A Liebster Award

My blog has been given an award. It’s easy to feel flattered by an ‘award’. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit to an initial short-lived ‘high’. But I’m determined to keep my feet firmly rooted to the ground. And that brings me craftily to an image in keeping with those sentiments before I get down to the news about the award. I just can’t write a photoblog without posting an image!

The Cornice - Breithorn ridge, Valais Alps

This was taken up high, descending from the Central Summit of the Breithorn (Valais Alps, Switzerland) on a solo climb. On the right is an enormous Cornice hanging over the N Face of the mountain. Fall through that and there is a 3000ft drop, so climbers stay well away from the potential fracture line and tread carefully. Ahead is the next objective – the West Summit.

Back to the award: Linda Grashof very kindly spotted my fledgling blog, saw that it was yet to attract a horde of followers, and wrote to me to offer me a Liebster Award.  My sincere thanks to Linda for her kindness for thinking I was a worthy recipient. Do take a look at her blog – Romancing Reality – Linda has a ‘Seeing Eye’ that drives her photography.

The Liebster may be called an award but I think it is more of an encouragement than an award. To receive this award, the main criterion is that recipients must have less than 200 ‘followers’. The Liebster comes with terms and conditions (or rules).

These are:

  1. Thank the person who presented you with the Award.
  2. Link back to that person (I now follow Linda’s blog).
  3. Identify five blogs who have less than 200 ‘followers’ who you think deserve to be noticed and offer them a Liebster award, explaining the rules to them. (Make sure they are happy to accept the award).
  4. Write a post about the Liebster Award. Include the names of the five bloggers to whom you are passing on the Award and include links to their websites. (I now also follow all five blogs).
  5. Display the Liebster badge on your blog, and pass the badge on to your five selected blogs when they have found their five to which they will pass the Liebster. In other words when they have fulfilled the rules of the award.

At the heart of the Liebster is the idea of encouraging the relatively new Blog that has yet to attract a significant number of followers. That is a good idea – we all need a bit of help and encouragement in the early days. But therein lies the conundrum. If your blog is quite new and you are slowly building up your ‘following’ you may not have found many other newish blogs with few followers. You are more likely to find the established bloggers – at least that has been my experience. [At the end of this post I’ve appended a few additional notes about the Liebster that may be of help to others who are given this award].

I’m very pleased – after quite a lot of searching spread over a number of weeks – to have found five worthy recipients to whom I am pleased to pass the Liebster Award. In no particular order they are:

Places, Colors, Flavors. Leo’s Blog is a combination of excellent color photography of the world around us plus another ingredient that you might guess from the Blog’s title – Superb Food Photography. An unusual mix but it works really well. Leo is a graphic designer and his skills are very evident in the presentation. Some posts are in Italian but don’t let that put you off – this is a site well worth visiting and I’m delighted to bring his work to a wider audience.

Photobypawelp. Pawel is a talented photographer who is equally good at photographing people or capturing distinctive moody  landscapes. His blog includes galleries of his work. His recent posts have included some gritty B&W candid street photography that is high-class work. Do take a look at his blog.

The other three are all from the UK. It gives me particular pleasure to recommend three photographers from my own country who all merit a wider audience for their work.

Athyfotographic. Frank’s photography covers a broad spectrum of styles and genres, and he demonstrates clearly the concept of distilling the image out of the picture. He has his own particular way of viewing the world that chimes closely with my own. And that’s why I love it. Make sure you view his blog.

Walking with a Smacked Pentax – subtitled ‘A Photographic Journey through Yorkshire and the Lake District’. James is a man I envy: living in the North of England within easy reach of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. You only need to glance at the banner on James’s blog to realize that this is a Landscape photographer who understands light. Time spent on this site is going to reward you with some superb images of an area that clearly he is passionate about.

Tales from the Hills. Pete is a walker, hiker and writer – a man after my own heart. On the pages of this blog and his other related blogs (accessed from the About page) you will find stories, routes to follow, travelogues and images about hills and mountains across the UK and Europe, and a couple from New Zealand. If you share his love of the great outdoors you will find plenty to enjoy on this blog. I love these pages because I have visited many of the Alpine places that Pete refers to and it is refreshing to see them through the work of another writer and photographer.

A footnote or two on the Liebster.

These notes may be helpful to people who are offered a Liebster, but probably not otherwise.
The task of finding the five blogs to pass the Liebster on to is not easy and takes time. In my experience exploring someone else’s blog by clicking on commenters or the gravatars of people who ‘like’ a post is a useful way of moving sideways through the blogging community to find new blogs. Or if you really are running out of ideas check out blogs that appear in the Freshly Pressed section of the WordPress home page (thankfully I did not need to do that).
How do you know how many followers a blog has? That can be difficult. Some blogs helpfully display the number of followers, but many don’t.
What exactly is a ‘follower’? My blog calculates my ‘followers’ as the total of those signed up to receive an email notification of posts plus all those who follow me on Twitter. In my case 15% of people who supposedly follow me on Twitter have nothing whatsoever to do with photography and are people who have picked me up totally randomly. Other people I approach have asked if Facebook followers should count. I have no experience of Facebook but are all your Facebook followers following you because you have a Photoblog? I doubt it. It seems to me that the true  ‘follower’ is the person who is signed up to get your posts via email plus those who get notifications via an RSS feed (and how do you calculate them?).
There is no ultimate authority, no-one to settle issues of controversy about the Liebster. So it has to be down to those of us who are entrusted with the award to use commonsense in how we pass it on and keep it alive until the market becomes saturated or the award dies.
Because….there is the Maths. I pass the blog to 5, they each pass it to 5 who all pass it to 5 more. By the time this has gone through 6 passes (5 to the power 5) potentially the blog would involve 3,125 blogs, all relatively new. The award is not sustainable at that rate.
Nevertheless the idea has the noblest of intentions, to help blogs acquire readers, and contacts. And therefore I support it wholeheartedly
I am also happy to go on record as saying that if the five to whom I pass this Award only manage to find two or three people each to pass the ward on to then I will be happy to say – accept the award. They will have done their best; better to pass it on to a few than to none at all. And I hope you won’t think I’m a heretic for suggesting that. It is the spirit that counts not just the numbers. Let’s keep the Liebster alive rather than expect the impossible and watch it die.

About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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16 Responses to A Liebster Award

  1. Victoria says:

    Wow, very nice picture!


  2. rigmover says:

    Great photo and good luck.


  3. Len says:

    Excellent image Andy. I can’t imagine being up there on a solo climb (maybe in my youth). Congrats on the award. It sounds like a really nice program to encourage more bloggers.


  4. Dave DiCello says:

    Now that is one amazing view man. I love your mountain shots. Congrats on the award as well. It’s great to hear encouraging things like that!


  5. Congrats Andy…well deserved and beautiful shot. What an incredible view.


  6. Adam Allegro says:

    Congrats on the award Andy!! Nice work.


  7. munchow says:

    First of all congratulations with the award. You truly deserve it. You share so many great photographs and experiences here and I hope with some time many bloggers will find the way to your blog. The picture of Breithorn is astonishing and the summit looks like a fantastic climb to do. I am impressed you did it on your own. Thanks for taking your time to find worthy nominees for the award – I will look them up.


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks so much for that comment Otto. I value that. Actually the summit in the distance (W Summit of the Breithorn) is one of the easiest of the Alpine 4000M peaks. The guides just drag people up and down the standard route. The arete leading on from there to the Central Summit is not difficult but requires a steady head. Passing people going the other way requires stepping off the two boot wide ridge. Not for those who suffer from vertigo! Do take a look at the nominees, they are all worthy Award winners.



  8. seekraz says:

    Congratulations, Andy…very deserving, you are. Thank you for the intro to the other writers/photographers. I shall go a-visiting. 🙂


  9. Pete Buckley says:

    Hi Andy and thanks once again for nominating me for this award. Am currently putting together a page about the Liebster while looking for nominees! It is a great way of getting people to take a look at new blogs and writers. Like the photo too – my profile pic was taken on the Breithorn summit!


  10. Simon Morris says:

    HUGE congrats, Andy… and well deserved!


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