Photography Blogs

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by OzRay, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Who here runs a photography blog?

    After years of maintaining a website that had started to stagnate, I finally started a blog to replace the website. I'd lost interest in the website as it really didn't fit what I wanted to do and express, and it just didn't cater for contemplation, and spur of the moment thoughts and ideas. Looking at a lot of blogs, they really seemed to be more dynamic and easier to keep up to date than a traditional website.

    I decided to use Wordpress as, from all of my readings, it appeared to be the best around, though I have heard of some issues that it's had from time to time. Funnily enough, as soon as I posted my first entry, Wordpress seemed to go off-line, as did the forum. I'm not sure if that was related.

    For those that have a blog, what sort of issues have you had to overcome in developing and maintaining things over time? Do you give yourself a schedule or to do list in order to keep things fresh, or just go with the flow depending on how you feel? What's the experience been overall and has it met what you've been after?
     
  2. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
  3. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    If I were you, I'd tell people my blog is SO profound that I'd broken Wordpress. Wear it like a badge of honor! :biggrin:

    I run a blog with Google blogspot. I chose Blogspot primarily because I thought it would have better hand holding for a newbie. I don't know if that is true or not, but so far, I've been reasonably satisfied, though some areas are still very murky to me.

    I pretty much contribute when the urge strikes. I feel this is something I do for fun, not profit, and adhering to a schedule seems too much like work.

    My goal, when I started was a place to document what I've learned in using ACDSee Pro and PSP, which I think tend to get overlooked compared to the Adobe behemoth titles, and I feel both of them have had their reputations marred by a lack of real world usage tutorials. So when I learn something new I try to document what it is I've learned. I recently added articles explaining how to get the best raw conversion out of PSP (It is MUCH better than it is given credit for!), How to sharpen images using the basic sharpening tools in ACDSee, and I've commented on various issues on the E-M10 and m43s in general.

    People have asked me to create some video tutorials, and I have acquired "Snaggit" and other video creation tools, but I have been reluctant to get started, since I don't want to produce the crappy videos I've seen on Youtube. My standards are too high, I guess. I just don't know enough about planning, writing, and editing for video for me to feel I am in my comfort zone. But my logic tells me that I can only learn if I DO leave my comfort zone!

    http://glenbarrington.blogspot.com/
     
  4. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Thanks guys. I considered Prophoto and the Google one (and others), but I'm not a fan of Google and Wordpress was free and appeared to be well supported etc, which suited me fine. I'm not quite sure what I want to do with the blog, but at the moment, I'm just providing a potted history and hope to keep up a weekly or so addition about thoughts and experiences. The blog may also motivate me a bit more and get out to do things. What I started to find with the website was that I liked to write about things as well as post photos, but it simply didn't feel like the right medium for doing both.

    What I've started is here, if anyone is interested: http://australianimage.com.au/wordpress/.
     
  5. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    I love the elegant simplicity of the layout template. Is that a standard template or something you created yourself?
     
  6. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    That's just a standard template and I selected the background colour (you could use a photo) and the text colour. I'm not sure how much you can modify the layout and I guess it's template dependent, but I just wanted something simple and easy on the eye.
     
  7. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    Very entertaining blog, and great photos. The way you integrate the photos with the text is very witty!
     
  8. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    Haha! the date's got me weirded out for a quick sec... date/month/year. lol. I like that you have plenty of pics interweaving with the text, too many blogs are a way too light on that front. the red borders are a bit bold and contrasty with the white for me.
     
  9. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    333
    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    I always had trouble with Wordpress.

    I took a two hour class on blogging for seniors and they helped me set up my blog. I had it attached to my Photoshelter account and at first it worked fine. Photoshelter had a plug in at Wordpress, but then Wordpress said that they no longer would allow using a plug in that they hadn't designed. Then I found that I could blog directly through my Photoshelter account which I did. But I have a problem with that as I have people from time to time now emailing me wanting to know if I knew some person while I was in Vietnam. I was only in country a short time and don't have many photos from the Vietnam War, less than 100. I was there at the start of the military build up in 1965, and was part of the 1st Cav Airmobile. Some of us were sent when we had very little time left in the Army and I didn't know why until I read the book, "We were Soldiers Once and Young." In the book it explains that if when you arrived in Vietnam and would have 30 days in country you went, and if you would have less than 30 days you didn't go. A big waste of money as it took me 30 days on a troop transport to go from Charleston, S.C. through the Panama Canal, stopping for 24 hours in California and then off to the South China Sea. Well, while I was there I picked up a Canon P&S for around $15 and some film. I did take a few shots from time to time, but when I found that I was going to be sent home and not extended for the good of the service, I rode around our base with one of our trucks taking photos. Well I started a blog from the letters that I wrote home, but have not kept up with it (plan to start back next week). My wife (girl friend at the time) kept those letters and I am looking at them now for the first time since I wrote them and using them as my blog. My kids have wanted me to write them down for years, but I now know that it isn't just for my kids at all, but for many who had family but they never made it back home. What was Vietnam like? Did you know Capt so and so, he flew a chopper? My Dad was in the 1st Cav did you know him? I did have one person who contacted me who was there when I was there and only two tents down from me. We didn't remember each other.

    People who serve and see lots of bad stuff don't want to talk about it, I didn't see up close what was going on around us, even though my tent was only a few hundred yards from the front. I had been in the Army 7 1/2 years and had spent time in the 21st Infantry in Germany where I served on a U.S. Army Rifle Team. When I went to Vietnam, I was a clerk, and no longer in the Infantry (another story). The reason that I have so many letters? Well, I was assigned to a typewriter at the back of a squad tent. Every day the First Sgt would come in and see the other two or three clerks sitting around talking and drinking coffee. He did that for about a week, and then one day he walked in and chewed those clerks out. He told them he wanted them to be busy like Pike back there who is always typing. Good thing he didn't come and take a look at what I was typing as they were all letters to my future wife. So my blog is filled with letters that start "My Darling Ginny".

    One last comment. I was held up in Saigon for several days past my discharge date, and I really was getting worried. I asked what was going on, and they told me that there was a big fight going on, and we were being held in reserve as Infantry replacements if the fight went bad. It wasn't until I watched the movie We Were Soldiers Once and Young, that I put the dates together. The movie was about what was going on that held me up before I was sent home. When the lights came back on at the theater I couldn't get out of my seat. It really hit me that I had almost taken part in that battle.
    www.photosbypike.com
     
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Thanks. I'm trying not to make it too text heavy, like a lot of blogs, and want to make the photos part of the narrative. I want it to be easy to read, as most people (including myself) don't want to slog through pages of writing. As for the colours, I'm still experimenting with the style, I want to keep that side simple as well. I hate blogs that are all black, as I get headache after looking at one for a few minutes and then going back to a normal web page. It's a bit like being inside a darkened house and then coming outside to a blazing summer's day. I usually click to another site immediately.

    I've changed the colour to one of my more favourites. Still not quite sure.
     
  11. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I have been blogging on WP for about two and a half years now. I initially wanted to just host my images on a photo site, but then realized that most people do not really want to wade through large amounts of photos. So, after two years of intensive blogging during medical treatments for two cancer diagnoses, I decided that combining my writing with a few images was probably going to be better received. I had hoped to blog on a light schedule, one everry week or two, but my life is still quite chaotic due to health conditions, so I try to blog when I can.

    I have grown used to WP, and have made peace with it's control panel. It is not that hard to use, but it can be a bit cumbersome. I purchased several custom themes, and whiel I had formatting issues with the first, I am reasonably happy with the second. If you plan on writing a little and posting a lot of images, Zenfolio is an option to consider. WP image management is primitive to say the least, but it works for light amounts of images. Like him or not, Ming Thein has a nice WP blog, and the layout looks quite appealing. I also like The Online Photographer, but the layout there is not my favorite, and Mike is considering leaving TypePad. If you have your own URL, it is not toohard to move your blog if you do not have too many posts. You can direct your URL to whereever you want, so that is one purchase that Iw ould strongly recommend so you are not tied to a provider's web address.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  12. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    As I have a web host, my Wordpress blog is run through one of their packages that I installed. By sticking with what they provide, it gives me technical support should I need it, plus backups etc.
     
  13. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    So you are running WP.org instead of WP.com. Lots of choices then, although possibly a bit more maintenance required. Do you wish to write specifically about photography, or about other topics with photography playing a supporting role? The latter can still showcase your images. It is just that people will be visiting for your choice of topics instead of photo-specific content.

    --Ken
     
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I'll probably be talking about all sorts of things that interest me and will include supporting photographs, where possible/relevant, so it'll be a bit of a mixed bag. I'm kind of testing the waters regarding style and content, so photography is the easiest starting point as it has a natural development path based on my experiences and interests. So currently, it's more of a brain dump about photography, which is what will bind the blog together regardless of the topic.
     
    • Like Like x 1