I browse the Reader each day to discover new posts and blogs — and to see what’s trending. Like my fellow editors, I also follow subjects that interest me, from popular tags like “culture” to specific tags and phrases that feed my obsessions, like “digital dualism” and “narrative design.” Adding custom tags to your Reader is a quick way to personalize it and organize the content that matters to you.
Many of you are interested in photography: the popularity of our Photography 101 series proves this. For even more inspiration, you can follow specific photography-related tags in your Reader — in addition to the broad “photography” tag — to find the type of photography you’re looking for.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a sampling of what I follow in my Reader:
I love the multi-layered (and often trippy) photographs created by double exposure, a process in which an image is produced by exposing film (or another photo-sensitive surface) to light twice — generally by opening and closing a camera shutter two times. I stumble upon fantastic double exposure images in the Reader: ethereal shots, eerie self-portraits, and other superimposed creations, like this picture on Routine Records:
Quick tip: Explore beyond general tags like “photography.” Use focused tags like “double exposure” to make it easier to find the type of images that interest you. Once you get the hang of adding custom tags to your Reader, you’ll realize there’s new content out there for pretty much anything (see also “multiple exposure” and “over-exposure”).
Some people are active cameraphone users, and I’ve found cool Instagram photo essays and mobile photography blogs in the iPhoneography tag. (I like Trevor Saylor’s recent images from a John Mayer concert — they have a spontaneous, intimate quality, typical of good cameraphone shots.) Mobile photography has become its own niche, and the iPhoneography tag is particularly active.
Quick tip: Users also tag their posts with an alternate spelling (iPhonography) which shows how tags are created and populated by our users. So, content you’re looking for might be found in variations of topic names (for example, “travel” versus “traveling,” “writing” versus “blogging,” or “food” versus “foodie”).
Earlier this year, I discovered Photography 101 contributor Merilee Mitchell’s blog, The Gravel Ghost, in the “photo essay” tag, and I’ve followed the tag ever since — photographers use it for carefully curated photo galleries, photo-heavy storytelling, photojournalism, and other text-and-image projects.
Quick tip: Use tags properly. If you create a post with a single photo, for example, you wouldn’t tag it with “photo essay.” People use tags to sift through others’ content — and to promote their own. Adding irrelevant tags to your posts is bad practice, and doing so may flag your blog and exclude you from tag pages altogether.
I’m not currently planning a wedding, nor is wedding photography a hobby, but I’ll admit I comb through the “wedding photography” tag from time to time. I enjoy seeing how photographers bring couples — and these festivities — to life, and find inspiration for other things, like home decoration and even website design.
I’ve also found resourceful posts offering portrait and event photography tips, which are helpful no matter your photography niche.
Quick tip: Dig into tags you might not normally consider — you never know what you’ll find, especially among subjects to which you assume you have no connection. So, go ahead: branch out and click away on the Tags page!
I love fisheye lens cameras, like my Lomo one. The fisheye effect transforms “normal” pictures, and enhances already interesting, dynamic snapshots. I browse the “fisheye” tag for fleeting street shots and cityscapes, like these by Ivan Uriarte:
Quick tip: Start slowly — if you’re new to all this and aren’t following any custom tags in your Reader, first add three to five custom tags. To do so, scroll to the bottom of your Tags list on the right, type the term (or phrase) into the search bar, and hit the “+” sign to start following the stream for a tag. You can also visit the Tags page and search at the top for a tag (“Thanksgiving”), and then decide if you want to follow it.
Do you have any favorite tags or other tips and tricks for personalizing your Reader?