Apologies for the length of what follows ...
Regular visitors will know that I've spent a lot of time recently worrying about what to put up, how often to post, and so on ... but I think I've solved a part of the problem. What's been troubling me is twofold. First: I want to post as regularly as possible as i) it provides the incentive for me to take enough shots such that I remain focussed enough to improve (and without that incentive I might not find the time in and amongst everything else I need to do), and ii) the critical commentary I receive here is invaluable. But second: sometimes this means that I post stuff that I know just isn't as good as some of the other stuff I put up, and I worry that maybe people wont like it, or think "oh, that's not so great in comparison to shot X", and so on. And lately these two issues have been in tension with one another.
So, to get round this I've decided to make better use of categories to assign my images to what I see as different levels of quality. At the moment I have 20 separate categories, and many entries are assigned to multiple categories and, well, it really doesn't make a great deal of sense to organise them in this way, particularly as the number of shots on this site increases. So I've decided to recode all 179 entries into one of three primary categories, Portfolio, Gallery, and Photolog (and a number of secondary ones).
The Portfolio category will serve a similar function to my current "Top 10"; i.e. it's a repository for those shots that I consider to be technically and aesthetically my best work. The Gallery will contain shots that I think have a reasonable amount of technical or aesthetic merit but don't quite warrant being put in the Portfolio for one reason or another. And the Photolog category will be reserved for everything else – day-to-day shots, things that are ok but aren't all that special and so on.
So, for example, my entry from two days ago for the Photo Friday Landscape challenge will go in the Portfolio category as I think it's one of the best shots I've produced. Yesterday's shot will go in the Gallery as while I think that it's a beautiful image it could have been better framed and the clothing they were all wearing was a bit distracting, particularly around the border of the image. In other words the shot has a couple of technical and aesthetic weaknesses. And, finally, today's shot goes in the Photolog category as I think it's generally ok, but there's nothing particularly special about it – nice colours, nice texture, but nothing that says, to me at least, "wow, I really like X, Y or Z about this shot".
And I'll probably keep a couple of secondary categories (Photo Friday, Children, etc) as I do think these are useful, but first and foremost every image will be assigned to one of the three categories mentioned above.
Anyway, my aim here is to be able to post stuff that isn't my best work – i.e. it's day-to-day Photolog category stuff – without always feeling as though I need to justify quite why a shot isn't up to the standard I aspire too. So, keep an eye out for the category an image is placed in (which follows the image description), and over the next while or so I'll recode my existing images (and maybe do some work on the category templates) to reflect these changes.
9.30pm on 5/6/04