Herself and the Garden... well, it is planted with cold-hardy produce and we will still be giving them shelter as well. Planting wire hoops over the rows, then spreading plastic sheeting over that to provide a dead air space around the plants. Even with cold temperatures, that zone will remain slightly warmer and probably enough to keep the plants from being harmed. There are some young trees which will be moved as they are still in their planters. Those will be temporarily located between one of the big chicken shelters and Studio. There's a gap of about two metres there, and should (between the birds and the building) be slightly higher temps and again, still air.
The Barn is a metal roof pole barn, usually open on all sides for ventilation. Now, using tarps and supports, it is somewhat more closed off on the north and west walls, with windbreak provided a bit past the ends. The Bucklings and another smaller pen of young does both needed new tarps for their 'temporary' and movable shelters, those are acquired and one installed already.
That's the big item for the day. Spent yesterday either whipping through all the routine chores or out purchasing some of the things we'll need today. Laundry is nearly totally done, one more load to empty out of the washer (item been soaking overnight), then that too needs to be cold-protected. Cold protection there involves hanging a trouble-light by the washer hookups, after disconnecting those, and turning the light on. Even a fluorescent bulb will put out some heat, enough to keep things from freezing.
Thus not much Art will be accomplished. I mentioned looking at the papers from Red River, and Herself looked at them also now. Did not yet start printing on them, in part for the above mentioned Ranch things and in part for another Time Of The Year chore. Therefor not much to report there. There is another Art Related item to report on, though and off we go.
Some years back I received an introduction to Flickr. At the time this site provided some of the best exposure at economical prices short of establishing ones own domain on the Web. When Yahoo acquired the site, an easy means to import the photos I'd hosted via Yahoo came along. So did a certain... foreboding I suppose. There was a reason I'd stopped loading photos onto Yahoo. Received a couple inquiries about using photos I posted there in publications of some sort. Always for free, you know, good exposure for me and all that.
After some time then I started looking around and feeling some annual angst about renewing the subscription at Flickr (Madshutterbug on Flickr... one of the things about Flickr I don't like is no custom URL and it is a long one to get to the photos...). Changes in the past year accentuated that angst, though I've persevered through them. One reason is the statistics provided there, and over time (and sheer volume of photos posted, I suppose) the number of 'daily views' trended upwards. When I first discovered the statistics, I felt excited by a peak of 15 views in one day! Now, daily views averages between 30 – 50 views and peaks are in the hundreds and not infrequent.
Images are showing up on web searches and getting exposure that way, I'm sure. Still, the annual angst rears its head. Lots of reasons to stay (nearly all the images posted here as a 'Photo Blog' are hosted from Flickr, so changing things would require a lot of editing), including simple inertia.
One of the alternatives I tried is Deviant Art (Madshutterbug on Deviantart if you want to go look). And while I like that alternative, I am also not overwhelmingly enthusiastic. (I know the answer involves that whole domain name thing. Yes. I know that.) My thoughts revolving around DA at first came from a core of putting my more Art work there and leaving Flickr for like everything else. And, indeed, there isn't a large volume of work hosted there, 58 pieces or so. Statistics are provided there as well, and usually run in single digits.
Some of this is, one gets a return on what one invests, and a simple point is I've invested more time and material into Flickr, hence the greater volume of traffic. Both places provide their strengths, both leave some things to be desired.
A couple years ago, Herself pointed me to a site called 500px. The folks that set this site up tried and continue to try hard to show good, recent work. They developed a means to rate the work behind the scenes, based on site user input, and display the pieces accordingly. So I got interested in this and visited, rather frequently at first and then tapered off. Increased frequency in the past few months somewhat in anticipation of the Annual Angst and discovered the site owners provided a means to import pieces from other sites.
Now, that feedback system is open to anyone, but only counts on the images for people who register with the site for an account. Like most places, free accounts are free and easily available, then there are increasing levels of features available to members (we'll say primarily photographers who are posting, though I've no doubt some of the people posting images are the models in them promoting their own work as models) for paid memberships. The fees are fair and reasonable. This site is another one I contemplated with that whole concept of 'Post Here the Great Art, Post There the Good Stuff, Meditations, Etc' two sites plan.
Recently I put up some work on 500px (Madshutterbug on 500px eh!) and watched it over a week. I am still a 'free' account there, so uploads are limited, though storage space isn't. Everything there is transferred over from Flickr, still hosted on Flickr as well. Some will not be immediately visible to anyone who isn't a member (I believe) because it is marked Adult Material and is some of my nude artwork. It will take a couple clicks through to get their message: sign up for an account before we'll show you this. We want a legal disclaimer that you are old enough we won't get in trouble.
It's a much more 'transient' world. One piece did achieve enough views, a high enough 'Pulse' measure, to be put into a category of 'Upcoming' for a while. It's now listed back in the 'Fresh' category, where everything that is posted goes (more or less). If it isn't obvious to you now, it should be that this is some shameless self-promotion; go take a look at what I've posted. Enjoy the other images people are posting. Leave me some feedback on the process.
Still, it's a start at examining another world of exposure (pun intended) and I expect I'll continue along as a free account for a while, watching things as they go. I'll also continue to post things by heading over to Flickr for the image, though I may add some things straight from the House as it were.
Meanwhile, Back At the Ranch it's time to start my movement towards getting out and getting started, even though it's still dark (writing this with the intention to post early). When I'm done with Ranch work there still may be not much Art work, because being after the First of the Year, it's Income Tax Time here in the Hew Ess of Aye and I need to get cracking on that as well.
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