After my Celtic Colours 2005 trip to Cape Breton, I received requests to share some of the photographs I took then and during my previous trips to Cape Breton. Since, at the time, I had no mechanism for posting them on-line with which I felt comfortable, Mike Little offered to host them on his Cape Breton Choices web site, since renamed Music Cape Breton (click the “Photos” button underneath the banner at the top of that site’s home page). At that time, we agreed that I would supply a set of pictures on a more-or-less monthly basis presenting an aspect of Cape Breton’s scenery along with some descriptive commentary. The table below lists the essays in the order in which they have actually been published, which has turned out to be considerably less frequently than originally agreed, though with many more photos than initially conceived.
At the beginning, these essays were written for Mike’s web site, not this one, and therefore had to function in that environment. Because of this, they have always had a different layout and appearance from the rest of this site. Over the years, in part due to the space constraints on Mike’s site, the photo essays have migrated to my web site, where all of the images and nearly all of the pages now reside. The current essay is still always posted on Mike’s web site, not here (though the link to it on this page does work—it takes you to Mike’s web site).
Essays before the current one are archived here. Because of my desire to give the photo essays an appearance like that of the rest of my site, I have converted those which used HTML 4.01 Transitional without CSS to HTML5 so that they now adopt the same organizational layout as found on the rest of this site. Moreover, any broken links have been fixed or removed; the smaller photos of the older essays have been replaced with larger versions to take advantage of the additional space freed up by the new layout; in nearly all cases, the textual content remains very close to that of its previous form, though I have revised it when necessary to incorporate knowledge I have acquired since the page was originally written, some based on feedback that I have received, and cleaned up the wording and miscellaneous infelicities in the original text.
Many of the recent essays have included numerous “inset” pictures of a smaller size than the larger “main” photo at the top of the page; text was made to flow around these photos. This worked reasonably well, other than robbing the inset photos of some detail, though with certain screen sizes, particularly the very small ones on mobile devices, flowed text was often poorly formatted because there wasn’t enough room for both it and the photo, and, worse, often appeared at some distance away from the photo under discussion, rendering the relative references to the various photos in the text (e.g., “the photo at the left”, “the photo above”) sometimes ambiguous and sometimes flatly incorrect. During the conversion to HTML5 for the new site, I have therefore made all of the photos on a page the same size as that of a main photo (certain detail photos, excerpted from other photos, remain at a smaller size when the larger size would introduce distortion or pixellation). Although this will adversely affect the amount of time each page will take to load on dial-up and slow broadband, hopefully, the significantly better detail and reliable formatting will compensate for the additional time.
This change left me with two problems: (1) where to put the essay’s text in relation to the photos and (2) how to refer to the individual photos. I have resolved the second problem by adding a bracketed number at the start of each photo’s caption: [#1] identifies the main photo, [#2] marks the second photo on the page, and so forth, and I then refer to them as photo #1, photo #2, etc. The first problem is a thornier one; text which applies to all of the photos is kept at the top of the page, before the first photo. The text for the first photo always starts beneath it; when there are only two photos on a page, this works quite well. When there are more than two, I have tried to get the text as close to the relevant photo(s) as practical in order to minimize the amount of scrolling required. This necessarily requires the text relating to the photos to be broken into chunks; whenever that text is discontinuous, I have added the tag “[continued below]” beneath a non-final text chunk to indicate that more text follows.
To read the essay in sequence, click the “First” link in the footer (or in the navigation bar at the top of the page) and the “Next” link in each subsequent page’s footer or navigation bar. Click the “Essay Index” link in the footer or navigation bar to see thumbnails of all of the photos appearing at the top of a page in the essay; you may click on any thumbnail to move directly to that page of the essay, perhaps resuming your reading where you left off on a previous visit or searching the essay for a particular topic or main photo. You may return to the introduction by clicking the essay title link in the navigation bar at the top of any subsequent page.
For information about the photos in these essays, including the cameras used, JPEG compression, copyright, and availability, see this discussion on my home page.
To access one of the photo essays, click on its title either in the bottom third of the navigation bar or in the table below.
I am delighted to be able to give something back to Cape Breton Island for all the incredible hospitality its people have shown me over the years. Please direct any feedback on these essays to me using the link in the footer below.