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TheRagens Newsletter
May 1, 2005

Current Thoughts

The web really gives everyone, literally everyone, a chance to communicate. I'm thinking of this as I consider a recent piece of feedback that I received from my website. The entire text of the note that was sent to me by some unknown person is:

Evolution is wrong and there are things to prove it's wrong!

It's probably not worth going into the merits of the statement - like whomever the sender is, I guess I can take this statement at face value (or is that faith value) and not question why this is so. What is interesting is that the Internet gives everyone a medium to reach out and touch different people to easily spread any message and, without any proof, assume that some percentage of people may actually believe it -- just like some people will send their bank passwords to someone else by email. Even if this message had included a website as 'proof', it would still have the same ability to reach people.

Last time, I reported that a major algorithm change at Google had appeared to significantly reduce traffic to our website. This continues to be true. The only silver lining is that visitors are now consistently looking at more pages -- so I can take this to mean that I am getting better targeted visitors. Still, the number of monthly visitors I receive has been cut by 50% and this has definitely impacted results with some of the affiliate programs that help pay for the site. Hopefully, this will recover some time by itself; I haven't done anything that would cause my site to be penalized.


In This Issue

bulletNew Photographs
bulletBookmarks - Booklists
bulletWine Tasting
bulletWeb Sites Worth Visiting


New Photographs

After completely finishing the overhaul of my photography site last month, I've had time to work on some new photographs again!  Here are some of the new pictures that I've added in the last couple of months.

bullet Poppy
bullet Poppy (Infrared)
bulletOcotillo Flower
bulletCholla I
bulletSunset at Font's Point
bulletPlus, four more photos from Borrego Springs



In March, I had just finished adding some Book of Month lists from Outdoor Photography Magazine because I hadn't found any other current source of great photography books. The magazine's editors provide nice thumbnail reviews of the books. As of April, I have added the the Book of the Month list from Black And White Photography, the sister publication to Outdoor Photography where I just started a subscription.

bullet Black and White Photography 2005 Book of the Month List


Featured Magazine

Black And White Photography Magazine
I've just started a subscription to this magazine. It offers a comprehensive view of contemporary photography written in a style that I find to be a nice counterpoint to the similar American publications. Each issue features interviews with one or two contemporary photographers, several book reviews, and some technical articles. Two of the more interesting regular features are:

bulletA 'Master Printer' feature that compares a photographer's image with a version prepared by a master printer. The differences are remarkable.
bulletA on-site photo shoot where a professional and three amateurs meet to take one picture in a limited period of time. The article critiques each of the four photographs.

All in all, this is a very nice publication. Is it worth the subscription price? I think so but I look at this kind of publication for inspiration as well as the other features.


Wine Tasting and Vineyard Updates

Spring -- and the vineyard has sprung into action. We had an early budbreak in Seattle as March was unseasonably warm and then the weather turned chilly again and the vine growth slowed dramatically. Only in the last week or two have the shoots started to grow. At the time that I write this, the longest shoots are now about six inches long and growth is accelerating. Very nice to see things moving forward again.


Websites Worth Visiting

Nature Photography Directories
 - Nature Photography Top 100
 - Photography

I must be in a rut this month - I haven't visited many sites that are truly memorable this time around. I'll have to track some of my site visits more carefully next month so that I can list something new.


2005 Index Newsletter Index
bulletJanuary 2005
bulletMarch 2005
bulletMay 2005
bulletJuly 2005
bulletSeptember 2005
bulletNovember 2005


About TheRagens is a family website that highlights our family history in addition to wildlife and nature photos, wine tasting notes, favorite book lists, and other interests. We are happy to share this with you and you may pass on this newsletter to friends as long as you don't change the content. If you are receiving this newsletter from a friend, you may sign up to receive it by by email by visiting our registration page. If you wish to be removed from the distribution list, simply reply to this message and replace the words in the subject line with REMOVE. We keep an index of our back issues on our site.

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