Travel Jottings

Celebrating the best bits and bobs to be found while exploring Britain, Ireland and beyond. Much is inspired by real outings, whether they were walking, cycling or photographic in nature, while virtual blundering in the name of planning them has turned up some gems too. Regardless of how they were found, I hope that they keep coming so I can continue to share new things with you.

On Online Portfolio Perusal

Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, Co. Galway, Éire

Part of the reason for creating photos in the first place is to show them to others and we all like to enjoy good ones too. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the web is full of online galleries of various shapes and sizes. The range extends from collections of holiday snaps through to fine art specimens that command a price if you fancy the notion of owning a print.

Though they are commonplace these days, there is a certain knack to creating a good online gallery that wasn't immediately apparent from what I uncovered using Altavista over a decade ago. Having good quality photos to display is the keystone of the endeavour and what came up in any search were flat grey weather snaps taken on vacations. A quick look through my then small collection revealed that I had much than that to show the world and so the idea of having my own online gallery was born.

The gallery has never stayed still even if there are photos from next to fifteen years ago in there to this very day. Some pictures stand the test of time while others don't so I am drawn to revisit old hunting grounds to try again. At the time of writing, I have a little Cheshire landmarks project in progress that is propelling me along Cheshire country roads in search of more pleasing photo opportunities and having another pop at ones already studied. For me, digital capture nearly has usurped film as my medium of choice. Advances in photo processing technology have helped too and I am left to wonder if scanner technology has been made redundant by digital SLR's.

For those wanting to devote more time to photography than website creation, things have moved on too. Even a content management platform such as WordPress has something to offer gallery builders with its blogging origins. Then, there are web services such as Flickr and Zooomr. Of course, the more considered photographer might discern something more than the usual off the shelf offerings and there seems to be plenty there too.

In the collections that you find here, I am wanting to share with you photography with that little extra to it. Current technology makes it all too easy for anyone to deluge people with their holiday snaps and also makes it as hard to pick out the really good stuff as it ever was. The extra filter that is print and edited online media makes this task easier. There are times when a reduction in quantity can mean more. Anyone who takes the scattergun approach to their photography will only find their time taken up with image selection and processing later on, especially if they shoot raw. This is how I feel about things but others like Matt Mullenweg of WordPress fame appear to dump every photo that they takes onto their blog or other publishing means after whatever trip they has undertaken. It's the very sort of thing that gets me questioning the point of the enterprise. For me, making less images and sharing only a small number of them allows time for other important things. After all, what is the point of living life in a state of constant frenzy?

As much as I enjoying capturing scenes with my camera, I also enjoy looking at the work of others. In fact, the very act of doing so hones and refines my photographic eye as much as critical appraisal of my own efforts. While lively punchy colours are guaranteed to delight, more muted ones can work too. Having done far too much photo processing myself, my critical eye is often drawn to framing and the inclusion of needless elements that I consider to display a certain lack of care. Other compositional guidelines can enter the fray too and I reckon that's a work in progress for me.

Photographic display has always involved careful presentation that carries over from the continuing mould of appropriately framed prints hung on the wall of a real gallery as much as it does in the online world. So I hope that my filtered selections of photographers' online galleries please you as much as they do it for me. With the recent explosion of interest in photography, it may be harder to get noticed now than it ever did and that is all the more relevant in these times of depressed economic activity and financial constraint.