On September 25th, 2010—embarrassingly for me, nearly a month ago now—Single-Serving Photo turned five. What started as an exhibitionist experiment to see if I could force myself to take at least one decent photograph every day turned into a kind of monument to my own photography obsession and my fondness for sharing and learning together with the Internet.

Looking back on these five years, there are some particular posts that stand out in my mind. Many of them, as you might imagine, are irrelevant to most of my visitors. If only there was some way that I could find out which articles the Internet loves the most…

Fortunately, since mid-2007, I have been using Google Analytics to record and analyze the traffic on this site. I thought, since this is sort of an anniversary of the blog, it would be appropriate to share some of the gems from these last four years that I have on record.

Without further ado, the Super Single-Serving Wrap-Up!

Top Five Most-Read Posts

In terms of pure traffic, these posts are by far the most popular, either because they attract the largest number of visitors who are searching for something and found it here, or they were mentioned or linked from other sites the most.

5

With 2,002 total unique pageviews, Art Concepts in Photography, Part 2: Composition comes in fifth.

This was the second part of a rather short-lived series of articles I did on the high-level design concepts relevant to photography. Though I enjoyed writing them all, this chapter on composition is probably the most widely applicable, so I can understand why it’s so popular.

4

Coming in at 2,501 unique pageviews, and possessing the distinction of being quite possibly one of my own personal favorites of all time, Histograms, Huh? claims fourth place.

I wrote this article when I, myself, was exploring Photoshop as a post-processing tool, and although I knew in my mind what a histogram did, I wanted to explore all of the details of its behavior and share that with you, my loyal reader. Using a more illustrative approach than I was ever able to find, I explain exactly what a histogram does.

3

Claiming, quite rightfully in my opinion, third place with 2,847 unique views is Mastering the Only Five Camera Settings

In the technically dense content of this article lies the answer to virtually every question I have ever been asked by beginner and intermediate photographers during my workshops. The fundamental balancing act among each of the five variables you, as the creator, may control is the crux of the craft of photography and the foundation for everything else you will ever learn. This article is deserving of its third place position.

2

Due most likely to its contentious proposition, second place is claimed by Why Bubble Levels Are a Waste of Money with 3,905 unique pageviews.

It was a lot of fun to write this diatribe against a small, fluid-filled piece of plastic that, at around \$25, is likely to be one of the least expensive items in any photographer’s kit. Still, the fact that they probably make them for \$0.50 and my lasting belief that they are utterly useless combine to power this article nearly to the top of the list.

At the end of the article I concede that shooting panoramas might warrant the use of a bubble level. Since then I’ve gone out to Yellowstone and shot multiple panoramas hand-held, so really, don’t buy a bubble level, they’re a waste of money.

1

Finally, numero uno, the king, the absolutely most trafficked article on the entire site… With a whopping 12,343 unique pageviews, which is three times more than the second place article, and almost twice the pageviews that my front page receives, is…

Neutral Density Filters

I know. I have no idea why this article is so popular. According to Analytics, the number one traffic source for this page is the popular social link site StumbleUpon, which contributed the lion’s share of pageviews. Apparently there are a lot of photographers on StumbleUpon.

My reason for writing this article on what seems like, and in point of fact really is, a numbingly boring topic was my search for neutral density filters to add to my kit. When I started researching, I immediately discovered that several scales are used to measure their opacity (or “density,” actually), so I decided to figure out what was going on and share it with everyone.

Apparently it was very helpful for a bunch of folks.

So that wraps up this wrap-up. I hope you had fun skimming over the top five most popular articles I’ve written in the past few years, and if you have any favorites of your own, feel free to drop them into the comments. I always welcome comments from you guys, you’re the best readers in the world. Because you’re reading my blog. And because you’re awesome. The two things go hand-in-hand, really.