Friday, July 27, 2012

Lessons from the Blogiverse: What Not To Do


This is an early picture of the J.C. Pegler home (which I wrote about yesterday).  At the time this photo was taken, the house was part of a 14-acre ranch.  Today, it sits elegantly in a standard suburban neighborhood, with several homes on the block.  

Now, just in case you are wondering, I didn't actually take this photo, which is likely from the late 1800's.  I hope that this post doesn't break any Fight-Club Style Rules (You Do Not Blog About Blogging!), but yesterday was a bust, in terms of Blog Photography. 

It started out well enough.  Armed with some juicy addresses and interesting history of local homes - two designed by famous architects, and one belonging to an early Sierra Madre family - as well as my trusty point-and-shoot and a happy heart, I ventured forth into the city.  (I'm sure you can see where this is going...)

Unfortunately, my giddiness quickly dissipated, as I wound up with photos of exactly zero of the three homes.  The stumbling block was that I have trouble busting onto people's property to get to homes that are on a private street, hidden by pretty foliage, and/or behind another house on a lot. (But I'm assuming the homeowners will applaud my no-trespassing choice...)  To salvage the thing, I took photos of some lovely, and obviously historic, homes, but I know little or nothing about them yet.  (Weird, though.  I still had a good time!)

Upon reflection, the Big Problem was that I researched the homes before I got the photos. Way to put the cart before the horse, eh?  Really, all I can say about my organizational plan is Duh.  Lesson learned, though.

That's when I remembered that I've been wanting y'all to see this cool photo that I found in the "Annals of Early Sierra Madre," but have hesitated because I didn't take it myself (and don't even know who did).  But, just for today, let us throw caution to the wind! 

And now that my tedious tale of mistakes-made and lessons-learned has come to an end, I bring you:

The J.C. Pegler Home
(circa, I-don't-know-what-year-because-the-book-didn't-say)

Happy Friday!!!

15 comments:

  1. Glad you decided to post it . It makes a fascinating companion for your photo of it today.

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  2. It's a great photo and a nice thread with your previous post. I'm sure the blogging police would approve!

    (I also have that hesitancy photographing historic-yet-private residences, esp. since summer started...warm weather's encouraged residents to hang out on front lawns/porches/etc and I just felt like a rude paparazzo, if I'd marched straight up to take a photo!)

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    1. Thanks, Lulu! Those Blogging Police are a constant concern. :)

      Good to know that I'm not the only one who hesitates on this stuff. I know there are some who would just go up and ask, but I'm a big chicken, so that is not an option. Yet!

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  3. Makes me want to jump into a time travelers suit.

    Don't sweat the history archives. I've been using those on-line sites since I started blogging. They don't know who the photographer is most of the time.

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    1. Me too - I almost wrote something about the Wayback Machine!

      Thanks for the input. There's a lot to learn with this stuff! This happened to be an old book, which I took a photo of with my iPhone (so maybe I DID take the photo myself??) There's no copyright, as far as I know, but at least I gave credit.

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    2. You know, P.A., I should looke into these archives some more. Probably lots of good stuff there...

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  4. A great looking building, which speaks of a not so easy life though. And yes, there were weeks when I couldn't take a picture, and when a few 'appeared', I had the camera at home ;)

    Please have a good weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Robert! You guys have all made me feel better. Good to know I'm not the only one!

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  5. Now's the time for me to tell you what someone told me in the beginning. People don't come exclusively for the photos, they come to visit with you. I don't know if that's entirely true, but it helped me relax and be myself. It might have been PA who told me that.

    Often I post a photo I like and I have no idea what I'm going to say about it. I let the photo tell me.

    With private homes, I'm as shy as you are. But sometimes, if people seem friendly, I tell them who I am and what I'm doing. I let them know how much I admire their home and ask if I might photograph it sometime for the blog. They'll say yes or no, and I honor their wishes. Legally speaking, as long as I don't step onto their property I have a right to photograph what I can see from the public sidewalk or street. But I'll go along with their wishes anyway, especially if they're nice.

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    1. How did I not see this message until now??

      Thanks so much for the helpful words. Your (and/or PA's) thoughts on blogging are very good to keep in mind. Just being yourself is really always the safest bet. Sometimes I get bogged down and forget that kind of thing.

      Regarding private homes, I think asking when you see the people out is a really good idea. I actually had that experience with the J.C. Pegler home, and was able to talk to the owner a bit about how much they enjoy living there. Most people really are nice.

      The ones hidden from the street are the "problem children," but at some point I'm sure I'll see the owner when I'm out walking, and I can ask for permission.

      One thing I thought of today is that if you live in an historic home (e.g., a Greene and Greene), you are probably proud to be a part of that history, and are willing to share with others, at least to a reasonable extent.

      Guess the bottom line is to have fun, isn't it? (That IS the point?) If you hit every one out of the ballpark, life would just be dull!

      Thanks again - you rock! :)

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  6. I agree with Petrea, our rules are about the same here in the UK, so I never take a photo unless I can do it from the public space. That said I know from personal experience that if people live in historic or interesting buildings they mostly are happy to oblige and also perhaps show you around too.

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    1. Thanks, Paul. I've gotten a bit more brave about taking the photos from public space. I even approached someone today, and had great results. I guess the more you do it, the easier it gets? I hope so!

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