Tryst with the Shutter Bug

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: 
Its loveliness increases; it will never 
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep 
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep 

The blog ‘Tryst with the Shutter Bug’ somehow reminded me of the poem by Keats. The blogger Ramakant Pradhan has captured many of the things of beauty he has seen on his travels and brings them to our computer screens in the comfort of our homes and offices through his blog.

The best feature of his blog I feel are the striking photographs. Sometimes one wonders if photography is an art like painting. After all it is the gadget that captures the pictures and it  only captures scenes as is without any creative input. So where is the art here? But it is when you see the works of true masters with the camera and compare their works with the regular photographer, you get the answer to this question. Nature chooses certain special areas in space to bestow with ethereal beauty at certain moments of time. The art lies in recognizing these moments and capturing them for eternity on the shutter bug before it passes away. And this blogger has done a great job at that.

Most photo blogs just put up pictures without an accompanying commentary. In these cases one tends to pass by with a quick glance. A well written commentary enhances the effect of a photograph or painting and retains the visitor’s attention for a longer duration. This blogger has managed that excellently. The writing is very coherent and flows nicely along with the pictures in most cases. It is not sketchy and unrelated to the picture as it is in many travel blogs. The writing flows seamlessly along with the pictures making it effortless for the reader to switch between picture and text. It is said that a good artist know when to stop. The blogger here knows that very well. He manages to maintain an optimal number of pictures in a blog post and does not fall prey to the temptation of posting too many pictures from a trip on to the blog.

Moving on other aspects, the name of the blog is appropriate but a bit difficult for a top of the mind recall. At least to me it sounds quite a mouthful and feels a bit difficult to remember. The catch line ‘A journey as seen through the eyes of my lens’ is not especially catchy as such. Nevertheless it clearly brings out the mission of the blog very well. The background is well chosen. Dark backgrounds enhance pictures well and the simplicity ensures the visitor’s attention is not distracted from the pictures and writing.

As I suggest in most of my reviews, here too I see lot of scope for improvement in the navigability. As of now there is no provision to navigate by themes such as geographies, type of travel destination etc. I think it will be good to classify posts by themes and give an option to navigate either through labels or even better by creating static pages with hyperlinks. Possibly there are gadgets that can achieve better results than these two ideas. But gadgets are not my area of specialty. In terms of widgets, I find any kind of widget related to traffic adding no value to the visitor. My personal view is that the blogger should track the traffic separately behind the scenes using Google analytics rather than burdening the visitor with all this unnecessary information. The widget that I like is of course the random post widget. Last but not the least, the interaction is pretty decent.

In terms of areas that can still improve, the blogger has shown reasonable literary potential. So I would recommend working further on these skills and weave more poetry, personal reflections and local myths to his narratives to make it even more enchanting. One more thing that can be explored is collaborating with other travel bloggers to blog on a common platform. Though it takes away some amount of freedom from individual bloggers, it will ensure more content at one place making things easier for readers.

In the final analysis, it is definitely a best in class blog in the travel/photography genre. Find below a selection of posts handpicked by the blogger.


Sheldon Coelho said...

Nice review of the blogger. Saw the profile and enjoyed the pictures and the story with them.


Ramakant Pradhan said...

Thank you for the excellent feedback on the blog. IIt was certainly worth the wait :)

Will try to work on the improvement areas first chance I get.

umashankar said...

You have honoured Ramakant with one of the most beautiful lines from John Keats and he deserves every bit of it. I may sound affected but I say this with certain knowledge of photographic affairs. One of my favourite quotes about photography is none other than the one by Anonymous:

Buying a Nikon doesn't make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner.

And I am quoting this here because of the countless photograhy blogs that mushroom on the Internet on a daily basis. Ramakant's blog stands like a fresh flower amidst the sickening expanse of gorse and weed.

I agree with you about the organisation part of his website.

latha said...

Very awesome and peculiar blog. I added your link into my blog. Kindly add mine too. Thanks in advance.

The Fool said...

Thanks Sheldon.

The Fool said...

Glad you found the review worth the wait, Remo. Felt kind of guilty doing Leo's before yours and then making you wait so long,

The Fool said...

Thanks umashankar. I try to do full justice to the blogs I review. In order to be able to say nice things honestly, if I feel the blog does not meet a certain bar, I request blogger to take some more time to develop the blog and get back again later. Nice quote on photography. So true.

The Fool said...

Thanks latha. I am glad you have added me. Shall check out your posts when I have time. I usually follow folks if I find at least 5-6 posts I like.

Vee L. said...

I have been a fan of Remo's blog for quite a while. His photos are exquisite and I love the commentary that accompanies each picture. :)

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