The portfolio site that showcases a relatively tight collection of my images is now sporting a new design that better harmonizes with my blog. It’s a cosmetic change only, so if you’ve already checked out all the images there, I’m afraid there won’t be any surprises, but it’s a good excuse to go check out some photos anyway.
I hope you enjoy it!
Welcome to a new and improved blog for dsphotographic.com!
A brand new version of WordPress, a brand new theme, and plenty of plans for the future make this an exciting little update here. I was hoping to iron out a few wrinkles before making this version live, but a couple factors conspired against that, so if you find anything is amiss, please forgive me and I’ll be trying to get to it as soon as I can.
I may have picked a bad time for this change though – I’m going to be down in Cornwall for a week starting this Saturday. In a battle for my attention between the Cornish coast and this website, I’m pretty sure the site will not emerge victorious.
The biggest issue facing the site right now is the three distinct looks and brands going on in here the blog, my portfolio and the galleries. This is the biggest hurdle: getting all these disparate sites to look like they belong together.
I will also be transitioning the galleries over to a Photoshelter-hosted gallery. Given the massive size of the current gallery, this is going to be a massive undertaking that could very well occupy months if not years. The old galleries will remain active for now, but new work is going to be displayed at my new home at Photoshelter. When that’s ready for public consumption, I’ll shout it from the e-rooftops.
So, I hope you like the new look and I look forward to getting some new features implemented and to showing off some new work.
Shot Up North, one of Northern England’s premiere photo competitions, held its results night last Thursday and I am pleased to announce that one of my photos was of of 50 selected to be a part of the book and exhibition. This year is the 21st edition of the competition that sees a lot of big names from this part of the country participating.
I rarely enter competitions, so to get a good result in the only one I can remember recently entering is a nice honour. Click my name on the Shot Up North results page to see my image along with the rest of the entrants.
The photo I submitted was taken in Barcelona’s Gothic quarter and I have already blogged about it here, so if you’d like to know a bit more about it, please check it out.
Time for a wee bit of showing off…
My portfolio site was rather outdated, but that is no longer the case. If you visit my portfolio site (or if you want to go straight to darbysawchuk.com – they’re both the same), you’ll find a far more up-to-date version of my work. The site still has its new car smell, so get on over there!
It should be free of bugs, but if you notice anything amiss, please feel free to drop me a line and let me know.
In the coming days, I hope to add a new type of post to this blog: brief discussions on given photos on the portfolio site. Most of my images have stories behind them and if they don’t, then maybe they will have some interesting technical details to share. So, we might get a little bit photo-bloggy for a while here. Should be fun!
Last night, after discovering that the problems on my site went further than I had thought, I had to completely take down the improperly-functioning galleries. It appears that my site had been hacked and was suffering a little bit because of it.
I have managed, however, to get things mostly working again. The galleries are back and all the photos are available once again. After doing a quick test, the only thing that I can see that needs work is the search functionality. What’s strange is that the search functionality off the blog pages works great – it’s only when you search from inside the galleries that things don’t work correctly. Weird.
So, there is some maintenance yet to do, but we’re moving forward and things are looking up for the health of this site.
Well, things are looking up, but we’re still not quite there with the fixes to the site. Most of the site’s functionality is there, but there are a few behind the scenes fixes I’m making that will make for smoother sailing for me and, in the end, anyone reading this blog.
If all goes well, you shouldn’t notice much difference except perhaps slight increases in awesomeness.
Yes, as I suspected, there have been a few hiccups with the changes. I was hoping I could sneak things through, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Looks like I have to re-learn a few things about WordPress…
Don’t be surprised if a few things turn up broken here in the next little while. This site is need of a bit of maintenance, but I’m hoping I can get it up to speed sooner than later.
If only technology didn’t change so quickly!
Between addressing mysteriously non-functional contact forms on this site and pulling my hair out because of a massive amount of corrupt image files, I’ve managed to upload a group of galleries of photos from Vilnius Lithuania. There is plenty more where that came from and sometime tomorrow (depending on where in the world you are), there should be a complete set of my photos from that beautiful city.
For those of you who are curious, those corrupt files of mine are, in fact, my Baltics photos. All the RAW files that I had sorted seem now to have corrupt headers and Photoshop won’t open them at all. All these RAW files are saved elsewhere, but they are unsorted and unprocessed, so this glitch is more than a little bit irritating. What’s strange about it though: All the files still open in Lightroom. I guess I’ll be learning that app pretty quickly! So, the data is all there – it’s just some messed up header or something that’s preventing the files from opening.
The files seem to have gotten corrupted when I (and apparently, this was a foolish mistake) renamed my folder from “Baltics” to “Baltics sorted.” After that, every RAW file in there got sick.
I don’t know if this is related to the problems people are experiencing with OS 10.5.3 and Photoshop CS3, but it seems like it might be the case (even though I wasn’t saving remotely). Either way, for all you users out there who have this combination of OS and software: back up now! Now!
To top it all off, since the forms on my site aren’t working, (cross your fingers for a good reply from my host!), even if someone goes to my contact page and mails me a miracle fix, I won’t get the message! Best to leave it in the comments. Any happy thoughts are welcome too.
Update: Why didn’t anyone tell me to update my Camera RAW plugin? That fixed it all up. No corrupt files, just a messed up plugin. Too bad I panicked when I saw my files wouldn’t open and immediately assumed they were corrupted. Rookie mistake.
Oh well. All’s well that end’s well!
My apologies to everyone who has tried to visit dsphotographic.com in the last couple of days. Some Tazmanian devil must have broken into my hosting company’s server room and wreaked some havoc…
A couple files got modified, but I’ve tracked down the bugs and things seem to be running smoothly once more. Now, when I say ‘a couple files got modified,’ I’m specifically not saying ‘I modified a couple files,’ because, well, I didn’t. The forces of chaos in the universe just simply decided my evening should be spent trying to figure out why certain files were now filled with gibberish or were cut off in inexplicable places. Thanks to the back gods for watching over me though.
All this reminds me of why I got out of web design – too many things just go wrong for no apparent reason! I think I’ll stick with photography.
For anyone that may have tried using the contact forms on this site in the last week or so, please re-send. There was a problem that lead to emails getting lost in the tubes and I fear I may have missed a few messages. So if you wanted a quote on an image, to inquire about a print or just say hi, please do drop me a line (again!). My apologies if you have sent a message and I haven’t gotten back to you. Thanks.
No, I still don’t have a proper Internet connection at my new place here in Manchester. The process of trying to get everything set up has been more than a little frustrating, but I’ve almost become resigned to the fact that it’s just going to happen when it happens. Virgin Media has been a large source of the problem thanks to multiple orders not being properly registered, but now the process seems to be held up by some kind of fault on the line. Not much I can do at this point except laugh a little bit (and keep going to the library and internet cafes to get online).
But, I have had the chance to be online long enough to update my site with a few photos I had lying in wait. The Banteay Srei photos are now up to tide people over. I know they’re not photos of Manchester, but I’ve had these ones ready for uploading for longer, so they go first. Shots of Manchester are well overdue though, so I’ll do what I can to show off at least a few shots of my new home city.
Cross your fingers for me that the problem with my connection is soon fixed. But don’t hold your breath – I wouldn’t want to be responsible for anyone losing consciousness…
You can thank the folks at Virgin Media for my lack of reportage on my new life here in Manchester. When we originally ordered their service, apparently, we were rejected because of some technical problem with the line and they never bothered to inform us of this fact. Now that I’ve called them again, hopefully there is a modem somewhere in the postal service that is on its way to our apartment.
Until then, I have to make due with the library’s computers across the road from our place. Conveniently located, but I’d prefer not to have to do big updates from here.
In this brief post, I will tell you that I’ve been enjoying Manchester and life has been good so far.
I hope I’ll be able to tell you more soon!
This post is just a reminder that I will be speaking at the Foothills Camera Club on Tuesday, February 20th. I’ll be discussing travel photography in Asia and my experiences travelling through ten diverse and beautiful countries.
I hope to see plenty of people there!
750 – 9th Avenue SE
Tuesday, February 20th
7:30 – 10:00 pm
On February 20th, I have the privilege of addressing the Foothills Camera Club. I will be discussing travel photography in Asia and all the challenges and rewards of living and working in foreign locales like Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and more. I’ve been given a blank slate for my talk, so I’m still working out the details of what I will cover, but I expect it will be an informative and fun ride through some fascinating cultures while making images in faraway lands.
If you are interested in attending and you are not a member of the FCC, you can still come along. Non-members’ first two visits to the club are free and additional visits are $4. If you’re not a member, I hope you might also take this opportunity to see if perhaps you would like to join the club. It’s a worthwhile organization for photographers of varying levels with a mandate of education and fellowship. Before I embarked on my travels to Asia, I was a member and I would have happily continued my membership if I had not been moving around so much in the last couple years.
I will post a reminder or two here closer to the date of the event. See you there!
750 – 9th Avenue SE
Tuesday, February 20th
7:30 – 10:00 pm
I have just added a travel photography portfolio to the site. This micro-site provides a concise selection of my photos for anyone who is feeling a little overwhelmed by the thousands of photos on this site.
Please have a look and feel free to let me know what you think.
Check out the site for a huge list of blogs by professionals in or related to the design industry.
A few weeks ago, I had decided to take some steps to upgrade my site. A couple new features here and there and I hoped it would start to fulfill the goals of the site in a more efficient way.
What I quickly realized upon making additions was that the core framework the site was insufficient for my needs. The thing was held together with duct tape and no more tape was going to make it solid. My attempts to improve upon what I had made this clear – I need some solid bolts or welding to underpin this thing, not tape.
I started to tinker with an alternative content management system: WordPress. It was like settling into a comfortable chair. It was so relieving to have my CMS work predictably. I told it to do something; it did it. Fancy that.
I started to develop a new, friendlier version of my site using WordPress as the engine. I was planning on developing it behind the scenes while my current site remained in place for any viewers who happened to come my why during development. A couple days later, that plan went down the tube when I learned that all the images on my site were no longer accessible due to who knows what error.
I couldn’t have people trying to find my work and ending up receiving only errors, so I took down the site and started to rebuild in earnest.
A short while later and I am counting down to launch. The site may look mostly the same to you, but to me, the difference is like riding a high-end, custom-built mountain bike with good shocks versus a rusty shopping bike with no seat.
And with that, let me welcome you to the new and improved dsphotographic.com. Please feel free to let me know what you think. I’m especially eager to hear from Windows users since I haven’t had much opportunity to test the site on a PC.
I now intend to use the brand-spankin’ new backend to deliver more content to this lovely little blog. When I’m not travelling, I hope I can be a good source of travel photography (and related) news. (With, of course, the occasional bit of unrelated, fun news thrown in just because.)
While travelling, it will be business as usual with my posts. Updates will come as time permits, but I always prefer being behind the lens and shooting marvelous locations to sitting behind a computer if I’m given the choice.
I hope all that’s not too confusing and I hope you’ll follow along.
Yeah, I’m seriously regretting using Mambo now. I’ve just been using WordPress for about a half hour now and it is so much more user friendly. I really think I could have the non-gallery portion of my site up and ready to go in no time.
The problem is that pesky Gallery software. I think I could leave it as a standalone, but I would have to do some serious changes to the CSS files. That’s not really a big deal at first glance, but really, without being able to see it in IE, I’m bound to be in for a few surprises considering it’s so bloody hard to get that script to do what you want.
That’s all fine and good. I know how I could do that. One tricky thing though would be to try to get a search block for the images working on the non-gallery pages. Right now I can do that through Mambo (which, by the way, was a total fluke of coding and I still don’t really know what I did). I really don’t think I would have such good luck with WordPress. I really want people to be able to search my images from anywhere on my site, but I don’t know if that’s going to be possible.
I spent a little time yesterday making some improvements to the site. First off is a revamping of the RSS feed. Previously, the RSS feed generated by the Mambo CMS (Content Management System) had no real dates attached to the items. But, thanks to this hack, the RSS feed is now actually accurate.
I also added the ability to comment on blog entries and articles. I don’t really know if anyone will be interested in making comments or not, but at least now they have the option!
I would also like to add some kind of trackback or pingback functionality to the blog here, but I am now discovering that Mambo is really a horrible platform for blogging. I’m now kicking myself for using this particular CMS – something like WordPress would probably have suited me just fine. I didn’t necessarily need to have my gallery embedded into the overall CMS and I could have had them working together adequately without all the hassles of Mambo.
If only I were efficient enough to implement a new site CMS in a few days. I would give it a go, but a few things are going to hold me back from that. First off, I don’t have a PC for testing, so I can pretty much forget about it. I also don’t have a lot of time on my hands for this sort of thing. On a related note, the amount of content on this site is escalating every day and porting it over to another CMS would likely take a while. Oh well. I have what I have for now so I’ll see if I can make th best of it.
There is no better time to make your walls pretty than now. I have just drastically reduced the prices of the prints available on dsphotographic.com. The new pricing structure can be see on both the But Prints Page and on the pages of each image.
To buy a print, simply navigate to the large image of the print you want to buy, scroll down to the ‘Buy a Print’ section on the page, and click the ‘Buy Now’ button correspond to the size of the print you want to buy. Happy wall prettification day!
While I’m away, if you are interested in licensing any of my images, I recommend checking out my images at Alamy.com. A large number of my images can be found there, so if you have an urgent need for an image, please see what’s available there.
An RSS feed is now available for dsphotographic.com. It combines both the blog and the news sections into one feed for easy viewing. Point your RSS reader here to grab the feed.
And if you have no idea what RSS is all about, XML.com provides some RSS insight:
“RSS is a format for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites, including major news sites like Wired, news-oriented community sites like Slashdot, and personal weblogs. But it’s not just for news. Pretty much anything that can be broken down into discrete items can be syndicated via RSS: the “recent changes” page of a wiki, a changelog of CVS checkins, even the revision history of a book. Once information about each item is in RSS format, an RSS-aware program can check the feed for changes and react to the changes in an appropriate way.”
Here it is. It’s taken me an age to put this together, but, I believe I can finally say that this site is ready for public consuption. I don’t plan on marketing the site just yet – the content is still a little sparse and I would like to be able to show off a bit more of my work before I start start promoting.
That said, there is still a fair amount of contant available and I hope you enjoy what you find. If you have any questions or comments, or if you happen to find any bugs, please feel free to contact me.
Lastly, if you are a Windows user, may I recommend using Firefox. This open-source web browser is a lovely little program and this page happens to look just a little bit better in it
Now, go look at some photos!