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Advice for photographers

David asked me to post on EphBlog the advice that I sent to Torrey, for the benefit of others in the future. Here are my suggestions for anyone desiring to post many photos over time on EphBlog.

1. Take lots of pictures all at once. It can be very time-consuming to take a nice picture and then upload it to your computer, then the next day take another picture and then upload that one… It takes only a little longer to do 40 than it does to do two! I went out one day (a cloudy day, unfortunately) and took lots of pictures, which populated Photo IDs for many months to come.

2. Write all of your posts at once, and then set them to appear periodically in the future (to do this, change “Publish immediately” to your desired date in the future). If you have a batch of pictures to put on the site, sit down and spend a few hours posting them for a few months in the future (every Monday at 8 am, or whatever you like). Then you can do it all at once, and your wonderful pictures will magically appear without your having to remember to post them on Sunday nights (or whenever). If something exciting happens and you take a set of pictures that you want to go up right away, you can put them up and then bump the post dates of your pictures further into the future.

3. Spread out your posts. Even if you have five wicked awesome pictures that you want everyone to see right away, curb your enthusiasm and set them to post further apart. I was so excited to post pictures of the brand-new Paresky Center that I posted them Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But then they only lasted 1/3 as long as they would have if I had posted them only one day a week. EphBlog readers love pictures, so spread the wealth out. For instance, Torrey recently posted two pictures of red berries. If she posted one of them now, and one of them two months from now, it would be the same amount of work for her and (nearly) twice as much benefit for readers.

4. Oh, and readers would probably appreciate it if you wrote some text to go with each picture, if only to have something to talk about in the comments. Just a sentence or two makes a big difference! For instance, if you are not making a guessing game like the Photo IDs, then you should probably tell readers where the photo was taken or what it is of.

Happy photographing and posting! Thanks in advance for making EphBlog more colorful and interesting.

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#1 Comment By Ronit On January 15, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

I would add:

Unless you are planning to restrict usage for commercial purposes, it would be great if you could upload the full size photos to ephblog, and then embed a downsized version in the post itself (or link to the full-size version if your photos are hosted on Flickr or elsewhere).

When you insert a photo in a wordpress post (working in Visual mode), there’s a field that lets you choose if you want to link to something. Linking to the file URL (as opposed to “post URL”) makes it easiest for people to view the high-rez version.

When you’re adding an image in Visual mode, putting some descriptive text in the “title” field also helps future browsers/searchers.

Don’t worry too much about alignment.

Two easy ways to resize images: if you mouse over the image in Visual editor mode, the top left corner has a blue “Edit Image” button, which lets you resize the image using a slide (and also add a title and a link to the original image file). Otherwise, you can just click and drag the handles at the corners of the image in the Visual editor to resize.

Here’s the HTML that puts an image into a post (visible when you’re working in HTML view):

<img src=”http://www.ephblog.com/imageurl.jpg”>

By default, images will be aligned to the left and text will wrap around it. To align an image to the right with text-wrap:
<img src=”http://www.ephblog.com/imageurl.jpg” style=”float: right; clear: both;”>

To get rid of text wrap altogether (ie, to have text show up below the image, useful in situations where you end up with a very narrow column of text next to the image):
<img src=”http://www.ephblog.com/imageurl.jpg” style=”float: none;”>

If you’re inserting an image in comments, adding <br clear=”both” /> after the image code helps to keep formatting from getting weird. Yes, funky formatting is probably something we should be able to prevent automatically, but I haven’t figured out the CSS modifications needed to do it yet.

Most importantly: Please preview before posting! (this applies to all authors and commenters)

PS: it annoys me when people publish a post in order to preview it, then unpublish it and schedule it for a future date. Please don’t do that. As soon as you hit publish, the headline and link to the post are sent instantaneously to around 400 RSS subscribers / Twitter followers / Facebook fans of Ephblog. Then, when you unpublish or schedule for a future date, they end up clicking on a dead link. Use the Preview button to preview your posts. If something isn’t showing up as expected, refresh the preview page.