Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 17/01/2012

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Bar Headed Goose, originally uploaded by

.. I am pleased to announce the launch of my new website I know you’re probably bored from me talking about it all the time but I managed to figure out what was stopping the redirection of my domain to the new site last night (at midnight, sometimes insomnia can be a friendly bed fellow). The fix took me one minute to affect after which I had to wait for the changes to replicate around the Internet and, hey presto, I was able to see my website when typing in the correct URL. I’ve only mentioned it on Facebook so far but seem to be getting lots of positive feedback so far. I’ve also plumbed the site into Google Analytics to show me how many hits I’m not getting per day, how many people aren’t coming back, which pages people don’t look at and which countries aren’t interested in my site.

I’m not anticipating traffic immediately, after all it took a while to get people visiting my Flickr site as well as my Blog but it seems someone out there heard about it, someone I don’t know as I was mentioned in a tweet – here’s their message “Just discovered this awesome artist! Take a look, folks, there’s a lot to enjoy here!”. You can’t pay for that type of endorsement… wait, sorry, what as that.. really.. you can pay for such endorsements… well I never, the thinks you can buy these days, Dear Reader.

One oversight of mine, when preparing my business cards, was the omission of the Ifyousayso site and as I seem to be handing out more and more of them, it’s something I need to rectify. Luckily I still have the original template so I should be able to add in the new URL quite easily but the question is whether I can get that and then get them printed before I head off down to Devon to host this Photographic workshop. Realistically, they can wait but I will have to have some new cards printed in the long run.

As if all the above wasn’t excitement enough, I started work on the training presentation last night and now have 4 slides with a number of images plastered over them. I also dug out a couple of photographic books which I thought might be useful, but to be honest whilst they discuss how to compose a photo, I don’t think most people on the course will be that interested in me discussing this at length.. especially not 300 pages worth. Don’t get me wrong, Dear Reader, I’m not actually plagiarising these tomes, it’s just I wanted to try and focus what I’m going to say with the aid of tried and tested methods. As it turns out I think the framework and diagrams I’ve put together so far should be more than adequate for the job (of course, I don’t want to do adequate.. I want to do an awesome job (Dude) so will keep plodding away at my notes).

It’s all happening at the moment, to add to the above, I also entered another couple of photos to the World Wetlands section of the WWT photo competition. We’re currently in the Winter heat of the competition, however the two images I entered today (and one I entered on Sunday evening) showing two types of geese look like they were take at the height of summer, so well lit were the images. I’m quite concerned that I haven’t attained the right accolades (in fact any) for any of my entries so far to qualify me for the Portfolio competition, the prize I really had my eye on both from a kudos point of view as well as the prize. I’ll have to try harder and I have a couple of ideas of images that might help me at least get some sort of shortlisted entry. Luckily this section continues on until the end of February as I don’t think I’ll be able to get out much between now and my day at Dartmoor Zoo.

Returning to the Natural World, as I seem to digress from quite easily on this blog, I seem to be doing something right with the inhabitants of my newly established aquarium… well, none have died yet which is a start. The fish seemed to have settled in nicely and whilst they may well hide at the back of the aquarium for periods of the day, as soon as I sit down next to the tank, most of them swim up to the very front of the glass. The real indications that things are healthy in their environment, all three of the Cherry Shrimp that hoover up all the left over food have now shed for the first time, plus the snails which found their way into the tank via the plants I added in have started laying eggs on the back of the tank. An unpleasant task, I removed these eggs last night as left unchecked the snails could quickly over run the space, and as the water quality is under strain from the high number of inhabitants at the moment, keeping these interlopers under check is paramount. Unfortunately they’re too small to add to a pan with some butter and garlic – mind you if the shrimp keep expanding at the rate they have so far we might have fresh paella on the menu soon.


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