This morning I had my 10,000 visitor. I joined ipernity on the 22nd of June 2007 because several of my Flickr contacts had left that site while I was on holidays. I came back to a depleted ‘Friends’ list and the place seemed very lonely and a little hostile with all the issues and anger that was happening.

I discovered ipernity because my first contact on Flickr, Paprikaplains, had left a post saying why he had left and where he was going. I visited ipernity, had a look around, liked it and joined. So my first thanks is to Paprikaplains for introducing me to ipernity.

One of the best features of this site is the ability to reply to comments and also to make blog posts. It turns the whole process of taking and posting photos into a conversation, one that many people can join in. I have had many helpful comments and taken part in countless fun and inspiring conversations since I have been here.

When I began posting images here I decided that I wasn’t going to make the mistake I made on Flickr by trying to post things that would be popular and get me in Explore. I wanted to only post work I liked and was true to my style. For the most part I think I have achieved this.

I find this site to be a constant source of inspiration and a challenge to improve. Each day as I look at the photos from my contacts and a selection of new ones from other members, I see something that challenges me to do better, try something new, learn a new technique or, in the case of Ojisanjake’s images, to notice the details and small things, not just the big views.

People such as Gadjoboy and Mad.Melon have taught me to look at life’s little particles. MM makes lovely images of rust stains and locks. Gadjoboy makes art out of a section of railing and a shirt on a wall. (If you haven’t heard Gadjoboy’s gypsy jazz, then go over and visit him now and have a listen.)

When I see something I really like, I try not to just copy it, but to see how I can interpret it my way, with the things around me. For example: I love Ragnheidur’s dark Icelandic landscapes. But I live in Australia, although our landscape is flat and empty, it is very much different and we have very bright light here. But I thought about her images and how I could interpret them here. I remembered a landscape I used to photograph in my younger days, Dog Rocks, So I returned and took Ragnheidur’s advice of using a low viewpoint with a wide angle, and I hope I produced some images of interest.

I love Mr Bigoode’s clouds and especially his beach scenes. I spent some time today trying to produce a similar feeling on some marshland near my house.

I have met some great Aussie photographers, David De Groot, S2art, Nada, Llynus, tuxcomputers, Jayavant and a ‘new’ Aussie, Stuart to name just a few. The discussions have started on photography and branched out into many areas, Australian architecture, politics, renovating houses, computers, the music of Frank Zappa…

Ipernity isn’t just about photography. I feel I have learned something about your lives as well. I love hearing from Vashtia, pippina, Iljuschin and Don Andre.

And what would ipernity be without the two giants of cyberspace: Roberto Ballerini and Bigoode. For me these two have become the heart and voice of ipernity. No day is complete without a SHINE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am amazed at how many people from so many different countries I have got to know through this site. I don’t always understand your conversations and the online translations aren’t always helpful, but the experience is always fun. To those I haven’t singled out I apologise, but I appreciate you all and I learn from you all. I have a real sense of community here. Thanks to you all.

During my time here, I upgraded my camera to a Canon 5D and I am still learning how to use the extra pixels. My plan this year is to concentrate on printing. I have had a darkroom most of my adult life, but I have been swayed by how easy it is to produce images for viewing on a screen. This year I promise to learn the art of printing with the new technology.

And a very special thanks to visitor number 10,000: Granddesign.