Monday, March 9, 2009

About Summit to Shore Header Photos

With my first post, ex-nhilo, I included an original photograph of a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean I had recently taken from the eleventh floor of the Ocean Sands Resort and Spa in Virginia Beach, Virginia. My wife and I have vacationed in Virginia Beach several times over the New Year holiday and this particular photo was a reminder of many happy memories. It served as the header photo of Summit to Shore for the month of January 2009.

When I started this blog I had not given a lot of thought about the header. I liked the sunrise photo and thought it was appropriate considering the name of this blog. After a while I began to think that the header photo addressed the “shore” part of the blog but neglected the “summit” part. In my post WWJB, however, I had committed myself to generally post nothing but original photographs rather than posting images downloaded from other sites. That meant I needed an original “summit” photograph.

To address that oversight I changed the header photo in February and featured an original shot from the summit of Spruce Knob, at 4,863 feet above sea level, West Virginia’s highest peak. The view is looking east over the North Fork Valley. As a native West Virginian that had hiked around the summit of Spruce Knob numerous times, this photo represents my mountain roots and served as the header photo for the month of February.

When March arrived it seemed like I needed to once again feature a “shore” pic so I chose a shot of the Atlantic Ocean looking over the dunes from the National Park Service Campground on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. Ocracoke is at the southern end of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and reachable only by water or air. It was frequented by the famed pirate Blackbeard and where Blackbeard eventually lost his life. It is also an excellent locale for kayaking. My wife and I have camped in the NPS campground in both late spring and early fall and will undoubtedly return. The snapshot was a no-brainer for March's header.

It only recently dawned on me that I had not identified any of these header photos. Thus this post. In the future I will identify new header images as I feature them. From the photos above it is apparent that I also need to standardize the format, to decide how many pixels wide and high the header photo will be. That work remains to be done as I learn more about editing photos and working with blogger.

April will soon be here and I have already been thinking about what “summit” print to feature as April’s header. Unless I change my mind I will be featuring an image looking west from Sam’s Point at the southern end of New York’s Shawangunk range. Some friends of ours have a country home in nearby Cragsmore and when we visit them I usually hike around the Sam’s Point Nature Preserve. This particular shot was taken in late fall as isolated thunderstorms were passing over the area.

I have wrestled with the idea of changing the header photo every month, alternating between “Summit” and “shore” pics, verses keeping the same header over time. There is something to be said about variety but there is also wisdom in establishing and maintaining a “brand” identity that could associate with a particular graphic. For the time being I have opted for variety.

What do you think, should I aim for variety or continuity with the header photo? Answer via comment or respond to the poll at the top of the right hand column. I will leave the poll up through noon, Sunday, March 15, 2009.

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