This Web site is targeted toward those individuals who are happiest when they are in front of a camera, behind a camera, or both. I (Sean) am crazy about photography and I want to share that love with others. I’m here to talk about what has worked for me and what hasn’t. My best buys and biggest rip-offs. I’m willing to share what I’ve learned with others and hoping that members of my audience will approach me and share in kind. And, to be honest, it’s my most fervant desire that you all will love my photography enough to buy a print, license an image, buy some of my other swag, pay me to teach a class, hire me for private tutoring, or even hire me to photograph you and your family.
I hope you’ll explore this site and discover that I’m a real person, not the ‘holier than thou’ marketing construct that so many professional photographers are wont to portray themselves to the public as. I’m a husband. I’m a father. I’m a nerd (not a fake nerd like you see on Big Bang Theory, but a real one). I like reading. I like hiking. I love bad action movies. I make ice cream. I eat too much ice cream. I’m trying to lose the weight I gained eating ice cream. I drive $30,000 worth of cameras around in a $250 vehicle with a $1000 stereo system. I’m hitting middle age and it’s hitting me back. I’m a complete nut with a strange sense of humour. I’m just … me. And I have a portfolio or two that I’d love to show you.
What’s Inside the Box
The content in this Web site is an amalgamation of several different written and photo blogs that I used to run over the years. That’s one of the reasons you’ll notice the watermarks on my images are not always consistent (digiteyesed.com, neutralhillsstills.ca, and solipsography.com). It goes back many years, the words back to 2005 and the images back to 1999. Here are the areas of note, which you’ll find under “Journal” in the top navigation menu…
The Urban Refugee
This was a humour blog with a mildly political slant I started shortly after relocating from the city of Edmonton, Alberta, to an acreage near Kirriemuir, Alberta. Going from a major city with nearly a million people to an area that’s about as depopulated as the Australian Outback (not joking about that) was more than a bit of a shock, so I used humour to cope with it. Most of the posts along those lines — the ones I thought were rather good — were slapped into the “Urban Refugee” category in my journal/blog on this site.
It’s also worth mentioning that a big part of the move out here involved me wanting to quit working with computers. I’ve been out here nearly seven years and I’m still afflicted with the wretched things as there’s just nowhere else I can send the work. It’s hard to say no to a neighbour who is truly and genuinely @#$%ed if I don’t lend a hand. There are some epic rants about this posted in the “My Career Change” category. Please excuse the cussing as years of cleaning up after Bill Gates (all of his mess, but none of his money) will do that to a guy.
Neutral Hills Stills
This was primarily a photo blog, but it also featured a limited amount of written content, mainly grumpy sounding rants if I have to be honest about it. The photography was — and is — an ongoing effort to show the unique character of my new home off to others around the world. There really is no other area quite like The Neutrals.
The written work shows up here under the categories “Artist’s Statement(s)” (my ongoing examination of my relationship with my craft), “Arts Funding” (where I parade my contempt for upscale welfare recipients), the “Photographer’s Lexicon” (where I tell you what common photography terms really mean), and, finally, “Pixelated” (general musings about photography, or diary entries about a specific outing).
I was forced to discontinue Neutral Hills Stills as a standalone site as the content management system (CMS) that handled everything behind the scenes was no longer being actively developed. The spam management was a disaster, I was completely overwhelmed, and utterly distraught when I learned no fix was coming down the pipe to rescue me. This lead to a second problem…
The meaning of the word is described in detail on my portfolio page, but in a nutshell I was all dressed up with nowhere to go. My only place to post photos, neutralhillsstills.ca, was strictly designed around the idea of featuring one particular type of photos from one particular area. That meant I had nowhere to put the images I had accumulated while living in Edmonton, while on trips to Jasper, while hiking in Banff, while vacationing in Canmore and Waterton Lakes, etc.
I wound up slapping together a second site running Pixelpost at solipsography.com, and all was good until the one remaining developer behind the Pixelpost project tossed in the towel. That was followed by a day of uploading images to Flickr with another week or two of of frantic titling, tagging, and so on.
The initial site at mccormickphotography.com was as simple as possible. After two years of constantly cleaning porn and pharma spam out of my filters, having to unhack my hacked sites, etc., I went as low tech as I could. I would have put an Etch-A-Sketch somewhere in the loop if it was possible. Low tech is fairly hack proof, but also a complete pain in the arse to maintain as it’s such a chore to add new content. My solution was to not add content (have I mentioned that I’m lazy?), which is why I had a banner for a special ending in May of 2011 still showing in February of 2012. I never did manage to get image galleries added, which is, well, bad. It was time to try a new content management system, and I settled on WordPress.
So there you have it. As the beer commercials say, “please enjoy responsibly.”
The engine running this site is the free and extensible WordPress 3.3.1 (as of Feb 17/2012) and it is regularly updated. The theme is a mildly modified version of Perfect by Jinson, which was a steal of a deal for only $30 at WPMarket. I can’t say enough good things about this theme, except that I’m not wild about how it handles portfolio images. That turned out not to be a big deal since that is now handled by a plugin — listed below — and is explained in greater detail on the portfolio page for those who are interested in that sort of thing.
Transmission (WP Plugins)
Site hosting courtesy of Servage One, who I have been using for nearly a decade now. If you sign up using my link, I get a bit of extra Web hosting at no charge, and that would be greatly appreciated. All domains handled through Domains At Cost.