9 June 2009

Increasing web traffic to my site via SEO

I'm currently turning my attention to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for my website John Wood Photography . The site has been up and running for over a year and in that time has had quite a few updates to the content as things have progressed and new examples of my work have been produced.

I want to give the site a bit of an overhaul to focus more on the type of work I'm doing these days so a redesign (nothing too major) will hopefully be coming this way in the coming months. In the meantime I want to boost my presence in the search engine rankings. I'm currently in the no.1 spot on both Google and Yahoo when searching for 'John Wood Photography' which I'm really pleased about but I know that there's room for improvement. I want to get a boost up the rankings when people search for more general photography service terms.

Obviously the way to do this is to ensure that the site is being indexed correctly and most efficiently by the search engine crawlers. For that, SEO becomes critical - the combination of key words and descriptions is all important.

I'm making some inroads into this and reading up as much as I can. I've come across some really useful information and articles that I'm going to start to put into practice very soon. Hopefully it will start to pay off.

In the meantime, watch this space and when the site is revamped, you'll find out about it here.

7 June 2009

Water drop photography

After reading another great post on the Strobist blog the other week, I decided to have a go at the water drop photography technique that was shown. Cue Friday evening and the first chance I'd had to have a go at this so I cleared a space on the kitchen table, got myself a glass dish to catch the drips, set up my camera on the tripod, readied the flashes with coloured gels, put up a piece of plain white card behind the dish to use as the reflector and then set about creating a frame from which to hang my water dropping bag.

This latter part of the set up was to prove the most challenging but luckily I had an old support frame that I'd built for another photography project that would do the job just perfectly. Once that was in place, I was able to suspend a small plastic bag from a piece of string on a clamp right over the centre of the dish.

I added a couple of litres of water to the dish so that the water would have something to drop into and create the effect I was after. Then I was pretty much ready to go.

Using my D300's in built Creative Lighting System, I was able to control the speedlight flashes from the camera and vary their power as I wanted quickly and easily.

I put a small pin prick in the bag and then let the drops fall. I had to focus carefully on the point where the water was hitting the surface and then once that was set, start firing off shots.

As the drops are coming down so fast, you need to take quite a lot of shots to get the ones you are after. Guess that's another one of the joys of digital where you can instantly see whether you've managed to capture what your are trying to achieve or whether you need to keep trying to get that elusive shot.

I tried several different angles, coloured gels and positions and managed to get quite a few good shots of different drip formations. In the post processing I was able to tweak those that I really liked and make selective crops so I could show them off to their best. The final shots have been put up in my Still Life gallery on my flickr pages.

Have a look and let me know what you think.