What and Why (Four Photographs) and for WordPress users my comments (bottom of the page) on WordPress’s new Reader

montreal-grunge-2-2To view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

In this series I  focused on the B&W images and have included the color versions to make a point. There is a lot going on in these photographs apart form the subject itself: detail, texture, normal distortions of old buildings (accentuated in part by the positioning of the camera) etc. In B&W, the impact seems to come from the art as well as the other things I have mentioned. However, in color the impact and details are not as evident. The color shots, were sharpened in Photoshop, detailed in Intensity CK and further detailed in Aurora HDR 2017. B&W conversions were done in Tonality CK.

montreal-grunge-2

montreal-grunge-2-8

montreal-grunge-2-7

My comments on the new Reader were posted on the support forum (https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/reader-update?replies=32), you can add your views there or in the WP original post: (https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/reader-refresh-2017/#comment-231978)

The new Reader has some severe consequences for photographers and other artists who have worked hard and are showcasing their work. The cropped format (portrait or landscape) is one problem; a second is minuscule thumbnails (try to see the detail in a landscape, or street scene at such a size or even distinguish between them). Magazines on-line and in print have understood this for a long time, but magazines also get to choose their content, art and photography. The Reader is a forum for people to advertise their work quite the reverse from a magazine. Be it prose, poetry, painting, photography or news people choose what to post, its format and content, they work hard at that and Reader discards all of it when it comes to photography. Moving on to the other “improvements”, as a photographer I might not like the “gallery format” maybe it does not suit my story line – does it even show my photos in order? And why would anyone want to visit my blog or view my post when most of it is there in Reader for him or her to see? How and why is it that Reader chooses from my posts what to advertise at the bottom of my post, what if I am doing a series of posts and the posts chosen by the algorithm have nothing to do with that series. Why not have different formats for “Tag pages” where art/photography is the subject? We all work hard on our content and to have these changes imposed on us hurts. Many of us like WordPress for the community. Reader is a key function in that and having someone decide for us how our work and efforts will be reformatted does not help the community.

36 responses

  1. Thanks for the warning, I will keep to the old format.

    Like

    December 19, 2016 at 1:20 am

    • You have no choice it just changes. I would love to keep the old format.

      Like

      December 19, 2016 at 1:32 am

  2. Ditto to that, Victor 🙂

    Fortunately for me, I use email notifications 97% of the time and avoid most of this new format. But some blogs I follow don’t show in my gmail inbox, despite setting the ‘follow’ up as email notifications ( of new posts), so occasionally (usually once every couple of months), I’m forced to use the WP Reader. I don’t know if this is something to do with the type of WP template, bloggers are using, or what. Or bloggers are changing their settings etc.

    I found the Reader totally frustrating last week.

    But then I’m still using the (old) format of writing a new post and the (old) way of uploading images. In fact, I now have to stop following long ‘writing’ blogs as my eyesight is not 100% (even with glasses).

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is my Motto.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 19, 2016 at 3:21 am

    • I use the old wherever possible. WP sets the rules and firmT for Reader.

      Like

      December 19, 2016 at 6:05 am

  3. Seattle Park Lover

    I posted that I wasn’t too thrilled with the new reader either. The severe cropping presents frequently comical results and hardly encourages clicking. And the gallery layout looks so similar to paid ads seen everywhere on the web that my eyes just skim right past.

    Liked by 2 people

    December 19, 2016 at 5:14 am

  4. Came back to see them mucking with things again and like you I am not very pleased. Whatever was there purpose in changing what worked? Great captures and while I like things in color the b&w conversions seem “deeper” to me.

    Like

    December 19, 2016 at 6:09 am

    • Thanks you. We will see if WP responds. Please comment

      Like

      December 19, 2016 at 6:11 am

      • I read all of the comments to the roll out of the new reader and most like it but they are still in the tweaking phase so it may be a work in progress.

        Like

        December 19, 2016 at 6:23 am

  5. Bravo Victor – You have made the case against the new format in a precise, intelligent and constructive way. Your comment, and those of others here, reflect exactly how a great many of us a feeling at the moment.

    The person responsible is Derek Powazek I would encourage everybody to let Derek know exactly how you feel by directing comments to him via the following link:
    :
    https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/reader-refresh-2017/#comment-231783

    I’m not sure he fully understands how unhappy we are – This is what he said in response to another dissatisfied Photographer:-

    “Hi Storki! Thanks for the feedback. And I’m sorry you’re not happy.

    Wanna know a secret? I’m actually a photographer, too. (I even ran a photography magazine back in the day.) So I get where you’re coming from.

    Here’s the idea: the Reader stream is not the work itself, it’s an excerpt of the work. So, for text, we “crop” it and show just the first few lines. For photos, we do the same. It’s not intended to replace the work, it’s intended to give the reader a taste, and let them click through for more.

    The goal is for the Reader stream to be like an index of things. To keep it fair, we’re giving all posts approxinately the same height. For photo posts without a lot of text, we devoted the entire area to the photo. If you hate it, I get it. Add a sentence or two and you’ll get the normal layout.

    I realize this may not change your mind, and that’s okay. If it helps, I think your photos look awesome in Reader.

    We’re going to continue to work on this, and have a few ideas for how to improve, so give us a little patience and I hope we’ll make you happy.

    Thanks again for using Reader, and for the feedback. It’s sincerely appreciated.”

    I get the impression that Derek needs to be persuaded that he really doesn’t understand that we do not want to be told how our photographs should be displayed and viewed. They are what they are – and l for one intended that they should be seen as such.

    Regards

    Dan

    Liked by 2 people

    December 19, 2016 at 7:46 am

  6. I hink these photos work well both in color & B&W although I prefer the B&W … as you suggest, they are less busy.

    I am with you on the new reader format … it’s terrible. Yes, we work hard to compose our images and the reader destroys them. Almost nothing looks interesting enough to visit in this format! I also don’t like the gallery format as I want readers to visit my blog, read the whole story and see my captions and links. We can only hope that WordPress realizes the error in its ways!

    Like

    December 19, 2016 at 10:15 am

  7. I too despise the new reader for all the reasons stated above. The gallery feature does not affect me too much, as I tend to post single images, but I am concerned about the order that the reader sorts them in. I liked seeing full sized images from fellow photographers, not cartoon strips. What would be awesome would be a choice on ‘how’ we publish to the reader, which is what I was doing with my theme, rather than have it decided for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 19, 2016 at 10:27 am

    • I agree, If you haven’t make a comment in the forum

      Like

      December 19, 2016 at 10:47 am

      • Done. I really don’t like the cropping. I find myself looking at the posts of other photographers and being really bothered by the crop. It makes no sense.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 19, 2016 at 10:50 am

  8. TPJ

    I have been busy and not looked at the reader until now, this thread got my attention Victor. One site we use here is for interior design images. A single image, no real text. The reader does not work for this at all. A found an image of ours that was a foot, yes just the foot.

    My groups photos are large, but I’m not sure how much my audience / clients use the reader. Myself, I don’t like it for photography since the essence of the photo is not there. Look around and you find a sunset, with the sun that was to set.

    Thanks for sharing everyone’s thoughts here.

    Like

    December 19, 2016 at 4:12 pm

  9. Victor, thanks for your very thoughtful comment re the reader changes. I agree with you and will post a comment. Loved your shots this week but actually couldn’t decide between B&W vs color. Both have their strengths IMHO. Happy holidays to you

    Like

    December 19, 2016 at 4:55 pm

  10. Laura

    Thank you for your thoughts. I am also unhappy with the reader and I will follow your links to the place to comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 19, 2016 at 7:07 pm

  11. Well said, Victor! The new Reader does no favours to either posters or viewers.

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    December 19, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    • Thank you. Please make your voice heard in the forums.

      Like

      December 19, 2016 at 11:34 pm

  12. I agree, I do not like looking through a letterbox, and the solution of writing a large amount of text does not appeal. I have voiced my objections on Mr Derek Powazeks blog

    Like

    December 20, 2016 at 3:36 am

  13. I had wondered if the cropped photos in the reader were just on my tablet! I really dislike the new reader format too… Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the links!

    Like

    December 21, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    • If you are unhappy day so in the forum. Be specific. It’s the galleries that bother me. The crop will be fixed.

      Like

      December 21, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      • I did make a comment. It’s the cropping that bothered me most so I’m glad you say it will be fixed. I see your point about the galleries.

        Like

        December 21, 2016 at 6:50 pm

  14. Thanks for these detailed and valuable thoughts, Victor. It’s been helpful to read your followers’ comments, too. I was away from WP while traveling for about a month and am just returning. I appreciate the link to Derek, and will pay close attention now to how the changes impact me, thanks to your post.

    Like

    December 24, 2016 at 4:50 pm

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