Having retired a year ago at the relatively young age of 57 to pursue a different lifesytle, the past year has been an adjustment as I learn the new art to giving away my knowledge and skills. While employed by Honeywell for over 28 years, I was highly paid and ended my career as a senior software project manager. Now I am a bum!
My new life has its advantages. I am now able to donate my software skills to various non profit organizations without the need to make money. However, my true passion is roaming the Northwoods and capturing special moments with my camera. Yesterday I posted about some of my efforts from my current year long photography project, 365DaysOfBirds.
Ultimately it would be nice to earn some money to cover my photography expenses. Taking a page from my earlier software role at Honeywell when I worked with a number of Silicon Valley software start-up companies, I am using their business model. Software start-ups give away their product, but work upon moving customers up onto their paying services. Thus, I have been giving my photography work away for the last year. You will find the NorthStar Nerd's work on Flickr licensed under Creative Commons. In other words, people may use my photos, but full attribution with a link back to my web site must always be included. You can see, I am practicing what I preached for so many years.
One year into this journey, the giving away part seems to be working. My work as a photographer is getting noticed. My photos have been published in children's books, and via many national news media sites (CNN, Weather Channel, and Fox News). In addition both the National Park Service and the Smithsonian have picked up my work via my Flickr account.
Earlier today I started to experience my first "viral" photograph viewing. The Northern Lights have been shining over Northern Minnesota for the past couple of nights. Even though I am a morning person, I have been out almost all night the past few days on the shores of remote northern wilderness lakes. A few hours ago, the Flickr Explore group decided to promote one of my Aurora Borealis images. In just three hours the number of views are up to 2,419 people. I will be curious what the is the final total of views and whether all these eyeballs convert to new follows, etc. Here is "said" photo taken about 3:15 am two nights ago. Click upon the image to view at full size.