Why dg28?

Originally posted on my pre-blog in 2009 but I still get so many people asking why that I thought I’d post it again…

Why would a photographer whose initials are NT call his website dg28? It’s a question that I get asked with amazing regularity and, for the eight years I have had the site, I have always enjoyed the mystique. I did a seminar last week for some London Strobists and the first question that I was asked was “why dg28?” Every time I tell the story it gets less exciting – unlike most anecdotes which seem to get longer, more interesting, more adventurous and even more heroic. I have finally decided to tell all. Right here, right now..

It all started back in 2000. I had a site hosted by AOL which had a domain name longer than anything you could properly remember and content which was attracting quite a bit of attention. I had written a couple of short pieces for Phil Askey at DPReview and sitting in a London bar he advised me to get some proper hosting and a snappy domain name. Good advice from someone who knows a thing or two about photography websites I thought.

A couple of days later I was doing one of my visiting lecturer appearances with some highly motivated post-graduate photojournalists telling them all about the digital process – something that I was already used to but few of them could get their heads around. It was a successful lecture and we ended up in another bar for a couple of drinks. We talked about photography, photographers and photojournalism for quite a while before the topic turned to the old chestnut of “what was the first record that you ever bought?”

I always like this one because I have a very good answer. One member of my family who has otherwise excellent taste started his collection with “Ernie and the fastest milk cart in the west” by Benny Hill – something which still embarrasses him. Being proud of my record I spoke first and told the students that I had bought Metal Guru by Marc Bolan and T-Rex at which point one of them (a young Canadian guy) said “that’s great. You bought Metal Guru and now you are our Digital Guru…” Cue light bulb moment… digitalguru would be a brilliant domain name.

The next day I got onto a registration website only to find that it was gone. As were several variations. Then I remembered Phil Askey saying that short is good so I tried variations on DG and finally settled on dg28.com because the dg bit is for digital guru and the 28 is for the day each month (the 28th) when I used to post updates.

You see what I mean, it’s not actually that interesting but it makes for a decent story – one which I hope to be telling less often in future.

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