Ten Questions For Phoblography
The Daily Post is a WordPress facility, dedicated to “The Art and Craft of Blogging.” Recently they had a feature, Ten Questions (plus one!) for Phoblography. I decided to copy the feature, delete the published answers, and supply my own. Someone might be interested in reading this. If nothing else, this is a good excuse write some text to go between a collection of pictures. That is what text does at Chamblee54.
The extra question is about telephones with built in cameras, which PG thinks is a cool idea. When the current stupid phone wears out, a camera enabled phone might be a good idea. For the time being, the 12 button wonder phone works just fine. It was purchased at a yard sale for four dollars, and has been worth every penny. As for phoblography, it sounds like a Vietnamese Soup Magazine.
1. What’s your typical process for developing, creating, and publishing a post? There is no typical process. Text ideas come from everywhere… twitter, facebook, dead tree books, the real world. Often, I will hear something, and start thinking about it, and before long a post is on the way. I also keep a list of what I posted at this time each of the last five years, and have frequent reruns. Some posts just need to be repeated. At other times, a repost is the answer for writer’s tackle.
The pictures usually have nothing to do with the text. There are three groups of pictures. There are color photographs that I take, and edit. There are historic pictures from The Library of Congress, and “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. I am usually working on editing pictures from one of these groups, and often the most recently edited pictures are chosen for the post.
So I write the text, and include links for the sources and quotes. The first draft is written in a separate wordpad document. The text is marked up with HTML. I like to use colored fonts, typically alternating shades of green for each paragraph. The pictures are selected, and moved into a folder for that date. A new post is started, and given a title. The pictures, and text, are moved into the window. The post is saved, and a preview is opened in a separate window. The text is reviewed for typos, misspelled words, and what are known as widows. A widow is a single word, in a line by itself, at the end of a paragraph. These are ugly, and can almost always be corrected. Often there is a useless phrase in the last sentence, which can be painlessly deleted. The writing is usually improved.
When the post is up to the standards of Chamblee54, it is published. The code is copied, and pasted into the word document. The link is posted on facebook, and anywhere else that is appropriate.
2. What does your blogging setup look like? What do you need to be comfortable publishing? The setup is an old desktop, on top of a butcher block table. The computer is a storebought desktop. The desk is in front of a window, overlooking the street. There is a mirror behind the monitor, so I can see the TV set on the other side of the room. I usually have a beverage, usually coffee, tea, or water. Sometimes there is background music playing. If I am writing text, the music needs to be instrumental, with no vocals.
3. Do you do much processing to your photos? Are there photo tools, apps, or software you’d recommend? I edit the hell out of pictures. I use a program called GIMP. Even if I use a self taken picture, without cropping or adjustments, I need to reduce it to 720 pixels wide. This reduces the file size. I started out with a dial up, and learned the value of having small file sizes.
4. What are your top three tips for new/amateur photobloggers? Link to your sources, don’t spill your beverage, have fun.
5. What photo equipment do you use? What would you recommend for someone who’s ready to move on from a cameraphone or a point-and-shoot camera? On the historic pictures, I have a solid internet connection. For my own pictures, I use a Nikon coolpix L24. It was on sale at Walmart.
6. How many photos do you think you take for each photo you decide to feature on the site? What’s your process for trying to capture the “perfect” shot? I take as many pictures as the occasion demands. I edit them, and put them away. There is a list of folders to be used, and I go through that list folder by folder. I also repeat good collections of pictures, often when I repeat the post.
I really don’t go for the perfect shot. The pictures I take are just fodder for the desktop. Often at events, I just shoot, shoot, shoot, and take as much garbage as I do usuable images.
7. Why did you choose WordPress.com for your site? I used blogspot until google wouldn’t let me into my account. I registered with WordPress to make a comment at a blog, and decided to try writing there. I have been very happy with WordPress .
8. Tell us five of your daily reads / favorite photography blogs. The Fishwrapper, Peach Pundit, Bloggingheads, Trifecta, Yo is this racist, and Facebook. Podcasts include 99 percent invisible, backstory, radiolab. I would rather listen to something, while I work on pictures, than read.
9. Which of your posts has had the most influence on your readers, and why? I wrote Shock And Awe Day 2013 on Monday, and it is getting a good response. None of the posts really influences anyone. A few people enjoy them, which is all I have a right to expect.
10. What are your favorite things/locations/people to photograph? Is there something you’d never feature on your blog? I like dogs, graffiti, mannequins, and ethnic diversity. In history, I like group photographs broken into individuals. Public domain is a magic phrase. I would never print the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. G-d is too busy to help me.