Great Photojournalism Blogs: Joe McNally and Lens Culture

I had the opportunity to explore the world of online journalism and analyze the techniques of a couple of bloggers.

Good Blogging Practices
(Journalism Next by Mark Briggs):

-well crafted headline; specific
-visual; scanable
-has voice/perspective/personality
-short sentences/paragraphs
-post regularly
-allow comments
-links to other sites

Joe McNally

Joe McNally’s blog includes everything from accounts of jobs he’s recently done to a post about lighting setup to a technological field test. He seems to chime in to the comments section every once and while, but not regularly.  When he does, it’s usually short and very informal.

McNally displays the use of many good blogging practices discussed in Briggs and in class. His headlines are always specific to what that particular post is about. When he writes posts, he uses informal tone and has a very strong personality that comes through with his language.  He includes a variety of links in each post when he refers to other bloggers, photographers, or websites.  His blog as a whole is very easy to scan and find exactly what you want to look at with categories, links, and archives.

I really enjoy McNally’s personality that comes through in each blog entry.  I am also fascinated by his photography and lighting techniques.  I love that every post has pictures, sometimes even a video.  I am currently reading his book, The Hot Shoe Diaries, and this blog is a great extension of his experience and knowledge in photography.

McNally’s personality and writing style is definitely a strength presented in his blog.  He is informal, yet provides a great deal of information that is interesting and easy to follow.

The one thing I didn’t like about his blog was his input in  the comments section.  If it were my blog, I would want to communicate with the readers more.  I think McNally especially should have more of a correspondence with his audience by responding more to the comments.  Maybe even have a live chat feed or question and answer posts.

Lens Culture

The Lens Culture blog is sort of a collection of all things photography, posted by Jim Casper. He writes about particular photo essays, portrait sessions, and artist profiles. He includes videos of artists talks and informational links about portfolio reviews and competitions. Lens Culture blog, however, did not have the ability for readers to comment.

Lens Culture had really great headlines because they were specific to the post and quickly informed me of what I was looking at.  The blog was very easy to navigate with the archives, search box, and recent entries links. Throughout each post, links to other sites and artist blogs are included.  Casper also does a really great job of attributing information and photos to the appropriate places.  The posts are fairly regular and are written with an informal tone.  Videos and/or pictures are in every post, with text written in short paragraphs.

I really enjoy the variety presented in each of the Lens Culture posts.  The subject matter was new and interesting, not to mention very easy to find through the archives. Another strength of the Lens Culture blog is attribution.  Whenever an artist, photographer, or another website is mentioned, there is names and links that make it easy for the reader to gain more information.

The one thing I don’t really like about the Lens Culture blog is that there is no comment section.  I think this is a weakness of the blog because it limits the interaction and communication between the blogger and the audience.  I would definitely include a comments section in my blog as well as maybe creating a gallery devoted solely to the photography.  It could allow the audience to find the photos from all the posts in one location, attribute the photographer, and link to more photography.


About a1garst

I am a Photojournalism student at Central Michigan University. This blog is used to document my journey through my Online Journalism class.
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One Response to Great Photojournalism Blogs: Joe McNally and Lens Culture

  1. Stefan Jagot says:

    Very good post, definitely can tell this is isn’t your first attempt at blogging. The only think I could say is more links to the points you are making in your criticism, but other than that it was a great piece throughout.

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