Santorini

My new website Photos of Santorini is now finished

It has taken a while, and longer than anticipated, but Photos of Santorini is now complete.

Sunrise with clouds below viewed from Kasimatis Suites in Santor

This website has been built entirely by me using the Wordpress platform. All the words and images are my own.

I have never done this before.

And it took me about a year and a half longer than I anticiapted to actually do something with the photos I took when I visited the wonderful Greek Island of Santorini.

I didn’t expect to be creating a brand new website, but this is what I have done!

So for now, I am going to sit back and have a break before getting on with my next website Paxos Travel Guide!

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - website creator

Slugs, and snippets done for Photos of Santorini

Sound like a a gardening theme this one! Anyway another job done on my website Photos of Santorini.

I have to say that I have found creating a Wordpress website a complete revelation - this last piece of work was an absolute doddle.

All I needed to do was go to the Snippet Preview at the bottom of the page and type in the text - the boxes went to green when there was the right amount of text, and if I put too much text then the bar went red!

This is what it looks like.

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 And with that I am done for now. Photos of Santorini is complete. My intention was to get this done asap and for it to not be a polished website.

So with that I am going to reminded the pages of the website, take advice on the ideal theme for this website and moe on to the next thing. 

Paxos Travel Guide

Following my experiences with this website I do not expect to complete my next website this side of Christmas, as this is following the Project 24 format strictly. 

I will get back to this next week, leaving me a bit of time to sort some other stuff. 

Rick McEvoy - Photos of Santorini

Why are some excellent Lightroom tools not replicated in Photoshop?

I am sat here editing my photos of Santorini. Nearly done which is good. I have been going into Photoshop to remove primarily sensor dust spots, but also stuff creeping into the edge of a shot, and also stuff I want removing.

Take this photo of Fira for example - there are all sorts of bits that need consigning to the shadows as they don’t add to the image - they just distract.

This is the final image.

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I do this work in Photoshop and then save the image back into Lightroom.

I then have to go back to the Spot Removal Tool in Lightroom to check to see if there are any bits left that I have not done - there is an excellent feature called Visualise Spos bottom left after you select the (much improved) Spot Removal Tool.

Fira sunset Visualise close up 01112018.PNG

This is the spots that required removal after the work I have done in Photoshop - quite surprising!

Fira sunset snippet Lightroom visualise after 01112018.PNG

The small circle are spots that I have removed.

The question is this - why is the excellent Visualise Spots feature not available in Photoshop?

And while I am on the subject why cannot I not use the Page Down key to navigate through an image like I can in Lightroom?

There are some execllent features in Lightroom thaht would make Photoshop so much easier to use.

Rick McEvoy Photography - Photos of Santorini

Should I post to my photography blog every day? Erm well....

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Turns out I am anyway! I was thinking about this as I was working on my new website Photos of Santorini this morning.

Rather than schedule posts I am going to write about stuff as I am doing it and not worry about formatting and all that dull stuff. This is actual me right now.

Back to my website - Photos of Santorini.

I have the 20 images I want, and having added the metadata in Lightroom I have uploaded them all to draft posts. And I have just completed the exercise of adding titles to the posts.

That means I am good to go with the writing of the 20 posts. And the one big post has been started and now has a working title. Titles frame what I write in each post - and I have to remember that I have Santorini in the URL!

So my new website is now progressing to a plan which is good. Finally!

Rick McEvoy Photography - Santorini Photography Tips

What is my favourite tool in Photoshop? The Patch Tool - completely awesome

Yes my favourite tool in Photoshop has to be the Patch Tool - this is the spot healing brush on steroids! I have just used it to sort out an extension to a sky caused by having to get the buildings straight meaning I had gaps around the edges!

You can’t use the Patch Tool to add sky where there is none - in the first photo the white bits are blank - there is nothing there.

So first I had to clone stamp bits of sky to fill in the gaps - once this was done then I could use the Patch Tool to improve the quality of sky infill.

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Magic. I am working on my Photos of Santorini website - more on this later in the week hopefully!

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Santorini Photographer

How am I going to complete my new website - Photos of Santorini?

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I did a list of things to do a couple of months ago, but had to put the new website back until September.

And here is September 2018.

So a refresh of that post is in order.

I thought I would start off with a list of things to do – it has been a while after all.

The end point here is a brand-new website, Photos of Santorini. I am delighted that I have waited until now, as before I did not have a purpose for the photos I took in Santorini – and now I do. A website just for my photos of

And as I write this there is a late change in strategy following me thinking about this. I have decided that the content will be this.

  • My best 20 pictures of Santorini in 20 blog posts.
  • 10 posts about Santorini and my experiences of the island.
  • A few static pages.
  • And a gallery showing all the edited images.

And I am just going to get on with it. In fact I wrote 2 posts yesterday which are on the website now. I am going to try to get this done in the first two weeks of September - lets see how I get on.

Back to that original post. This is what I was going to do.

Go through the photos in Lightroom

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"I am going to go through the images in my Lightroom Catalogue and see if there are any images that I did not select for the edit – I am now looking at these images with a different end in mind after all, so always good to have a quick look.

I took 2442 images, which equate to 763 images once bracketed images have been put together. I selected 108 images to edit last year – lets see what I come up with this time."

As far as I am concerned that is now down. I need to extract out the best 20 photos to write about.

I am liking my new plan!

Calibrate my monitor

Yes, I still need to do this – I keep closing the reminders when I fire up my PC in the morning, but I will behave and start with a freshly calibrated monitor.

When I edit the images that is.

Edit the images

"When I say edit the images I mean edit the images. Get all the images that I want to use fully edited. I started doing this over a year ago, but thankfully I can pick up where I left off just fine. To date I have edited 52 images. I will have circa 100 - 120 on the website, with the top 20 images being included in individual blog posts.

And I have to say that I am rather excited to be getting on with the editing – I have upgraded the RAM in my PC, and Lightroom has received significant updates from Adobe since I last worked on these images, so image editing will be a more pleasurable experience."

I am still excited to be doing this, although there is a time issue now as I have another two sets of images that I want to do even more with.

Rate the edited images

I need to assign a rating to the images in Lightroom – 4 stars. I am saying this as I often forget.

Add metadata to the images.

Very important. I need to make sure that I have added data to the following fields in Lightroom

  • Filename
  • Title
  • Caption
  • Keywords

I need to make sure that the metadata is correct, and to do this there is another job that I need to do. There is general metadata and very specific meta data - I expect I will do this for the top 20 images as I write the individual blog posts, and do the rest at the end.

At the moment I am syncing images from Lightroom to my Wordpress website using an App - I need to review this as great as it is I am not sure about file sizes.

Research the metadata

This is a big job on its own – not only do I need to research the metadata, but also research the content that is going to be added to my new website, Photos of Santorini. I need to do this before I start to construct the layout of my new website – this is all about getting the job done thoroughly, and once.

Once the images have all the metadata they are ready for upload – I need to make sure that the upload method puts the correct data in the correct fields on my WordPress website.

I have started on this and the outcome of the research will drive the titles of the blog posts. Again, rather than writing about it I have just got stuck into it.

But this is the biggest, and possibly most important job to be done.

Create a new collection in Lightroom

This is something that I do so I have the images with me wherever I go, on Lightroom Mobile. I must remember however that that images on Lightroom Mobile rather infuriatingly do not have the keywords attached to them, so I have to do all the uploading and posting from my desktop.

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Thats the work on the images - now for the website

The website is live now on the internet with 53 images synced from a Lightroom collection, the pages added and four blog posts.

Things that I have done to the website are

  • Change the URL to https.
  • Tell Google Search Console about the website.
  • Buy a theme. I have returned the theme so need to sort this again.

I need to go back and see if there is anything else that I need to. I know that this is boring back of house stuff, but it is very important for a successful website. And still very important.

Other things that I need to consider with the website are these

  • Layout - how the website is laid out is rather critical
  • Theme - I tried a paid theme but hated it so back to square one on this
  • Page content - I think that is pretty much sorted
  • Number of images - see above
  • Blog - sorted
  • Ecommerce or not? Not - I need to focus on getting the website done and building traffic
  • SEO strategy - this is really all about the content - this is one of the main things I will spend time on.
  • Yoast and other plug-ins. Done. I have just done the Yoast SEO set up which was a very simple job.
  • Image upload – file sizes - to be determined but I need high quality images but file sizes that load quickly.
  • Target audience and market. Hmmmm. One for a separate post.
  • Google strategy -  I think that is covered elsewhere.
  • Analytics - sorted
  • Videos - will be added to each blog post
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Blog posts

I have decided that I will be producing 20-30 blog posts/ pages on the website. For the posts talking about the photos I have taken I have come up with some headings.

  • Location
  • Intent
  • Image capture process
  • Gear
  • Settings
  • Image processing
  • Do I like the image?
  • Did it achieve what I set out to achieve
  • Do you want to buy this image?

I have also thought of a few pages about Santorini – these could be static web pages or blog posts. Possible things are

  • About Santorini
  • How to get there
  • About the caldera
  • Best photo spots in Santorini (done yesterday)
  • When you get there
  • Timing/ seasons
  • Costs/ Currency

The website will then also be a useful resource about Santorini, and not just about my photos. I want a website that is of interest to people, and also helpful – this is not just about me trying to flog advertising and images.

But not a definitive guide to Santorini. Oh no that is a different thing altogether.

Summary

The plan has eveolved and changed. I am now just going to get on with it. I can always add/ delete stuff later if I need to.

I have spent too long talking about this and just need to get on with it.

The photos are just a time thing. That I have sorted so I can just get on with it. The hard work here is still the website itself – the technical stuff and the pages and content on each page.

Once the website is done my plan is this – leave it. I will of course keep far too close an eye on the analytics, but to start with I am going to leave it for 6 months and see what happens. I will provide a monthly update on progress (or lack of progress).

I have scheduled a blog post for the middle of October (was September) titled “How I built a WordPress website” which will be a useful guide for anyone else wanting to do what I am about to embark on. Obviously, the title might change but you get the idea.

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Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photos of Santorini