Monday, March 26, 2012

Back to the original template ...

Practicing portraiture on myself. LOL, I haven't
perfected my lighting (or my look).
...with a few modifications. Feedback has confirmed that the Dynamic View template on Blogger has too many downsides to continue. So until the powers that be over at Blogger make some adjustments, I will continue with my previous template. I have removed a few of the applications that resulted in the page looking too cluttered (for me that is). The label cloud took up way too much space and I doubt that anyone ever used it to search for topics. The Recent Comments application also fell by the wayside. If someone wants to read comments by other readers, simply click on 'comments' at the foot of the post and that section will open. I've retained the Favorite Blogs list, which I greatly missed. You can, once again, see the blogs I regularly read as well as the last post date for that site.

I've used a simpler template this time, appropriately named Simple Template.  Once again, I welcome your feedback via either a comment or an e-mail.

Think I'll stick with Urban landscape

Los Dos Soldados

Friday, March 23, 2012

A new Blogger template

I'm sure that most of my readers have noticed a new look for the blog. After resisting for several months, I decided to give the new "Dynamic Views" template a go. When these templates were first introduced several months ago,  I didn't like the fact that gadgets or applications were not included as a feature. The main page simply consisted of the blog posts with no links whatsoever. That meant I could not display my favorites, archives, or other links on the main page. They have now included some of these applications, although they are a somewhat hidden. They show up on the right side of the screen as a black line and when the cursor is placed on the line, the links pop out. This is all good, but at this point there is no application for the list of bloggers that I regularly follow.  I liked the fact that I could see when a favorite blogger posted something new. Readers also use this list to link to other blogs that might be of interest. I've sent feedback to Blogger and I imagine that eventually this gadget will be added as well.

I like the clean, uncluttered look of the Dynamic View template but sort of miss playing around with the use of color in the old template. I could spend a great deal of time fooling around with color choices, but these days I spend most of my spare time on the photography course.

Another interesting feature is that the reader can change the view by clicking on the button at the top of the page just to the left of the Home button. This simply allows the reader to discover various views of the blog page. I'm not sure why anyone would think to do this or even want to, but obviously some web designers thought it would be fun.

I think that it is nice to occasionally change the look of a blog to keep it interesting and fresh. Interestingly, my page views have more than doubled since switching to this template. I have no idea why this would make any difference at all, but I welcome the increased traffic.

Images by John Bradshaw 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mérida Bound


There are a bazillion photos of these ruins to be found, but I want my own.

Finally, after a long winter (actually it was a very mild winter, but winter nonetheless), we are headed for an 11-day visit in late April. We don't have any major projects planned other than possibly getting some painting done. This leaves time for some exploring.  I'm dying to get to Uxmal  - and any interesting points in between-  for a day of photography. I'm choosing Uxmal because it is a bit closer than Chichen Itza, but more importantly, less crowded. We don't want the typical tour, so I'm looking into the possibility of hiring a guide for the day. If anyone has ideas or suggestions would you please e-mail them?

Pyramid of the Magician
Uxmal is located approximately 60 km from Mérida, along the Ruta Puuc, and is among the best preserved of the Maya cities of the classic period. This is due to the superior construction of these stone structures in the Puuc style which are matched in ornamentation only by the ruins at Palenque, in Chiapas.
I think this is the governor's palace
Here's an interesting tidbit from Wikipedia: Queen Elizabeth II visited Uxmal on February 27, 1975, for the inauguration of the site's light and sound show.  During the presentation, when the sound system blasted a prayer to the Maya rain god Chaac, there was a sudden torrential downpour that drenched the dignitaries.  This was during the middle of the dry season. Lesson: If you attend an event where there will be a prayer to Chaac, best to bring an umbrella.

There's even a light show at night

*All images from Google
Information on Uxmal from Wikipedia

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Los colores de Primavera (the colors of Spring)

A warm afternoon spent enjoying the emerging colors of Spring at the Botanical Garden can do wonders to soothe the mind, body, and spirit.

All photographs by John Bradshaw 2012