Why I love blipfoto

Another interesting manifestation of the current craze for social networking is blipfoto.

This is a free-to-use website, hosted in Scotland but with a global following.  The idea is that you post a photo once a day: no more than that are allowed.  Like most of the really good ideas on the internet, it is remarkably simple but also highly effective. You can post a comment with your photo, if you like, and you can post every day, a couple of times a month or whenever you choose.

There are some fantastic professional shots on there and then there are people like me who post, simply using their iPhone, on a particular theme.   The content, in my case, is more important than the technical quality – or at least that’s my excuse!

Blipping is strangely addictive and pleasing to do, since it’s a way of sharing favourite images and highlighting things you are interested in or amused by.  It’s a very friendly place too, where my amateur efforts have received only encouraging comments.

So in this post I wanted to share my enjoyment of blipfoto, in the hope of encouraging others to have a go too.  Initially, I kept my blipfoto persona separate, while I got the hang of it – but I’ve just recently started linking my blips into Twitter.

My first blip identity was Traces of Past Empires, which started with Columbus’s son’s Palace – the Casas Reales in Santo Domingo – built between 1503 and 1520.

The idea behind Traces of Past Empires was to take interesting (and if possible nice-looking) pictures of exactly that.  Since Santo Domingo blew my proverbial socks off last summer, with its staggering number of ‘firsts’ in the Americas – the first cathedral, university and monastery, that seemed a great place to start.

Given my long-standing interest in the Roman Empire, and my predilection for visiting Roman sites, I originally thought that Traces of Lost Empires would consist largely of pictures of wind-swept British fields with sheep standing on bumps where Roman or Iron Age forts once were.

I have got some great Roman sites – here, for instance, is a reconstructed Roman wine ship (actually it’s a river defence vessel) from the Moselle – but other ‘traces’ kept coming into view, like this one of the ghosts of transported convicts at Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney.

Given that I live in London – which has traces of a lost empire at every turn – and also given the places I tend to travel on business, my blip journal has more than a few pictures of Georgian and Victorian statues from London and around the World. Here is Charles James Napier in Trafalgar Square and here is Nelson’s Column, but in Montreal – yes, that’s Montreal!   Other past empires do statues very well too: here is Charles Duke of Brunswick’s Memorial in Geneva, a magnificent lion at the former Dutch Admiralty in Amsterdam, and Yuri Gagarin outside the British Council on the Mall in London.

You start noticing things more and wanting to photograph them: here is Sir Henry Wilson’s Flag of Truce from the South African War.  You also start noticing similarities, so here is a Roman Road from Norfolk (probably built after Boudicca’s Revolt to surpress the Iceni) and here is the Old Mafeking Road in South Africa used by Cecil Rhodes (leading, with very much the same ruthless colonial intent, into Zimbabwe).

I think this is my favourite, a statue of hunting dogs at the Duc de Orleans’ Chateau at Chantilly – where delicious chantilly cream was invented.

I liked capturing past empires so much that I recently started a second blipfoto identity – Traces of Past Railway Empires – which is about my fascination with railway history.  This journal is just getting going with a view of the ‘Chatham’ station which is buried within the larger ‘Brighton’ facade at Victoria Station.

You see, it really is addictive!

About paulcoby
I am CIO at the John Lewis Partnership in the UK. I was Chair of SITA - the airline solutions company owned by the Air Transport Community - for 11 years. I am also on the Boards of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank and Pets at Home. Previously I was Head of BA Services and for 10 years CIO at British Airways. I am interested in Roman and Military History. The views expressed are entirely my own not my employers.

3 Responses to Why I love blipfoto

  1. pgrule says:

    Hi Paul,

    You’ve shared some really interesting photos on BlipFoto. An intriguing way to use the facility.

    Thanks, you’ve set me thinking.

    Best regards,

  2. I love the “themed” journals – and there’s some really interesting stuff in there! My journal is little more than a daily “leak” from my brain onto the site! (http://blipfoto.com/cyclops)

  3. Edith aka cameralady says:

    A lovely and healthy addiction, I must say…

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