Okay been a long time since my last update but I have been busy … as you all know life gets in the way some times.
So one of the things the I have been occupying my time with is updating my web site. Although the version posted works I do not and have not felt it was clean enough or very navigable. So this winter I have been redesigning my site. I wanted something where navigation was cleaner than the current version and did not detract so much from the whole concept which is to showcase my images.
I also wanted to make the site more search engine and crawler friendly to increase visits and make those visits more sticky. After much trial and error (mostly error) I think I have come up with something that will work much better than the current version.
Although not completed it is close to being finished and I hope to have the latest version up and functional by Mothers Day. The site will have many more images than are currently available, still incorporate links to my blog and e-commerce store front, and let the viewer get a better view of the digital difference Quiet Dog Images’ has to offer.
More when the site is ready to upload …. Mark
So it has been a long week and I have been doing a lot of driving. This has given me time to think. I have been considering what lenses to carry with me when I travel to give me the most versatility with the least amount of equipment.
I keep three lenses in my small pack. These are the lenses I picked when I first switched over from shooting film with my Pentex to digital equipment. I wanted to pick lenses that would fit a wide range of shooting situations and I also wanted lenses that would be fast and function best in low light conditions.
On the short side I use the Canon EF 24 – 70mm f/2.8L USM. I find this to be a great lens for many situations. As a super wide angle at 24mm this lens is excellent for shooting land and city-scapes and at the longer 70mm short telephoto end great for portrait applications. An added benefit is the close focusing distance of 1.25 feet making this great as a pseudo macro. Overall this lens provides dramatic images, is fast enough for low light conditions, and provides versatility for many different shooting situations.
Anyone who has looked at my website can see that I like to shoot close up images of flowers and other subject in nature. For this reason I keep the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM in may bag. I have to say this is probably my most favorite lens. The longer length of this macro gives a good working distance from the subject and the depth of field is not so shallow that I have to stop way down and decrease shutter speeds making hand holding near impossible to achieve the selective focus I desire. This lens also works well for portrait work and short telephoto, serving the dual purpose I am looking for in gear reduction.
As my final lens choice the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM most of my needs for a telephoto, especially combined with the Canon EF 2x II extender. This lens is a have to have in my opinion. I can use this for portrait work as the shallow depth of field make throwing the background out of focus easy. While as a telephoto I can get close to get great shots of wildlife in their natural surroundings and adding the 2x extender allows one to get great shots of those subjects that are a little more skittish. The lens gives sharp images at all focal lengths and in my opinion the versatility is unmatched in a telephoto zoom. I do not consider the extender a separate lens, but I always keep this in my travel bag.
These lens choices are perfect to cover most shooting situations and I think are good choices to consider if one is looking to start shooting a full frame DSLR like the EOS 5D and work well with smaller image sensors as well. Even though each has some bad points, most appreciably the weight, short of carrying a bunch of prime lenses, which increases equipment and defeats the point of this article, I believe these are a great choice in lenses for a bag to carry all the time.
So I am driving out to a shoot today and thinking about a way to make creating new content for Quiet Dog Images without all the labor intensive web page layout. My thoughts turned to Adobe Lightroom, which I have been using since version one came out.
Lightroom was a great tool to smooth work flow and make image adjustments much easier than Photoshop. Lightroom 2 gave us some cool features that I think could help in my case.
Lightroom 2’s Web Module includes an automated web page builder that is easy to use, with a wide variety of templates that are customizable to an extent. You can build web pages that incorporate any of your favorite collections or folders. The only down side is the length of time required to load and optimize the images for the web. Of course when compared to building a page in Dreamweaver from scratch it is a sacrifice I am willing to put up with.
Even though the Web Module contains many templates there are companies out there creating new template you can copy into Lightroom 2 for yourself. Checkout Lightroom Galleries for more information on their templates and plugins.
So if you have Lightroom and have not tried it give the Web Module a test drive.
There are a lot of choice out there for people to post their digital images on for the world to see. Most are for those just wishing to share with their friends and families. I joined one a couple of years ago that is geared more towards the serious amateur or professional photographer wishing to gain feed back from like minded photographers.
I am talking about Photo.net a social networking site for photographers. Unlike social web sites like Facebook where individuals post pictures as part of their profile. Photo.net lets photographers post their images for ratings on aesthetics and originality, as well as critics by other photographers. You can see my image gallery here.
Photo.net is more though photographers can join im many different discussions about all sorts of photography topics, buy and sell equipment, see the latest equipment reviews and much more. To start one can post a limited number of images for free for a mere $25 per year you can post an unlimited number of images.
Quiet Dog Images highly recommends Photo.net as a gallery hosting website and forum for photographers.
So I guess most of my technical issues are the result of little bits and pieces of Windows XP missing from my PC. It seems that every once in a while you just need to reinstall XP, because as one is moving files around , i.e. on and off the hard drive on the main PC, and deleting things little bits of the operating system get taken with them.
Now this really sucks because when you reinstall the operating system (OS) it clears everything off the main hard drive. Meaning that in addition to installing the OS and performing all the updates one has to reinstall all the software and updates for those programs too.
So, I spent most of the afternoon, evening and into the wee hours of the morning doing just that … I finished up about 3 AM. Actually, I was too tired to finish so that last few updates I did this morning. Anyway, a word to the wise in addition to having backups to backups we all need to reinstall the OS on occasion. Especially if one is dealing with moving around and deleting big image, video or audio files …
So last night I was working on adding some pages with slide shows made using the automation process in Lightroom. Things were taking a long time to load … couldn’t understand why. Then I get this error message saying Windows delayed writing had failed and the data on was lost …. WHAT!?
Almost all my images are stored on a external hard drive and it looks as if it failed. Not sure if I will be able to recover them … have to go see my computer guy this morning.
Just goes to show we need redundant backups for our main storage locations. Maybe backups to our backups … I may get lucky and those images will still be there. If not about five years of digital image files are gone … think about it!
I was down in the Snake River Canyon below Swan Falls Dam last week. I thought it would be a good day to take some images as we have had some rain and the lichen should be showing some color and things turning green.
When I get down there I see that paint ballers have been using the boulder field as a play area. The boulders throughout the area were covered in the spatter left behind by their thoughtless actions. This is like spraying graffiti all over the boulders.
From an artistic view however, I was taken in by the colors of the paint ball spatters mixed with the natural colors of the lichen and rock. I document this and should have a online photo journal published soon … Best, Mark
Okay so I am new to blogging. This is my first post in this type of forum. My intent is to increase the rank of my own web site in search engine ranking by attaching this blog to Quiet Dog Images. Only problem is now I have to write stuff.
I would be interested in finding out any tips anyone who finds this blog has for the intent and purposes of marketing my eStore and business as a whole.