11 August 2013

Color Wheel: Behind the Scenes

Note 11 August 2013:  I wrote this over a year ago, and since I plan to finish the Color Wheel series of posts, I thought it might as well see the light of day.  Note the intensive screentime I mentioned in my last post...

I thought I'd spend just a moment going behind the scenes with the Color Wheel series of posts.  Each one in the series is intentionally wordless, so the pictures will be the sole focus.  But that approach leaves me no room to comment on particular photos that caught my eye or share what crossed my mind as I was digging in Wikimedia Commons.  Hence this post.

Making connections by color is an unorthodox way of finding connections in the world.  Firetrucks and toadstools having nothing in common but red - except perhaps their mutual presence in children's literature, another surprising connection.  It's my hope that the juxtapositions startle and spark interest.  To satisfy curiosity, I link each photo to a Wikipedia article highlighting the item's history, uses, or significance.  (I really, really hope someone discovered that.  Maybe you did?  Did you click through and read something?  Did you encounter the brilliant but fragile achievement of Richard Champion and William Cookworthy or find out that the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was established in 2006?  If you want to figure out which pictures I'm referring to, you're going to have to hunt.  Hint: neither of them is green.)

As you might imagine, it takes quite a bit of work to construct a post with so many photos.  (Anyone who's tried to drag multiple photos around in a blogger post can relate.)  The first post (The Gamut of Green) took hours to put together.  By now I've streamlined the process, and it goes something like this.
1) Search Wikimedia Commons for the photos.  If you've ever wondered why the photos have no attribution, this is why: they're all in the public domain or covered by the GNU Creative License.  The hardest part about the initial search is thinking of things that are distinct to each color.  It's not too hard to come up with a green basket, but there's no special reason most baskets should be green.  I don't mind including a few items like this, but most should be things whose identities are tied to their color.
2) As I find photos, I insert them into the blogger post and size them small.
3) After all the photos are collected and sized to preference, the somewhat surprising step comes.  I copy the HTML for the post and paste it into Notepad ++ (wonderful computer/internet language editor).  Then I organize all the photos by height, so the rows won't be ragged, decide what goes with what, and place everything in the correct divs (sorry, non-geeks.  It is rather technical).
4) Finally, I copy and past the new HTML back into the post, correct any glitches, and publish.  It always comes with a feeling of relief!

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have something to say please do so here!
Thank you for joining the conversation courteously and kindly.
I remove spiteful or vacuous comments.