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Photoblog Slideshow beta

When I switched mere cat to Movable Type in February, 2006, I had everything ready to go except the photo section. Today, over a year later, I still haven’t converted it. And you know, not one person has mentioned it. Ah, the joys of obscurity!

The main reason for the delay was that I wanted to change some things. In 2002, I started a Picture-A-Week project and tried in vain each year to post one decent picture a week. By 2006 I had given up and decided I should really adopt the photoblog model and post a picture whenever I felt like it. Of course, I wanted to roll my own presentation instead of using Flickr (or whatever) where you can just upload your pictures and be done with it. I mean, where’s the fun in that?

I had always admired those fancy slide shows (usually done in Flash) with crossfades and other sporty effects, but wanted to try something similar that didn’t require Flash and would still work somehow without JavaScript (or even CSS). There are a number of ways to do this, but what I ended up doing was begin with a set of XHTML pages, one for each picture, designed to look halfway decent without CSS. Without JavaScript enabled, you navigate either by clicking conventional “previous/next” text links or by clicking the left or right half of the picture. If JavaScript is enabled, however, brace yourself for some dazzling special effects. Kidding!

The previous/next text links work the same, but hovering over the picture dims the image slightly and fades in the navigation direction. Clicking the picture crossfades to the next image and uses the magic of Ajax to load the image without reloading the page.

I’m calling this a beta for a number of reasons. For one, comments are not enabled until I can find a way to safely process them—an innocent ampersand in a comment could crash the whole thing. Also it doesn’t work reliably in Internet Explorer 6, and I cannot for the life of me fix it. If you get some sort of loading error in IE6 when clicking an image, try clicking the previous/next links at the top of the page; that seems to clear it up. You won’t get the crossfade, but at least you can see the pictures. I haven’t tested it in IE7, but it should work in every other modern browser. Please let me know if it doesn’t!

The first pictures I’ve posted are some from a trip the Philly Photobloggers took to Jim Thorpe, PA for St. Patrick’s Day on March 11. Believe me, this town knows how to party. Kathleen Connally organized the trip and Jorj Bauer and I were the only photobloggers who could make it. (Kathleen posted her shots in March and Jorj’s start here.) My series starts here. It’ll do for now. I’m taking a break from coding to work on processing some more pictures. Imagine that.


What a cool slideshow! Why is it that pictures always look so wonderful in black and white? (Do not take this to say that I think your images would look bad in color).

Marisa, thanks, but I have a roomful of negatives to prove that pictures don't always look wonderful in black and white. :-) I agree that B&W does have its charms, especially when you throw out 90% of them. I feel more confident shooting in B&W because of my colorblindness, and there were only a few shots where I miss having color.

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