Love the site. I come and see it almost everyday. I study photography and this is really important site for me. I learn a lot here on artists and its always a pleasure to read you. I guest my suggestion would be to talk more about emerging artists. But I am very happy with what you have been writing. continue the good work. :)

Christopher Paquette said...

Congrats James!

I read this blog on a daily basis, and I think what I like most of all is the diversity of styles and subjects you present. Way too many photo blogs are one dimensional and predictable.... yours is consistently fresh and fluid.

My one request would be a regular or semi regular feature on emerging photographers that you like.

Best to you in the years to come!

Seth said...

Having just found this blog, I was worried that its title - Year in Pictures - was a literal one. I'm pleased that you will be continuing your posts, and I'm looking forward to catching up on the old entries - and reading the new ones.

Congratulations! Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. It's almost always interesting to read why you like the images you like. You talk about really strong images, even Edward Weston's, in a way that makes looking at them even more pleasant. And you find beauty in unexpected places. I have found your blog to be a source of inspiration, new or revived.

Personally, I discovered Bob Fosse through your Weekend Video, which led me to watch Star 80 and Cool Hand Luke ... and I also got into Cat Power, and Nouvelle Vague, after finding them here. I guess I am someone who has intermittently enjoyed WV very much. It keeps your blog from being too serious or precious sometimes.

At the end of the day, I think you should blog for yourself, even as you try and find the kinds of features others will like.

Rachel said...

I love all of the photographs on here, not so much with the videos though. I usually don't watch those but I check in about once a week to get an eye full! ;-)

Thanks for a wonderful treat of a blog!

A Rare Breed said...

Yippy for Y.I.P! Congratulations James!

Adam said...

Keep on bloggin'. I like the photography here, mainly. It is always pretty different than the photography that I live with day to day, hour to hour. It tweaks my perspective a bit. I generally check your blog a couple times per week.

aija said...

Happy blogoversary! I have no suggestions, just wanted you to know I enjoy what you're doing.

Joanna Goddard said...

happy anniversary!!!

DeadwoodPete said...

Happy Birthday.

I would like more of your technical talk, not so much camera stuff as how you look at pics. Once in awhile you will touch on your sense of composition and I feel really interested. Content is important, but the sense of a pic is what makes a great photo as I see it.

Anyway, thanks, Bruce

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday YIP! And I hope you got a nice cake along with the good wishes.

Keep up the good work. I read your blog often and I like the mix you present. I always read the "travel" items....going to LA, going to Miami, etc... You had a post from Photo Miami (last year?) and since I couldn't attend myself, I enjoyed a glimpse of the range of artworks I might have seen. I was interested in the Olympic images since they were different from what was being shown on the main TV coverage. The recent dog portraits were wonderful.

I'd say keep posting the weekend videos. the Janis Joplin one was great; and I really liked seeing the end of "The Graduate".

In sum, no Complaints!

g+m said...

I read a lot of blogs. Too many, in fact. But I love, love, love yours. It's easily in my top five.

I used to skip over the Weekend Videos, because I generally hate youtube posts of any sort, because so often they're simply a waste of my time. But then I figured out that the stuff you feature is worth watching, and in several cases has lead to a discovery of a fantastic new artist.

So...yeah. Thanks for what you do. (And pick me next time you do a print giveaway!)

Michelle said...

Happy birthday, YIP!

I rarely watch the weekend videos, but all the same I'm glad they're there - once in a while something pops along (like the Emily Haines video) that I LOVE. So I'd be sad to see them go away.

I really enjoy this blog in particular because I feel as though I'm actually getting an education in photography (and not being sold a product). It's refreshing. Thank you!

indigo16 said...

I think scholarly is a euphemism for humourless boring old fart.
I like this blog because it is lovely to see the other, more human side to running a gallery. I read this blog because it is a very personal viewpoint which makes it for me, very interesting. I have also managed to look at the work of other photographers that would normally pass me by as your taste is very different to mine. For that I thank you and look forward to many more years.
I confess I do not 'do' youtube unless it is humour, I can't sit still to music!