belly dancer belly dancer belly dancerbelly dancer

belly dancerbelly dancer

Jalilah proudly continues the cultural tradition of raks sharqi, or Dance of the East. Considered an artistic form of dance, it was typically performed before female audiences. The style of dance was influenced by Middle Eastern, African and Indian traditions.

It was presented to American audiences at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Introduced as Belly Dancing, it was deemed offensive due to its sensual presentation. However, in Eastern cultures, raks sharqi is as culturally accepted as ballet is in the West. Like yoga, it commonly is practiced as a form of exercise.

Pictorial images were created with a colored pencil during post processing. Photos taken with a Vivitar 220/SL 35mm film camera.

Copyright © In Pics and Words


Is Your Blog Photo Friendly?

This article actually evolved from a conversation with H.J. Ruiz over at Avian 101. I’ve been blogging since 2007. I knew something about cameras, but computers still confound me even today. In 2012, I migrated from Blogger to WordPress. It took six months to publish my first post on WP. Blogger was an intuitive, user-friendly platform, but it was lacking in design. WP was visually appealing, but technically more difficult.

An image posted on Blogger could be enlarged by simply clicking on the photo. This feature was automatically enabled. I didn’t have to adjust the settings or insert code. In the two photos below please note that you can click to enlarge the top photo, but not the bottom.

Linked to media files
Set to default

Consider that you visit a photo blog and the images are posted as thumbnails. You can’t really appreciate the detail of the pictures because they are so small. There is a setting in WP that enables the click to enlarge function, and some bloggers may include a friendly suggestion to click on the photo for a more detailed view.

To blogging veterans this is elementary stuff, but WP gives you the option of linking your photos to the media file or a customized URL. I didn’t understand any of this in 2012, and always left it in the default setting — None. I have since gone back and linked all of my photos to the media file which allows visitors to expand the image by simply clicking on the photo. The images cannot be clicked in the default setting as demonstrated above.

There are two things to consider: aesthetics and copyright. I have friends who post their photos and art work as thumbnails because they are concerned about copyright violations. Sometimes they’ll post a low resolution, small frame image of an item that is for sale, but never will they display a full frame HD image out of concern that someone will steal their work. In those situations it makes sense to not link your photos to an external file.

For a hobbyist like me, I find that a simple copyright statement or watermark is sufficient to protect my portfolio. Be advised that copy and paste is protected under Fair Use. That is, if the user gives you proper credit and does not profit from your images there is no violation.

With regards to aesthetics, I see a number of photo blogs that do not properly display what are, otherwise, very nice photographs. The design is confusing, or distracting; and the sidebar takes your eyes off the pictures. I want to be immersed in the photograph. Some WP templates showcase your images by inserting widgets in the footer section. A visitor who is sincerely interested in your blog will not mind scrolling down the page to learn more.

There are photographers with expensive gear who capture awesome images, but you really can’t appreciate their work because they’ll post a 1600 x 2500 full frame photograph  in a 190 x 300 format not linked to the media file. This could be a copyright concern … or maybe, like me, they know more about cameras than computers.

In any case, sharing our best images is the goal of all who are passionate about cameras and photography. Keep on snapping … and posting!

Copyright © In Pics and Words

Strike a Pose (2)

model, blonde, posing
model, posing, brunette, hippy chick
model, posing, redhead
model, blonde, posing
models, posing
Summer, Willow, Chastity and Sabrina

Why is the woman below so gleeful?

  1. She bet the winning horse at the Derby.
  2. Her boyfriend asked her to marry him.
  3. She just won a prize at the carnival ring toss.

See answer below.


Answer: (3) She won a prize at the carnival ring toss. Though she didn’t receive a proposal that day, the young lady did win a very pretty ring.

Portraits taken with a Vivitar 220/SL 35mm film camera. 

Copyright © In Pics and Words

5-Star Photo Blogs (1)

This week, In Pics and Words recognizes five photographers whose captured images display notable excellence in artistic skill.

Avian 101

H.J. Ruiz posts very fine images of backyard birds. What I like about the photos is the perfect bokeh in every shot. The blurred background focuses your eyes on the detailed subject which just pops off the page. Click on each image for a better view. Avian 101 is currently ranked #224 in Birding Top 1000.

Denise Bush’s Photo Blog

Denise Bush has been posting her images since 2009. She has an impressive resume which you’ll discover in her bio. Denise’s landscape photos are awesome. Be sure to click each image for an enlarged view.

Joshi Daniel Photography

Joshi Daniel is based in India. His specialty is portraiture. Joshi is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including Best PhotoBlogger at the 2017 Indian Blogger awards. I am honored that he was the very first photographer to follow In Pics and Words.

Feathered Photography

Ron Dudley is passionate about natural science and bird photography. His images are so impressive that I was curious to discover that he uses the Canon 7D Mark II (US$1119.00)  paired with a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens (US$8999.00). That’s out of my price range, but the results speak for themselves. As they say, “A picture is worth …”

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz is being modest when he says that he has some artistic talent. Not only are his landscapes amazing, but he shares the technical details of this specialized art form in each post. Kerry is knowledgeable and highly skilled. His blog is ranked #51 on the Top 100 Nature Photography Blogs and Websites.

In Pics and Words is respectful of Award Free Blogs. Unlike standard WordPress Awards, the awardee does not have to answer 20 questions or nominate ten other bloggers. To be considered for a Jaw Drop Award all you have to do is take great pictures.

Keep on snapping!

Copyright © In Pics and Words

Strike a Pose (1)

model, posing, Pacific Islander
model, posing
model, posing, swimsuit
model, posing, Swedish
models, posing
Alana and Rhianna
models, posing
Vanessa and Elsa

These portrait shots were taken with a Vivitar SLR. It’s a 70’s vintage museum piece that uses 35mm film. If you didn’t grow up with Betamax and 8-tracks then chances are you never took pictures with this type of camera. My Vivitar captured some great photos of President Reagan, but the Secret Service exposed the film. (That’s a whole other story.)

The photo of Rhianna really exposes the problem with white balance. A white dress and white background made it difficult to highlight any facial details. Her impish expression almost gets lost in the shadows. Elsa’s hair is so blonde and bright that it got completely washed out.

You can manually adjust your camera to compensate for technical challenges, or rely on post editing. However, I am more interested in the composition of a photo. For example, Vanessa (left foot) and Elsa (left arm) are not properly framed. Adobe can’t fix that!

Copyright © In Pics and Words