Posted by: ramblinrobert | April 9, 2010

I need your help!

One of the challenges with creativity is imposing constraints then working within those constraints, for example a literary form such as a three-act play or a sonnet. Weavers may stick to a particular form, such as tapestry or tartan plaids. Painters may stick to a color palette limited in tone, or to a realistic, impressionistic or abstract style. Photographers my limit themselves to black and white. In all cases, the challenge is to bring out the best work you can, focusing on what is available within those constraints. (Here are some interesting comments on constraints in poetry, by fellow blogger Janis Freegard.)

One of the small, but interesting, constraints I work with as a photographer is the shape of the header in this blog. The requirements are very specific; header images are limited to 736 pixels wide by 229 pixels high. A less obvious constraint is that there are tabs (e.g., “About ramblin’ and Robert”) that impose into the photo area, so there can be nothing in the image that is critical  along its lower left edge, because it would be obscured. When I’m traveling, I’m always looking for images that will fit well within this unusually wide and short format.  Selected images must  capture the essence of a place and be aesthetically pleasing within the constraints of the header. It’s a fun challenge and I always come up with something of interest. On this trip, I came up with a number of images with this challenge in mind and have now narrowed it down to a handful of images. I like them all!

So, here are my header image candidates from my trip to the Galapagos Islands. Help me out and let me know which ones you think best capture the essence of the Galapagos Islands.

(You can expand each image to full size by clicking on it.)



  1. The tortoise, of course! Love it! The iguanas (?) would be a close second.

    • Thanks, M. This is one of my top three of the set. It’s definitely in the running.

  2. I’d vote for the close-up of the iguanas – fantastic photo!

    • Thanks, Janis. These little critters (marine iquanas) were massed everywhere, warming in the morning sun and oblivious to all the tourists. They are endemic to the Galapagos Islands, so this photo is certainly a good representative of the Islands.

  3. I like the tortoise too. However, I’m leaning towards the blue-footed booby. It shows the harsh volcanic rock with crashing ocean waves and the solitary, yet stoic bird, unafraid.

    Looking forward to more posts!

    (the greater flamingo)

  4. You picked two of my three favorites. After all, the blue-footed booby and the giant tortoise are both endemic to the Galapagos, if I’m not mistaken.

    I may have to figure out a way to alternate among several images. 😉

    The Marine Iquana

  5. I vote for the booby bird….all of these are great. Can you divide the header photo 1/2 on the left and 1/2 on the right?

  6. Thanks. No, the header is the size and shape of the images I provided, and what is at the top of each page. You can’t split it.

    Whoa! You’ve given me an idea. If I learned how to merge images, I could create a single image made up from multiple images. That would work. Thanks for the idea–it provides a new way of thinking about the constraints!

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