My photos — on display for the benefit of the world.

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This Blog is Moving!!

Thanks to a long overnight in Orlando, I finally found the time to move my blog to a private server.  This means I’ll have better control of the content and layout.  You shouldn’t notice any change.  WordPress should automatically redirect to the new site.  If not here is the address:

Photos4u2c.net

I’ll see you over there!

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Stock Photo Sets

One way to increase image views and potential sales at istockphoto is to create photo sets that can be displayed in the image description field of your istock photos.

For example, I have a bunch of house photos in my istock portfolio.  I created a linked set of home photos that I can display inside the description box of all my individual home photos.  When a potential costumer is searching for house photos and clicks on one of my images,  they automatically see thumbnails of my best house photos.  Maybe they will see something they like, maybe they will make multiple purchases.

Above  is a set of stock photos of homes and neighborhoods.  These are some of my better home photos.  I attach this set of thumbnails to each house photo in my istock portfolio.  On istock each of the thumbnails links to the associated image.  WordPress isn’t that sophisticated yet.  You’ll have to click on the link to see how the linked images work over at istock.

Creating linked images easy.  Simply use this UBB generator.  Decide which photos you’d like to put in your set and then copy their image ID number into the UBB generator.  Hit the “Go” button and then paste the resulting code into the description box for each photo you’d like to see display your newly created linked set.

Here’s another example of a linked set.  Above are some of my best central California stock photos.  This set designed for a customer that’s  looking for something other than ordinary sunny California stock photos.  These pics are a bit darker and moodier.

This set of aviation stock photos is one of my most successful photo sets.  I often get multiple sales in one day from my aviation photos.

Maybe you have some specialized photos that could beninfit from being linked together.  The next time you have a rainy afternoon, and you are out of photos to edit, try creating some linked image sets.  It’s an easy way to increase your istock sales.

The Artistic Blog Paradox

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Since moving to Monterey my commute has changed dramatically. Getting home from work no longer requires sitting center seat on a red eye flight to Chicago. All that flying has been replaced by a two hour, moon roof open drive up the California Coast. Life is good, and I am getting reacquainted with my CD collection during the drive. I’ve always loved to listen to entire albums without skipping a track. Thanks to the long drive I have time to savor some old favorite albums.

The other day while listening to Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” I started to compare recording music to blogging. The thought process was a little depressing. When musicians work on an album they have months and even years to perfect their product. A well crafted album is nuanced and loaded with beautiful surprises that can only be revealed through multiple listens. What’s a blogger have to work with? A spare hour in the afternoon is about all the time I get for working up a post. How can a blogger make something of quality when working on a strict time budget?

An easy answer would be to post less frequently. If I use my time to create just one well written post every two weeks, I could possibly create something of higher quality. There would actually be an editing process. The problem with this solution is maintaining a readership. For a blog to grow readers it needs a steady stream of posts. People stop coming back if the front page doesn’t have something new. What’s the point of blogging if you don’t have any readers? I’ve never believed in dropping coins down a wishing well.

So we arrive at “The Artistic Blog Paradox”. A good blog requires frequent posts, and high quality posts require lots of time. Is it possible to create an artistic blog and maintain a readership while on a strict time budget? I don’t know the answer yet, and that is the reason why I said I was thinking of giving it all up in a post a few days ago. Since writing that terse resignation I have flown across the country three times. Three trancon flights give the mind some space to roam. Here’s what I’ve come up with…

From this point going forward I will be creating two different types of posts. The first variety I will classify as “scribbles”. The scribbles will be quickly written and tossed out for your consumption — cheap food for the beast. The second variety will be called “Quality” posts (“Quality” in honor of Robert Pirsig). These posts will live on my hard drive and be subject to editing and rework until they are ready for release into the wild.

There is also the possibly that my basic premise is wrong. Maybe a high quality post can be written quickly. Maybe you won’t be able to see the difference between the scribbles and the quality. Of course the photos will always be my best effort. I don’t think I could post a photo I didn’t love.

*note about the lead photo. This pic wasn’t taken by me. My dad took it. I left my camera home from the beach that day. I knew I could trust my Dad to document the trip.

Readers Don’t Worry, and some rare photos!

Sorry about the scare the other day.  This blog isn’t going to disappear!  I think I have come up with a way to keep this thing running without losing mind — details to come in the next post.  Stay tuned.

In the mean time I actually have a few pictures of me to post.  Since I am usually the person holding the camera, photos of me are pretty rare.  Last week my Dad and Step mom visited.  My Dad is as big of a photo nut as me.  He took a lot of pictures.

For those of you that would like to see rare images of the author of this blog press the continue reading button.  Warning — it’s a long load time Read the rest of this page »

Stranger in Las Colinas

This blog has been put on ice while I figure out what to do next.

Here are some more bridges to tide over your hunger for fresh images.

My afternoon was spent walking Las Colinas, TX in search of stock photos.  I think it’s time I get back to building  my stock photo portfolio.  Photo blogging doesn’t pay the bills or buy me a new kayak.

Here’s the Trinity River in the suburbs of Dallas.  I hate climbing down river banks in the south.  I’ve watched too many episodes of Billy the Exterminator.  This looks like snake country to me.

No Hippies Occupying the Brooklyn Bridge!

Way to go NYC Police Department!  I’m happy to report that I sighted no hippies blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge this evening.  We walked over the bridge into Manhattan for pizza and didn’t spot a single Occupy Wall Street Protester along the way.  Now, if you guys could do something about all the tourists with their big camera’s I’d be really happy.  Only us serious photographers should be allowed to crowd up the walkway and get in the way of the bike commuters.

The picture was taken from the bridge looking towards Manhattan.  As you can see, traffic is moving along nicely.  Special thanks must be given to my first officer, Scott.  He helped me set up my tripod and kept me from dropping expensive equipment into oncoming traffic.

It was a beautiful evening.  Sometimes NYC seems like it might be a tolerable place to live.

Florida Everglades

We’re climbing through the murk of South Florida’s ever present haze.  Suddenly we break out on top and have this view of the Everglades.  If I’m to believe the discovery channel, the Everglades are now thick with giant Burmese Pythons.