The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) (MCT)
But out of all the different blogs now populating the blogosphere — including podcasts and more-recent vlogs (video blogs) — the photoblog is a unique creature. Because photographs are entirely visual, a photoblog updated daily may be viewed and experienced by countless eyeballs worldwide without language barriers.
"I can post (photographs) ... and get comments within hours from people around the world," said Chris Lupetti, a photoblogger from Maywood, N.J. "It's a very global community."
Most photoblogs work in much the same fashion as a word-based blog. Photobloggers find an online host, or locale to display their digital images. Some photographers traffic in specific themes, such as nature, people or historic monuments. Others document pivotal or mundane moments in their lives, like wedding ceremonies or a trip to the park with the dog.
The photos are uploaded online, and then the wait begins. Will the Web public love your work? Remember, on photoblogs, it's not just the images that do the talking. Usually, though, the reception is warm.
"It's very encouraging, the comments that you get," said Lupetti, who has been photoblogging for about three weeks.
Photobloggers generally fall into two camps: the casual and the serious.
Some photobloggers view their blog as a hobby and sporadically update their pages with large batches of photographs, using the Web space to share social pictures with friends and acquaintances. Their equivalents in the word-blog world might be online diary writers, who blog to update friends on their daily lives. In general, it's light-hearted stuff that generates comments along the lines of "Nice photo" or "Cute dog!"
Other photobloggers, however, seek out more serious amateur groups where members regularly give constructive criticism on specific elements of photo editing, composition and focus. Stylistic photoblog communities may discuss a specific aesthetic, or the effect and features of a certain kind of camera. And while many update their photo pages daily, serious photobloggers plan their image updates far in advance.
Constant feedback and the pressures of an unseen public may push many an aspiring amateur toward a more serious hobby. Photoblogging "gave me incentive to really get into photography and develop some sort of style," said Brian Liloia, a photoblogger from East Rutherford, N.J.
"Because I'd have to put some thought into why I put up this picture for this day."
But the comments aren't the only reason an aspiring photographer might browse the blogs. "When I see other people's work and it sparks something in me, that's really cool," said Liloia, who haunts Flickr groups and searches using "tags," or identifying catch-phrases photobloggers attach to each photo.
Great for photo sharing and learning the craft of photography, photoblogs might also be a good place to find original art for decorating an apartment or home. The photoblogosphere is populated by images taken by an avid army of amateurs and professionals with their fingers on cutting-edge, high-resolution camera equipment.
In the click of a mouse, you can gaze at virtual mini photo art galleries filled with arresting, never-before-seen images from all corners of the globe or just unnoticed scenes from just down your block. A few more mouse clicks and you could be the proud owner of a picture-perfect print.
STARTING YOUR OWN PHOTOBLOG (STEP BY STEP)
Choose your online host.
There are many choices out there. You could buy your own domain name, sign up for a free service or pay a fee for unlimited photo uploading. Your first stop should be wiki.photoblogs.org/ wiki/Photoblog_Hosting, a page on Photoblogs.org that offers a rubric for making an informed decision.
For example, you may favor the wide appeal of Flickr.com, appreciate Aminus3.com's hobby-style take on photoblogging, or gravitate to the more traditional word-based Blogger.com.
Flickr's functionality may be best for those who want to share photos. Not only does the site allow the upload of many photos at once (unlimited with a "Pro" account), it also allows you to send photo sets in a ready-made slideshow template.
Edit your photos.
Whether you're doing minor cosmetic changes or major overhauls, you'll want to check out photo editing programs. Adobe's Photoshop is still the gold standard, but simpler applications may also fit the bill. Some cameras come with editing programs, and Apple's iLife software suite includes editing tools. Or, you may want to check out recently available free online programs, such as picnik.com.
This shouldn't take more than five minutes, especially once you get used to your online hosting Web site. Some photobloggers choose to add titles and tags (or descriptions) to each entry.
Comment extravaganza commences!
If a photograph goes live online and receives no comments or views, is it really there? The best way to get viewers and comments is to become an avid commentator yourself. Joining groups on Flickr or sites like VFXY (photos.vfxy.com) and nyc.photo bloggers.org may also help you find a community. Some online hosts are hubs for communities themselves. Get out there and make some friends!
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