Web Development: Learning the Hard Way

Learning Web Development

Sometime in 2001, I created my first website for my church using Microsoft FrontPage. I learned about web development and how to make a website through self-study. Back then, I had so much passion in learning how to make websites and thankfully, through persistence and diligent self-study, I eventually learned how to do it. I was already about 45 years old when I began to study about website design haha! Yes, I did not go through college and earn a degree on Information Technology. Rather, I learned through the “school-of-hard-knocks!” And I was a full-time pastor at that time. I am proof that one can still learn in his old age haha!

Content Management Systems

Microsoft FrontPage was eventually phased out by Microsoft but thankfully, I also learned about Dreamweaver, another program used in making websites. That helped me a lot as I studied more and more about web development.

I also learned about Joomla! quite well—a content management system (CMS) as web developers call it. I built several websites using this CMS. I also learned another CMS called Drupal but I found it too cumbersome to use. I never created a site using this tool but did encounter a few times where I had been asked to fix a Drupal site.

Nowadays, I stick with WordPress which started out as a website making tool in blog format but has now developed to become a great CMS. I have moved all my Joomla! sites to WordPress because it’s easier to use and more user-friendly — as I see it. Others may disagree of course haha!

On Creating Websites

From time to time, somebody would ask me to make a website for them. I normally would use WordPress to make one for them especially since I have become more familiar with it over the years and I deal mostly with WordPress websites on a daily basis. This personal blog site was made using WordPress. I originally created this site using Joomla!  but moved it to WordPress after a number of years.

Currently, I am maintaining several WordPress websites and two of those are for non-profit organizations. I do not earn anything from those two non-profit sites. Up to now, I continue to believe the internet is a good avenue to share the gospel throughout the whole world. Internet evangelism — it seems to me — will always be my passion for the Lord. Or rather, it is the passion of my heart that God has given to me. So I get involved and participate right there — where the Lord has placed me.

Photoshoot for a Cause

Jojie
My lovely wife, Jojie (click to zoom)

Photoshoot Revival

Back during my younger days, I loved photography but the cost of film, camera lenses and other camera accessories prevented me from making it a full-time hobby. I enjoyed my Nikon EM film camera (a gift from my sister) while it lasted. Then I shifted to ordinary point-and-shoot cameras which was what I can afford to buy. We used to call it as instamatic cameras — now it’s point-and-shoot (P & S). I did enjoy several P & S cameras over a span of many years and I was happy shooting photos of just about anything that interested me. I still enjoy shooting up to now.

But a year or so ago, my daughter gave me a second hand Panasonic Lumix GF1 camera. That sparked my interest again to study further about camera settings and all that stuff. The GF1 is a mirrorless camera different from a DSLR camera. It’s smaller and lighter—a compact camera. It’s technically called a micro four thirds camera. It is not a P & S camera too.

Photoshoot for a Cause

P1140605_800In the photo above, I took a shot of my wife when she was still in college back in 1978. She was my favorite photo subject back then and up to now haha! We were still singles back then. I used my Nikon EM film camera with a 50mm lens. In the second photo, I used my GF1 digital camera but I attached the same old 50mm Nikon lens to it to take a shot of my wife during a “Photoshoot for a Cause” recently at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City. Without planning to, she became an instant model haha!

Joining that “Photoshoot for a Cause: Yolanda Project” has caused me to study again photography and learn some more about photo post processing. In the first photo above, I tried to revive the old photo and remove scratches and blemishes. It’s kind of tough to edit a scanned photo I realize. I still need to learn a lot. I’m kind of enjoying my hobby right now.

Photo Editing

 

photo editing
Model: Gummi Fiona (Click to zoom)

It used to be that photos were made using film. And this film needs to be developed using chemicals and is done by those who know the tricks inside a dark room. That was how pictures were “post processed” or “developed” back then. Gone are those days. Today, it’s all digital photography. Post processing and tweaking, improving, deleting, adding, photo editing or enhancing photos are done by those who know certain programs like Photoshop or Lightroom.

photo editing
Model: Gummi Fiona (Click to zoom)

The first photoshoot that I ever joined encouraged me to get back once again and learn more about a built-in program in my laptop which at first I did not really took notice of. Now, I’m trying to learn more about photography and photo editing once again. It’s called Photoshop Elements 9. In this photo above (right), the model’s face is in full color while the rest of the photo is in black and white. The second photo is the original one and is in full color which I also tweaked increasing its color’s intensity. How about that? The marvels of digital photography!