page contents

Better Late than Never: Redesigning



Table in the Garden, Jaffrey NH

                           Table in the Garden, Jaffrey NH (Fujifilm X Pro 1, XF 56 mm f1.2)


In March 2010, I decided to start a blog.

To this day, I’m not sure what I was thinking.

I do remember being inspired by a wide variety of bloggers and authors.
On one hand, I thought of creating a blog about the natural world; thinking of writer/ scientists such as Scott Weidensaul or Bernd Heinrich. On the other hand, I was a frequent visitor to Mark Steyn’s extremely eclectic website: Steynonline, where he writes about music, theater, and conservative politics, with great fluency and humor. Then there were the photography sites such as The Imaging Resource, Dpreview, and Thom Hogan’s Nikon compendium.

Herron Pond, Black and White

 Herron Pond, Black and White (Fujifilm X100t)

Then as now I was fascinated by photography and knew I would want to include images as part of the content. I figured it would be another way to connect my work with a new audience. In the beginning, I published on just about anything: photography, the natural world, music, politics, medicine, whatever crossed my mind.

I was also in those days more actively writing editorial’s for the local papers and liked the idea of a place to publish that work more permanently. As it turned out no one really cared. Not that I really thought they would. But it was an outlet for my creativity. It kept me off the streets at night.

Prushinskis on the Wagon

  Prushinskis on the Wagon (Fujifilm X100t, TCL x100)

I began to notice however that when I wrote about photography, and particularly about equipment, my page views were significantly higher than for other topics. This was fine with me because I enjoyed writing about “the gear that I use” day to day. I mimicked the format, if not the quality of sites such as the late Michael Reichmann’s Luminous Landscape, where user reviews of things photographic were accompanied by images taken or facilitated by the product in question.

I had been a longtime user of Fujifilm cameras, starting in the film era and then again with the S2 Pro, Fuji’s first really competitive digital SLR. But it was the birth of the Fuji “X” series cameras that inspired my photography. Writing about Fuji (and also Nikon) products clearly led to an increasing interest in the site. Rather than 100s of page views a month, we began to consistently get thousands. Several articles were read by more than 1000 people a day (currently our review of the XT-10 continues to gather more views than any other article on the site).

Shed on Bear Cub Road

Shed on Bear Cub Road (Fujifilm XT-10, XF 55-200 f3.5)

We also began to attract an increasing number of followers. I continue to be flattered that people were (and apparently are still) interested enough to keep track of our efforts. I know that compared to the more established photographic sites, we are really tiny. It’s still fun though.

My Brother Matt runs a computer consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs and is a very talented web designer. When I mentioned the volume I was receiving with essentially no attention to my page ranking, he was intrigued. He began to slowly convince me that a more sophisticated effort in terms of web presence and site design might be in order.

Trackside, Watkin`s Glen

 Trackside, Watkin`s Glen ( Panasonic Lumix GH1, Lumix 18-55mm f3.5)

I was reluctant, given that I don’t actually make a lot of income from this (actually none), and I have this other “physician thing” that takes up a fair amount of my time. But he persevered, and eventually I caved. This is the result.

Our goals were to make the site more intriguing to someone who visits us for the first time. We wanted to increase the size and the quality of the images on the site, and increase the flexibility in terms of layouts, fonts etc. It’s helpful that this time the person who designed the website actually knows what he’s doing.

 By the Monorail in Seattle

By the Monorail in Seattle (Sony A 7II. FE 28-70mm f3.5)

As the primary author and photographer, I think the increased visual impact of the site, will be an inspiration to acquire better images and write more interesting articles. And I do hope that we get a few more visitors for the effort.

And by the way as always: thanks for being here. You are the excuse for me to write about the things that I so enjoy.

So, here we go. Bear with me as we iron things out.