Artistic Nude or Pornography?

Is this photo (Edit: link is gone, domain expired!) pornography or an artistic nude? I think it’s an artistic photo of a nude but some people scream and shout whenever even a bit of leg or shoulder is shown.

Thankfully 400 people emailed him and agreed that it was not pornography. Check out the description of the second photo linked above. Jessyel definitely is crazy, but also a great photographer! The nude bookmark on has more photoblogs on the same subject.

It goes without saying, that the photos above may not be suitable for a work environment. You have been warned. Artistic endevour has very little place in a litigious environment.

Will photoblog images ban me from Adsense?

It’s long been known that placing images next to Adsense adverts can have your blog banned, but that raises a question about the use of Adsense advertising on photoblogs. Will my blog be banned?

Worry no more, the Adsense blog clarifies their policy with some examples of what does break their policy. Looks like I’m ok, and your blog probably is too, although be wary if you use thumbnails next to an advert. Put a break of some sort between the two!

Does this mean I can’t place ads on pages with images?

You can definitely place Google ads on pages containing images — just make sure that the ads and images are not arranged in a way that could easily mislead or confuse your visitors. For example, if you run a stock photography site with a catalog of thumbnail images, don’t line the ads up with the thumbnails in a way that could be misleading. Consider using a full border around your ads or changing your ad colors, for example.

Here’s an example of badly positioned images. The images next to the advert could confuse a visitor.


Is Zooomr slow for you too?

One of the things stopping me hugging and embracing Zooomr is how slow it is for me to view images off their servers. Take for example the image on this post on Thomas Hawk’s blog. There are two things wrong with it:

  1. It’s 241k, but it downloads on my fast shiny broadband connection like it’s ten times bigger. Brings me back to the good old days of dialup and a modem connection. Remember how that was? Oh, there’s the connection made, first bit of the image, oh oh, a small bit more, half way there, yawn, zzzzzz. I’ve fallen asleep.
  2. It’s not cachable. Every time you reload that page the whole image has to download again. Go check out what the cacheability engine thinks.

    Date Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:22:30 GMT
    Expires –
    Cache-Control –
    Last-Modified –
    ETag –
    Content-Length 241.9K (247754)
    Server lighttpd/1.4.13

    This object will be considered stale, because it doesn’t have any freshness information assigned. It doesn’t have a validator present.

    Compare that with the image from my previous post:

    Date Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:24:50 GMT
    Expires –
    Cache-Control –
    Last-Modified 2 min 28 sec ago (Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:22:22 GMT) validated
    ETag –
    Content-Length 127.2K (130220)
    Server Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat)

    This object doesn’t have any explicit freshness information set, so a cache may use Last-Modified to determine how fresh it is with an adaptive TTL (at this time, it could be, depending on the adaptive percent used, considered fresh for: 29 sec (20%), 1 min 14 sec (50%), 2 min 28 sec (100%)). It can be validated with Last-Modified. The clock on this Web server appears to be set incorrectly; this can cause problems when calculating freshness.

    Despite the problems reported above the image is cached by my browser and even with a force reload, it loads quicky.

I’m not sure how to fix the first problem except by adding a faster pipe to the servers hosting the data or upgrading the hosting hardware, but the second problem is very easy to fix using eTags and better headers. There are numerous tutorials and even code examples out there. Please, please, please look into it and make your images more cacheable! Your European neighbours will really appreciate it!

My dream photoblog theme

  • The blog will have two displays: compact and full.
  • Compact format: on the front page of the blog it shall display one primary photo on the left hand side of the browser with description, permalink and a comments link. On the right shall be a dozen thumbnails from previous posts. Above and below the image will be “Next” and “Previous” links to newer and older posts. These links must point at permalinks, not /page/X/ urls.
  • Clicking on a thumbnail will refresh the left hand side of the browser, displaying the new image, description, permalink and comments.
  • As I like to write about photography I want to display the last post from my Words category under the main image of the front page of the site.
  • Articles in the Words category will be displayed one by one like the default “compact” format of the blog.
  • When a user clicks on the permalink of a photo the display will look the same as the front page but it will not have the newest post from the Words category.
  • Full format: Clicking on a “Show all” button above the thumbnails will load a new stylesheet that will make the page appear in a more traditional blog format with multiple posts per page and the newest at the top. Much like this page. Next and Prev links have to morph to /page/X/ links.
  • Search engines and non-css aware clients will see a “normal” blog with multiple posts per page.
  • Browsing a tag or category archive will follow the same compact/full format as above.
  • Need space for advertising as well. Top and sidebar.

Colin Finch is working on a photoblog theme with thumbnails in the sidebar. He’s using the “optional excerpt” feature of WordPress to handle the thumbnails. Unfortunately he’s battling with Internet Explorer because it’s not behaving. Can someone lend him a hand?

Yes I want a photoblog, and a regular blog, with a cherry on top please.

First Draft: Ready to go!

John asked what did he original Ready to go! look like and I’ll oblige now. Showing what the original photo looks like is akin to showing what the first draft of a written essay or post reads like. Sometimes the image comes out perfectly in the camera but that’s rarely the case. At the very least light levels have to be balanced and if resizing for publication online then the resized image has to be sharpened.

Hover over the image below to see what the original shot looked like. Hopefully this will work for RSS readers but if it doesn’t, visit the blog and leave your mark here!

Notice how I rotated the image? I had to reconstruct the bumper on the right of the picture, as well as filling in the gaps at the other corners of the photo. Tree branches and leaves are easy enough, as is the relatively solid black texture of the tar on the road, but the bumper was difficult, and the shaded area of the building on the left presented me with a few extra minutes of clicking to get right.

Want to see more “First Draft” posts? I can’t promise to do many, but if you have a compelling reason why you’d like to see the original of a photo I’ll do my best to help!

PS. Bryan – you might recognise the CSS. I took it from the button of doom you did! Hope you don’t mind!

PPS. Treasa has posted a tutorial of how she worked on two photos with steps in Photoshop to get the desired effect. Nice!

What tablet would you buy?

I’m in the market for a tablet to make my life using the GIMP easier. I’ve looked longingly at them in stores but my credit card stayed in my wallet and I resisted the temptation! Now, I’m seriously thinking of making a purchase and wondering which one to go for.

After some initial problems Richard Querin got his Wacom Graphire3 working and I know there’s the Linux Wacom Project but they’re not the only show in town. What about other manufacturers?

As a photographer, has using a tablet helped you? Has it made it easier to work on photos? Is it easier to apply large changes like dodging and burning a whole image?

And finally, red or blue pill?

Film Nostalgia

If you’re nostalgic for the days of film read the comments on Why not scanned film? by Mike Johnston. Plenty of people are still shooting film, developing it and scanning it in and doing it well. Film has some advantages over digital in capturing certain aspects of light, but so does digital. I can’t remember what those are, but I think film is better at recording highlights than digital, while digital, well, I don’t recall. It all has to do with exposure curves or something!

I went from a point and shoot film camera to the relative freedom of a digital compact camera and never looked back. I can certainly understand why people love the feel of negatives and chemicals and a process but I can’t see the point of it. Why do you shoot film and scan it in? Why not shoot digital and skip the tedium of scanning? The comments on Mike’s article have several varied and very good answers.

The recently held National Shield competition brought out a huge number of high quality entrants and at least some of that talent has been facilitated by the rise of digital capture. The barrier to entry has fallen and the world changed.

Ade: Buggrit. Maybe my highlights are blocked to hell and the process is tedious as owt and I’m wasting good shooting time that could be spent filling the card on my DSLR before wrestling with monochrome conversions in Bibble. I’m never going to use or care about a traditional darkroom and I don’t yet prefer digitally-captured B&W. So what, I like my inkjet prints from scanned negs. I just need another four hours in the day.

Later… if you must use a scanner, or are in the market for one, then the advice here may be of use to you.