Monday, 21 January 2013

5 Years Later

It all started with a candle and a clock on the day 5 years ago, it was also a Monday but we had no snow then and I knew a lot less about photography or blogging.
This below was the very first picture of my 'Ricoh GR Diary' blog.

When I started this blog I needed something to keep me taking pictures every day rather than just carrying a camera back and forth and never using it. It was always planned as a personal project and I highly doubted anyone but me would even look at it. But a few comments from Wouter and other bloggers later, I realized people were actually looking at my blog.
This made a big difference, for one it inspired me to keep on going even when in doubt or when I did not have enough time but also meant there was more pressure to not just post any picture but a picture I can share with others. Over the years this was at times a very difficult task as some of you who are doing a similar 'photo-a-day' project have experienced.

One of my biggest surprises came while visiting Photokina in September 2008, not only did I get to talk to Ricoh representatives there but they actually knew my blog and were following my impressions of the Ricoh GRD cameras. While meeting them I also first played with the idea to write camera reviews, met Pavel from the Ricohforum and decided to plan our very first Ricohforum meetup and got the invitation to visit the Ricoh factory in China.

A lot has happened in 2008 and this was very motivating, not least meeting some fantastic people from Ricoh, Photographers and Ricoh enthusiasts at the Ricoh meetup and through my blog in HK and Macao. I realised that my blog does matter and it pushed me to keep on going even on days when I was not inspired or had not enough time due to work.

Over the years there have been a few more Ricoh meetups and I have written quite a few reviews of Ricoh cameras, the reviews are always the top posts on my blog when it comes to views and comments which is nice considering the work it takes to write a review although I would prefer to get more views and comments on my pictures ;).

Some of the best things that happened to me through my blog, next to meeting some fantastic people from all over the world, is Ricoh asking me to do a promotional book for the Ricoh GRD III, you can see and order the book here, Ricoh using my pictures to advertise the GRD III in Germany at Foto Koch, me selling some pictures to use for CD covers by Nancee and Clever Stranger, having one of my GRD I pictures chosen for all promotional material for a concert at the Barbican (see picture below) and again to meet some great people through my blog who kept me going.

I have tried to make some changes and even temporarily split the blog into two, one for photos and one for reviews, tried to move it completely to Wordpress and even took a  few short breaks to figure out what to do next, just to end up back where I started. This goes to everything as even my design has not changed much over time. Sometimes keeping things simple is a good idea and so far it has worked well for my blog.

Having said that, there is always time for change and I believe the time has come to make a bigger change this time. I am not completely sure how or what exactly needs changing and most important, when I will have the time to do it but I know a big change is in order and this will be soon.

There are some photography related projects I have in mind and some I had in mind and wanted to do for a while but work usually got in the way so I will try to take the time and get them done this year.

What do you think, what needs changing on my blog and what do you like and would prefer to leave as it is?

And finally in order to keep up with the theme of the blog a picture from today.

GXR A12-M, f8.0, 1/3000, ISO 200, RAW, 42mm (Ricoh GR f2.8 28mm L)


  1. Cristian,

    Many congratulations on this anniversary, I enjoy looking and reading every day.

    I like the format as it is. It is hard to do every day so keep it so that it is technically as easy as possible for you to do.



  2. Congratulations from a silent blogwatcher. I follow your Blog by RSS since I bought my first GRD III. This was in 2009. Today I still have my GRD IV everday with me. It is a fixed item in my bag wherever I go.
    But I am not so strict in uploading the fotos on my blog :-( Sorry for that.
    Nice day and I am looking forward for the next five years of the GR-Diary :-) Thank you Cristian.

  3. Great work Critian. I follow your blog daily. I was introduced to Ricoh's camera through your blog and you've inspired me to buy my first Ricoh, the GX200 on 2009.
    Please keep on the work, no need to change anything!
    I see from you posts that you travel a bit, so if you find your way to my small corner of the world, I will be happy to see you here.

  4. Hi Cristian,

    Congratulations on the 5 years, that is a huge achievement!! I can imagine it must have been tough to keep going, but I and I'm sure many others are glad you have. Today's photo is a fantastic shot to mark the occasion. I look forward to what's to come. :)

    As for the website, I think the main thing is it's easy for you to upload your shots. I think Blogger is good on that side of things. Otherwise, it is easy to navigate and view your photos so I don't think a change is necessary.

    All the best,


  5. Congratulations with this anniversary. I always admired your pictures and am aware that the quality of the ricoh plays a part in it. Still today the quality of the digital camera's is coming together in that sense that what was impossible for an amateur a few years before like a night shot or a difficult foggy atmosphere can be made as a no brainer in automatic stand. The photographer himself freed from thinking about the technical aspect of making the picture have to think about what subject, compositing, framing he or she likes. There you make the difference today . Looking from that point I like your pictures as here the last one with the subtile greens in the fence and the landscape composition. You can throw away a lot of money today by still buying a new camera but is it really necessary to better your results. So having said that I hope to see a lot more of your photo's in the coming time.

  6. Thanks for all your comments!

    I am very happy to see you all enjoy the blog, this helps motivate me to keep going.

    Should I travel in your part of the world and you want to meet up for a chat, drink, some photography or all of it I am always happy to. Same goes if you are around London.

  7. I have been 'off-blog' mode for a couple of weeks. I just got back to post a new set of images on my own blog today, then did my ususal catch up on all my fellow bloggers.

    Then I read this post. I can't really advise you on which way to go if you want to change. I enjoy your blog as it is now, as it is another GRD user's pictorial view of the world, which is what brings me to your blog.

    Sometimes I have the same feeling... the urge to develop my blog into something grander. But then again I get writers/photographers block, and have no desire to even switch my computer on!

    I am glad you have kept your blog design clean and ad-free, unlike some blogs. All those little 'adsense' and other google trinkets just clutter blogs in my opinion. I believ that the images should be clear and presented clealy.

    Whatever you decide to do, I shall be interested in... so just follow your nose and see what goes.

  8. Thanks for your comment Bill!

    I was wondering what you've been up to after not seeing any updates on your blog for a while. Glad you're back at blogging.

    I will certainly keep the blog ad-free since I hate ads personally and disagree of making money that way. I am looking at a few options to make thing more streamlined or more interesting but have not yet decided.

  9. Congratulations on your fifth anniversary, Cristi. It is always a pleasure to visit your blog site. I enjoy your photographs and your excellent reviews. Like many others, I cannot make any suggestions on improving the blog, I too like it the way it is. For convenience, a switch to Wordpress would suit me but that is a minor consideration.

    Here's to the next five years of thoughtful and, at times, inspiring photographs.

  10. Thanks for your comment Calvin!

    I am glad you like the pictures and blog.

    I have tried Wordpress before but found the interface too complex and not as easy to use although it allows to do more.

  11. Christian,

    Have enjoyed your blog for years. Very analytical study and reportage on these unique and wonderful cameras. I have purchased and sold a number of Ricoh's largely based on seeing your great photographs and reviews. I also really like the Sigma DP family of very unique and enjoyable cameras. I do hope you keep up your blogging and I look forward to seeing your photos and reading your insights into the amazing camera market which improves and changes by the day. Five years have brought a lot changes and new technology. This year I've started my own blog, just for fun and like you to give me an excuse to take more photos. Even if nobody else reads it, it's a way for me to track what I'm doing and photographing. Thanks to Google and blogspot. What fun for free.

  12. Thanks for your comment!

    Glad to hear you have been following my blog and it was helpful in your camera purchasing decisions.
    I will keep on blogging and hope that I will have more time for reviews and other articles. Five years have indeed brought a lot of changes but it's been an interesting time.

    Glad to hear you started your blog, I have added it to my list so I can keep an eye on your posts. A blog is a great help to motivate one to take more pictures and share them rather than keeping them locked away on a hard drive somewhere.