Back in the Saddle Again

Composite of fall colors with black and white sky over Paxson Lake.

This is my first new blog post in a long time. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write. Rather, a few years ago I found that my WordPress blog was infiltrated with malware. One of those Payday Loan companies had inserted lines of code into my blog entries. (I think it happened after I let my Akismet subscription lapse.) I’m not quite sure what the code did. Perhaps it redirected my blog to one of their sites or an obnoxious pop-up window opened advertising for them. Regardless, I felt like an intruder had come into my house and I wanted that code out of there as soon as possible.

Since I built my fine art photography website and had familiarity with HTML code I thought I could remove the code myself. But I soon found perusing thousands of lines of code would take too much time away from the other things I needed to do as a working photographer. I could pay someone to clean up the code but that proved to be too expensive. Finally, Google forced my hand to do something. In 2017 Google announced they would tag any website that didn’t have an SSL certificate as not secure in the URL line starting in 2018. Even though I wasn’t using e-commerce on my fine art website that insecure connection could scare people away. In addition, it would hurt my Google search rankings as bad as they are. Having not resolved the code issue I did the easiest thing that I could which was to remove any link to my blog on my website. Problem solved, right? No, GoDaddy, which hosts my website, would not issue an SSL certificate because it somehow saw the blog as still associated with the website. Not wanting to lose my blog content I backed up the blog using a WordPress plug-in and proceeded to remove all of my blog pages. That satisfied Go Daddy and I was able to get an SSL certificate for my website.

But that’s not the end of the story. Somewhere along the way during synchronization of the local and remote servers (while using Dreamweaver to update the content on one of my webpages) I inadvertently allowed the local server to write over the remote server website files. And, poof, just like that the backup content was gone. So I’m back to square one with a blog and new content.

A lot has changed since 2012 when I started my blog page: I finally found a new page theme that I like and one whose layout I can edit quite easily; there are new ways of displaying content; social media is now fully entrenched as a tool of communication; lastly, the technology we use to capture digital images is evolving at a dizzying pace. My intent in this blog, besides showcasing some of my imagery, is to provide insights and education that will help with your own photographic pursuits. I’ve been photographing for over 30 years, have taught workshops now for several years, am an avowed gear geek and keep up on technology, and just recently finished three years as president of the Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers. I think this puts me in a good position to pass on what I’ve learned. I hope you will agree and will follow/share this blog.

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