Can you believe it! After a week I have this site back on the world wide web! I first want to say thank you to all who have checked here during the last week and have still decided to come back and check things out again. I hope it goes without saying but it is only right that I say it, without you sending your browser my direction once in a while I might as well be on Mars. Though I would take lots of pictures of Mars, the fact that not having anyone to share anything with would really be a bummer.
At times I might (at least I think I do in my own mind) talk big here. As if I have a world wide audience. That just simply is not the case. I keep track of visits, first time and returning visitors. There are a hand full of folks who do return here on a regular basis. In some odd way I feel I owe you folks something. I need to share things that may be of interest or possible give you more insight into myself or experiences. It is rather humbling to know others just might be interested in what I do or what I share. It becomes a driving force to me, one that seems to feed a need to grow, learn, and experience as much as possible. I truly appreciate each visitor here no matter how random it may be.
I have found over the years that I actually enjoy the time I spend at the computer. I enjoy processing images and I enjoy maintaining this blog. As much as I enjoy it, it does have it’s moments. This last week has been one of them.
I decided last Sunday evening I was not putting off what I have been wanting to do for the last few months. That is update this site to a more complete online presence for myself. My thinking, desires, and motivations have changed over the last 6-12 months. I have a desire to do more than just print pictures from my photographs. That seems to be the lowest common denominator when it comes to photography. Take a picture, make print. Doesn’t seem to really excite me that much. Don’t misunderstand, I do love making prints, it is an absolute necesaty for a photograph to become a photograph. I just have a need to do more with “a print” than just hang it on the wall. At least I want to be able to do more with them.
You see, each and every photograph truly does have a story. And as I have mentioned before it very likely has two stories. That of the photographer and that of the viewer. It’s this desire to get more out of images that has pushed me to make changes in my approach to things. I simply have to, need to, want to, get more out of images than simply a visual conclusion. You can’t see what you don’t know and if you know nothing about a photograph you will be seeing nothing.
OK, now about what I have been up to and why. As you can see if you have visited this site before things look a bit different. Actually more than a bit, A Lot different! I will attempt to recap a few things from the last 7 days.
I have become, how should I say, In need of a more singular online presence. This is due to my desire to have my images be one with their stories. It is my goal to have this site, https://https://bradmangas.com (which is a WordPress based site) to be a complete one stop shop so to speak. For the last 5 years I have had a blog here and a gallery website at bradmangasphoto.com. Two different websites that have been meeting most needs OK. The site at bradmangasphoto.com is a complete gallery site that is hosted by Zenfolio. I have no problem with Zenfolio and would highly recommend it as a photo hosting site if anyone is in need of that. Obviously I am, and at present have over 500 images there that are ready for purchase at any time. I really can’t complain about it but, the fact of having two separate online places just seems unnecessary. That said, each of these sites (Zenfolio and WordPress) have very specific functions and do a great job at what they are intended to do.
So what’s my problem you may wonder? I’m picky and rather hard to please. I guess that is the only thing I can say. Here’s the deal. I love my gallery site at bradmangasphoto.com hosted by Zenfolio. It is easy to use and maintain and I can upload unlimited photos! I can put a million pictures there if I want! But, it has it’s drawbacks when it comes to content management. That is for things like blog posts, information pages, behind the scene stories or custom appearance and the combination of all at the same time. It is meant to store pictures and allow folks to buy them. Oh I have spent much time adding many custom pages to it. They turn out OK but nothing to the effect as with a WordPress site. Plus there are many things that I need to link to from one site to the other. When this is the case you suddenly are taken from one place and placed into another. When this happens all of a sudden things look different and act different. That drives me crazy! If I write a post with a picture in WordPress at https://https://bradmangas.com and then make the picture available for purchase I have to link it to the gallery site at bradmangasphoto.com. Might seem like a simple deal and it is simple enough but, that isn’t all that happens. The complete look of where your were changes. Then it’s not a matter of simply going back to where you were or continuing on with what you were doing. Things just start getting umm… befuddled. It’s enough for me to just stop and head out the door and go take pictures! But then I wonder, what am I going to do with them?
As far as WordPress goes, I love WordPress! It is s a genius at content management! You can write a whole book here if you want! I think some folks have. It offers just about any look you want through millions of themes, layouts, plugins and most you can customize even further. But, yeah there is a but here as well. I have found that it kinda sucks at hosting images. When I say hosting images I am talking complete gallery setup, ease of use and needed organization that goes along with that. You can setup gallery pages and upload lots of images but organization is lacking once you start dealing with hundreds of images and the need to categorize and cross reference them by specific criteria. Not that you can’t, it just takes much more time than with something like Zenfolio. Then, that drives me crazy!
So you see if I continue down this path I would be on a crazy train with an engine at both ends pulling in opposite directions! So, I have decided to buy a ticket on an excursion train. One that moves slowly through the beautiful countryside and makes frequent stops so everyone can get out and enjoy the breathtaking views. The only problem now is, my train is in the maintenance depot getting it’s much needed tuneup in order to make the journey. In the meantime I will need to roll up my sleeves and start greasing the bearings, changing the axles, rewiring the electrical system, replacing the seats, installing gps, repainting the interior, exterior, cleaning the windows, and checking every nut and bolt for proper fit and tightness. Other than that I’m all set!
I am not one to make excuses but I will state the facts. This site is far from ready. I apologies for that. The one thing that did not change is my ability to write posts and get them up here. That I will continue to do and I will make a point to keep you up to date with what is changing as I go. I have tried to make sure most things function properly at the moment but as you will see there simply is not much in the way of content that has been added yet. I will continue to keep my sleep to a minimum so more time can be put to use here because, to tell you the truth, the way things are at the moment, is driving me crazy!
Thanks again everyone. I hope to make this site a very enjoyable place to hangout when you so desire. The pressure is on and I must wipe some grease off my face, put some bandages on my knuckles, have another cup of coffee and dive back in.