Monday, November 30, 2009

Four Bills in One

I first published the following note in February, 2009. I am still getting comments on it.

Cactus Drilling Rig #117

From HKB Photo Studio:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Learn SEO - NOW

After years of trying to find the time to go commercial “the time has come”. Although I am not completely organized with my workflow I believe I am ready to start working on Search Engine Optimization.

[Search Engine Optimization (SEO) = The process of making a site and its content highly relevant for both search engines and searchers. SEO includes technical tasks to make it easier for search engines to find and index a site for the appropriate keywords, as well as marketing-focused tasks to make a site more appealing to users.]

First comes the research. I have started my research as of today. The following is a summary of what I have learned in the past hour:

I have learned a little about DMOZ and  Google Directoy, and how your site would have a higher status in the web by being listed in these and other directories.

All of the info that I have read seems to suggest that if you have nothing “relevant” to what your blog is about it is probably best to not post anything. Your readers have come to your site for information and entertainment. A post that describes what you had for lunch would probably not be considered relevant to a photography blog, unless of course the blog was about “food photography”. Give your readers the content they came to your site to see.

Search engine editors will generally just visit the first page of your site. They will be checking for content and layout.

Keep affiliate links to a minimum. Editors may see them as too much clutter. (All of the above tips are courtesy of Webtalks.)

Place keywords in your blog or website URL. (Blogger Book)

All of these tips, and more, were taken from Dummies’ Guide to Blogger.

I believe that learning this SEO stuff, and keeping abreast of every possible technical aspect of photography and using the web is paramount to the success of HKB Photo (or any business). Because of this I will continue to “post” about this any subject related to “optimizing blogs/webs for increasing traffic.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crossing the Washita

File #:    d.017_0312
Camera:    Nikon D200
Focal Length:    90mm
ISO:    400
Shutter Speed:    1/125
f/Stop:    f/10
Weather Conditions:    cloudy
I will probably place the photo info differently in the future. Just gotta figure out how.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wild Mustangs Adoption Center

Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.

Wild Mustangs Adoption Center

Original file size = 16mb, Nikon D200, 1/125 @f10, shutter priority.
This shot was taken from I-35 right of way, just north of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. I plan to ask for permission to go onto the property and spend time photographing these animals. The ranch is ran under supervision of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and is a "Wild Horse and Butto Adoption Center. Adoptions are held the second Tuesday of each month starting at 08:00.

Truck at Work

Nikon D200, original file size = 3.7mb, shutter priority, 1/125 sec at f11 at ISO400, 200mm

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Learning While Doing

 Kenny and Gina Claxton
Nikon D200, ISO: 100, 1/60 @f5.6, fixed strobe, 65mm, clear sky.
Today was a good day. My first photo shoot since leaving my 35 year career (hopefully forever) of trucking, and starting to test the waters of a new (hopefully permanant) occupation. The photoshoot was in downtown Pauls Valley, Oklahoma at the historic train station. My clients were a family who live in Pauls Valley. After almost 300 clicks of the shutter I believe the family is receiving a good number of terrific portraits. The best part about it was the almost total lack of extra equipment I needed. It took only one flash unit, and sometimes I used only the on camera flash. The best part of the day is the education I received from  the shoot. I know that I will become more proficient with each shoot that I work. Today's shoot is the kind of shooting I like to do. Keep it simple! Keep it fun! Get it done!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Taking Chances

Hopefully, this is the last truck I will ever drive.
Although I do not plan to totally leave the trucking industry, I am making an attempt to get out of the trucks as a driver. Now, along with event photography, I will concentrate on industrial photography. This includes the transportation and energy production industries. I am currently updating my portfolio website, and adding new features.

This has been a bad week for me with my trucking career. No accidents or injuries. Just citations. Therefore, my mvr now looks a little ridiculous. And, after 35 years, I have had enough of living in a truck. Today I quit my job. Yeah, I know what the economy looks like. But, for the sake of sanity, I gotta try something.

So, with a minimum of equipment and not much money, I am about to step out and start soliciting for photographic assignments and clients. Of course, I will also spend a bunch of time trying to find a steady job. But, at least now I may have some time to try to make some money with what I love doing. I will also try to turn my blogs (HKB PhotoBlog and Trucks * Truckers * Trucking) into commercial enterprises. And, if the photography stuff kicks in for me I will forget about finding another job. But, I have to be realistic. This is a risky thing I am doing with the economy like it is. But, I had to do something.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Has My Time Came

It seems that my life has, for most of my life, been chaotic and pointless. But, I have struggled through it with a dogged determination to make my life mean something. For the past few years, since all of my children are now grown and on their on, I have been working toward a new career, in photography, that I believe will be rewarding, challenging and satisfying to me. As of today I do not have the equipment that other professionals say that I need to go into the business. But, I am at a point in my that says "it may be now or never".

I am currently on the road in Phoenix. It will be a few days before I get home. When I get their I will probably be fired from my job. Nothing bad has happened, and I still like working for my employer. My work record is in good shape, and I believe my employer appreciates having me around. The problem is that I now have 2, and possibly 3, moving violations that will be going onto my mvr. Company policy states that I can have no more than 2 citations in a one year period. That is the problem.

I will probably talk to my employer in the next couple of days to try to arrange a "voluntary quit" situation with them if I can. I believe that will look better if I need to worry about it in the future. I believe they will work with me on this. There is a slim chance that they will try to find a way to keep me hired on. But, I am not counting on that. So, I am in the process of finalizing some decisions that I have been working on for quiet some time, and making plans for what I hope will be a speedy recovery from this situation regardless of the 10.2% unemployment rate that the U.S. is now coping with.

Originally it was my plan to retire from trucking, move to Las Vegas and do event photography. I believe I am now putting that plan on hold, and for several reasons that I won't waist time with. It boils down to the economy, family and personal preferences of lifestyle. Enough said on that.

Assuming that this will be my last time out for this company my plans are now as follows:
1.) Start the process of filing for disabilility income through the government. I do not want to file for unemployment benefits, and probably would not get them anyway.
2.) Look for a place to live. I may live with my son for awhile, but I prefer to move to a rural sitting.
3.) Start a job hunt. This may not happen right away, if ever. I may instead try to push into reality some of the plans that my son and I are working on, and start doing photography in Oklahoma. There is also my writing projects that I need to work on. And, I believe I can make some money with the web sites, and other projects that I already have going on the computer.

4.) Enroll in school. I want some training in Photoshop, Quark Express, and some business courses.
5.) Furnish my home.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009