Brian's Photo Blog — Article 342
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Four New Conglomerate 'Super-Albums'
Monday 30 June 2014   —   Category: Shooting

Way back in November 2011, when I first started winning photo competition awards at the local camera club, I made my first “virtual, conglomerate super-album” — called *AWARD WINNERS* — which collected all 69 of my award-winning photos from all of the other photos albums, and gathered them into one place. It wasn’t an album of new photos, but simply a way of organizing and displaying existing photos.

About six months later I created my second super-album — called *MOST POPULAR* — which, as the album name indicates, gathers together in one virtual album the 50 most popular photos across all of my other photo albums. Because I keep track of how many times each picture is viewed, as visitors to this Web site view various photos, the contents of this album are constantly and automatically updated to reflect the latest statistics.

For the next two years I did not create any more super-albums. But then just a couple of months ago, in April 2014, I had the idea to make my first conglomerate album based upon a particular location or subject. As I explained in New Photo Albums Spring Forth, I didn’t like the fact that I had small numbers of photos taken at Finley National Wildlife Refuge scattered across four different albums from four different years. So I made the Finley Refuge (All Years) super-album, which gathers the 69 pictures from all four albums (and any future albums) into a single conglomerate album — to solve this problem.

Once I started to see the benefit of super-albums for organizing and presenting my ever-increasing collection of online photos, I began to get ideas for other super-albums. In this article I want to tell you about the latest FOUR I have created:
Silver Falls
During the past eight years I have made four photo outings, at various times of the year, to the nearby jewel of the Oregon State Park system: Silver Falls — October 2006, July 2008, May 2009, and most recently, June 2012. So after taking pictures at Silver Falls on four different outings, I've ended up with three separate albums with a total of 114 photos, which can make it hard to get the big picture (sorry!). Therefore, I've created the Silver Falls (All Years) album which collects all of the photos from all of the Silver Falls albums, and presents them a single, complete, conglomerate “super-album.”
Columbia Gorge
Because it extends across 80 miles of greatly-varied terrain, it’s not really possible to visit just one isolated place and say that you've seen the Columbia River Gorge. There is so much to see that you could spend weeks or even months exploring it completely. Since 2007 I have made four photo outings to different parts of the Columbia River Gorge, plus a couple of stops on my way up or down U.S. Route 97. The resulting pictures are scattered across four complete albums and parts of two other albums. Here, for the first time, all of the photos I took on these outings are gathered into the Columbia Gorge (All Years) super-album — a total of 131 images which will give you glimpses at the varied beauty of the Colombia River Gorge region.
Square Images
When processing a photo, one technique to improve the image is to utilize cropping. Sometimes there are areas of the photo which are distracting and need to be cut out. In other instances, the shape of the subject is better presented by changing the aspect ratio of the photo. Over the years, I have found that the 1:1 — otherwise known as square — aspect ratio can be very appealing. I thought that it could be fun to gather all of those square photos into one place. Thus the Square Images (All Years) album was born, launching with an initial 59 pictures of a wide variety of subjects. As I create more square photos in the future, they will automatically appear in this album. Fortunately, when it comes to photography, it’s not square to be square!
Pacific Waterfalls
During the past eight years I have taken photographs of dozens and dozens of waterfalls around Oregon, as well as a handful in both California and Washington. These photos are scattered throughout the 133 albums (as of this writing) on this Web site — from my first album, Silver Falls 2006, up through my most recent album, Alsea & Green Peak Falls 2014. As with the other conglomerations I have already mentioned above, it seemed nice to have a picture of each of these 58 waterfalls gathered together into a single collection. Of course, I have taken a lot more than 58 waterfall pictures, but for the Pacific Waterfalls (All Years) album each waterfall is presented only once. To see other photos of the same waterfall, you can click on the link to the original album which is included at the end of each photo caption. Whenever possible, for each waterfall I have included a link to the corresponding page on the Northwest Waterfall Survey Web site. In their database, they have cataloged 2341 waterfalls in Washington, 1257 in Oregon and 230 in Idaho. Obviously my paltry 58 barely scratches the surface, but I think you will still find my photos, information and links to be worthwhile. Enjoy!
A new feature I added to this Web site while putting together the Pacific Waterfalls album is captions for the thumbnail photos displayed on an album’s Contact Sheet page. Because all waterfalls look similar — they are all pictures of water falling down over rocks! — I realized that the Contact Sheet preview images really needed captions so that each waterfall would be identifiable without having to click on each photo in order to read its regular caption. And for the first time, I have sorted the photos in the Pacific Waterfalls album alphabetically by their thumbnail captions rather than chronologically as in almost all of the other albums.

Once I added the thumbnail captions, I then realized that it might be nice to have the option to turn them off! Therefore, on any Contact Sheet where there is at least one photo with a thumbnail caption, there is a new link near the top of the page, towards the right, labelled “captions off.” Click on that to turn the captions off, and then the link becomes “captions on.” If this link does not appear, it means that there are no photos in that album which have thumbnail captions.

As of right now, the only pictures which have thumbnail captions are the 58 photos which appear in the Pacific Waterfalls super-album. In the future I may go back and add such captions to other photos. But with nearly 4,000 pictures on this Web site, I’m not sure how realistic that project is.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 342
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