Book Review - Create Your Own Photo Blog by Catherine Jamieson
Not all blogs revolve around the written word. The recent proliferation of digital photography has given rise to the use of blogs focused on the visual element, commonly referred to as photo blogs. Catherine Jamieson has been at the front of this movement with her Utata site, and she shares her knowledge and insight in the book Create Your Own Photo Blog. This is an incredibly beautiful book that is also extremely useful...
Part 1 - Getting Started: Join The Revolution; Exposing Your Style; Finding a Home for Your Photo Blog
Part 2 - Setting Up: Build Your Blog - The Toolkit; The Workbench - Inside Your Blog; The Design Studio - Skins and Customizing
Part 3 - Working With Photographs: The Photographs That Work; From Camera to Blog - Making the Magic Happen; 100 Photo Ideas to Get You Shooting; Letting People Know You've Arrived; flickr; Doing Cool Things with Your Blog
Using commonly available and proven tools like flicker and Moveable Type, Jamieson walks you through the process of setting up a web site, finding hosting services, and then using her tools of choice to build and manage your photo blog. Her recommendations involve using Moveable Type as your blogging software, the flickr site for storing your photos online, and the web hosting service of Nexcess which offers a special package for people who buy the book. If you're already familiar with blogging or web sites, you might find that you have some/most/all of these areas covered. In that case, you can move onto the areas that deal with how to develop your photo blog related to style, concept, quality, and so forth. The writing style is intelligent and readable, so even the areas that may not be relevant to your particular situation are still hard to skip over.
The feature of this book I enjoyed the most was the assistance on how to shoot good pictures. Rather than just focus on the mechanics of the software, she gets into how to choose subjects, composition of pictures, and a number of other items related to taking compelling shots. Even if someone wasn't quite ready to commit to starting a photo blog, they could still get quite a bit out of the book when it comes to improving the quality of your pictures. Couple that with the ability to put them online using something like flickr (if you don't already do that), and you're well on your way almost before you realize it.
I'll spare my friends and readers and stick to what I know best... regular blogs. My picture-taking ability is nothing to write home about, and it wouldn't be worth blogging in my case. But should that bug ever hit me and I change my mind, this will be the book I'd use to get started.