Sunday, January 08, 2012

Banner evolution

I've had four banners on the blog since I started back in 2005. I thought that, since I just changed the banner photo again, I'd do a little retrospective for those of you who may not remember all of them. The first banner was a photo I took long ago of the Paris skyline.

My first banner: Paris. I took this shot from the Eiffel Tower many years ago.

However, I don't live in Paris. I'm three hours south by car. So, when it came time to change the banner, I looked for something more local. One of the most famous of the Loire Valley castles is Chenonceau, so I used one of my photos of the château's gallery spanning the Cher River to make the new banner. The Cher is the river that flows down at the bottom of our road. This castle is a thirty minute drive from our house.

The castle at Chenonceau, my second banner photo. I really liked this one.

The next banner is also a local château, but this one is on the Loire River and it's about thirty-five minutes by car from the house. It's called Chaumont and is a wonderful place to visit. I took the photo from the gardens that you used to be able to wander free of charge. Since a couple of years now you have to pay for this view.

The third banner shot: Chaumont. I liked this one a lot, too.

The current banner photo (at the top of the blog) is the grand-daddy of all the Loire Valley castles: Chambord.* This one's a short forty minute drive from our house. It's a must-see on any visitor's list, although the interior is less impressive than the exterior (in my humble opinion). I took this picture just last Friday while I was modeling for tomorrow's post.

So there you have it.

*NOTE: since this post was written, the banner has changed again. Twice.


  1. Walt, I like the typeface you use for your banner - the use of all lower case, different weights, sans serif..... Is that geeky?!
    I have a 'thing' about typefaces, having worked in advertising and communications for 20 years.
    Bonne dimanche!

  2. Walt,

    I love all your banners. My question is how to you get the photo to stretch out like that across the top of your blog? I've experimented and searched Blogger but I am still unable to stretch out my photos the way you do on your blog. Thanks!

  3. The banner photos are all beautiful. Thanks for sharing the history (of where you live and of your blog)!

  4. Agree with you about Chambord--stunning from outside; interior not really much to write home about; although the double helix staircase is impressive. One of the nice things is walking on the roof--you get such a lovely view.

  5. Your banners are beautiful. If I had to pick a favorite it would be Chaumont- it looks like a fairytale castle to me and the different trees add more magic.

    The days are longer here in 'Bama also;-)

  6. La patience est la mère de toutes les vertus -so I will wait for that picture from Chambord :-)

  7. So you tease us for another day.

    (But, I enjoyed the banner retrospective today :))


  8. Your banner shot of Chaumont was actually our inspiration for driving out there during our last visit. It's now one of my favorite châteaux. I tried to take a similar photo since I liked yours so much. My photo was so-so and while looking for the right angle, a man and woman in a golf cart came racing over to tell me to not walk on the grass. Following these blogs is getting me into all kinds of trouble.

  9. There is nothing like a new frock to brighten up the day, is there?

  10. I liked all the banners, but I think Chaumont is my favorite because that's the place they use in as "Camelot" in the
    BBC show "Merlin".

  11. Interesting that you kept them. I think I remember them all, but I'm not sure about the first one.

    Happy New Year to you both (I I haven't said it already!)

  12. Is that scaffolding or a tall building in the background to the left in your new banner?

  13. catherine, totally geeky!

    ron, it's been so long that I'm not sure, exactly. It has to do with going into the html code of your template and figuring out how wide your blog banner space is; mine is 910 pixels wide. Then I size my banner photo to that dimension in Photoshop before importing it into the banner spot using the 'design' tab. Hope that helps.

    mitch, thanks. I though it would be appropriate to be more local in the banner.

    n&a, it's also nice if you can hit it when the crowds aren't so thick. But that usually means wind, rain, and cold.

    evelyn, I do like the way that one turned out.

    t.b. and judy, today's the day!

    dean, I'm such a bad influence! It's really too bad they make you pay to walk on the grounds now. I suppose riding around in golf carts yelling at people costs money...

    michael, speaking of which...

    starman, cool. I didn't know that. I saw a few episodes of the show a while back, but it went right by me.

    betty, I keep everything. And bonne année to you, too! :)

    victor, I'm afraid it's scaffolding. This place is out in the middle of a huge forest preserve, there are no tall buildings.

  14. At Post Apocalyptic Bohemia, we have been taken aback by each change, but we learn to relax after we study the photo in each banner & accept that WCS like to shake things up.

  15. Do you or anybody know where I can buy stock banners with views of paris for my web page? We send American college students as au pairs to Paris.

    Most stock photos are not banner-sized. We have seen a few that are, but we're not crazy about them (except yours, of course.)

    I used to live there as a young man in the 50's, by the way. For $200 a month I could afford a 2-star hotel (there was no 1-star hotel except sleeping in the metro)and live fairly comfortably. Ate horsemeat steaks and spread mustard on the bread (butter cost extra). $200 will buy dinner for 2 with wine at a good restaurant (not an expensive one) now.


  16. Mike, do a google search for "banner images paris" and you get a bunch. You can also try other word combinations and see what you get. Good luck!


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