Vanilla Days

Vanilla Days

Official site launch day. I’ve spent about a month working on this new design, tweaking each page, each feature so that it works just so. I have to admit that WordPress isn’t as flexible as Moveable Type was for a photoblog. I would love to know how to have it so you can click the image to go back a day without adding the code each day to the entry. Maybe its just something I’ll have to live with if I want that feature. Ok so whats new?

  • New theme with black and white css for user choice
  • Sidebar on non image pages with links to various pages, a recent slide show, and search box
  • Each non image page (About, Subscribe, etc) has been rewritten
  • Navigation changed. I integrated certain elements from individual posts into the main nav. Its now dynamic based on the content displayed. It *just* fits in at 1024.
  • Previous Photo, Next Photo, Latest Photo, appear at the top depending on the content. This makes it easier to browse the site
  • Contact page still exists. Accessible from “About” page
  • Comment on this entry link has been moved to the main navigation
  • Portfolio integrated
  • Share this. So people can bookmark it via a social bookmarking site, or simply email the entry to a friend
  • Buy Prints page. Prices, licensing info, commercial use, etc.
  • Archives re-written so they show thumbnails for each entry. Each section shows all the thumbnails in that section.
  • Every thumbnail over the past 2 1/2 years has been rebuilt. I was annoyed that some were smaller than others from Moveable Type, and the aspect ratio on some was terrible. So I built a bunch of actions in Photoshop and redid them all.
  • Every image over the past 2 1/2 years has been updated to include my logo, and most has been sharpened as a result so they should look crisper.
  • Its based on Hemmingway for WordPress. WordPress has been updated to 2.1 as well.
  • Site and domain name change to

So why all the change? Well I realised my site is becoming more popular locally and world wide. I can’t continue with the name of “Daily Pete” as its so unprofessional sounding. I couldn’t say to someone on the street that I write for the daily Pete. I could say that I write for “Vanilla Days, Liverpool’s biggest daily photojournalism site” though. So I decided to change it. I wanted it to sound more like “something” rather than just my little site, by me. I didn’t want it to be in any way pretentious, like the hitcount was going to my head or something. I’ve always known “Daily Pete” was a stopgap till I found something better.

“Why Vanilla Days?”, I hear you say. One of my favourite movies is Vanilla Sky which is a remake of a film called “Abre los ojos” or “Open your eyes.” Photography for me is about opening my eyes and seeing the world. Theres things I do now that I never ever did before hand. Like today I’m off to document the Chinese New Year. 4 years ago I wasn’t aware it was even celebrated locally. One of the main themes in Vanilla Sky is the vanilla sky. A perfect sunset. They are quite rare I’ve found. Sure I can nip to the beach and get a sunset shot, but a perfect vanilla sky like from a painting? Its hard. Since coming up with the name I haven’t seen one. Well, I saw one on the same day I named the new site. Fate I guess. Annoyingly by the time you see a sunset you don’t have time to get somewhere nice to photograph it, so I missed that shot. So basically “Vanilla Days” are those perfect days where everything is right in the world and you can kick back and watch the day end in a spectacular way. Not every day is perfect, its rare, but it happens. This is reflected in the images posted here. Every day can be a nice day, each day I can post what I feel is a nice shot. I can’t post a perfect amazing image each day just as the universe can’t create perfect sunsets each day. Maybe I’ll get lucky and I’ll capture a perfect shot from a vanilla day. If I do, I’ll post it here. I know what you’re thinking, “He’s gone mad with power.” But no, I just like things to have meaning. If nothing else, the site holds meaning for me.

In other news I’ve been nominated for 7 (!!) Photobloggies. Seven! Lordy. I was hoping for maybe 1, best kept secret. You’ve always got to have a little hope and thats the one I felt I fitted into most. But seven? Wow, thanks to everyone who voted. I’m just stunned.

  • Best Western European Photoblog
  • Best Black and White Photography
  • Best Abstract Photography
  • Best Landscape Photography
  • Best Kept Secret
  • Best Writing
  • Photoblog of the Year

Its incredible to see my name on the same page, in the same category as people like Chromasia and Daily Dose of Imagery. Those guys are my heros. I’ve met one briefly and a few others on the list from my Toronto visit. They’re all great guys and they all deserve to win. My favourites from the Photo of the Year are;

Well, thats that. Time to freshen up and go document the Chinese New Year. I hope everyone enjoys the new site and if you spot any bugs please tell me. Oh, today’s photo was taken over 2 years ago just when I first got my DSLR, Canon 10D.

Camera: Canon 10D // ISOSpeed: 100 // ShutterSpeed: 1/91 // Aperture: f8 // ExposureBias: -0.5 // Metering: Multi-Spot // FocalLength: 28mm // Canon 28-105mm

4 responses

  1. Nice site re-design Pete – I think that the top bar works very well now and the archives page is a lot more straightforward to use. Not come across any bugs yet (using Safari browser). Good job!

  2. Pete: the new design looks great, and I want you to know your excellent work has been essential daily viewing for me for months. You deserve al you are nominated for.


  3. Loving the new design Pete, keep up the good work 🙂

  4. The new site looks great Pete…I’ll be popping in frequently mate.