Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

The Boring Post

with 19 comments

I started this blog in April 2009, and since then have posted nearly 800 entries — and what a weird and wonderful 24 months it had been! And I have some regrets, apologies, and non-apologies for what had happened over the last two years.

(1) In October I promised that I will Vanity Fair’s Shooting Past 80 portfolio immediately. “Immediately” finally turns out to mean four months. Only today, I have posted it. I can partially blame WordPress’s slow uploading speed, but the fault, as it often does, lies with me and my laziness only. I have also posted a bookshelf — my picking of interesting photography coffee table books for that special day in your significant other’s life.

(2) I also need to atone for the significant drop in the number of posts. They have come down from 100+ in May ’09, to 33 a year later, to mere eight in January ’11. What does that mean? Mathematically, it means the posts will cease to exist in six months’ time. Actually, it is again my laziness that is to blame; but posts have gone longer and more informative (I think) so I guess it is a good trade-off.

(3) A bigger apology is due for my abysmal communication rate. The Question Inbox I setup was soon quickly discarded and the link remains broken. Here is an alternate way to contact me now: iconic.photos.wordpress@gmail.com, although I am pretty sure my reply rate will still be bad.

(4) During the last month, the most commented post have been that of Emmett Till’s murder, a gruesome and inhumane racial crime committed in the American South during the waning days of segregation. I deeply regret that some comments are spiteful and heinous, and their rhetoric do not belong in polite and proper discourse. Internet, at last, remains a forum where anonymity breeds incivility.

(5) In this 24 months, I absolutely refuse to use the term “photog” in the blog. I hate the term as much as I hate pronunciation of nuclear as “nucular”. My English is not perfect, and I am in no position to be pedantic about the language of Shakespeare, but “photog” clearly is substandard usage.

(6) I have scheduled some posts for a holiday that I will be taking starting next week. I will not be back until second week of April, and will mostly be skiing and hiking in the Alps. I will be in Zurich/St. Moritz, Como and Trieste. Send me an email if you are in the area.

(7) Another atonement is for my abject failure to make the older posts more popular or to circulate the older posts. This creates an aura of stagnancy around the blog frontpage, and I hate this, but there is no alternative short of republishing the older posts, which screws up timestamps and makes everything more confusing.

(8) My obituary of Gaddafi two weeks ago, now seems ridiculous. Since it wasn’t very serious when I wrote it, and since many reputable papers seem to do this, I don’t have much to apologize for here. (A funny story here: I had been to the obituary desk of a notable publication, and in it, along with those of older people like Thatcher, Mandela and Mugabe, are obituary forms for Dmitri Medvedev and Kevin Rudd!)

(9) Lastly, a personal regret. In this 24 months, I blogged about so many photographers and so many photos, but that didn’t lead me towards being a better photographer. So my advice to all those aspiring photographers out there: reading books about swimming will not help you become a swimmer.

(10) Enjoy!

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

March 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

19 Responses

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  1. Happy blogaversary! Keep up the good work, it’s fascinating.

    Lily Langtree

    March 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

  2. I look forward to new material each time I open my email. Great work and superb shots. Keep up the good work. Ups and downs are expected. As my Dad used to say-“don’t let the bast—-” get you down, ever. Onward and upward.”

    Bruce McNair

    March 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

  3. You are THE SHIT!

    I love this blog and my e-mails.

    You’re BRILLIANT.

    Thank you so much!


    March 6, 2011 at 11:40 am

  4. You have _nothing_ to apologize for. Your blog is always fascinating, thoughtfully written, and eagerly read. Thank you.


    March 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm

  5. I love seeing an email in my in box saying you have a new post up.
    Hey don’t beat yourself up it’s not your paid job – just something your sharing with others as for the vile comments – folk get big and mouthy when hidden behind a screen and no doubt if they were exposed they would shut up – plus they themselves would never get off their butt to do anything – armchair commentators

    Mrs D

    March 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm

  6. Re: #2
    I love the longer posts recently. I love to read about the history of the events and places in the photographs. When you only post 2 or 3 times a week, I make a point of reading every one and will save the RSS link as unread if I don’t have the time when it is published. When you used to publish several per day, I found myself just looking at the pictures and moving on.


    March 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm

  7. “Photog” is clearly an awful fake word, but it’s nowhere near as bad as “vlog”. Photog has something science fiction about it, like a plant-canine hybrid that only needs sunlight at water to survive.


    March 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm

  8. Thanks for your blog.

    “reading books about swimming will not help you become a swimmer.”

    I know this to be untrue. I swim with a bunch of blokes every day. One of them started reading about swimming techniques and is now the fastest of us all.

    Theory and practice, I think, is the winning combo.


    Jamie Honan

    March 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm

  9. As much as I enjoy reading how lazy and incompetent you are, I prefer your normal posts which are unique genius. And even if you were making a full-time living at this, you couldn’t possibly keep posting consistent quality at your prior rate. So even if it’s a couple of times a year, please keep doing what you’re doing.

    Bob Loblaw

    March 7, 2011 at 3:24 am

  10. Whatever regrets and apologies you might have or make, the simple truth is that this blog is great, one of the gems of the internet. It sits in my Google Reader alongside the NYTimes’ Room for Debate, Arts & Letters Daily, 3 Quarks Daily, Jason Kottke, et cetera — the highbrow stuff I read to keep me informed and inspired.

    Thanks for the blog, and I hope you’ll continue it for the foreseeable future.

    Max Kennerly

    March 7, 2011 at 3:52 am

  11. I visit this blog every few days, it’s one of my favorites.

    No need to apologize, you’re doing a great job with the photos and research.


    March 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

  12. I check this blog every few days, it’s one of my favorite blogs.

    The amount of research you put into each post is highly appreciated.


    March 7, 2011 at 11:19 am

  13. Поздравляю.

  14. I don’t think re-publishing makes things confusing. Remember the LOL cats? The greatest pictures were all hidden away in the depth of the LOL archives. It became necessary to look for LOL cats in Google images where there was at least some selection.

    The best and the better posts can and should be republished. Rather than taking the most popular ones, which are anyway on that top post list, you should make your own selection.

    If there are 800 posts, there would be between 150 and 200 that deserve re-publication, and not just once. The same mind as allows you to choose the photos in the first place allows (and obliges) you to select.

    It’s because there is too much info that most people by now never get to see a good thing.


    March 10, 2011 at 10:24 am

  15. I had noticed the slower rate of posting and I’m glad to hear it’s just laziness, and not that you lost your sight or something. I look forward to each new post, even if that means waiting a bit longer. It’s still a fantastic blog.

    Ishmael N. Daro

    March 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm

  16. Thank you for all the thought+time you put into this.


    March 16, 2011 at 9:22 pm

  17. I love your blog. I have read the 800 entries. Thank you!!
    I have improved my picture taking skills but I don’t really know if it’s because of your blog.

    Regards from Quito, Ecuador



    March 29, 2011 at 9:29 pm

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