It’s that time of year again!
Links (and not sausage links)
Regarding SEO, one of the important actions to work on is building quality links between your site and others. Obviously this takes time, and resorting to a “link farm” – companies that readily provide your website with 100s or 1000s of links – is not the way to go. Google will penalize you and you’ll wind up in the “phantom zone” (reference to Superman, for all the fans out there). My main website – RJGreen Photo – has built up a bunch of links. Photographers, many from England, have found my site requesting reciprocal links. (That is, I link to them and they link to me.) On my link pages I offer the option to any photographer wishing to do so, offering my code to input into their websites. While I’m small potatoes compared to the big guys I’m apparently attracting enough attention that non-photographers/photography websites want me to link to them. No, I haven’t received any from adult sites, but I have gotten them from marriage counselors.
I like to keep a check on my “link popularity” by using SEO websites to check my stats. Recently Google changed something with their search algorithm and my stats took a nose dive. Down into the single digits. I checked other websites whose stats I knew were excellent and they also nosed dived so I knew it wasn’t me, but all of my known links have disappeared. One way to check them is to google – links:yourdomain.com. I used to have pages of them. Not any more. Even my best quality links from ASMP are gone.
I know that Google does this periodically to weed out the scammers, but this one was the biggest drop for me. I hope everything rebounds soon.
The image above is how I feel.
Onward to New York City!
Every year at this time I like to head to New York City for photos, fun and food. I shoot for stock photography, never sure what I’ll get other than the standard images, but am always looking for some inspiration. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t. Let’s see about today.
Dover Castle, Dover, England
Dover Castle is on the south coast of England on the English Channel.
I wish I were king 500 years ago so I could behead somebody.
It’s that time of year again!
A two family apartment house in Paterson in the 1970’s. It is abandoned because a highway was scheduled to be built through this area and the local inhabitants had to move. – the law of Eminent Domain. I know this because I was one of them. The highway was never built, the house was torn down and the area was cleaned up.
What Really Matters…..
What really matters to me is my family. Not my job as a photographer but my son, daughter and wife. I was reminded of that fact a little over a week ago when my wife had a very close call. She was headed to work and just a few blocks from her job the car she was driving wasn’t accelerating properly. There was a bang under the car and a fire started. She pulled over, got out, dialed 911, the fire engines quickly arrived and the fire was contained. Afterwards a fireman determined that the cause was the catalytic converter. It had ruptured causing the fuel line to break with gasoline spilling out. Then the fireman told my wife, “You were very, very lucky that the car wasn’t engulfed in flames while you were still in it. You were very, very lucky.” My wife was naturally in shock to hear that, but I think that I was upset more than she. Almost, in a split second, my life would have changed and I would have lost my best friend. And the manner of that lost was too grisly to think about. Recently I watched a movie “The Captains”. It was a documentary about the actors who played “The Captains” on the various Star Trek shows. (I am a fan.) And one comment by Patrick Stewart resonated with how different he and I are. I respect him as a actor but “acting” is more important to him than family and he stated that fact. I understand the need and desire to work at a job/career that brings more than just financial well-being, but also emotional and psychological satisfaction too. But how does that compare to losing the most important members of your family? At least, they should be the most important people in your life. Well, anyway, for once I’m being hit with an unplanned expensive bill (new car) and I’m not complaining. I almost had a far bigger lost. Happy Thanksgiving.
The image above was taken in Dec. 1980. It is my favorite photo of her.
Sunrise over New York City
Photo was taken before leaving for London.
ComicCon 2011 NYC
It’s this weekend. Tomorrow I go. The photo is from ComicCon 2010.
On August 20th I posted a short video on my blog about my vacation trip to England. Now on my Lifestyle website I have posted a gallery of images from my trip. We flew into and out of London with 3 day trips outside of the city. Our first destination was to Dover to see the castle. The photograph of the cruise ship (you’re probably thinking “what does that have to do with England?) was taken looking out from the castle onto the English Channel. Barely visible in the background is France. The next day we went to Bath. It was a return trip for my wife and I, having visited it in 1984. It’s a beautiful city with ancient Roman ruins and an amazing street performer (photo included in gallery and a short clip in the video). Our last trip was to Brighton also on the English Channel, and which was another return trip for us. When we were there in October 1985 the swimming season had ended. Not for this visit however, as evidenced by a few images in my gallery.
The image above was, of course, taken at the Beatles Abbey Road spot. Back in 1985 we also visited Abbey Road and took a similar photo but we were the only ones there. Also, we were at the wrong corner at the time and nice elderly lady pointed us to the right corner. Well, things have changed. The spot is very busy with plenty of tourists wanting to take their Beatles shot. And the front wall to EMI studios is covered in Beatles graffiti – names of songs, I love the Beatles, Miss you George, etc. And yes, I wrote on the wall too.
One comment concerning photo #19 in the gallery – I was walking along shooting photos and, without realizing it at the time, captured this shot of a man on his phone, in front of a store display that happened to have the phrase “OMG” in a cartoon balloon right next to the man’s head. Wow.
Just in case you have a problem, here’s a website that might be able to help – Camera Stolen. A photographer on APAnet/Yahoo Group wrote about a photographer getting all of his equipment back using this service. If you’re a member of the group, you can read about it here. If you’re not, you can always join.
My First Hurricane
While I’m in the path of Hurricane Irene, luckily I’m far enough west – about 50 miles from NYC – that it’ll probably just be a tropical storm in my area. My neighborhood is not a flood zone and my house sits on an incline so water runs away, but I still cleaned up my yard and tied everything down on my deck, just in case. And there’s always the possibility of a tree falling on my house. Yikes! It’s a surreal moment to prepare for a hurricane. I’ve never done it. I wish I had a waterproof video camera so I could go outside, play weatherman and look like I’m about to be blown away. Why do those knuckleheads do that?
Well, it’s about 24 hours to the big show!
The American West
One of the most beautiful places in our country – Monument Valley.
Planet of the Apes
For me seeing the new apes movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, was not a choice but an obligation. When the original Planet of the Apes film with Charlton Heston premiered in 1968 I was around 14 years old. I sat in the Plaza Theater in Paterson, NJ and was transported to a world that held me by my heart and soul. I had chills when the character “Taylor” played by Mr. Heston uttered the words, “Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.” And those chills were intensified with the ending of the movie – seeing the remains of the Statue of Liberty on the sandy beach. It’s an iconic moment in American film history. I walked out of the theater in a daze. To this day, I do not remember if I saw the film with anyone else. That movie cemented a relationship with the soon-to-be-made franchise. I bought a hardcover of the original novel written by French author Pierre Boulle, also author of The Bridge over the River Kwai. For a 14 year old to purchase a hardcover of a book displays the respect I had for the material. The novel was different than the movie, but it was just as perfect.
After the original film premiered I was first on line for everything that followed – Beneath the Planet…., Escape from the Planet…., Conquest of the Planet…., and finally Battle for the Planet….. Nothing equaled the original, but the movies were entertaining. Sometime in the 1970s a close friend and myself sat through a marathon of the 5 films at the Plaza theater. A bland TV followed in 1974, comic books (not interested) and the Tim Burton remake in 2001. I’d lump Burton’s remake with the sequels, entertaining but nothing special.
I don’t remember the year, but sometime between 2000 and 2009 the original Planet of the Apes film was playing at the Lafayette theater in Suffern, NY. The theater had a sci-fi movie weekend with the Heston movie being one of the films shown. Also present at the showing was Linda Harrison, aka “Nova”. It was a fan’s dream to see and hear Ms. Harrison reminisce about the making of the movie.
Back to the new film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It was entertaining, more so than some of the other sequels. There were plenty of references to the original – some subtle, some not. I don’t remember the reason given in Conquest of the Planet for the rise of the apes intelligence, been a long time since I’ve seen it, but the logic in the new movie was very good, in my opinion. My only real qualm was the ending of the movie. It contradicts the original story, how the apes became the dominant species, and I didn’t see any real reason to change it.
Regarding the photo above – that’s my wife and I. It has nothing to do with the apes movies. I also love comedy and the Three Stooges, and as any student of film comedy will say, gorilla costumes are part of that history. I thought that it was time me for to be a stooge.
Early morning fog. One of these days I’ll get lucky and the wolfman will come out of the shadows.
An early sighting of Captain America, before the muscles and the shield.
Wish I Were Here…..
It’s a heat wave and time for the shore.
Happy Birthday to my Son
Life is wonderful with him.
I haven’t gone on a good hike in a long time.
The Space Shuttle
Today is the final mission of NASA’s Space Shuttle program and there is no replacement. There are plans for future missions, space vehicles and the like, but I’m not feeling confident. We can’t get our debt in order or have a serious energy policy or start creating new jobs (the ending of the Shuttle program is costing even more job loss – both in government and the private sector), and on and on. I don’t live in a fantasy world. There have always been and will always be problems/challenges to solve. But when you are the leader in the world in space technology and exploration why would you want to acquiesce that role? For, at least, the next 5 years the Russians will be taking our astronauts to the space station. Wow. Will we have another “Sputnik Moment” when the Chinese threaten to push us into 2nd place in space exploration? I hope so. Our elected leaders, both liberals and conservatives, preach that we are “The Greatest Nation in the World”. Being “Great” means to achieve and we’re not achieving much except agreeing to take a back seat to the future.
Uploaded some new images to my Lifestyle and People Photography website. The image above is in the “Music” gallery.
On Being An American on the 4th of July
Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Britain, said it best in his memoir:
“A friend of mine whose parents were immigrants, Jews from Europe who came to America in search of safety, told me this story. His parents lived and worked in New York. They were not well off. His father died when he was young. His mother lived on, and in time my friend succeeded and became wealthy. He often used to offer his mother the chance to travel outside America. She never did. When eventually she died, they went back to recover the safety box where she kept her jewelry. They found there was another box. There was no key. So they had to drill it open. They wondered what precious jewel must be in it. They lifted the lid. There was wrapping and more wrapping and finally an envelope. Intrigued, they opened it. In the envelope were her U.S. citizenship papers. Nothing more. That was the jewel, more precious to her than any other possession. That was what she treasured most.”
Happy 4th of July.
Time for Breakfast!
Now, don’t you just want some pancakes with a side order of bacon and eggs?! I know I do. And, please, don’t forget the coffee.