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Community Pool: Photography

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for input, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout,…

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for input, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout, or anything else. If you have a post, page, or idea you want to bounce off someone, leave a comment. Your fellow bloggers can then click through and offer input either on your site, or in the comments here (feel free to indicate which you’d prefer).

In honor of phoneography month, this week’s Community Pool is for the shutterbugs. Get feedback on your composition, use of galleries, or anything else photo-related (non-photo posts are welcome as well). Read on for the guidelines and to leave a comment . . .

  • You’ll get the best feedback if you can be as specific as possible about what you’d like people to respond to or where you’re struggling.
  • Please keep all comments civil and constructive. We’re here to help and support one another, not to beat anyone down.
  • If you haven’t looked at our Commenting Guidelines in a while, now might be a good time.
  • To keep from losing your place in the comment thread while you visit others’ blogs, right-click on a link to open it in a new tab or window.
  • No running on the deck.

Photo by t_a_i_s.

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    1. I went to your website and was immediately drawn to the post “Dedicated to Tony Sanchez, with Love and Gratitude.” I really enjoyed your images.
      One thing – I find reading left-aligned text easier to read.
      I also loved the “A trip Back Home” post. I am not a bird watcher but I would have loved to know the name(species) of the birds :)

      Like

    2. Thanks for sharing your blog. Personally, I’m not a fan of Gridspace. While I appreciate the concept of uncluttered presentations on images, I like being able to take in the titles of the images at a glance, without needing to mouse over the image.

      Like

      1. I agree; I enjoy being able to see all of the different pictures, but my personal preference is to see the titles straight up without all of the pictures. Other than that I enjoyed your pictures!

        Like

    3. Nice looking blog, a new concept to me. I liked the photo of the red cardinal but I thought it could have been cropped – that lovely bird pops out but there is still too much background. I absolutely love Apple kind of gal – a portrait full of character!

      Like

    1. Beautiful images. I had a question about the layout of your blog.
      Why did you choose to keep everything in the Footer and not the sidebar?
      I think Archives, Recent posts, follow links etc. look good in the sidebar and are easy to find. Because right now the posts look famished in the middle with black background feeding on it. It is not an issue if you chose to do it deliberately.

      Like

      1. I love the way you spotlighted the pictures by positioning everything else in the footer. “It’s about pictures,” is what your blog says. However, I personally find the multicolored text a bit distracting now and then. Overall, your is definitely a nice blog!

        Like

    2. I agree, a nice blog, interesting to look at and read. Great textures in the photos, and I loved the story about the Russian birds! I don’t mind a blog that makes me find things if it is interesting to start with.

      Like

    3. Nice blog MB – I like the clean look and have recently chosen that theme myself after much much much trying out of others. The focus is on the excellent photos and your stories. The colour of the text looks like a change to highlight this away from the grey? Works for me. Interesting.

      Like

    1. Beautiful images. I had a question about the layout of your blog.
      Why did you choose to keep everything in the Footer and not the sidebar?
      I think Archives, Recent posts, follow links etc. look good in the sidebar and are easy to find. Because right now the posts look famished in the middle with black background feeding on it. It is not an issue if you chose to do it deliberately.

      Like

      1. Your blog is very arresting to look at – big header, lots of Gridspace pics (I’m getting used to them now lol) and some images that caught my eye straight away (the dog – superb).

        Like

    2. Finally the one for you!
      The moment I opened your blog, I was welcomed by a big Header Image. I took me a few seconds to guess that I had to scroll down and see the posts.
      Loved your ‘I love winter’ images.
      I had to check the theme to make this comment. It is Gridspace and a Premium theme (you bought it, great!) I did not see the header so big in the details and preview. Is there a reason you chose that image as header in full size?
      Hope you find this helpful. Have a nice day!

      Like

    3. I really like your photographs, particularly the one on “masks”. I like the big header photo. Personally, I’m not too fond of the Gridspace layout. Yes, it is great to see all the photos without distraction, but I like to see the title of the work without having to mouse over the image and I don’t like the image fading out as the title appears. But this is just one persons opinion.

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      1. Thank you so much! But there is a button on left side which makes it look differently! I thought it was kind of cool that readers could decide that part for themselves :-D

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    4. really beautiful blog, LOVE the picture of the dog looking up…sooo cute…. Only thing I would suggest is to use a different picture as your background…something calmer…to highlight the pictures you post…it just seems a bit busy, especially behind the cool grainy picture in your header!

      Like

      1. Hmm, that’s probably a good idea, but it seemed so boring with just black and grey, while it looked kind of cheesy with orange and pink :-o I must ponder on this :-p

        Like

  1. I write about living and travelling in Portugal and use a lot of my own photographs to illustrate my posts. I’m always worried about using too many photos and slowing down the page load so I resize them when I upload.

    The thing I haven’t yet worked out is how best to display them within a post. In this post, most of the images are full size. Do you think they’re too big and therefore create too much for readers in terms of scrolling down to get through the post? Would it be better to make the images smaller or cut a few out or is it okay like this?

    http://juliedawnfox.com/2013/02/18/things-to-do-in-barcelos-portugal/

    I tried playing with galleries because I like the look of them, especially the tiled ones, but I’m not sure if this is the best way of sharing the information about each image. Should I post each one separately with a little descriptive text or leave it like this so that people who want the information can get it from the carousel?

    http://juliedawnfox.com/2012/12/16/travel-theme-transportation-how-to-get-around-porto-as-a-tourist/#

    I’d really appreciate any comments or suggestions you have so thank you in advance for your time.

    Like

  2. I participate in Photo Challenges religiously since I started my blog. I receive a lot of ‘Likes’ but not many comments. I do not consider myself as a photographer but I think that I can spot a good click. A lot of people around me do not consider me a good photo-taker.
    I need feedback. To view my contribution to the Photo Challenges, click on the Photo Challenges page on my blog – http://beyondbeautytips.wordpress.com
    Thanks for your time!

    Like

    1. You have a nice blog. As for the comments, of the photos, I’d say I would be happy to have so many of them!
      Be that as it may, I think it is always difficult to give substantial feedback to photos. Liking them (or disliking them) is often a gut feeling that is very hard to put into words. Hence I came to appreciate the likes,too: A “like” at least tells you, that the picture called for a reaction. There is also a lot of personal taste involved – which makes it all the more difficult: One person may expect something very different from another when looking at a photo.
      All in all, I think you are doing good – and I believe you have an eye for pictures.
      Hope this helps.

      Like

    1. I love all of your pictures! Every time I saw the title of a post after looking at the one above it I just had to look at your entries for us! Eventually I had to stop myself from looking at the title so that I could comment :)! You’re an amazing photographer!

      Like

    2. I’m not missing words in your posts, the pictures are amazing! You have a nice mix in the subjects you present and everything looks grrreat :-D

      Like

    1. I would be really thankful to you for taking out time and letting me know what you think of my work !
      Regards,
      Vivek

      Like

      1. Oh Vivek, you are so silly. YOU have one of the most beautiful photography blogs in the blogorama!!! you are also one of the best photographers out there, so relax! keep it up! :)

        Like

  3. My blog is a photoblog. I am not a big conversationalist. I get rather tongue-tied. The best way I can express what I’m thinking or feellng is by posting a photo. My blog is Random Thoughts Through My Photos http://iamrcc716.wordpress.com/. I get a likes with each posting but virtually no comments. So I wonder do you have to have words with your photos in order to receive feedback.?

    Like

    1. I think your pictures are phantastic. But sometimes people just enjoy themselves looking – and not ‘talking’, I guess. I personally think it is better to make as few words as possible about one’s own pictures. They should be explaining themselves – and as a spectator I love it when thing remain ‘open’ for interpretation.
      And remember that you pictures need not be liked by everybody (on the contrary: blogging has taught me that every picture will eventually find its beholder, someone to enjoy it). So do not worry.
      In my eyes, you are just doing fine.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much for the encouraging words and for deciding to follow me. I am just looking photos on your sight and I love that “Cool Liquid”.

        Like

    2. I think the titles you give your photos add a lot to the images, but I also agree that no additional words are needed. I love the way you see things and capture what you see.

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    3. I get a lot of comments and I think it is because I ask a question at the end of most of my posts. Also, I spend a lot of time reading other blogs and leaving comments. It is a reciprocal world!

      Like

      1. Thanks for your feedback. I try to thank everyone that visits me and leave a comment. If I like a post it appears on my site for a time in the hopes that others will visit them as well. So, I try to promote other bloggers that visit me, because I understand it is a reciprocal world.

        Like

    4. snow stepping and all about balance are both incredibly good photo’s!! My advice would be to get rid of the boring background, and use a photo you took instead, a mellow one, that doesn’t distract from your posts. the mauve is so boring..lol just a suggestion, but also, if you’d like to see a site where a photographer only writes 3 – 9 words for each post, maybe it will give you some ideas….and you will get more comments. a title is nice, but your thoughts with it, are what make people THINK…. check out this site, to see what I mean…you DON’T have to be a poet, but just put down your honest thoughts…. leafandtwig.worpress.com good luck!

      Like

      1. Thank you for the feedback and I will take a look. I struggle with backgrounds. I don’t want it to be busy or distracting. Maybe I can find something among the many cloud photos that I have.

        Like

      1. I left a comment on someone’s blog and left the wrong name. I had two tabs open and replied on one when I was supposed to be on the other hehe :oops: No need to worry

        Like

    1. Hi Susan, I discovered this on the weekend. What I did was before posting the picture, I opened in “Paint”. The Paint function has Click on the Tools for text “A”, move your curser to a point where you want your signature to appear, then click. A text box will appear. You can choose what style, size and colour of your font. Start typing and make sure you save your picture. Try it and let me know if it works.

      Like

  4. Hey There!

    I would love it you could offer any advice regarding the photos on our blog. One of the things that I have really enjoyed about blogging is the visual aspect. I like to include at least one photo per post. In particular, I included a photo gallery in my An Evening at the American Spirits Bartender Competition. We’re at http://boozedancing.wordpress.com/.

    Thanks so much!
    G-LO

    Like

    1. Jennifer, I love the concept of the tiny figures to create tableaux. I agree with Douglas – the theme works very well and your images are gorgeous. I can’t think of any suggestions so keep up the great work!

      Like

    2. I had a great time visiting and looking around – great theme and site design. And the pictures with the miniature figures are fantastic. I guess I’ll have to “follow.”

      Like

    1. Hi Douglas, I rally like your blog. Your photography is bright, clear and inspired. I think the balance of tutorials and other images works well but I think you should make it easier for people to go straight to the tutorials by using a menu tab or category.

      I’m intrigued by the adaptive wide angle feature – I had no idea it was possible to straighten individual elements of an image. Mind you, I only use very basic editing software at the moment – I’ve yet to graduate to the hard stuff!

      Like

  5. My previous comment was held in moderation because it had two links so I’ll try again with just one.

    I write about living and travelling in Portugal and use a lot of my own photographs to illustrate my posts. I’m always worried about using too many photos and slowing down the page load so I resize them when I upload.
    The thing I haven’t yet worked out is how best to display them within a post. In this post, most of the images are full size. Do you think they’re too big and therefore create too much for readers in terms of scrolling down to get through the post? Would it be better to make the images smaller or cut a few out or is it okay like this?

    http://juliedawnfox.com/2013/02/18/things-to-do-in-barcelos-portugal/

    I tried playing with galleries because I like the look of them, especially the tiled ones, but I’m not sure if this is the best way of sharing the information about each image. Should I post each one separately with a little descriptive text or leave it like this so that people who want the information can get it from the carousel? An example of when I’ve done this is the article ‘How to get around Porto as a tourist’.

    I’d really appreciate any feedback so I thank you in advance for taking the time to look at my blog.

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing your blog.

      I am also struggling with the best way to display images. What I have decided (so far) is to embed the images in the post when (a) They are telling a story, (b) are part of a tutorial, or (c) there are only one or two. Otherwise I fo with the tiled gallery format as that allows the reader to get an overview of the images and then decide whether or not to explore more deeply.

      BTW: based on what you are trying to accomplish, I see why you have the blog format you do, but for me it seems a little cluttered.

      Like

      1. Thanks, Douglas. I really appreciate your comments. SO do you think I should cut down on the number of photos that ‘tell a story’? I find it really hard to whittle down the images to a select few as I always take hundreds when I’m on a trip.

        As far as looking cluttered is concerned, is the problem too many menus or too many sidebars, do you think?

        Like

      2. I do not think you need to cut down on the number photos that tell a story. The clutter may be due to your choice of theme, but you end up having a four column design: two sidebars, post title, and post ‘teaser’. Combined with the font size, color, etc. this makes it look cluttered, at least to my eyes.

        Like

      1. Hi there. Thanks for commenting. I already do that, e.g. http://juliedawnfox.com/2012/12/16/travel-theme-transportation-how-to-get-around-porto-as-a-tourist/

        What I’m unsure about is whether it’s an effective way of getting the information across. Would it be better to follow the more traditional method of a little bit of text with illustrative image, or does this work better / just as well?

        I’m thinking that with the galleries, those who are only interested in the images don’t have to scroll down very far to see them and can enjoy the carousel if they want larger pictures.

        I just worry that those who want the information more than the image might be annoyed and impatient with having to flick through the carousel in order to read.

        What are your thoughts?

        Like

    2. Hi Julie, for my eyes the use of the theme is very busy and it is hard to find the focus of the site. Similar reasons as Douglas has stated. I too grapple with the use of galleries or to embed the image in a story or just use an image on its own. Hope it resolves itself for you soon :)

      Like

      1. thanks. i too have the same feature enabled. but if you see my photogrpahy menu i am not getting the preview of posts.

        Like

    1. I think it’s very nice to mix text with pictures :-D Photos makes posts visually more exciting and draw attention :-) Also, it seems you have a good eye for photography! I really like your takes on the weekly challenges!

      Like

    1. I think your photos are great – I really enjoyed them! Did youi ever consider setting up galleries on pages in order to offer direct access to your photographic work? what I mean is that most WordPress themes offer great possibilities to play around with a homepage/blog combination. (In my case, my wife and I are still discussing if the blog or the homepage should open upon arrival on the site…) I hope you know what I mean and this helps a bit.

      Like

  6. For all of you non climbers!

    What type of rockclimbing post would grab your attention? What would you want to read about? Short/long stories? Lot of text/pics? Feel free to comment or write something on my blog!

    Like

    1. Hey! I really enjoyed your blog :-D It’s not high on the word count, but that’s the point with a visual diary, right? Your pictures are very nice! Adding a few categories or other widgets would make your blog easier to navigate though, but then again – I really love those widgets! The way it’s now really highlights your newest pics :-)

      Like

    1. I see what you mean – they are in random positions, which looks a little messy. I had problems with alignment when I used medium-sized images in posts. I couldn’t get them side by side without them interfering with the text. In the end, I gave up fiddling about with the smaller images and chose to centre-align full size images. If they seem too big (the vertical images tend to), I then click on edit image in the post editor page and reduce it to about 60%.

      I hope that helps in some way!

      Like

    2. My personal opinion is that I always like to see picture in full size; with this you won’t have problem positioning the image.

      Like

    3. When editing a post, you can click on a photo and edit it after clicking on the little picture icon that comes up.

      One of the first things you can choose in the dialog is the alighnment (it’s under “Edit picture”) – although I never really understood what clicking “none” does.

      Usually text will float around your photos and it will be really close to the pictures. I think it looks better to leave a little space between text and picture. To do so, go to “Advanced Settings” in the same dialog box. Here you can define vertical space and horizontal space.

      If you do not want to see any text at all near a picture, you’ll have to do a little math: Let’s say the width of your post is 400px and your picture is 200px wide and aligned to the left, you want a horizontal space of 200px to the right of the picture – you’ll have to add that manually to the line above the “space” boxes (or type 200 into the “horizontal space” box and set marginöleft to 0px manually in the line above).

      Sounds complicated but once you get the idea it’s really easy.

      I hope this helps and you have fun experimenting!

      Like