Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Building a Photo Web Site

AB snap cyanotype

I have been a very absent blogger of late. Sorry about that. The reason for this is that I am building a web site, and I am currently organising and processing lots of photos. The main structure is more or less in place, but the many photo galleries are hard work.

Why do I do this? Well, I just did not know what to do with all my pictures. I post some of them here and some on my photo blog, Camera Digitalis, so I thought I would display them in a much more organised way. I am building a straight-forward, no-frills, no bells-and-whistles site, although I use flash galleries to make it a little lively at least. Everything is done from scratch, no templates, because the only suitable photo site template that came with the software, was inadequate in my opinion.

The great difficulty is of course which photos to choose, how to categorise them and then to create the appropriate folders. After that comes the watermarking, since I want to protect my copyright. I am not so foolish as to think that all of my images are so attractive that people would want to copy them (steal them) all, but out of principle and for practical purposes I watermark every single one.

My particular interest in photography took off when I bought my digital SLR in the spring this year. Together with my previous compact camera photos, I have now many thousand images, although I have learned to be self-critical and I delete loads of them after transferring them to my PC for close inspection.

In the last couple of weeks I have trawled through gigabyte after gigabyte to find photos that I believe would be suitable. I am sure I will have second thoughts about many of them and take them off, and also replace some as I add new pictures.

One big issue is that I am not quite certain how much space they will use up of my total allowance, and also how long they will take to upload, so maybe I should launch the site well before I have completed all my planned galleries. Maybe I have to buy more space, we will see.

I am not far off now, perhaps a couple of weeks, so I hope to be able to announce the news before too long. It might come as a surprise to some readers, but I have decided to lift the veil of anonymity and use my real name on the new photo web site. I have nothing to hide, rather the opposite.

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Love padlocks - Liebesschlösser

Some time ago we came walking across the Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne, a railway bridge leading straight into the main station. I had my eyes on the river and had the opportunity to get closer to this iron man who seems to be scared of small birds.

It was not until I looked the other way to try and get some shots through the fence that I noticed something odd, which I actually had seen on the other side before.
DSC_0222_20090920_4961 crop
Many people walked past without noticing or paying any attention, but children often spot funny and surprising things, as did this young girl.

There were padlocks everywhere, and they were often interlocked. A few had nothing on them, but most of them had either something written with a permanent marker pen or as the ones on the right here, had names engraved professionally.
They could be colourful and of different designs. When I moved nearer to take a close-up I discovered something even more unusual, and perhaps clever.

There was advertising! The company that I guess has engraved a great number of all the thousands of love padlocks on this bridge, and possibly in other public places, had their own little padlock with the company name and URL. Will anybody spot it? Well, I did!

I googled and found that this is not an unusual phenomenon. You can find these love padlocks all over the world, as I discovered when I read this Wikipedia page. The fences on this bridge in Cologne will probably with time be full of padlocks. The western side seems to be where it started, and this love-locking has now moved over to the other side where we were. According to Wiki, the railway company threatened to remove all locks, but had to give in to public opinion and leave them as a symbol of people's commitment to each other.

I can just picture the scene when a love couple comes out on the bridge, how they jointly attach the lock to the fence, throw the key into the river and then seal it with a looong kiss. What do you think?