with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Taking Your Camera on the Road Website Reaches 400 Published Articles

DATE: December 2002
SUBJECT: The VanFossens’ web site Totals over 400 Articles

VanFossen Productions, Lorelle and Brent VanFossen
“Taking Your Camera on the Road”
Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel – Want to know about taking your camera on the road? How about life living abroad, or especially living in Israel? Want to know about how to take fantastic photographs as well as how to explore some of the most exciting natural locales in the world? Lorelle and Brent VanFossen’s web site, www.cameraontheroad.com, has now exceeded 400 articles, with more coming every month!

Professional nature photographers and writers, Lorelle and Brent VanFossen, share their adventures and experiences of taking their camera on the road with the public through their easy-to-access web site. Broken into eight different sections, they cover a wide range of photo techniques within their Learning Zone, more than you could ever want to know about living on the road in their Living Zone, and tips for heading out on the road in the Going Zone.

“We’ve just posted our new workshop class book for our popular ‘How To? What For?’ basic photography class bringing our site to almost 500 ‘pages’,” explains Lorelle VanFossen, designer and writer behind the vast web site. “Our goal is to not only share our love for photography and nature with others so they can feel the same satisfaction we do, but to also share our passion for travel and adventure.”

The site, “Taking Your Camera on the Road”, is totally self-produced and funded. Since the development of web pages, Lorelle has designed web pages for dozens of companies and associations. Studying the W3 Accessibility recommendations was very important to her. “I really wanted to design our pages to be as simple to use as possible, without a lot of pomp and flash. Nothing but well-designed text and graphics. It was also critical for the site to be accessible to everyone. Reports are that more than a quarter of all Internet users are disabled and handicapped and I have a lot of friends who are deaf and visually impaired, as well as disabled in some way. I want them to be able to learn from our web site as well much as anyone.”

Lorelle admits that the use of Javascripts has really improved her site, both in presentation and speed. “Javascripts are great for programming computations like computing gas mileage or distances traveled, but they are also great for minimizing repeated programming. For instance, I found some great shareware called Javascript-Maker from Byte-Size Software, http://www.byte-sizesoftware.com/. Usually, when designing a page, I want a uniform look. This means some information will be repeated on every page. Changing that information means a lot of cutting and pasting, as well as finding and replacing, taking a lot of time to do for hundreds of pages. Javascript-Maker allows me to enter in html coding which then outputs it as Javascript file. I put one call-out for the Javascript file on every page, and when I want to change the formatting for those pages, I just change the Javascript file and not the pages themselves. This not only saves me time but lots of energy not having to cut and paste the new coding in on several hundred pages.” She uses these Javascript files for the text seen at the bottom of every page on her site as well as for the constantly changing “Connect the Dots” article listings along the left side of every article. [You can view the source code in Internet Explorer by clicking on VIEW, then SOURCE.]

She has no problem finding Javascript coding on the Internet. “I’ve found some great sites where people upload Javascript coding for others to use free. This saves me time and they work great. You can see examples of these codes from http://javascript.internet.com and others on our travel helpers page. There is even a script to help compute how fast you would be traveling at the speed of light. I like that! Most of all, I like showing off the work that others have done, not just what I’ve done. There are some brilliant people out there doing great things and I love it when we can all benefit.”

Brent, the editor and checker, as well as co-writer on the web site, is very proud of his wife’s accomplishments. “The ideas just keep coming from her brain. She has an interesting way of simplifying concepts that others dismiss as ‘something everyone should know already’, and helping others learn the how-tos and what fors of photography, travel, and life in general. She’s amazing to work with.”

Not to be outdone, Lorelle jumps back in. “Brent is the most incredible photographer I’ve ever worked with or known. He has an eye that ‘sees’ the picture in a way that leaves the viewer not only impressed but awed. He can look at a scene that others will walk away from and find the magical perspective, telling the story in a simple, clean, and yet completely emotional context. I love it. Even I’m not as good as he is, and I’ve been doing it longer. It’s a gift!”

In addition to the 100 “articles” added to the large web site with the production of their basic nature photography workbook online, they’ve recently added some fascinating articles:

  • Smoke Free Traveling tackles the issue of non-smoking travelers who want to explore the world “smoke-free”
  • PhotoQuilts explains the technique of using graphic software to create kalidescope-like pictures
  • Hire Yourself is an article about overcoming the “stuck in a rut” mode many nature photographers and writers get
  • The Photographic Sherlock Holmes takes the photographer on an expedition to discover the mystery behind the mistakes found after the film has been processed.
  • Putting It Together: The Photographic Approach tackles the challenge of explaining their approach to photographing a scene or location
  • Horitzontal vs. Vertical Images is another compositional technique article to help photographers understand the two format choices they have within their camera and how to make the most out of them.

They also have added new stories to their Telling Zone about their life on the road, coming to Israel, and living with terrorism and the threat of war..

They have also started a new free emailed newsletter dedicated to people involved and interested in nature photography and editorial writing. Each month will feature tips, tricks, advice, wisdom, incentives, motivation, inspiration and just information about nature photography, editorial writing, environmental issues, and more. To find out more and how to sign up for your free copy, visit our newsletter information page.

The VanFossens are nature photographers and writers traveling full-time whose work has been featured in major publications such as Shutterbug, Outdoor and Nature Photography, Arriving Magazine, Jerusalem Post, Trailer Life, and the Photographic Society of America’s Journal. Their web page, http://www.cameraontheroad.com is one of the largest personal web sites on the Internet.

For more information on who the VanFossens are and what are they doing as they take their camera on the road, visit their Doing Zone.

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