Reuters have their best photos of the year, as do many other publications so I looked through my archives tonight to pick out some of my favourite photos of 2006; and found it was much harder than I thought. What follows are a selection of my best and favourite photos. Some for technical reasons while others are here for sentimental reasons. I know for sure that I’ve missed out some great shots!
January – Road Narrows
In January, I posted a photo taken in Monkstown, Co. Cork. It was later used by Hugging the Shoulder, a theatre company performing at the New York International Fringe Festival.
There you have it. Have you picked out your favourite photos yet?
Hopefully you’ll have a few days off over the next 2 weeks but you’ll still need your fix of photography news and articles. Your feed aggregator might be a little quiet but here’s a selection of reading material to keep you amused.
First of all, who knew that a picture that runs in three newspapers, including a front-page spread, only earns you $650?
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 photoblogs.org 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.
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.
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:
Date Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:22:30 GMT
Content-Length 241.9K (247754)
This object will be considered stale, because it doesn’t have any freshness information assigned. It doesn’t have a validator present.
Date Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:24:50 GMT
Last-Modified 2 min 28 sec ago (Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:22:22 GMT) validated
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.