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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Squarespace - The Cons

When I first decided to write a post about the cons of using Squarespace to build and host my website I actually had a far larger list than I do now.  Like any tool, it takes some getting used to.  Let me state at the outset that now that I have finished putting together the site I am extremely pleased with Squarespace overall and can VERY HIGHLY recommend it to those interested in building and hosting a website.

I should add that the site is now live (which I guess you already know if you are reading this) at www.howardgrill.com.  

Also, see my post about the 'Pros' of Squarespace.

So what do I think could be improved?

  • The 'blocks' from which you build your pages are mostly a big plus and the various types of 'blocks' are varied (text, image, forms etc.), but when moving them around it can sometimes be difficult to drop them exactly where you would like them to go.  Its pretty easy if you want the whole page in, say, two columns.  But if you want one column in half the page and two in the other half (such as in some of my Carrie Furnace with audio pages) it can get a bit difficult to get the blocks to behave.  In this instance I found it far easier to build the two column part first and then drop in a single column above or below. But I wasted a fair bit of time discovering that.
  • Although you can add custom code to the templates there is still a bit too much restriction.  For example, I can't have my home page play an auto-run slideshow without every other gallery also being on auto-play.  My home page configured as a gallery can't display text on it.  If I configure it as a 'Page' with a 'Gallery Block' I can have text, but then the image won't be as large.
  • Although the degree of configurability and options are quite good there are some simple options that are missing.  For example, having the ability to have a border around your content, or to have a stroke and a watermark automatically added to uploaded images.  I would think options such as that would not be too difficult to add. The ability to make changes to one specific page's appearance would also be welcome.
  • The blog pages functionality and appearance vary greatly from template to template. Since blogs are often a large draw into a website and often the most updated and added to portion of the website there needs to be more options and customization. SOME templates have a good number of blog options, but this one that I chose did not. There is no sidebar in which to insert a search function or calendar to pull up old posts.  No blogroll. It was a battle to even get the header with the title Motivation onto the blog page and it took some manipulation and custom coding.  These are real shortcomings for a blog page. I did finally manage to at least make a blog summary page that has a search function and calendar but those are things that are out of place on a separate page. 
  • What, no preview mode for unpublished posts?
  • The e-commerce function uses a credit card processor only (at a very reasonable rate I should add) but there is no ability to use Paypal.  Paypal is so popular these days that this should really not be the case.

Switching away from the negatives, I also want to mention their customer service.  It simply doesn't get any better and I should have mentioned it in my last post.  Response time is always under an hour and mostly significantly less than that.  Unfortunately they will NOT help you with any custom coding, however, I can well understand why that might be the case. And when there is something you want the template or service to do that it can't they will right out tell you they can't do it.  But let me point out two examples of what they can do besides help you accurately and rapidly with the routine built in building functions:

  • My product search block on the template simply wasn't working properly.  It clearly was a problem with the template code and not anything I did.  They didn't BS me.  They told me there appeared to be a problem and told me they were referring it to the tech side to work on, but that they couldn't tell how long it would take.  I gave it up as a lost cause. Like many things with the templates, I found a work-around that did the job another way. But three days later I got an email saying they hadn't forgotten and they fixed it.  Sure enough, it worked.
  • My domain name is held elsewhere and I couldn't figure out the myriad of settings that needed to be made over at the company that held the domain in order for the URL to point to my new site.  It took about ten emails back and forth with the Squarespace customer service.  But they responded every thirty minutes like clockwork with screenshots and specifics of what settings on the screenshot needed to be changed and what to change them to.

In summary, nothing is perfect, and neither is Squarespace.  But given the myriad of specifics that I wanted, it was clearly the closest to perfection that I think is out there.  In fact, if they would just make all the template blog pages as good as the best ones they already have they would be 95% of the way to being pretty perfect.

With the knowledge of the above issues, I recommend Squarespace highly and without reservation.  Give their free trial a try if you are thinking of building that website that you really do need!

Choosing A Photography Website Host

A number of weeks ago I posted that I was considering putting together a new website. There were several reasons, but two which were of paramount importance: 

  • when I initially coded my current website using Dreamweaver there was no concern about how people might view the site on mobile devices.  The situation is very different at the current time and, best I can tell, optimizing a site for display on mobile devices entails quite a bit of work.
  • Because of he way my site is set up, it is quite an endeavor to add images and thus it has not been updated frequently at all.  I need a site that is easy to update and maintain.

And so I began looking at the options. I pretty quickly ruled out templates that you buy because, once again, I wanted to avoid relearning the coding and CSS that I learned in order to program my site years ago and which would be needed to make custom changes. Life is too short to both photograph and code. I then began to look at the major prefab sites:

  • Zenfolio
  • Smugmug
  • Photo Shelter
  • Squarespace

Yes, I know there are more, but these are the ones that seem most popular and utilized.

Before starting my research, I had to decide what issues were most important to me, as it seemed unlikely that I would find everything I could hope for in one location. Perhaps such a list would be useful to others who are also thinking about photography website hosting. These are the issues I found important.

  • the ability to utilize a custom domain so that my URL could remain the same
  • at least half a chance of being able to import my blog so as not to either lose all the posts, have to pay to have the blog hosted elsewhere, or to have to start from scratch
  • be responsive....that is to say be optimized for mobile devices
  • use no Flash, as Apple devices will not display Flash
  • allow storage and download of digital products such as eBooks
  • be customizable so that the site doesn't look like thousands of others that are out there already
  • be relatively reasonably priced
  • have clean, modern looking templates
  • be relatively easy to use
  • have responsive customer service and support
  • optimally have the ability to embed audio for my Carrie Furnace Project, on which I spent quite some time preparing the audio clips
  • be able to do e-commerce and yet take only what I consider to be a reasonable 'cut' of one's sales while also allowing for self-fulfillment of print orders

And so the search began.

Allow me to cut to the chase.  I ended up choosing what I suspect most will think is the most unlikely of the bunch.  Squarespace.

In the next post I will talk about what my reasons were and what the pros of my experience with Squarespace has been thus far.  After that I will post about the cons....and while there certainly are some, I do think that the pros outweigh them!

A Request

Lately I have been rethinking my website options.  A few years back I designed my current website using Dreamweaver in order to create a site with my own vision.  My idea was to present more than just images......to also present some of the thoughts and ideas behind the projects as well as specific information and stories about each image to allow greater reader 'involvement'.  However, the downside to this approach is that it is more difficult and requires more time to update in terms of adding new images, removing older ones etc.  In addition it is difficult to keep up with new coding like HTML 5, SEO issues, adding sharing to social media etc.  It is just more labor intensive than I had anticipated, though I do continue to add to this blog regularly. I have therefore been considering migrating to a more premium but 'template based' site, such as those offered by PhotoShelter or SmugMug.  My request to you is for some feedback.  Given that I think most people 'surfing' the web are looking at things for a relatively short period of time, I am wondering if what I had perceived as the benfits of  the individualized website are outweighed by the relative non-updating of the site, blog notwithstanding.  Also, are the template based sites to similar to each other compared to the type of individual coding I had done.

Any input would be very much appreciated as it would be quite helpful to me before I make any decisions.  My current site can be seen here.

Move Towards The Light

Images of people walking through tunnels or dark spaces towards a bright light seem to have a universal draw.  One of my favorite zone plate images (Dreamscapes #4), which I have recently posted on this blog, is just such an image.  I recently ran across an article specifically about such compositions with numerous excellent examples and thought I would share it with the readers of this blog. So check out this article on the Fotoblur website entitled "Tunnel Of Light" by Lance Ramoth.

Migration And Integration

In my last post, I mentioned that I wanted to integrate this blog into my new website. I have been looking into the various ways to do this, which boils down to either sticking with Blogger (which carries the benefit of being able to maintain my Google rankings) or going with WordPress. The benefit of WordPress is that it seems far easier to integrate into a website subdomain. I have seen many posts about the woes of trying to transfer Blogger to a private website subdomain......... and that is from people who actually understand how to do it. Reading the Blogger directions has me dizzy and not sure where to even start (ANAMES, CNAMES....yikes).

My inclination is to go with a new integrated WordPress blog (they actually have a function that supposedly allows you to import all the old Blogger blog content into your new WordPress blog). Yes, I will lose my Google page rank but I am still inclined to go that route, unless someone reading this can give me a good reason not to switch over and/or a reference to step by step instructions as to how to make the Blogger transfer to a private subdomain relatively foolproof.

So, this post is an announcement of the migration of this blog away from Blogger and to my website. I am planning to try the transfer on Friday, so I don't know what the status of this blog will be from Friday on. In essence, I am not sure if when I migrate the contents over it will still remain here too (I hope it does) or how difficult the migration will be.

I would certainly appreciate it if anyone who reads this regularly could hang on over the inevitable bump or two with the migration, and look for new posts on my website, hopefully just by clicking the blog tab on my site navigation bar. It may take a few days to sort out how to get Feedburner going again etc, but I am also hoping the almost 1100 subscribers here will be interested in resubscribing at my new location.

I hope things go smoothly and that my next post topic can be back to some pictures and a discussion of photographic subjects!!!!

Thanks.

Gone Live

I have posted a few times in the past month or two about my plans to code a new website using Dreamweaver, and my reasons for doing so. Though my original self-imposed deadline was April, I have managed to already complete enough of the project to put the site up.....IT'S LIVE! And it is HERE at www.howardgrill.com

Well, it isn't totally 100% the way I would like it to be yet, but it is well along. I do have several more articles from my old site to convert to .pdf format and post. In addition, one of the big things I have left to do is to get this blog integrated into the website either by a) integrating the current Blogger structure into the new site with a subdomain or b) ditching Blogger and going with WordPress, which is apparently far easier to integrate into a website and has a function that allows you to migrate old Blogger posts into the new Wordpress site (yikes, 4 years worth of posts....will that really work correctly and without a hitch?), though doing that apparently leads to a loss of Google ranking and SEO gains that have occurred over the years.

Anytime one undertakes a project such as this, there is a huge amount of consideration given to the viewer experience. However, it is sometimes easy to be surprised at the fact that viewers don't necessarily agree with your opinion, and in the end it is only the viewer/visitors opinion that counts. People with different backgrounds and interests will surely have different ways of looking at a site.

With that in mind I would like to invite any readers over to my new site to have a look. It would REALLY be appreciated if you could make helpful and constructive comments about it on the blog or e-mail me directly. Nice comments are good but constructive criticism is even better.

Some of the questions I had in mind were:

1)Is the navigation bar and site navigation in general easy and intuitive?

2) Are the images to big to comfortably view/enjoy?

3) Does the color scheme seem too bland or does it need to be spiced up in some way?

4) Are the gallery slideshows taking too long to load and are they of a good size for viewing? Are the instructions for the slideshow buttons clear? Is using and viewing the slideshows intuitive?

5) I put a fair amount of effort into making "Story Behind The Image" pages for each image that viewers can get to by clicking on any picture in the slideshow. Once one of these "Story" pages are pulled up, you can either return to the slideshow or navigate the gallery from these pages. Is that clear from the website? Are these pages easy to get to? Are the "Story" pages worthwhile?

6) Given that a webmaster, graphics non-professional (me) coded it, does the site have a generally professional feel to it.....or does it scream amateur? (I still have the old site available if folks feel the current site is lacking).

7) Any comments or experiences to relay on achieving blog integration within a website?

I know I still have some further proofing to do for spelling etc, but I did want to get it up live and get some feedback. I am hoping it will be a good starting point to function as a site that I can personalize and grow, with continued new offerings, artwork, articles, media etc

While you are there, if you have an interest in signing up for the Newsletter I am planning for two or three times a year you can sign up from the site directly at this page.

As an aside, when one is ready to make a website live there is always the question of what company should host it. After some research, I chose HostGator and couldn't be happier thus far. Their tech support has been superlative with rapid and knowledgeable responses that helped me both get the site up properly and also get my contact and newsletter forms working correctly (getting website forms to function correctly can sometimes be a bit tricky!)

Looking For An Opinion

As people who read this blog may know from my prior posts, I have undertaken the rather hefty project of designing my own website rather than continuing to use my current on-line template model where I simply upload my images to a service.

I am currently deep into the project, which seems to be moving along at a faster pace than I thought it would (my self imposed deadline for going live is April).

I want to make the site a springboard that I can use to offer many types of media going forward, such as pdf format articles, e-books, maybe some video etc, but am also trying to figure out ways to make the traditional presentation of images more interesting. In this regard, I am looking for opinions and was hoping some blog readers might offer up theirs.

I am going to be presenting my portfolios/images in slideshow format with a full screen option as well as the option to choose individual slides rather than just let them play.

What I was considering was an option whereby clicking on a slideshow image would bring the viewer to a page with a large version of the image at the top as well as text describing the "Story Behind The Image", which could include items such as the location as well as the specifics about the situation that was occurring when I took the image such as what attracted me to the image, how difficult it was to access the site, what it was like to be there and the like.

Do you think this type of information helps establish a 'dialogue' with the viewer and allows them to become more involved with the image or is it simply personal information ("I did this or that") that a viewer would really not be all that interested in?

Opinions would really help me out......my inclination is that it would make the site a bit more different, but it would take extra work that I am willing to put in if it is a feature that viewers would be interested in as opposed to personal narrative that no one really cares about?

If you care to offer an opinion on this simply put it in the comment section or feel free to e-mail me directly.

Website Planning

It goes without saying that a photographer needs a website to share his or her work with the world. Many years ago, I had coded a website using a program called Namo Web Editor. It was, in my opinion, a reasonable site for that era but was a bit difficult to update and I found myself not adding to it as much as I would have liked.

Some years later, I purchased a template for an artist's website with plans to build my site based on that template. However, I found that the template contained so many options that I was going into the code to eliminate or change these options and that I was likewise changing code to allow more images to be posted to the galleries. The exercise became frustrating and I abandoned it.

I ended up moving my website over to Visual Server with one of their online artist's templates, forcing my vision into their options. This has served reasonably well, but I still find myself wanting more from a website and have been thinking about building my own, from scratch, by learning how to use Dreamweaver.

I know that, given time limitations, it might take awhile to complete the project and thought that I would, intermittently, write some posts about the process. My initial step is to think carefully about what I want out of a website and what is not being provided by my current host, while trying to incorporate 'best practices' for a new site.

Here are some of the thoughts that I had regarding the 'big picture' planning of the site:

1) First and foremost, I believe it is important to keep it simple and clean looking. Flashy with lots of bells and whistles might be useful for some type of sites, but I believe that for a photo site the images, and not the platter on which they are served up, should be what speak . Additionally, a lot of fancy add-ons don't necessarily function well on all platforms.

2) Easy navigation. I dislike when I get to some sites and I can't figure out what to do next.

3) Set it up so that it will look good on multiple platforms and screen resolutions, to the extent that this is possible.

4) Able to be easily updated.

5) Because of the frequency and consistency of my blog posting, my blog has more visits and has higher Alexa rankings than my website. I would like to be able to integrate my blog into my website. I am not certain if this is still easier to do with WordPress than Blogger, though I know this used to be the case.

6) Have the ability to make PDF files available for download.

7) Have the ability to add on audio and video files should I wish to make these available in the future.

8) I believe that telling 'the story' behind the photograph helps viewers to become involved with an image and would like to have an opportunity to present 'the stories', in brief, along with the images.

This is likely going to be a slow moving and long term undertaking. I would certainly appreciate any comments, tips, ideas etc from those that have already worked through this type of website building project!

Unphotographable

We have all had occasions when we see what would make a great image but, unfortunately, don't have a camera. An image lost forever......but is it??

Michael David Murphy doesn’t think so. In fact, he has his own website devoted to images that he experienced but did not have the opportunity to photograph. In his own words, his website called “Unphotographable” is a ‘catalog of exceptional mistakes. Photos never taken that weren't meant to be forgotten. Opportunities missed. Simple failures. Occasions when I wished I'd taken the picture, or not forgotten the camera, or had been brave enough to click the shutter.’

With his incredible descriptions the image can be clearly seen in our mind if not on paper. Perhaps the image is not lost.

New Website

Though I had programmed my website on my own, and was generally pretty pleased with it, the site had the drawback of being difficult to update. An art site is not particularly helpful if it tends to stagnate and isn't updated with one's new work. To alleviate this problem, I had been working on programming a new site that would automate some functions, but this was taking far more time than I had planned. Not happy with how things were going, I decided that it would be more effective to use a 'hosted solution' to the problem. In short, I felt the best use of my limited time was not to spend it concentrating on website design.

After looking at various companies and their solutions to the problem, I decided to go with Visual Server. It doesn't have much in terms of fancy bells and whistles (though they seem to be making relatively frequent updates, the most recent of which includes an easy way to add a shopping cart to the site) but the templates are clean and easy to use. The template setup has also led me to think of my images in a more project oriented fashion. They put the focus of the site squarely on the artwork, which is where it should be. Though a bit on the pricy side, Visual Server is owned by Photo-Eye, so I also feel that at least I am supporting an art-centric organization.

My old URL (www.hgrillphotographic.com) redirects to the new site. However, people had a difficult time remembering that web address and so I now have a new domain. The new site can be found at http://www.howardgrill.com.

I made the site live as of about a week ago, and am still working on getting it just the way I want it. Not all my work is up yet, as I am still working on assembling the images into portfolios. Nonetheless, if anyone takes the opportunity to visit, I would love to hear what you think.

More TinEye Invites

I am going to interrupt the brief series on rock abstract images that I have been posting to mention that, since giving away the prior twenty TinEye pre-approved invitations, they have given me twenty more. See here for more information about TinEye and its new image search engine.

So if anyone wanted a TinEye invite but couldn't get one from the last batch, I have more. Just make a comment to this post with a name and e-mail address and I will send one on to you!

TinEye Invitations

The folks at TinEye apparently saw that I had put up a blog post about them. As a result, they gave me twenty pre-approved invitations to give out to join their beta website. I will send them to the first twenty people that respond to this post by making a comment that they want one. In the comment you can leave your e-mail address and name, or, if you would rather not do that, you can e-mail me with your name and e-mail address. I do, however, request that you put a comment in the blog first so that people will see when the twenty invites have been given away (twenty comments) and not continue to fill my in-box with requests long after the invitations are gone. Then again, perhaps I am overestimating what the popularity of the site will be.

Well, no matter. If twenty people are interested, just post a comment and let me know your e-mail address. If there are already twenty comments....well, that's it!

Photoshop Disasters

Deep down, we all love Photoshop. But, sometimes, things can go a bit awry. With photography that generally means that we have ended up in the trap of oversaturation or poor contrast. In the field of graphic design things can get worse......much worse!

How much worse and how often? Turns out quite frequently. And not only work by amateurs....as you will see many of these bloopers are in ads put out by very large corporations. The errors, sometimes small, sometimes big, and very frequently funny have a place where they go for all to see and that place is a blog called Photoshop Disasters.

Check it out here and know that others have erred far worse than you!

Find Your Images On-Line

Ever wonder if any of your images are online, be it pilfered from you or being used with permission. I ran across a very cool search engine which aspires to be the Google for images. You simply give it the URL of the image or, even easier, right click on any internet image after installing a Firefox plug-in and the site searches for the image, or even a portion of the image, in cyberspace.

Here is the link.

A few downsides:

1) At this point in time only a small fraction of the images 'out there' are cataloged and searched.....about 500 million of them.

2) It is still in beta.

3) To try to use it you need to apply for an invitation. The good news is that I got mine via e-mail in about 10 minutes.

4) It didn't find my images on various critique sites where I know they reside.

But within limits it does work. If you go to a microstock site, where images are meant to be purchased for use, and search on a popular image it will return hits where the image has been used, even when the image has been cropped down etc.

Try it for some of your own on-line images. You might be surprised what you find, for better or worse!

Stone Abstracts By Mark Graf

For the last month or two, fellow blogger and photographer Mark Graf has intermittently written in his blog about photographing rock samples, particularly Pietersite, as part of his 'Inspired By Stone' project. Ever since seeing the images he has posted as part of this project I have simply been mesmerized by them as well. I am equally amazed by the concept of how many beautiful compositions can be found within just a few square inches. Mark talks a bit about how he made the photographs here. I think I might have to give this a try myself.


Pietersite Macro
Copywrite Mark Graf
From His Blog "Notes From The Woods"

Have a look at his rock, shell, and wood abstract gallery here. The images are truly beautiful and open up a world that few take a close enough look at.

Photopreneur

I recently ran across an interesting photography blog with a different twist than most I have mentioned here. As opposed to being primarily art related, Photopreneur is a blog dedicated to discussing various ways that one's images can be used to produce income. Whether or not this is of primary interest, I find the blog well thought out and the articles interesting and full of good ideas. I thought it was worth sharing. I think having a peek at Photopreneur is worthwhile, and, who knows, it might give you some interesting ideas!

Mark Story: Living In Three Centuries

I recently ran across an amazing set of portraits by photographer Mark Story, taken as part of his project entitled "Living In Three Centuries: The Face Of Age". His project started as an effort to photograph people who, because of living extraordinarily hard lives, appeared worn and aged beyond their years. It ultimately morphed into photographing those who have lived during three centuries, the centenarians and 'super-centenarians', whose life has encompassed the end of the 1800's, the 1900's, and,now, the new millennium. I find it interesting that the original idea of photographing those that appear worn beyond their years ultimately turned into making portraits of those who have lived longer than most of us can hope to.

The portraits are haunting and extremely expressive. They are accompanied by fascinating text that tells the viewer a bit about the subject. Well worth having a look. Once you are there, I bet you stay awhile, as I found myself somewhat mesmerized going through the images and reading about each person.

Mark Story's website can be found here. It is worth taking time to read about the project before going right to the images.

By the way, "Motivation" was one year old yesterday. When I started this blog, I wasn't quite sure how long it would last or where it would take me. Now, 156 posts in and going strong, I am very glad that I undertook it and am particularly thankful for the opportunity to have 'met' a good number of people who have contacted me along the way. It has also served to 'motivate' me to continue my photographic journey. I hope you have found it of some use as well.

Louie Palu

One of the many reasons that I enjoy reading LensWork is that the magazine introduces me to photographers that I otherwise would be unaware of. At times this is because the photographer has not been widely published and at other times it may be because I simply have not been exposed to them, despite their having achieved recognition.

This month, I was particularly intrigued by the work of Louie Palu, who spent years on his project photographing coal miners in Canada. Every aspect of this project , from how he managed to get access to the mines themselves (pure persistence in the face of repeated resistance), to the dangers of being in the mine (which makes for a fascinating discussion in the LensWork interview), and the challenges of photographing in a dark and hostile environment (equipment literally blown up, dropped down shafts, makeshift lighting etc.) is truly fascinating. I couldn't stop reading the interview transcript and am looking forward to hearing more in LensWork Extended.

Finally, the images were absolutely superb! My description and opinion are meaningless compared to having a look for yourself. So here is a link to the portion of Mr. Palu's website that contains images from this project, which he entitles "Cage Call". But don't stop there, the rest of the projects and images on his site are wonderful as well.

The project turned into a book, which I plan to buy. Unfortunately, it currently seems to be unavailable at Amazon and I can't seem to find one for sale anywhere else either.

More Image Critique

I am writing this 'mini-post' because I know that many people don't necessarily have the time to read the comments that others have made. A few days ago, I wrote about "Image Critique", and recommended the monthly photo review available on Alain Briot's website. As a response to that post, Chris Sheppard pointed out that Craig Tanner of "The Radiant Vista" posts a daily image review entitled "The Daily Critique" , which is available in multiple formats. I have just started listening to some of these and, like Alain's reviews, they are also extremely worthwhile. I plan to to tune in to them regularly as well. Definitely worth a listen!

Image Critique

Despite the proliferation of social networking and photography related websites, I believe it remains difficult to get well thought out and constructive critiques of one's images. There are probably many reasons for this. Some that immediately come to mind include:

The time needed to critically evaluate and write up one's thoughts about an image.

The expertise and ability to critically evaluate an image beyond the basics.

The desire not to feel like you are insulting the creator of the image (ie, being nice).

And, unfortunately, there is, I suspect, a real issue with wanting to favorably critique an image in order to have the favor returned.

However, the fact is that in order to grow and progress as a photographer and artist one needs critical and constructive evaluations of their work. I would much rather have someone give me thoughtful and carefully considered negative feedback about an image than a quick 'great shot' comment. Certainly, after receiving such feedback I put much more thought and consideration into my own evaluation of the image, even if I had considered it 'done'. After all, how else can one improve?

Obviously, my writing about the issue here is not very likely to bring about any change, so why do so? For one thing, I do think that hearing another person's image well critiqued is also an extremely useful learning experience....which brings me to the main thrust of this post.

Alain Briot, whose workshop I have attended in the past, now has available on his website a monthly image review of a photograph that has been submitted to him. The first review was very recently made available. It is in Quick Time format and lasts about ten minutes. Moreover, in my mind, this is the epitome of what a helpful and constructive review can be. It may not be my image, but I can nonetheless learn from the review. A very worthwhile listen, indeed. I know I plan to check back frequently to hear what Alain has to say. To hear what Alain has to say just follow this link and then click on the blue link on the top of the page to access the review.