Separation, part II


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A little while ago I told you I was going to separate my photo posts from my blog posts. In a nutshell, no more individual photograph posts on the blog or RSS feed, instead being replaced by a monthly collection of photographs. The individual photographs would still be available in the Play > Photography section, just not mixed in with the text posts.

The main reason for this was to keep my thoughts (text posts) together without interruption. This was a change for your benefit. After thinking on this for a couple of weeks, I’ve decided to evolve it one step further. Not only will I remove individual photo posts from the blog and feed, I will remove them altogether. This is a far better approach to my photography on my site. Here’s why:

Firstly, photography to me is a purely creative endeavour; a hobby if you will. It is not the main content on this site. I like to think the text posts — where I’m materialising thoughts and observations, and reporting on life in KL for the folks back home — are. So, it makes sense to put text front and centre, and photography/other creative pursuits and my design portfolio second. These other things are accessible via the navigation to the left, and in the footer of each page.

Secondly, because photography is only a hobby, people looking at my photography most likely aren’t there to view my work and offer me a job. These people are most likely interested in my creative output either as a personal friend or like-minded creative individual. Put succinctly, they are browsing. On a personal level, they want to enjoy my images, and what better way to enjoy them than in an easy to navigate gallery format?[1. You can use your arrow keys to move through the gallery once you enter. Pretty cool.] On a technical level, having 15 photos on one page is better than having 15 photos on 15 pages. It’s much simpler for the user, i.e., fewer page loads and php calls/functions (saving time), and fewer user actions (clicks).

Thirdly, a month’s worth of photos that I ‘work on’ is around 10 to 15 images. This seems like a nice number of images to look at in one sitting for a viewer, and could even begin to show any trends I might be going through in that month (dark images, for example). That could be interesting.

Fourthly (is that a word?), and possibly most importantly, removing individual photo posts altogether will save me a hell of a lot of time and effort. Time, in the literal sense of time spent to create a separate post for each photo[2. I have this semi-automated, but there are still at least a dozen steps to create a photo post], and effort in the sense of subconscious mental energy spent keeping my photos on this site ‘in sync’ with photos on my Flickr page. Photos will be added to Flickr as I create them, so if a user wanted to view photos as I create them, my Flickr page would be the place to go. It’s easy and simple to upload images to Flickr; it’s more time consuming and difficult to create a new post and upload images to this site, so a natural time gap grows between a photo appearing on both. This has always irked me subconsciously. It won’t any longer.

The first set of images will go up shortly, and will include all images uploaded until the end of September. From then on, it’ll be images on a month-by-month basis. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the change.