I had been to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. I got really bored there within 2 hours. Then a couple of years later, I got to visit the art museum in Vienna. I managed to spend 6 delightful hours there and really enjoyed the experience. The difference was I had not taken the audio guide the first time. The second time I got the audio guide. I was able to get the background information and that helped me really appreciate each and every painting. Same is the case with photo blogs. Generally I am not too fond of photo blogs. I tend to quickly flip over, pausing over a photo for not more than a couple of seconds.   But the blog 'Lightscapes' changed things for me. Every post has an intelligent and thought provoking write up associated with it that makes the photos much more fascinating.

The photos cover a diverse range of themes – indoor and outdoor shots from day today life, travel photos, flora and fauna, monuments, scenery and those of the moon. I usually do not view photography so much an art as painting. But this blog changed that. I realized that the universe is not static so that you can just capture it any time you want. It keeps changing every second and certain beautiful moments just pass by us in a flash without most of us even noticing. The art of the photographer is in recognizing the moment and capturing it for everyone to view and admire at leisure. This blog has many such wonderful moments captured on a camera.  As I mentioned at the start, every snap is accompanied by a really well thought out or well researched write up as the case may be. Some of it is philosophical, some of it is humorous, some of it factual information about a bird, animal, flower or monument.  I would say the writings are just flawless and bring the pictures alive.

The title ‘Lightscape’ is quite a sensibly one for the theme of this blog as is the tag line. Equally well chosen is the backdrop that looks like a camera lens with droplets of water. Any new person venturing into the blog will have no doubt what the blog is about. The darker background I feel is appropriate for photography blogs except for maybe night photos. But then most photos usually tend to be taken in bright light.

Related posts’ and search are the two widgets. ‘Related posts’ is a good one to have. Not sure though if anyone will use the search functionality in a photos blog and what kind of results it will give. The ‘Random post’ widget will be a nice widget to have here. The popular post widget has been put somewhere far in the bottom displaying just 2 posts. I feel this widget should be set to display more posts and put in some place more prominent. I feel that will help the visitor quickly see some glimpses of the charming photographs that await him/her on the blog and get him/her hooked.

On navigation, I am beginning to sound like a broken record on all my reviews. I feel most bloggers are not giving serious thought to navigation and just let the blogging platform handle it for them. But it is something the blogger has to take in hand and work on in order to enhance visitor experience. In this context I remember a project I did for designing a global HR portal for a logistics company. My manager told me the HR team always likes to organize content as per their organization structure and that is the easiest thing. But the portal is for employee and the portal must be designed in a way the employee will look for information. For instance if the employee is new joiner, he will like links to all joining formalities in one place. It would be tough for him to go to recruitment section, compensation & benefit section, the tax section etc. to find out the necessary details. Same is the case with a visitor to a blog. The photo of a bird shot yesterday means the same to him as a bird shot 3 years back. If he is interested in birds, he will like to see the links to all bird related posts in one place rather than hunting all over the archives. The labels kind of serve the purpose. But Blogger labels do not show just title and summary for the visitor to click like Wordpress tags and categories. Instead it brings up all posts one below the other making the visitor scroll a lot, which is not very friendly. So it will be good if some work is done on the navigation. Even if existing labels only are going to be used, at least all posts need to be updated with labels.

A photo blog does not lend itself to too much discussion as such. But in general the volume of comments appears to be on the lower side. I think currently blogger does not seem to acknowledge comments either. I think acknowledging comments, even when there is no value add at least lets readers know the blogger has read his/her comment and will encourage him/her to leave more. An Indi Rank less than 80 seems to suggest traffic itself is possibly low. Such an excellent blog that has been running for more than 4 years deserves much more traffic. Possibly the blogger needs to more actively publicize the blog on various forums.

Overall, I would recommend anyone who has the slightest interest in art or beauty to go over this blog and I assure you will not be disappointed.  As usual, I have requested 5 sample posts from blogger to present along with my review.

Last Lunar Eclipse of 2011
Moist chocolate muffins
Birds of paradise
National Orchid Garden
Dance of Death

If your a blogger and you like this review and feel you want a similar review for your blog, check out this post.


DeEpAK KaRtHiK (420) said...

Thanks for sharing :) i am checking them :)

Sujatha Sathya said...

this is a good review

i am sure Santosh will implement some of the suggestions you've made. valid ones

The Fool said...

Thanks, Deepak and Sujatha.

Farila said...

Before leaving my comment here, I rushed to check out the pictures there and the first picture of the moon that met me was awesome.

You have done a great review of the blog. Hats off to you ..

The Fool said...

Thanks, Farida.

SHANOJ K said...

Nice Review :) - Shanoj

Santa said...

Dear friend....
Thank you so much for this review..
I could not have reviewed my blog half as well as you have done. I am touched and honoured.

I am using the term friend as "dear fool" does not sound nice, although like the fool in the tarot (I am an amateur tarot reader as well) you embody the free spirit and 'joie de vivre' of him.

I am also honoured by the enthusiasm that my fellow bloggers have shown in reading both the review and the blog as well.

Now that you have set the standard so high :-) I will be forced to uphold the quality of my blog and live up to the expectations of my friends.

Thank you my friend once again. Apologies for the delay in thanking you, but I have been walking on a cloud for the past few days and although I have heard of cloud computing, one does not employ it while walking on clouds :-D

The Fool said...

Thanks for a comprehensive comment, Santa. I am glad you like my review. I saw you had promoted my review. But I was waiting for feedback. Though I request for promotion of my blog, the happiness of the blogger whose blog I have reviewed is of prime importance to me as also introducing my readers to other exemplary blogs. So I await feedback from my readers on quality of the blog and the blogger on the quality of my review.

The Fool said...

Thanks, Shanoj.

Vertu said...

Awesome review.

The Fool said...

Thanks, Vertu.

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