“With all of our running and all of our cunning, if we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”—Jimmy Buffett
This issue will be on newsstands around the 12th day of the New Year and subscribers should see it a few days earlier, so it’s time to roll out my 2010 web plans, starting with my blog. It will become inactive or as Dennis Lehane put it “gone...
Last year I tried a picture-a-day project and was surprised how difficult it was, but also found that it was a great way to stimulate creativity. In 2013, I’ll begin a similar project, this time using Tumblr (www.tumblr.com) because it’s free and the simplest way I know to create a photoblog. To get you inspired, I’ve rounded up four different photo-a-day blogs to show the diverse ways these talented photographers created their sites and blogs. Give it a try because it forces you to think—every day—about making new photographs. And the best way to improve your skills is to practice, practice, practice.
“Never say never, for if you live long enough, chances are you will not be able to abide by its restrictions.”—Gloria Swanson
In February I closed my blog and considered closing my Facebook and Flickr pages. Times change though, and several of my colleagues encouraged me to alter those plans, and if there’s anything more wonderful about the web it’s that...
Although I am probably better known for eating cakes than photographing them, my late brother Michael Farace not only photographed cakes that were delicious examples of edible art, he baked them as well. You can see some of these delightful examples of sugar art in his book Cakes by Design, co-authored with...
Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, reports that a study of online retailing in 2006 found that a third of online shoppers with broadband connections abandoned a site if its pages took 4 seconds or longer to load; two-thirds quit when the delay reached 6 seconds. Recent studies by Google and Microsoft found that people abandon a site with a page loading delay of 250 milliseconds. If, as is becoming common in some photographers’ web design, there is a prelude before your real content launches or your server is slow, it does not bode well for increasing the number of visitors to your site.
"The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions..."--Ellen Glasgow
This month's Web Profiles introduces you to photographers from Canada and France, along with answers to a reader's question about protecting images displayed on the World Wide Web. You might be surprised at my answer, but then again, if...
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." --Will Rogers
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki) is a popular, online, free encyclopedia whose authors are anonymous. John Seigenthaler Sr. was Robert Kennedy's administrative assistant during the early 1960s.
Barry Steven Greff’s photography is showcased in an elegantly designed website from FolioLink (www.foliolink.com). The site appears one way on my desktop computer and another, better I think, incarnation on my iPad, where captions and other information appear as well. Images are arranged in four portfolios and Atmosphere displays images representing the majesty of nature, especially his monochrome image of Niagara Falls photographed like you’ve never seen it before. It’s a quiet allegory of the power of nature vs. the insignificance of humankind. It’s one of his few images that have people and here they are infinitesimal in size compared to the roar—you can almost hear it while looking at the photograph—of the falls.
During the year I look at thousands of websites, selecting the ones that eventually appear here, and one of the most problematic design aspects I see is the Contact page. Believe it or not, some websites don’t have one! More than once this year I found a photographer with huge amounts of talent and no way to contact them about appearing in Web Profiles. Some sites have requirements that all data, including a phone number, must be provided before contacting the photographer. If a potential client wants you to have their number, they will call you. I prefer not to have visitors jump through too many hoops to contact me but had to implement an “enter the text” form—Captcha, a free WordPress plug-in—because spam robots overflowed my mailbox. The bottom line is your bottom line and you should make it easy and convenient for clients to contact you.
Leaves haven’t started falling on Daisy Hill, but soon will be, and just as quickly the number of leaves needing to be raked reminds me of the thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of websites I’ve looked at and written about for Web Profiles over the years. The best are presented here but there are almost as many—maybe more—near misses that fail to make the grade because they lack focus. Not the pictures, mind you, but the purpose of having a site in the first place. While it may seem obvious to you it may not be to the person who lands on your homepage. Fall is a good time to reappraise and perhaps redesign your site for the New Year, giving it not just a new look but also a new purpose. Set a goal for your site and make sure that everything from the colors used to the words and images that appear go toward achieving that goal.
In a previous column I offered a few ideas on creating Contact pages with built-in spam protection. Littleton, Colorado’s Tim Mosholder (www.mountainviewphoto.com) sent me a tip for WordPress users that lets you use an e-mail link that’s impervious to spambots. CryptX (http://wordpress.org/plugins/cryptx) is a free WordPress plug-in that automatically changes all e-mail links on your site’s pages by adding [at] and [dot]. For example, Tim’s e-mail is “info[at]mountainviewphoto[dot]com” and the link works when your clients click on it but spambots won’t see it.
This month I am privileged to present four of the best fine art photographers working in the country. Bill Schwab’s introspective classical images made on collodion plates, the sweeping majesty of Michael Kahn’s handmade silver gelatin prints, and Lane Wilson’s lush images show why they are masters of monochrome photography. Even Cole Thompson’s Blog-of-the-Month resonates with expertise and vision that is at once traditional yet as new as a sunrise. Join me as we take a look at their websites and blog, and prepare to be inspired.
One of the nicest gifts that anyone can give is a photograph. It can be a portrait of yourself and your loved ones or it can be the gift of a fine art print that you can proudly hang on the wall. Submitted for your approval this month are four photographers whose fine art work spans different genres, but what they have in common is an uncommon vision and a commitment to quality.