I’m starting a Photoblog

By | June 5, 2006

Canon 10D

Many years ago I was really into photography. Of course, this was long before digital… it was back in the day of film and smelly chemicals. Over the years I lost interest enough to sell off most of my “real” camera equipment, but I’ve always kept a point-and-shoot handy for those times when I want to snap a few pics.

Recently, I’ve thought about getting back into it… especially now that I wouldn’t need to go back into the darkroom. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really loved to spend time in the darkroom back in the day, but these days I would much rather just sit at my computer to process my images.

Up until the other day, the only camera I had was my little Canon SD300 digital elph. I love it because it fits in my pocket, and I can always carry it with me… but, it does have some serious limitations if you want to have any measure of control over your shots. If I were to get back into photography, I would definitely want something with a little more control.

Well, guess what… I’m the proud new owner of a Canon 10D. My good friends Todd n Steph gave it to me as a belated birthday present (thanks guys!). Todd is a serious photographer, and the camera use to be his. Since then, he has upgraded a couple of times, and this camera has been handed down to Steph, and now to me. Woohoo!

So, now that I don’t have any more excuses, I feel compelled to do something again. Since I’m so into blogging, I thought what better way to keep myself motivated than to start a photoblog… which actually leads me to the point of this post… I’m looking for suggestions on photoblogging software.

I’m a big fan of WordPress, but I’m not sure if it’s the best solution for what I am looking for. The main reason is how the archives are structured. For photoblogs, the archives should be a grid of thumbnails, and I’m not exactly sure how to do that within WordPress.

I’m also looking at Movable Type, Folder Blog, and Pixel Post. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Basically, I’m looking for something that is quick to set up, easy to maintain, and has a good template right out of the box. I don’t really want this to be a big project at this point. I just want to start photoblogging.

I’m a big fan of Chromasia, and that site represents the basic functionality and flow of what I’m looking to do. I emailed David Nightingale, the photographer, and he said he uses Movable Type, and he designed his own template. He did say it has a fairly steep learning curve at the beginning. He’s also the one who suggested I look into Pixel Post.

So, I’m looking for suggestions. If you’re a photoblogger, and you’ve used any of these systems, or have others to suggest… let me know your thoughts. I’ll let everyone know as soon as the new photoblog is up and running.

Update(6.23.06): I did it. I started my photoblog. You can see it at highlysubjective.com. More info can be found here.


17 Comments

Brad on June 5, 2006 at 2:05 pm.

Hey,
It’s very cool to see your getting into a photoblog idea, I personally don’t know which to do but I agree that chromasia has an amzing photoblog, also Canon is always a great choice…granted you were given it, thats an awesome camera, I my self will be investing in a Rebel XT sooner or later.
-brad

p.s. check out my blog sometime

Brad on June 5, 2006 at 2:08 pm.

also, I don’t reccomend folderblog I messed with it a little bit and just didn’t care for the style/aesthetics.

iChris on June 5, 2006 at 2:25 pm.

I’d recommend looking at http://stopdesign.com/templates/photos/ if you choose to go with Movabletype.

drazin on June 5, 2006 at 2:25 pm.

please write a follow up to let us know what you are using.

John on June 5, 2006 at 2:30 pm.

Well, I think I’d just go for Flickr (Pro?), if I were you… It’s simple, efficient and also has a great community, that lets you find pictures from others with similar styles to you…

And also, there’s the added benefit of it being pretty easy to intergrate with the main ODL-design…

Brad on June 5, 2006 at 2:34 pm.

…after just trying out pixel post, I think its a go. It has this great intuitive yet simple interface that I’m sure if wanted could be tweaked. I know I’ll be using it now.

iChris on June 5, 2006 at 2:58 pm.

I’d recommend Stop Design’s photo gallery plugins for Movabletype – http://www.majordojo.com/projects/PhotoGallery/

steve garfield on June 5, 2006 at 3:51 pm.

I vote for flickr. And you can post a strip of current pictures over here on your blog too.

Kelly on June 5, 2006 at 4:37 pm.

Jealous of the new hardware! For software, take a look at Photostack. I used it about a year ago for my portfolio, and it worked really well. The developer is currently in redevelopment of it. Good stuff.

Jorgeq on June 5, 2006 at 6:01 pm.

I’ve contemplated the same idea several times but I run out of photos because of my lack of photographing. But I would highly recommend PixelPost. I haven’t updated my Photoblog, but I will sometime soon.

Drew on June 5, 2006 at 8:31 pm.

i had trouble using wordpress as way to display a site that was only images at first, but it worked out really good for me. i have a portfolio page that generates a grid of thumbnails, based on a little wp query function, that could be plugged into the archives template:

http://jareddrewmoody.com/illustration/portfolio/

there’s also a great photoblog theme that i used to use that is really great, and has an archive thumbnail grid page:

http://ericsetiawan.com/2006/03/14/nigiri-sushi-beta-35/

Brad on June 5, 2006 at 8:43 pm.

Yeah the more and more I try out pixelpost the more and more I like it, it’s a great photoblog site…ive already found a template i love and I’ve tweaked it a bit to my liking and now I’m all set.
check it out sometime

http://bssl.insidestretch.com/gallery

paul on June 6, 2006 at 7:42 am.

Drew, You’ve peaked my interest… I was about to go with Pixel Post, but I’m now looking at WordPress again. I’m curious about your workflow. Would you mind writing up a quick description on how you would go about adding items to your portfolio? (what’s the wp function, do you make the thumbnails manually? etc…)

I also came across this photoblog (it’s similar to what I’m planning) using WordPress…
http://vollemaan.net/

Drew on June 6, 2006 at 4:12 pm.

it’s based on categories, or at least that’s how i use it. you could use it show like most recent post, whatever. i just put the full size image tag in the post, then the thumbnail as the excerpt. then any post that i put into my portfolio category, the excerpt (thumbnail) shows up on the portfolio page, which is run by a custom page template containing the code i’m showing below. then i just have like four lines in my style sheet to control the spacing, but wordpress automatically puts them in a grid.

i make my own thumbs and upload images manually, as i don’t really care for the wordpress image uploader. to me, it’s alot easier to use photoshop and not worry about it.

here’s another page i run with the same thing, just a different category:

http://jareddrewmoody.com/illustration/saltlakecityweekly

i’d be happy to send you my portfolio page template if you want. that might make a bit more sense. i’m not so good with the explaining. i made my girlfriend a similar page, so i know it works on other sites besides mine.

i looked at pixel post too, but it just didn’t feel right. maybe i’m just a wordpress snob.

paul on June 6, 2006 at 5:47 pm.

Thanks for all your help Drew. At this point I think it’s between WordPress and Pixel Post. It just depends on how much time I want to spend setting it up. I like WordPress, but Pixel Post has the advantage of being made specifically for Photo Blogs… so it’s practically pre-configured.

For anyone else who is interested in learning more about the WP function mentioned above, Drew emailed me this link…
http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Tags/query_posts

Erwin on June 8, 2006 at 12:57 am.

Ah, this is where the traffic comes from. :)

I myself tried out a couple of different packages and ended up with WordPress and a template made by Taly (http://www.fivebyfive.com.ar/wp-themes/). All the other packages (Pixelpost, Movable Type, etc.) were either too much, too less or just not feeling right.

If you need any help with WordPress, dont hesitate to drop me a line. :)

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