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Coming Soon: Photography 101

Here, we focus on the art and craft of blogging — sharing tips to write more and better, hosting writing…

Here, we focus on the art and craft of blogging — sharing tips to write more and better, hosting writing challenges to push ourselves and polish our craft, and establishing a space to interact with and learn from others.

Everyone’s “blogging process” is different, from our approach and content to our reasons and goals. For most of you in this community, words take center stage. Yet blogs are very visual platforms, and telling our stories with images is a huge part of the process. Our weekly photo challenges, ever so popular, illustrate this.

We know many of you publish photos on your sites, so we’re excited to dive deeper into the world of photography. In an upcoming series, we’ll introduce the basics — and push you to think about your site with a visual eye and enhance your posts with images.

With the help of guest photographers in our community, we’ll cover the essentials: composition (framing a shot and figuring out what type of image works best for a post); point of view (the position from where you take a picture, like from above, as Sara illustrated in a recent weekly photo challenge); color; shape, line, texture, and pattern; and light.

Then, we’ll take what we’ve learned and discover how to approach blogging with images in mind:

  • experimenting with effects in the post-production stage
  • selecting and presenting the right images for a post
  • deciding when is best to use a gallery, slideshow, or embedded images
  • recording details and metadata

Along the way, we’ll share specific tips to get the most out of the features in your dashboard and themes on WordPress.com — and learn which tools and designs are best for you and your blog.

We’re currently scouting for photographers interested in contributing tutorials and tips for this series — particularly those who display exemplary work in the field. If you have favorite photographers on WordPress.com who fit this description, let us know in the comments. Tell us, too, if you’re interested in learning something specific.

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      1. He is the one who photographed that Irani/Afgani girl with the red head scarf and green eyes. It’ so famous and so captivating. Try and find it.

  1. This would be great. One of my blogs is a photography blog and I’d love to get and share tips.

  2. I have to admit I’m a bit envious of the lovely images some of you can produce to make your blog look interesting and inviting to read. I would love to learn more about decorating mine.

  3. Reblogged this on Ryan Photography and commented:
    Definitely bookmarked and followed… this is going to be good especially for us that showcase our photos…well done WordPress on a novel idea.

  4. Looking forward to seeing these posts! I think a post specifically about smart phone cameras would be best. I’m an amateur photographer and take photos for personal use that happen to be useful for what I write about. (typical!) And I honestly don’t plan on buying a professional camera for my blogging. So please take that into account when crafting this series – I don’t think I’m the only one like this. Thanks! Looking forward to it!

    1. Hi Angela,
      I think your blog [http://hamburgundmeehr.wordpress.com/] might be one to mention here, too, for its excellent pictures.
      Best regards from southern Texas,
      Pit

      1. Hi Pit,
        as I am not very good in writing and explaining, this is not a good idea ;-)
        I think there are much better photographers in the wordpress community than me :-)
        Cheers Angela :-)

  5. Hello. I happen to think http://rampix.wordpress.com/ Rampix Photography could offer some good suggestion. I don’t know of anything specific its just their blog is exemplary in style and form and they take amazing pictures. PEACE!

  6. That sounds pretty awesome. I can’t wait to read these posts! I would like to try my hand at photo-blogging!

      1. Thanks for these suggestions — I may reach out to a few of these photographers. (And I saw your note below — no worries! Just letting you know why some comments stay pending and some are published immediately.)

      1. Cheri, sorry for butting in here but it seems my comments are not going through on your post. It keeps telling me : Please Note: Your comment is awaiting moderation. :(

  7. I’m very interested in all WP proposals to improve photography as far as blogs are concerned and thank you for the constant attention to it.

    Thanks , also for the technical suggestions about iPad-blogging; being the only device I own , I’m looking forward to more and more info about it……..

      1. I wanted to give you Tina’s blog URL as well Cheri but then I saw she posted it here (Hi Tina! :) ) and just wanted to give you my recommendation for her lovely blog and photography as well. She is truly a great photographer. :)

  8. I love, love this idea. I have been a long time “word” blogger here but recently started my photo blog. Would like to toss my hat in the ring for street/urban shots and also would appreciate any feedback on my new blog as far as how it’s set up.
    Sixdegreesphotography.wordpress.com

  9. Forgot to add…looking forward to Photography 101, even if the only camera I happen to have right now is my tracfone smartphone camera!

    1. Great to hear — and yes, to clarify, this series is for anyone with any camera — mobile phone camera, film camera, DSLR. We’re focusing on the visual elements to create a desired image, but also looking at our blogs in a more visual way — we want to encourage people to think about blogging as both creation of words and images.

  10. This would be so helpful. I have a photography background, but it is old school, black & white in a darkroom. I have been hesitant in posting because I would like my blog to reflect my love of the visual arts, but I am unsure as to exactly how to use themes, backgrounds, photos etc to do so. Peace, xx

  11. I love the idea. And the emphasis on using images in blogging; no need to be a professional photographer or have professional equipment. As others have said above – it’s about the eye, about seeing/using light . . . and then, about perhaps using some techy tools to achieve a pleasing appearance. Very art-sounding. I’m abuzz with anticipation!!! Thanks for the great resources you keep providing us. Totally fabulous.

  12. Loved the idea and I am looking forward to it. I am a new blogger and I am not sure if I am on the right path of using the photos. Beyond learning tips, I need people to criticise what I am doing right or wrong. Any critics to improve my blogging and photos would be great for me. My blog is wetravelwithourson.wordpress.com
    Thank you

  13. This would be a great thing for learning photography. I enjoy a lot taking pictures and I also like to share some tips or thoughts about it Things that I’m constantly learning. I tried once to explain some exposure concepts, but in a more informal way, to some friends and this post came from that conversation: http://longdelayspossible.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/that-manual-mode-in-your-camera/
    Disclaimer: English is not my mother tongue, any feedback is welcome! :)

    1. Thanks for sharing your link!

      We’ll certainly introduce technical basics like shutter speed, aperture, etc. — but the series will focus more on overall visual basics and how to look at your entire blog with a sharper visual eye. We’re excited to see what our guest photographers contribute, too.

  14. I look forward to this series!
    There are so many good Photography blogs in the WordPress community. I second the mention of Bente Haarstad, and recommend Tina Schell, who posted above. A few more are:

    http://125tel.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/hmmmm/ – from Germany
    http://drawandshoot.me/2013/05/11/halcyon-moments/ – from Canada
    http://johntodaro.wordpress.com/ – from New York
    http://figliodelgiaguaro.wordpress.com/ – Stephano Sheda, from Italy I think http://leahyetter.wordpress.com/ – Uprooted Magnolia, currently in Wyoming.

    I have a Photography blog too, and I occasionally give Photoshop/Lightroom tips, mostly in response to comments
    http://bluebrightly.wordpress.com/

  15. It’s a great idea. I loved the phoneography challenge in March, though I couldn’t participate as often as I like because of work demands but I really enjoyed using my phone to take picture. I got a digital camera for Christmas and could really use tips in taking great pictures to share not only on my blog but with family and friends.

  16. I have some questions about the nuts and bolts of uploading images and storing them on wordpress. What happens if I delete an image from the library – does it then disappear from the blog post in which it was included. What is the capacity of my wordpress photo library? What do I do when it is full?

  17. I love posting my photos, but despite only having had my blog for less than a year, I am already approaching my limit in terms of photo storage space! How do professional photographers overcome this problem? Do you have a solution? I can’t afford to buy more space! Do I have to go back not every post and replace every photo with a smaller one? Can I reduce the size if the files in the storage somehow?

    Suggestions very welcome!

    1. Hi Barbara, I’m going on year 3 with my blog, share at least 2-3 images with every post, and have used only about 6% of my free storage space. The trick is to upload smaller files. All of mine are sized at 1000 px on the long side at 72ppi. I could go even smaller and still keep the quality hi, but I like them a little larger, for the fans ;-) I helped someone else out with the same problem. She ended up having to go back and re-uploading all of the photos on her blog.

      Hope that helped.

      1. :)

        I like them large too, but probably most are more than 1000px so on a rainy day I’ll have a go at changing some of them :)

      2. That I have no idea about. I know when I upload the photos the way I mentioned, I then add them to a post. I then click on the image and edit it, reducing it to 60%. But if you click on the image in a post after I’ve edited this way it’ll open in another window at the original size I uploaded. So I’m not sure that will work. It’s worth a shot. That would be a heck of a lot easier that re-uploading.

      3. Will come back and update you when I find out if it works or not! Have just calculated I will need to reduce the size of about 8 pages of photos in my library before I will be able to see an effect!! Yawn!

      4. I don’t envy you one bit ;-) Thank goodness for paranoia. I started right from the beginning with images that were both watermarked and of small enough size to prevent image theft. I’m glad I did :-) Good luck!

      5. I haven’t got my head round how to watermark images yet. I tried a few with gimp, but my poor computer nearly collapsed under the strain! I have photoshop on my new mac, but I’m so new to using Mac’s it’s going to take me some time to trust my photo editing to it! At the moment the photos automatically import to a really cumbersome programme that slows up the computer no end, and I need to learn how to change those settings too…. Will get there eventually….

      6. I don’t own photoshop, but it’s dirt simple in Lightroom.

        I’ve been using Mac’s since before I picked up my camera, so as for editing photos, Mac is all I know. Not an expert by any stretch though. If you had Lightroom I could very easily walk you through setting up a watermark, and setting up an export preset that will automatically size the file the way you want, and apply the watermark in just two clicks.

        If you have been thinking about getting LR, I’d be more than willing to help.

      7. Wow! Thank you :) I’ll have a look into it. At the moment all I do with my photos is crop them and sometimes adjust the brightness, my photo editing software allows me to compress them too so I will do that from now on and if I could add a watermark in one click that would be great!

        I created one in gimp, but I have only used it on one set of photos here, it seemed very cumbersome

      8. You’re more than welcome Barbara. Have you looked at iPhoto? I don’t use it since I do have Lightroom, but it may have all you need.

        The watermarking in LR is, like I mentioned, dirt simple. It does get a little harder if you want to do something using something other than the available fonts in LR, like I did. But the basic watermarking, creating an export preset to automatically apply it for web images is mindlessly simple. It has to be, otherwise I couldn’t do it :-P

      9. iPhoto is the program that slows up my computer dreadfully when I try & use it, and it is the default place where photos go :(

      10. Hmmm, that seems odd since it is an Apple program running on an Apple computer. I’d do a little Googling or call Apple if I were you. That doesn’t sound right. Unless of course you have a ton of other things open and running and iPhoto is just the final straw pushing you over the edge on memory usage.

      11. nooo.. but i tried it when i first got the computer & it was full to bursting with junk…. will have a go again this weekend and see if it is quicker!

      12. I have a result. Trying to shrink photos within the media library doesn’t work. You have to delete them & re-upload them…. :( :( :(

        I might just start from now & use my remaining 1GB frugally!

    2. Hi Barbara
      i wonder if you have tried http://pixlr.com/
      This is a photo editing site that is free and allows you to reduce the pixels in your photos, so they take up less space on your blog.
      It worked for me and doesn’t seem to make too much difference when viewing the photos on my site
      Dee

      1. I haven’t, but I do have Microsoft photo editor that does allow me to compress photos, I just didn’t want to as I wanted to show my photos in all their glory!

        Will just have to go back thought them all and shrink them!

    1. Hi Barbara,
      I use Visual Watermark http://download.cnet.com/Visual-Watermark-Photo-Watermarking-Software/3000-6675_4-10496598.html It’s not free but it is VERY affordable and easy to use.

      I keep three copies of each picture in three sub folders. I name the first in example :Horses(e)#(1). This is the edited full sized version. I drop these into the software (as many as you ant at a time) and “resize”. I name these Horses(c)#(1) (c for compressed). I then take the compressed files and drop them into the software and chose my watermark. These are named Horses(w)#(1). If you are interested in this program and I highly recommend it and have any mnore questions I would be happy to help you.
      Check out my contact page
      http://lingeringvisions.wordpress.com/contact-us/
      ~Dawn

  18. Sounds like a great idea – as a travel-focused photo blogger, I’d be interested in how people balance words and photos to better tell stories, and how they use the various picture display options in their posts.

    If desired, I’d also be happy to contribute on the photography tips side of the house – although I’m not sure I can promise ‘exemplary work’!

    1. I’d be interested in how people balance words and photos to better tell stories, and how they use the various picture display options in their posts.

      +1. Yes, this is what we’d like to cover in some parts of this series — developing an overall visual eye…and not just for a single post, but for one’s blog overall. Each post will have WP.com-specific tips to get the most out of our dashboard features and themes.