So here’s the part where I whine a bit about the process of building yesterday’s entry. I shall do this by delineating for you the steps involved in creating your own photoblog, the old-fashioned way:
1. Take random pictures of your cats, in order to finish the roll of film that’s been lingering around the house for a month or so.
2. Take that roll of film, along with six others dating back as far as Christmas 2002,* to your friendly neighborhood drugstore for processing.
3. Request single prints and photo CDs. Get told, incorrectly, that it will actually be cheaper to get double prints and photo CDs. Fail to see the overhead price list which would have given you the correct information.
4. Agree to return at 2 pm the next day to pick up the results.
5. Return at 3.30 pm, just to be safe, and still find yourself standing around for forty minutes waiting for the last roll to be finished.
6. Discover, upon paying for the prints, that prints is all you’ve got on six of seven rolls; fortunately, the last one does have the CD with it, and it’s the one you most want. Request a second time the photo CDs for the other six rolls, and graciously accept a ten percent discount on those CDs.
7. Take the prints and CD home; pop the CD in the iMac; import the images into iPhoto.
8. Export the images you want to use as JPEGs. Find yourself a bit taken aback by their initial size.
9. Fire up GraphicConverter and scale, crop, scale, crop, and scale. Save reasonably-sized images and appropriate thumbnails.
10. Upload images and thumbnails.
12. Create your entry, complete with inline thumbnails and pop-up images.
13. Tinker with your CSS for three hours trying to work out the kinks.
The good news is that two of the last three steps will not be necessary in future iterations. But the process is still a good six steps too long.
Not to mention that the cost of the prints and CDs would have gotten me a good quarter of the way to a decent digital camera.
So, at last: as both a cost-cutting and a time-saving measure, I must go digital. I’ve resisted for years, only because prices kept coming down and pixels kept going up so fast that I never found the right moment to take the plunge. (Also because I’m stubborn: I think I bought the last 35mm point-and-shoot sold in the U.S., and I was determined to use it.)
What I need now is advice. I want to maximize pixellage, storage, and ease-of-use, and minimize cost and aggravation. What do you have? How do you like it? What do you covet? Why?
*This is not an exaggeration, and is indeed the reason why I should never have been allowed near a film-based camera. But I got to spend last night reliving happy memories of 2003’s trips to Amsterdam, Prague, and London, and to see evidence that I really did lose 20 pounds last year.