Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blogger Lightbox and traction engine drivers

click photo to enlarge
Blogger is an entirely free blogging platform that works well, is regularly updated, and serves the needs and desires of millions of people. Consequently, it seems a touch churlish to complain about changes or shortcomings. If it was a service that users paid for then voicing grievances might seem more reasonable, but when no money changes hands it can appear somewhat ungrateful. And yet, few companies give away products without receiving something in return, and presumable Google (who own Blogger) gets something to its advantage from the service. Moreover, user feedback is useful to anyone who sells, operates or markets a product, and it is with this in mind that the following observations are offered.

A week or so ago, with no warning, Blogger introduced a "Lightbox" view of enlarged images set against a black background. Prior to this the clicked image had been displayed in the top left of a white screen. I don't mind the new black background because it complements my template colour - but of all the changes to the viewing mode it's the only one that I'm happy about. The fact is, the Lightbox view doesn't work at all with some posts four or five years old - the old system kicks in. Worse still, with some posts a couple of years old the screen goes black and a tiny red rectangle appears, but no enlarged photograph. So, far from working across the Blogger platform, as advertised, it works on newer posts only intermittently or not at all on older posts. Others have deplored the fact that to escape the Lightbox you have to click an "X", whereas regular readers use the "Back" arrow. Doing that now takes you out of the blog, which isn't what many want. Photobloggers (though not me) have also complained that the Lightbox view doesn't allow them to show their photographs at full resolution because it restricts the size of display and compresses the image in order to do so. There is a rising clamour for Blogger to make this new feature something you can choose or ignore when you configure a set up. That would be the best option and, given Blogger's usual responsiveness, I expect that to happen - but not for a while!

Today's photographs come from the Bicker Steam Threshing event that I featured in a couple of earlier posts here and here. In retrospect the large photograph is better than the earlier photograph that I posted of the traction engine driver.

photographs and text (c) T. Boughen

Main Photo
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 105mm
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On