One of the first things I did after moving to Olympia from Arizona was to look around for a local camera club of meetup group. I actually found, and joined one of each, I even wrote a blog post about it some time ago. The great thing about these local clubs and meetup groups is that you get the chance to meet local people who share the same passion as you. Online communities and friendships are great, but they are no substitute for the interaction you get from meeting people in real life. I give you as an example my friend John Gerecht, who I snapped a candid shot of during the recent Tango By The Fountain.
Not only do I really enjoy hanging out and talking photography with John, I am a huge fan of his work. He is one of the best studio / portrait photographers who you have probably never heard of, but should have. Hint, follow the link above to see some of his work over on Flickr.
This post is also something a little new for me. I have been threatening to move everything over to a 100% self hosted solution for a long time and with the recent issues I have been having with SmugMug I have decided to move a little closer to that goal. While I am not sure that I will move to a 100% self hosted system and leave the online hosting entirely, I do need to have some sort of a backup and this post represents that. This image is hosted on a NextGen 2.0 gallery here on the same site as the blog. I still have a lot of tweaking to do with the NextGen galleries, but I like the direction this is taking me.