Friday, May 3, 2013

How To Create A Good Wildlife Blog

Please accept foremost that I am very humble and am never satisfied with what you see in this blog. Be sure to at least consider the following . . .

The mating Bald Eagle behavior above was photographed at Lovers Key State Park at Big Carlos Pass in November 2012. (Exhibit One)

Presenting a blog is fun. For me, I consider it a way to document what is going on in my world outside of work. Many hours are devoted to the blog each week while I am grateful to Blogger as host of the Blog for making the experience easy to accomplish.

My recommendations to you if you are considering creating a blog or enhancing one are as follows with commentary about the images chosen at the end of the article.

The Lesser Scaup above was photographed at Six Mile Cypress Lake in February 2013. (Exhibit Two)

#1 THE INCEPTION -- Plan, plan again, and plan some more. Know what it is that you want to do the the minutest detail. My recent articles are created while enclosing images as I am writing text to accompany the article. I like order and will attempt to have the text spread hopefully equally among the images. In my most recent article I was not pleased with the layout considering my knowledge of landscape design. The thought that plant or tree groupings should be in odd numbers like 3, 5, and 7 was not met by having four images between the text. That's getting picky isn't it? This is my 213th blog article and like I noted earlier, I am never satisfied.

#2 THE TRUST -- Frequently save your work. Blogger has an auto save feature. Don't trust it. Never close your browser's page without copying it by pressing and holding the left button of your mouse while hovering over what you want to save. Once you do that, right click the mouse and choose copy over the highlighted area. This process was required in the creation of this article as I had opened multiple "windows" of my blog and apparently closed the wrong one where text written (and auto saved) was lost. I was able to duplicate (place your cursor where you want copied text to begin, right click the mouse and choose paste). Pay attention to warnings. Always be sure you want to close the window. Be absolutely sure. I only have limited experience with an Apple II in my youth. I don't know if the latest Apple computers (Macs) will negate this problem. Never plagiarize the work of others, even if mistakenly.

The White-crowned Sparrow above was photographed at Paines Prairie Preserve State Park in February 2013. (Exhibit Three)

#3 THE VISUAL -- When I visit another wildlife blog I am immediately captivated by an image if it is available to view. If I am pressed for time the images may be all that I experience on my visit to the blog. Images are incredibly important to captivate an audience and should be at their best when possible. Aside from my recommendation that the image be processed in whatever photo editing tool available, enhanced especially with sharpening typically, the image should be presented at a larger size. The larger the better. I think it an annoyance when the image must be pressed on to get the larger version. Avoid this by presenting images as large as you feel comfortable for the quality of the image. Never present images that are close to the size of a postage stamp.

#4 THE SUBJECT -- In the observation of wildlife there is care that should be taken to minimize disturbance of it. You should get as close as possible to your subject while using the Code of Birding Ethics when observing aves in particular. In wildlife observation remember not to be overly focused on one subject. Think of the possibilities that may otherwise be missed. I visited a few websites to provide concise details of ethics information which are best followed. A good link to birding ethics may be found here. They are a good summary without you potentially thinking that the rules on other websites are impossible to follow or may seem extreme.

The Eurasian Wigeon with Mottled Duck above was photographed at Del Prado Linear Park in March 2013. (Exhibit Four)

#5 THE VISUAL FURTHER -- The width of the blog is controllable. This is important to not have your images exceed where they are placed (into the margin). When an image is uploaded to Blogger it includes the code /s320. This snippet of code can be changed to whatever you want the width and height you want the image to appear in your blog to allow for the enlarged image to ideally represent the size where you have made your final sharpening. While there are many templates to choose from, you may modify them or create your own.

#6 THE TEXT -- Write of your observations like you are telling a story. I occasionally see a tallied list of wildlife seen which is interesting. Be sure to spell check your effort before publication. Write like you are telling a story or speaking to a friend.

The Crested Caracara above was photographed at Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area in April 2013. (Exhibit Five)

#7 THE FOREST -- The end result, or seeing the forest through the trees, includes all that which is offered in your blog. There are plenty of useful gadgets available to add interest to it. If you have the time, interact with fellow wildlife bloggers to learn more or don't hesitate to ask a question you may have here and I will attempt to answer it if I can.

The Exhibits: Image One represents an image I don't like to present for its portrait format foremost. It required a larger than normally presented image to keep its width true to the blog. Image Two represents an image size by default uploaded to Blogger at 320 pixels on the long side. This image size is what I might consider unacceptable to you and refer to a postage size image. Image Three is a good representation of a difficult image to photograph with its blackish background. This type image should be captured at every opportunity as with its opposite which I experienced but failed to capture successfully at the time (know your camera settings). Image Four is an example of when I recommend you always have at least two subjects in the frame for comparison. This image is more heavily cropped than presented in a previous article. The final image presented here is similar to that which is sometimes mentioned as overexposed. I was compelled to enhance it for its contrast in the original image. It is certainly not presented the way I would like it to be without re-work. I am learning to present better images with liberty to adjust beyond sharpening. If I can enhance a dark underwing as an example to provide additional detail for study, I will attempt to do so when I have the time.

Again, please investigate the blogs I follow and don't hesitate to ask a question if you have one or more. Fellow bloggers are invited to enhance this article by commenting here.


  1. Great tips and post! Your photos are amazing and very professional! happy Weekend!

  2. Small images are definitely a hindrance to a wildlife-centered blog. If you don't know how to change settings in the blog template you can always click on the photo before publishing where there are size options to choose from. I size my images to 800px wide, so always select Original Size. But Extra Large works too if you are not sizing your images to fit the width of your blog. Good tips!

  3. La photo des deux pygargues à têtes blanches est vraiment impressionnante. Bravo