2010 in numbers (or Stats, Stats and more Stats)

Reader warning! There is no pictures in this post, only Graphs 😀

On Tuesday I published a post containing My Top 10 Favourite Images of 2010 or another way of looking at it would be “2010 in Images”. Well in this my final post for 2010 I’d like to look at the year from a different perspective, that of numbers. I’ll be looking at two separate aspects. Firstly my Photography which will look at aspects like the number of projects completed, the number of images published as well as some data around lens use for the year, such as focal & shutter speed ranges, etc.

Secondly I’ll also talk about my Website and some data around it’s growth and development over the year. I have touched on both of these topics a little in previous years but felt I wanted to go into much more detail this year. I do hope you find some of this of interest.

So lets get started;

Photography by the Numbers

So where to start? I suppose a good place would be the nerve centre of my photographic operations – Apple Aperture. According to my 2010 Fine Art Library I had 33 Outings, although that does not include other activities stored in other Libraries. That compares to 29 last year and 23 in 2008, so I’m pretty happy with the progression.

When I reviewed the library I discovered, much to my surprise that I have published 61 images this year, nearly half of those in my ongoing Nature’s Detail project. That’s about 2 per outing.

animal magnetism (5)
at night (2)
nature’s detail (29)
objects (3)
the land (11)
the sun (7)
waterworks (4)

I do find it interesting when I see other Photographers talk about the volume of images they shot or published in any given year – 1,000, 10,000 even 100,000 images. I suppose these numbers make a lot of sense if you’re an Event or Sports Photographer but as a Fine Art Photographer it just gives me the shivers.

When I look into the orientation of the images I published I can see my love affair with Portrait continues. In fact of the 7 ‘the sun‘ images 5 are portrait with a sixth being a vertical panorama. Talking about vertical panorama’s that was something new for me this year and I published two images (and here) that I was very happy with.

Portrait (22)
Landscape (30)
Square (3)
Pano (6)

When considering the next piece of analysis I came across a very timely article on what appeared to be the perfect little piece of software called Aperture Inspector (article). What does it do? Well it will analysis any Aperture Library you want to feed it and it will spit out all sorts of stats on things like Camera Bodies, Lenses, Shutter Speeds, Aperture, etc. At $9.99 (on sale) it was a no brainer for me as it made it so easy for me to pull all the information together for this article. It’s not perfect yet but the programmer has been very responsive to my suggestions and I am looking forward to watching the app mature. The graphs I display below were produced in Excel once I exported the raw data from Aperture Inspector.

The first thing I wanted to understand is how often I used my lenses over the year. As I only have 3 lenses right now this was not an overly complicated calculation but interesting nonetheless. When I looked through the % breakdown I was actually surprised to see how much I used the 70-200 as I thought I had used it much less. But wow didn’t that 17-40 get used a lot! So how does a deeper dive on that look?

Funny you should ask. I pulled both the Aperture and Focal Range data into two graphs. I wanted to review my shutter speed range for this lens also but there was a slight problem with the app dealing with Shutter Speeds longer then 1 second. The developer is working on the fix so I may update this post with that graph at a later stage.

Well you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out my preference in terms of Aperture, f/16 is the spot. Not surprising really as this lens is almost always on a Tripod taking Landscape images where Depth-of-Field is all important. I’m also not particularly surprised to see the trend in Focal Range either as 20mm is the shortest focal length I can use with my Lee Filters before I get vignetting. Given the above use for Landscapes I am always looking to grab the widest view possible. The spike at the long end is most likely driven by Pano work and  when I need to take group shots.

And what about my 2nd most used lens, the 100mm Macro? Again interesting to see the trends here with the middle of the aperture range favoured. This is my go-to lens for my floral macro work and it is always a compromise between maximising Depth-of-Field and not pushing shutter speeds too high when I am shooting delicate flowers swaying in even a light wind. I’ll be very interested to see how this looks next year as I begin to shoot more macro work lit with strobes.

And lastly the 70-200. I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with this lens. It is an absolutely beautiful lens producing stunningly sharp results even wide-open. But, there is always a but, it is so damn heavy. As a landscape photographer I tend to hike/trek a lot and weight is always a concern. At almost 1.5kg I really need to think about putting this lens in my kit bag when I am heading out. Just the 5DII and this lens weights in at 2.3kg and that’s before anything else goes in the bag! However this is definitely a first world problem and I can’t deny that this lens produces stunning results.

This lens also produces the most surprising results particularly the Aperture range. I shoot hand-held with this lens 90% of the time so I was very surprised to see such a high number of images shot at f/13, not entirely sure what’s going on there. Next up is Focal Range and there is 4 definite sweet spots here – 70mm, 115mm, 145 & 195-200mm.

The one lens that has been on my shopping list all year (and still is :() is the Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. This I feel is the perfect walk-around lens for me and the above data seems to support that in general. I’m not sure how restricted I’d feel at the short end but the general range appears to cover the majority of my needs and would be perfect for that ‘grab-and-go anywhere’ lens.

Website by the Numbers

Google Analytics (GA) is a treasure trove of information you can use to better understand and run your website. Here I have captured just a few pieces of the myriad of information that is available. I’ve had GA installed for well over a year on the site so can glean some real trends over time.

The first stat to jump off the page is the increase in visits to my site over the year. If you have read my Complete Site Revamp – Part I, A History post you will know the history of the site and how in July I amalgamated my original PhotoBlog from MyChi.us and my Portfolio (Flash Based) site. This increase is not a simple transfer of activity from my MyChi PhotoBlog either (which you can see mapped as the green dashed line), we are looking at an increase in the order of 10x and more. Although this increase was not simply down to the switch to a single website with a blog.

I made a commitment when I launched the new site to post every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and over the course of the last six months I have pretty much consistently achieved that. It is, I believe, this regular pattern of posts as well as using new tools (for me) like FacebookTwitter and most recently Tumblr as well as a tweaked approach to my old reliable Flickr account and RSS Feed that has brought about this increase.

Which leads me to another interesting view, what led visitors to my website? Direct connections to my site are still the highest but I find it interesting that my Social Networking activities i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr account for 23%. Another treat is that Google alone represents 26% which means all the hard work in keywording and SEO appears to be paying off.

I can also get a flavour of this from looking at the top search terms that led to my site. Along with my name I’m really happy to see that such keywords as Ireland, Irish, Art, Landscape and Sunrise are all keywords that resulted in visits to my site. In addition I can also see some specific location hits such as “Glenmacnass Waterfall”, the “Hellfire Club” and “Howth”.

Top 10 Search Terms

  1. john dunne photography (48 hits)
  2. art irish landscape (27 hits)
  3. john dunn photography (24 hits)
  4. glenmacnass waterfall (18 hits)
  5. john dunne (9 hits)
  6. irish landscape art (7 hits)
  7. long exposure experiment ireland rocks color light (7 hits)
  8. photograph sunrise howth (7 hits)
  9. “comments by intensedebate” (6 hits)
  10. hellfire club dublin mountains (6 hits)

And, where are my visitors from?

And lastly what did they view the most on my site? Interestingly 5 of my own Top 10 images appear below.

Top 10 Most Popular Posts / Images

  1. Sunrise upon the Rocks (227 Views)
  2. Glenmacnass Waterfall (194 Views)
  3. The Hell Fire Club (102 Views)
  4. The Abandoned Boat (86 Views)
  5. Sunrise in Phoenix Park (78 Views)
  6. Reflections of Sunrise (71 Views)
  7. Sunrise at Greystones Beach (67 Views)
  8. Sunrise Over Howth (64 Views)
  9. Complete Site Revamp – Part I, A History (61 Views)
  10. Clochán an Aifir (61 Views)

So what does this all mean? I have no idea as I don’t know how these numbers compare to other websites of a similar content. However what I do know is that I am happy with how my Website has developed over the last year and I am looking forward to what is coming in 2011 (which will be a new site design in January but sssh don’t tell anyone).

In Closing

Well I hope you found this interesting? I certainly did and have learned some interesting details along the way. It will also be interesting to visit this topic at the end of 2011 and see how things have developed.

For now though, as this will be my last post for 2010 I would like to thank you all for your support throughout the year and wish you all a very Happy New Year. I look forward to what’s in store for 2011!

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