Saturday, February 22, 2014

Keeping Busy to Improve my Blog

Saturday, February 22, 2014
   (Sunny, windy, and warmer-Finally!)

Keeping Busy to Improve my Blog

    Blogging is not always easy or motivating.  You can have problems with "referrer spammers", those parasites who can  bombard your website pages with hundreds of visits. They are "supposedly" harmless, but they are annoying, and make my enthusiasm wane when I see that I 've had 500 pageviews in 1 day, but 150 from one of theses referrer spammers. The second factor is motivation. It's hard to be motivated when you start out and nobody in the blog world or in the world knows that you have a fine blog (please excuse my bragging), and you receive 10 visits in 1 day. But I stick it out, and try to motivate myself. I have seen blogs with similar titles who have not posted since 2010, or people on Facebook who have great names using words in their title such as  toys and antiques, and when you visit, there's nothing there.

    Initially, I bought and sold toys so that I could write and photograph my own toys. Later, about 1 1/2 years ago, I decided to temporarily stops and ask people if I might use their photos. I have not yet returned to buying and selling. I have been able to write about  fantastic,interesting, rare, and of course very expensive toys,that I could never afford to purchase, and that has motivated me for sure.

   If you've looked at my recent posts, I decided (with permission of my "benefactors"), to use photo-editing software to make the toys and photos more interesting. For today, I'm presenting a short post with 1 toy, and some of the variations that I have been doing lately. When I first started to blog, I would screen-capture a toy image and present it "as is", without any modification. Later, I added a copyright notice, and a description, and later still a watermark. The reason for the notice and watermark is to inform and deter people from using images without the permission of their owners. Of course, this takes lots of additional time, but I hope that  this additional work that I do helps new people who help me out be drawn  to my blog.

  I decided to use a nice Arcade car iron toy from the Lloyd Ralston Gallery for today's presentation.
The Gallery is now owned and operated by Mr. Ralston's 2 sons, who are fine auctioneers, and pof course people, whom I've had to pleasure to work with.  And of course, they have great toys, and take great photos.  That's a precursor to my asking people if I might use their photos. I need larger-sized images, that have very-good quality  photography. By that I include, focus, accurate colour, detail in the bright and dark areas (highlights and shadows),  and if possible many different views of the toy. The reason for these criteria is that one can only improve an image so much with a photo-editing software.

The image above is straightforward from the Lloyd Ralston Gallery website.

Recently, I've noticed that the auctioneers are also  making changes to improve their business. In the case of the Lloyd Ralston Gallery, I noticed that their images are larger. So when you enlarge an image, you can see much better detail

What I started to do is remove some of the background. I personally find, that presenting a toy or any other merchandise against white focusses more on the toy. 

Sometimes, I'll present the toy totally against white. 

Lately, I've gone one step further. I've added some brighter areas called highlight in photography. These are more attraction to an image, and if you add the highlights to certain features of the toy,the viewer can see the toy much better.

I've added a note in some posts so that viewers' will not misinterpret the highlights for defects in the paint job. This was especially true for a recent post of an exceptional craftsperson who restored 80-90 year old toys. I wrote the note so that people wouldn't think the newly-resttored toys were badly repainted! 

In any event, doing all this "extra work", really isn'y burdensome for me. I've learned Photoshop, much more, and I'm having fun bringing out the beauty of these wonderful toys from a bygone era.

Thanks for dropping by, 
and have a great part of the day, 
wherever you may be.
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