Friday 18th July 2008

Stonehenge - one of a small number of places that both English Heritage and National Trust members can access for FREE.  See Stonehenge Location Guide.

Image taken with Nikon D300, with 18-200 VR lens at 18mm, ISO 320, 1/500th, F11

A different week

We add new features but also look at
reducing the cost of photography

If you are one of the 80 plus people a day who first visit this website then I should say that this weeks newsletter in far from typical. If its your first visit use the 'recent editions' button to get to see other editions and see what has been covered. As everything we cover is fully indexed in by a topic index, alphabetic index and most also within the county indexes, as well as some being within sections, you should be able to find things again when you want to. This means that we have a weekly newsletter but the system continues to grow with a number of pages, articles, location guides and more added every week. The system is a bit like an iceberg, you can see a part but more is in development with more being started and completed all the time, and the weekly newsletter and indexing then makes the information visible to you. We usually only show you pages that are of use rather than loads 'if in development' stuff.

We have been trying to alternate weeks with a 'theme week' looking at a particular topic one week and a general photography skills week the next, but this week we are instead turning our attention to how to undertake more photography while spending less money.

Undertake more photography while spending less money

We start with an article on how to go about setting yourself up on a budget, and if you already have your equipment then its still worth a look as you will probably be considering more items at some time or advising friends on their entry into digital photography.

This theme is continued by looking at what has an impact on your photography and the priorities, that if followed, will result in you making greater progress and getting better photographs. This is as relevant for those who have been taking photographs for some time as the new entrant.

Another article goes with this, looking at Local photography and the advantages of looking at the possibilities open to you in your own area. This is not just about the environment and saving costs but looks at the other advantages as well.

In addition to this we have an article, Cutting the Cost of Getting Your Photographs   that has connected to it, a large number of other articles, looking at how you can reduce or keep costs down when out taking photographs. Principally this is looking at reducing the entry costs and transport costs, but covers everything from free bus passes to all over 60's, to student and other discounts to membership of various organisations and the benefits this brings. It also looks at a number of special regional or local passes.

Passes and discounts only available to people visiting from outside the UK are explored, through to Tesco Deals - Days Out and other vouchers that can be obtained as part of their loyalty scheme. There are gems within these articles that will be new to you, and we have done all the research so you don't need to.

We showed you before how to cut drastically the cost of some rail travel, this week we are also looking at other aspects of reducing rail costs as well as coach and other costs.

Another article looks at reducing the cost of training, which in turn links to several other articles.

This bumper selection of articles we have today form the central part of a new section that you will find available within the reference section, called Controlling Costs. Concentrating on reducing or keeping down the costs associated with photography. Remember to let us know of any other way you can see how photographers could either reduce money to start or have lower running costs while out taking photographs.

Progress and New features

A few weeks ago now we added some routines to some pages that allowed us to get counts and information on people visiting this site, not by identifying individuals, but by analysing facts. For example is it the first visit or a return visit, how people got here such as by directly keying in the web address, from a search engine or a referring website. We know now the percentage of people using different browsers and a lot more.

One of the first things we spotted was that there are many different screen resolutions in use, so far 22 different ones have been spotted, and with some of these our crafted screens would not look good. We are slowly overcoming this by fixing the maximum page width, but this means modifying every page, which we have to do individually, while at the same time researching, writing and indexing in more. This week the whole of the Heritage locations section has been completed.

Another partly implemented feature we started adding some weeks back, is the index buttons at the top of nearly every individual page, allowing rapid entry to a number of points plus with some sections also section headers. Its also on the bottom of a few including this one. Besides helping those who regularly use this system it was also designed to help people who enter from a search engine and see pages initially without the banner at the top and contents down the side. This also allows others to add our pages to be visible in the frame sets of their websites.  When we set about this it was done by using merged information, allowing us to change it if we need to later. This week we have made a change across all the pages so far with top buttons, by adding an extra smart button that allows you to bookmark and share pages you find interesting. You can also, from the screen that pops up when you put a mouse over the button, send quick emails and more. Also to sections we have added some more buttons that allow you to bookmark and share links to these sections.

We have an article on Bookmarks and Social bookmarking looking at this generally as well as how we have implemented it within our system. So now its easier to tell others about any individual page or a section as well as bookmaking these pages for your own later interest. If this does not work for you, you may have to turn off the pop up blocker for this website. We don't and won't have any pop up advertisements so you don't need it implemented on this website. If you have a Google toolbar you may see a star flash when you click on a link, but nothing happen, this means pop up or link is blocked, click on the button on the Google toolbar that allows you to define this site as one that you accept can use pop ups. If you need to do this its probable you will only need to do it once, after this it should remember this, and not block pages again. If you don't have a problem then just ignore this.

Summary of Articles Included this week

Getting into photography need not be expensive 

Prioritizing your photography expenditure 

Cutting the Cost of Getting Your Photographs  

Local photography

Cutting the Cost of Training

Introduction to Training Vouchers

TV from Training Providers Perspective

Training Vouchers & Discount Blocks

Bookmarks and Social bookmarking

This not the complete list as there are approaching 30 added this week, most connect on from the articles above, but you can also reach most from the NEW section Controlling Costs.

Lists relating to Cutting the Cost of Getting your Photographs

Local Bus Pass Authorities

Coach Companies offering Days Out and Holidays 

Locations Guides Added This Week

With the bumper selection of articles this week we have had time only to add a few Quick Guides, all of these are places that take Tesco Clubcard Deal vouchers as well as cash of course.

Adventure Island, Southend on Sea, Essex

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Althorp, Northamptonshire  

Alton Towers Resort, Staffordshire

Amazon World Zoo Park, Isle of Wight

Amazonia Strathclyde Country Park, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Animal Farm Adventure Park, Somerset

Barley Hall York

Belleek Pottery, Co Fermanagh Northern Ireland

Birdworld, Farnham, Surrey

Brean Leisure Park, Somerset


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