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How Photographers Are Making The Internet Work For Them Page 2

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There are others, many of which provide support to also start your own photoblog, including www.buzznet.com which also supports moblog functions. Buzznet contains a lot of blogs from young people with camera phones from all around the world. Much of this activity is, of course, motivated less by an interest in photography than it is by what young people find most interesting--other young people, you know, the whole boy/girl thing. Another site, that also has strong international participation and a lot of social activity can be found at: www.fotolog.net.

But even though the social connection is an obvious and significant motivation, peppered among the snapshots of myriad faces are many, many interesting images which comprise a nonverbal dialog depicting many different, individually experienced worlds, a kind of graphic, off-the-cuff poetry in often abstract colors and shapes, sometimes humorous, cynical, wondrous, or melancholy. It reflects not just the diversity of people in the world, but a plurality of different worlds of experience, thoughts, and feelings. This virtual photoblog environment of pictures is in its infancy and evolving. Some have even taken it upon themselves to encourage cultivating the perception through a camera's eye into an organized garden of graphic dialog. A striking example of voluntary, organized, and free participation can be found at: www.mirrorproject.com.

URL: www.pixelbrand.org. "My first motive of course for running a photoblog is that I like photographing. And then, I do not wish that these photographs disappear into a drawer. Another reason is the possibility to communicate with other photographers and photo enthusiasts. Sure, this is possible in Internet communities or discussion forums. But, within my own photoblog I have control over presentation and selection of the photographs. A less important but significant reason is the pleasure in receiving responses to my work."--Danny Otto

In addition, there are many who have particular interests that use a photoblog to communicate and connect with others with a similar interest. One such interest is food. You can find quite a number of individual photoblogs that are devoted to someone's daily diet. That may seem terribly banal and boring, but there is a rather large group whose interest in food and photoblogging involves a more sophisticated gastronomic adventure. And, of course it originated in Italy. Where else is there a keener interest in food or a greater diversity to explore? And, the Italian food photoblog community has become so well developed that there are now both Italian and English language editions. Just about any photographic subject of interest can be pursued through the photoblog world and you will find someone, somewhere has a blog that involves a subject or interest like your own. Eventually everything that photographers are and do will be reflected in some way in this worldwide community of photographic bloggers.

How To Get Started And Involved With Your Own Photoblog
In my exploration I was quite amazed at how much support for photoblogging is already available, even though photoblog popularity has grown substantially over a rather short span of time. For instance, websites like buzznet.com and fotolog.net both offer easy means to get started with full support to create your own photoblog. However, with these easy full-support options you are pretty locked into a limited format. So if you want some individuality and independence there are other ways to go. Obviously to do a photoblog independently requires a domain (name) and server space, as well as software to create the pages for a photoblog website.

URL: www.hchamp.com. "I've maintained a personal website for just over 10 years. The advent of weblog technology has made it far easier for me to publish my photography online. I like to think of my photoblog as a sketchbook where I can share the small moments that catch my eye."--Heather Powazek Champ

The domain name and server space may be already available if you have an online connection, particularly if it is broadband cable or DSL. The Internet Service Providers (ISP) usually offer website support either free or for a small additional fee, and to some extent there may also be some specific support for a photoblog. Whether you get your Internet connection through AOL, Yahoo!, or any other ISP, go to their main website and do a search on what is available for personal websites and even photoblogging.

Most of the photoblogs that caught my eye, such as those I have included as examples with this article, use either their own individual design or one of the many different software packages that support photoblogs, all of which are readily available on the web. If you are like me and have no experience creating any kind of website, you may want to go to www.photoblogs.org and open some of the Main Menu items. These contain a forum about photoblogging as well as a Help and FAQ resource that covers most of the issues that may be questions as to how to proceed. And if you are a bit of an individualist and persnickety, also like me, the software resource to support putting a blog together that I found most appealing can be found at the www.moveabletype.org website. Then go to the TypePad section for software support for photoblogs for individuals.

URL: www.chromasia.com. "Quite a few people have asked me why I started Chromasia, and even with the benefit of hindsight I'm not really sure. I guess the most important thing for me, other than having a means of presenting my work, is that Chromasia is somewhere I can discuss my work--what works, what doesn't, and so on--and I'm really lucky to have a good number of regular visitors to critique my work and move me forward. One of the things I think is great about photoblogging is that you have complete control over how you present your work. I suppose I could have joined a photography club, or sought out opportunities to display my work, but, in the middle of everything else--job, kids, and so on--that never happened. A great aspect of photoblogging is that you get to meet like-minded people from around the world. I'm based in the UK, but I regularly e-mail other photographers/ photobloggers in Australia, the US, Ireland, and various other countries in Europe and even farther abroad. As to what I want to achieve, I guess, first and foremost is that I want to be a better photographer."--David J. Nightingale

Parting Observations
It has been my experience in over half a century of photography that past venues available to show and share photographs, like exhibits/shows, galleries, publication, all have serious limitations that impose costs in both effort and money. They also may have inherent restrictions on what and how a photographer may present photographs. In the first half of my career I participated in just about every venue that was available and gradually lost interest, not because of a lack of acceptance or that doors were closed, but because the effort and cost was not justified by the quality of the experience.

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