Your Blog is Boring and Your Photos Suck

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Slides from the Northern Voice 2011 presentation Your Blog is Boring and Your Photos Suck by Syx Langemann and Morten Rand-Hendriksen.

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  • This slide is left up as people file in.Wait until we have got ourselves to the front until we move to the next slide.
  • Short introductions, literally names and wave type thingSyx: Hello everybody.Morten: Hello.We’d like to thank all of you for not going to see the “other” photogeeks.You made the right choice.We are the fresh meat.
  • Grew up in Small town called Wheatley, near Windsor.Manual slide advance
  • Began shooting on a borrowed Canon AE1.Rick – Zines – photocopied blogThe first few weeks of shooting pretty much solidified my subject matter, Skateboarding, HotRods and my friends naked.Slow feedback, trouble with film, b&w.Manual Slide advance
  • Skin twoBlind FoldWatermelonStaceyGeisha
  • Then on a Pentax SRT101 that my parents gave me on my birthday.I started UofW in 1994. Photography as my Major and jump into a nice Pentax 6x7 system.Producing 4x5 foot prints in a darkroom from medium format film that I had personally developed.At this time I started to submit my photos to galleries and magazines, with luck I got printed and accepted to shows right away.Move ahead 3 slides and hold
  • This photo is from a series of work that was represented by the Douglas Udell Gallery.It appeared in the background of a few episodes of “the L word”
  • Skin twoBlind FoldWatermelonStaceyGeisha
  • Look close…
  • Met this guy on the street in front of St.paul’s hospital.
  • Bar fight.Met him at my brother’s wedding.
  • I really liked taking photos of scars and injuries… fun things like that.
  • Gemma, She ride’s a bike, snow boards & was training to be a hair stylist.
  • Moved to Vancouver in 1999.Wanted to push my photography further and use my BFA Marry creative with commercialso I built up a fashion book and started to shoot for John Casablancas, Ion Magazine etc.This was my shift from film to digital and it took about 6 months to learn the new technology. After that I began to shoot a lot. A lot for work for $$, a lot for myself.My photographic work took a huge turn during this time. I began teaching photography & taking photographic workshops. Shooting digital offered me instant feedback, free frames and tool that was capable of almost anything.Life was offering me some great photographs, I just had to be technically ready to capture them.I was starting to create my own photocentric universe.This is a little of the experience I want to share with you today.Now I’m going to introduce the Wordpress Wizard, Morten…
  • Morten
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  • Skin twoBlind FoldWatermelonStaceyGeisha
  • Skin twoBlind FoldWatermelonStaceyGeisha
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  • Morten
  • This if for the geeks out there….wait
  • This is for the more graphically minded…Oh hang on… Morten, ready with the special effects?
  • We’ve come together and joined forces for you here today as yourInternational photo blog fighters
  • Legalities.They are important.
  • Give them time to get their stuff ready.
  • And back to our scheduled programming.So who here in this room is afraid that this lecture is about them?We are here to ask a few simple questions…And present you with our own answers.
  • Ask this question and hold a minute.Let them think.
  • And as we know, simple questions don’t always have simple answers.
  • How well can you shoot?How well can you write?Do you have anything to shoot or even write about?Do you understand HTML, PHP, Wordpress?
  • This is so important.By a show of hands:Who here has a point & shoot digital camera?Who here own’s a DSLR?Who here shoots their camera’s off of the ‘green’ mode all the time?Why do some people buy gear an not learn to use it.This is like buying your dream car and having a driver drive you around to all his favorite spots in the city.We need to learn how to drive our camera.
  • This is our exposure triangleThis is our holy trinity.
  • This is our exposure triangleThis is our holy trinity.
  • Even if you’recolour blind, you’ll need to know this.
  • Lenses do more than just zoom you in and out of the action.They can expand or compress space. They can help us mess with reality.
  • Once we know how to get the information in the camera, We should be thinking about how we are constructing our images.Visual language relies on different indicators than the written word.The viewer’s eye can moved around the frame more easily and we can produce more pleasing images if we consider some of these.
  • Skin twoBlind FoldWatermelonStaceyGeisha
  • Skin twoBlind FoldWatermelonStaceyGeisha
  • …So construct your reality.Learn how to shoot, Be excited to try new things, see new things.
  • I’m sure we would have all been keeping up with the blogs of photographers like:Cartier BressonHelmut NewtonEdward WestonThey may not have had blogs, but they published books, some of them even wrote.The VAG has a gallery on the second floor.Here they house some of the oldest and most expensive photo book published.Larry Clarks book “Tulsa” changed photography. He turned the camera on his friends in middle america in the 70’s.Drugs, Sex, grit, and brutal honesty made people sit up and take note. Since then, the personal photographic journey…
  • Image hoarders… raise your hands.You know, I shoot everything type of people.Shoot with intention. There are plenty of other people out there to shoot mediocre photos.Focus your lens, your attention, your eye. Let a little tunnel vision be your friend.
  • Story of Ralph Gibson & the 50mm LensNoGraffitoOnceiwasacamera
  • S
  • 10, 000 hours represents the time it takes achieve international stardom.Spend 10,000 hours honing your skills, says the new book by Malcolm Gladwell, author of the best-selling “The Tipping Point”.10,000 hours = 250 x 40 hour work weeks. That’s 5 years @ full time to master your craft. 5 years @ 40 hours a week10 years @ 20 hours a week20 years @ 10 hours a weekWhat if we think about this in terms of 10, 000 frames.If we start a project like the 365 project, 1 photo a day for a year, that’s 365 photos/year.Therefore it would take you 27.4 years to master the craft of photography.Or if you argue that a 60th of a second is an average shutter speed over 10,000 frames, Your 10, 000 frames would only total 2.8 minutes of actual time.600,000 minutes in 10,000 hours, that’s roughly 1.68 million images.
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  • So once you’ve got your 1.6 million images, you start up a website or blog to share your images.Anyone remember BBS and NEWs Groups?Then Webpages, Then Flash pages…Then Wordpress and Blogs…And on and on and on…
  • My wife’s friend from school…Actual person with an actual name.Photo is up on Facebook.She is a very nice looking woman and in one of her photos she is wearing a very flattering tight shirt.She is then contacted by several of her friends about her photo turning up on the “girls of facebook” ads.Somehow, due to licensing or legalities over who actually owned the image, her or facebook, she was not able to do anything about it.
  • Talk about setting up the blog.Excited about sharing.Getting other’s excited.Easy to set up, Easy to share…Easy to stay invisible.
  • I’ve spent all this time workin on my photos and I would like to share them with as many people as I can.The blog seemed like the easy way to do this, so did Flickr…But there is still a bunch of stuff you need to know about that world so that your stats don’t look like this…
  • Good, Then send them on my way.Accept for a few spikes, due to luck, word of mouth, artshow etc, the only people looking at my page are a few of my friends, loyal students and my MOM.
  • When people wonder why their photo blogs are not getting any visitors, I always ask them if they have alt tags on their photosWhy? Because your biggest fan is and will always be blind.It’s Google. And Google can’t see images.
  • Why don’t you have an alt tag? It’s actually WordPress’ fault.It’s weird, because in HTML the alt tag is required while the title tag is optional. WordPress got it backwards
  • So to properly publish your photo and get it indexed you can give your image a title (though it’s not necessary)
  • So to properly publish your photo and get it indexed you can give your image a title (though it’s not necessary)
  • Good, Then send them on my way.Accept for a few spikes, due to luck, word of mouth, artshow etc, the only people looking at my page are a few of my friends, loyal students and my MOM.
  • So to properly publish your photo and get it indexed you can give your image a title (though it’s not necessary)
  • Good, Then send them on my way.Accept for a few spikes, due to luck, word of mouth, artshow etc, the only people looking at my page are a few of my friends, loyal students and my MOM.
  • So to properly publish your photo and get it indexed you can give your image a title (though it’s not necessary)
  • The problem with linking to a bigger version of the image like we did is that it takes people away from the site.True, the image opened in a new window, but it still leads people awayIt’s also a terrible user experience and it doesn’t look good
  • FancyBox forWordPress is one of my favourite pluginsSimply install it and it works
  • So to properly publish your photo and get it indexed you can give your image a title (though it’s not necessary)
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • If your site, including your individual pages, is anonymous, how will people (and search engines) know what’s there and how to find it?
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • If your site, including your individual pages, is anonymous, how will people (and search engines) know what’s there and how to find it?
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • If your site, including your individual pages, is anonymous, how will people (and search engines) know what’s there and how to find it?
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • The result:Vastly improved UXMuch nicer look and feelAs a bonus the title tag is added
  • The header text can be replaced with this simple block of code. Simple…
  • The header text can be replaced with this simple block of code. Simple…
  • The header text can be replaced with this simple block of code. Simple…
  • Your Blog is Boring and Your Photos Suck

    1. 1. Your blog is boring& your photos suck<br />
    2. 2. Your blog is boring& your photos suck<br />Syx Langemann B.F.A.<br />Morten Rand-Hendriksen<br />
    3. 3. Syx Langemann B.F.A.<br />Photographing for 19 years<br />Geeking as a hobby for 15 years.<br />
    4. 4.
    5. 5.
    6. 6.
    7. 7.
    8. 8.
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    10. 10.
    11. 11.
    12. 12.
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    14. 14.
    15. 15. Morten Rand-Hendriksen<br />Geeking out Hardcore for 20 years<br />Photographing as a hobby for 15 years.<br />
    16. 16.
    17. 17.
    18. 18.
    19. 19.
    20. 20.
    21. 21.
    22. 22.
    23. 23. So to re-cap<br />Morten Rand-Hendriksen<br />Geeking out Hardcore for 20 years<br />Photographing as a hobby for 15 years.<br />Syx Langemann B.F.A.<br />Photographing for 19 years<br />Geeking as a hobby for 15 years.<br />
    24. 24. Therefore…<br />What Syx is to Photography, Morten is to Web Dev.<br />
    25. 25. Therefore…<br />What Syx is to Photography, Morten is to Web Dev.<br />
    26. 26.
    27. 27.
    28. 28. Disclaimer<br />The views expressed in this “edu-tainment” workshop are solely those of Syx Langemann & Morten Rand-Hendriksen and are not meant to reflect the views of Northern Voice, Wordpress, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Mac or PC users, Professional & Amateur Bloggers, Professional & Amateur Photographers, Fellow Canadians, Norwegians, our Friends or our Parents. <br />WARNING<br />Some of the following slides contain the nude figure, <br />You’ve been warned.<br />
    29. 29. About our SlideShow<br />Geeks, ready your scanners.<br />QR Code, Microsoft Tags<br />You can follow along!<br />
    30. 30. QR Code<br />Microsoft Tag<br />
    31. 31.
    32. 32.
    33. 33.
    34. 34.
    35. 35.
    36. 36. The First Questions<br />What makes a ‘good’ photograph?<br />&<br />What makes a blog exciting?<br />
    37. 37. May be BETTER to ask<br />What can I do to make my photography better?<br />&<br />What steps can I take to make my blog more interesting?<br />
    38. 38. We can evaluate both on<br />Technical<br />& <br />Intellectual / Creative<br />
    39. 39. Know Your Gear!<br />Shooting Modes<br />Exposure<br />White Balance<br />Lenses<br />Flash<br />
    40. 40. Exposure<br />
    41. 41. Exposure<br />
    42. 42.
    43. 43.
    44. 44.
    45. 45. White Balance<br />
    46. 46.
    47. 47.
    48. 48. Lenses<br />
    49. 49.
    50. 50.
    51. 51. Composition<br />Rule of Thirds <br />Leading Lines<br />Contrast<br />Texture<br />Blah<br />Blah<br />
    52. 52.
    53. 53.
    54. 54.
    55. 55.
    56. 56.
    57. 57.
    58. 58.
    59. 59.
    60. 60.
    61. 61.
    62. 62.
    63. 63.
    64. 64.
    65. 65. Construct Your Reality<br />Photographers are <br />“Beautiful Liars”<br />
    66. 66.
    67. 67.
    68. 68.
    69. 69.
    70. 70.
    71. 71.
    72. 72.
    73. 73.
    74. 74. History<br />Learn about the past.<br />Photo history is full of lessons.<br />
    75. 75. Point of Departure<br />Shoot with intention<br />
    76. 76. Photo Projects<br />To see better.<br />Keeps the camera in my hand.<br />Engage the world/people around me.<br />Allows me to create a world that I understand.<br />Show other’s a world that they don’t have access to. <br />
    77. 77.
    78. 78.
    79. 79. Watch where you point that thing!<br />Once you have a handle on the Technical aspects of the camera, what you put in front of your camera is what makes the difference.<br />
    80. 80.
    81. 81. Photographic Projects<br />Are you shooting what you see?<br />Or<br />Are you seeing what you shoot?<br />
    82. 82.
    83. 83.
    84. 84. Shoot ShootShoot<br />10,000 Hours?<br />10,000 Frames?<br />
    85. 85.
    86. 86.
    87. 87.
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    89. 89.
    90. 90.
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    94. 94.
    95. 95. Share<br />Once you have amassed an inventory of images<br />You need to share your successes.<br />
    96. 96. Safe Photo Sharing<br />Where are my images safe?<br />
    97. 97. WordPress Blog<br />
    98. 98. Got Traffic?<br />Once the blog is up, who’s looking?<br />How are they even finding it?<br />
    99. 99. Got Traffic?<br />
    100. 100.
    101. 101. Got <img alt=“”>?<br />The alt variable matters<br />Because your biggest fan is blind<br />
    102. 102. Not required<br />Required<br />
    103. 103.
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    106. 106.
    107. 107.
    108. 108.
    109. 109. Better User Experiences<br />Don’t lead people away from your site<br />Provide in-app experiences<br />
    110. 110.
    111. 111.
    112. 112.
    113. 113. Accidentally Anonymous<br />Does your blog or site have an identity?<br />As in does it have a <title>?<br />Or a <meta description>?<br />
    114. 114.
    115. 115.
    116. 116. Pretty Permalinks<br />From www.whatever.com/?p=1438<br />to www.whatever.com/awesome<br />
    117. 117.
    118. 118.
    119. 119. All In One SEO<br />Not as much SEO as CS<br />SEO = Search Engine Optimization<br />CS = Common Sense<br />
    120. 120.
    121. 121.
    122. 122.
    123. 123.
    124. 124.
    125. 125. Create a Community<br />Visitors to your blog want to feel like <br />they are a part of something<br />
    126. 126. Create a Community<br /><ul><li>Comments
    127. 127. Sharing tools
    128. 128. Other media (Facebook Page)</li></li></ul><li>
    129. 129. Jetpack.me<br />
    130. 130.
    131. 131. Make It Easy<br />Help people find what they’re looking for<br />otherwise they won’t find it.<br />Because let’s be honest:<br />People are lazystupid great!<br />
    132. 132. Not a link (Grrr)<br />
    133. 133. Image as Home Link<br /><a href="<?php echo home_url( '/' ); ?>"<br /> title="<?phpget_bloginfo( 'name' ); ?>" <br />rel="home“ <br />><br />… the image …<br /></a><br />
    134. 134.
    135. 135.
    136. 136. Feel Overwhelmed? Need Help?<br />Practice, Practice, Practice<br />Take Classes<br />Attend Workshops<br />?? QUESTIONS ??<br />
    137. 137. In Summary<br />Both Photography & Blogging are serious business.<br />Learn your craft, <br />Strive to make your blog better.<br />
    138. 138. Finally…<br />Half ass loses, <br />Whole ass wins!<br />Take your work seriously.<br />
    139. 139. Morten<br />Syx<br />www.syxlangemann.com<br />www.designisphilosophy.com<br />

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