I started 75Central.Com six years ago today. Longtime fans might remember when it was LeftyRodriguez.Com, the result of me owning that domain name for inside joke-related reasons. In the intervening six years, I've never missed a day of posting a photo, though I have been a little late on occasion. Sometimes it's been hard to find something worthy of sharing, such as a six-month or so period in 2008 when I didn't shoot at all and had to dig deep into the archives. Other times, I've been flush with photos that I wanted to share, almost to the point where I worried that I was posting too many photos from the same place or of the same subject, such as my many trips to Las Vegas with Laura, my wife, or on our adventures in the Caribbean over the last year. In less than a month, we're heading off to Alaska for a week and I'm already worried that this site might become too "Alaska-centric" over the following months. My first photo posted on this site was of an armillary I found at George Eastman's House in Rochester, New York. What better way, I thought, to kick off my photoblog than something interesting I'd photographed at the home of the founder of Kodak—the company that became synonymous with "photography" and brought so many "Kodak moments" within reach of the everyman?
The first version of this site was a home-brewed mishmash of ASP code that I cooked up one weekend in a coffee-induced frenzy. I'd decided that I was going to start a photoblog and, dammit, I was going to do it as soon as possible:
After growing tired of trying to write my own extensions/maintain the code for this version of the site, I found the ready-made Pixelpost platform and set about migrating over to it, giving me this rather-dark design:
Unfortunately, within a couple of months of migrating over to Pixelpost, the once-vibrant community behind it gave up its enthusiasm and the project died. In fact, if you go to the Pixelpost site today, you'll find that it's forever stuck on version 1.7.3, the very same version I started using in 2010. By 2011, I was ready to try something new, so I once again migrated to another platform: Wordpress, which is, in retrospect, where I should've started. For the last two years, this is what 75Central has looked like to visitors:
In May of 2012, four-and-half years into photoblogging, I decided it was time to retire "LeftyRodriguez.Com" and move to something more professional. The idea for 75Central came to me while sitting at a light at the intersection of US 75 and Spring Creek Parkway in Plano, Texas. Glancing up at the street sign along the freeway, I noticed that it was signed "75-Central Expressway" and the name clicked. It would be a great tribute to my home here in the Dallas area, where US 75/Central Expressway is a major highway as well as a subtle nod to my birth year of 1975. And, most importantly, the domain name was available.
And, just in the last month, we've redesigned the site into what you see today...automatic slideshow, responsive theme and integrated print ordering.
So, now, six years on, I'm still shooting and hope to continue for a long time. I made this mosaic in celebration of this milestone; it's made up of some of the 2,192 photos that I've shared over the years. Thanks for being a fan!