My photo galleries are obsolete

For the past two years, I have been hatching a diabolical plan to re-release my photo galleries on top of a homebrew photo gallery CMS (currently they are powered by Gallery 2). I figured this would be just the push I needed to actually start putting more of my photos online—and thus reaping all the pageviews that Google Image Search would throw my way.

I even made two solid attempts to get some code written. On my second attempt I finally got a working prototype up on the web last fall. But even with that milestone, I never found that critical mass to really use what I had built.

All the while, I’ve continued posting photos to my blog. In fact it’s gotten so bad, I rarely even blog unless there’s a photo involved. I know, every picture I post here is only 380 pixels wide (which my dad complains about), but in the context of a post, I have the full expressive power of HTML at my disposal to present each photo however I like. Which makes the standard title-photo-caption gallery app seem needlessly limiting.

This is the realization I came to last night. I was more enamored with the idea of building something and doing so ostensibly for the search engine fodder it would derive than for any specific passion I have for photo galleries. And that’s made pretty obvious by the fact that the last gallery I put up was from my first trip to France, back in April 2007. Given that creating photo galleries is a total chore, I have little interest in continuing to use Gallery 2, let alone replacing it with something else.

So what to do? I’m thinking it might be time to dismantle my photo galleries altogether. But I don’t want to just delete everything, that’s not cool. One idea would be to simply repatriate my galleries as post-dated blog posts, similar to how I reabsorbed the Belly of the Beasts posts. That would be a massive undertaking, filtering through over 1000 photos. But it would enable me to at least archive the content for posterity without continuing to maintain a separate app. And I could ensure some continuity with a list of redirects. This sounds like the kind of manual Sisyphean chore I could really get into.

Ooo, maybe I could write a Gallery to static HTML script…

Update: the deed is done. I’ve converted all of my photo galleries to blog posts. I like this SO much better. Everything under one roof! I tried to set things up so all the old gallery links would redirect to the right posts (not easy for 1000 photos) so if you’ve ended up here in error, my apologies.

For posterity, here’s a screenshot of how my photo galleries used to look:

Justinsomnia Photo Gallery

If you’re trying to find a photo from one of my old photo galleries, here’s how they map to the new/existing blog posts:

Random photos of the sky
Coker Arboretum Flowers
Christmas 2000
Christmas 2000
Matthew’s High School Graduation
Matthew’s High School Graduation
Outward Bound
Outward Bound
Winter in Chapel Hill
Winter in Chapel Hill
Spring in Chapel Hill
Spring in Chapel Hill
Fall in Chapel Hill
Fall in Chapel Hill
Spring Break New Orleans 2001
Spring Break New Orleans 2001
Spencer Dorm Thanksgiving 2001
Spencer Dorm-Era Justin
Washington DC
Washington DC
Spencer Dorm-era Photos
Spencer Dorm-Era Justin
the Lake House – May 2002
Spencer Dorm-Era Justin
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Chapel Hill Halloween 2002
Spencer Dorm-Era Justin
North Carolina Ice Storm 2002
North Carolina Ice Storm of 2002
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
First trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
First trip to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Second trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Second trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and The Killing Fields
Siem Reap, Cambodia – Angkor Wat
Angkor ruins of Siem Reap, Cambodia
Tanzania, by the sea
Second trip to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
BBQ Birthday and Kiln Opening
recipe for a birthday
Mark Hewitt Winter Preview
Shiny New Car!
i bought a car
Spring Break Killington
killington photos are up
An end of the semester happy hour at He’s Not Here
He’s Not Here Happy Hour
Masters Graduation
hell yeah i graduated
Pilot Mountain
Pilot Mountain
Ghana – Accra plus Kakum, Elmina, and Aburi
from la-palm royal beach hotel
Canopy walk at Kakum National Park
Elmina Castle
my last observations of accra
Hanging Rock State Park
hanging rock state park
Cross Country Road Trip
driver’s seat photography
Hiking the Grand Canyon
tata grand canyon is bangala
The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands
Saturday in the city
Christmas in Austin 2005
Christmas Eve in Phoenix!
Pow! My Christmas photos are up!
The day after Christmas, in pictures
Letterpress I at the San Francisco Center for the Book
Katie’s Bay Area Spring Break
Katie at Point Reyes
Katie at Goat Rock
Driving down California’s Big Sur Coast
Driving down the Big Sur coast
Hiking Yosemite on a whim
We did not tour Hearst Castle
Yosemite, finally!
Snowshoeing at Sequoia National Park
me and the sherm
Snowshoeing Sequoia
Lemon Cove
Hello Paris
Notre Dame sans bossu
La Tour Eiffel
Paris après-midi
Avignon, Arles, and Baux
La pizza Française
Le Palais des Papes
Dejeuner en Arles
La famille à Pertuis


You mention doing galleries as post-dated blog posts, so why don’t you use the built in gallery that WP comes with to do this? You could even set your medium size to 380px, and insert that into posts as you blog, and if others want to see the larger size they could just click it. Rather than manually sizing each image to 380px. Just a thought.

Actually, it’s funny that you mention that, but my work hacking WordPress gallery support into my Random Image plugin pretty much taught me that I don’t really like how WordPress implemented galleries (at least pre v2.7, I haven’t upgraded yet).

I’m pretty old school as far as how I get images into my blog. But yeah, it might be time to start taking advantage of the built-in uploader at least.


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