Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Photo Blogging

By Christina VanGinkel

While many of you may be familiar with the written blog, there is another similar trend that is growing nearly as rapidly, and that is the photo blog. Because server space is used up more quickly than those offering just space for journal entries, free photo blogs are not as popular, but they are growing in popularity.

Why someone would want to create a photo blog, you might ask. Well, they may just want an online space to share photos with family and friends, then again, they may be a budding photographer or someone who feels they have something to share with the world, and this would be an easy and direct way to go about it. Others I think are just exhibitionists, and I do not mean that in a perverse way. They have a need to share themselves, their daily lives, with the world. A photo blog will allow them to do that as long as they are not over the edge with the content of their pictures. Every blog-hosting site I visited had strict rules against pornographic and other illegal activities, which made me feel good about browsing through them without having the fear that I may open up something I really did not want to see. In addition, while I did uncover a lot of lousy photography, I uncovered several surprisingly good snapshots that I actually enjoyed browsing through and reading the accompanying journal entries.

I visited a few photo blogs that I discovered and found a wide variety of subjects. Some that were about the photographers everyday life, specific subjects, one of just restaurants that the photographer had visited, and one that was of single items, like a single flower, a single shoe, a single guy, as long as the subject was a single, it was fair game to be included. Moreover, when looking through that one, I knew that I would not be viewing any reunion or class photographs!

Along with the photographs, there is usually a space for a caption or even a complete journal entry. With paid subscriptions available that give the subscriber much more liberty as to how many photos to upload in a day, and what they can add word wise, I realized as I was viewing the selections I uncovered, that there were a lot of paid subscribers. People really seem to take this idea of blogging with photographs quite seriously, or it could just be that I live on a budget and they do not. Either way, the amount of people taking photos and posting them on blogs to share is quite phenomenal. Once your photographs are on a blog though, most places I visited had no restrictions on visitors using these pictures, so keep in mind that once you post something it is more or less in the public domain. I have many nice nature photos including several beautiful ones of black bear, which I have snapped through the years that I would love to share, but at the same time, I would not like to have them available to anybody to use them in any manner they choose, so for now I will not be creating a photo blog. Then again, one blog I came across was just of things snapped on a person's camera phone, not exactly top quality, but fun nonetheless. If I ever got a photo phone, I might be tempted.

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