Lately, I've been taking pictures at my daughter's karate dojo. Photographing martial artists in action, indoors and without a flash, is...

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Lately, I’ve been taking pictures at my daughter’s karate dojo. Photographing martial artists in action, indoors and without a flash, is an intriguing challenge that keeps me pushing for images that are clear and captivating.


It’s further motivating that others in the dojo are eager to view the latest batch. So far I’ve made poster photo collages, DVD slide shows and movies, but now I’ve decided to create a photo Web site so they can see all the pictures anytime.


I don’t have time to learn a complex Web construction application to create this site, so I’ll use Macintosh applications I have and know how to use — iPhoto 5, HomePage and Pages. (If you use a Windows PC, you may be able to do something similar with other applications — this column outlines the process.)


The karate photos are stored in my iPhoto Library, so I begin by creating album folders with pictures and arranging them in the order I want them to be seen. Then I assign labels such as “Classes,” “Team practice” and “Yakima tournament.”


I press the HomePage icon in iPhoto and after choosing display options, the photos in the selected folder are automatically formatted for the Web and posted on my personal HomePage site in a karate sub-site I’ve added for this project.


HomePage is free for Mac users with a .Mac account ($99 per year), which also includes an e-mail account, online storage, backup, auto sync, virus protection, tutorials and more.


I post several folders of photos on the new karate site, and begin fiddling with available HomePage templates to use as the site’s welcome page. Turns out I don’t like any of them, or maybe it’s more that I want to put up my own design as the introductory page.


For now, however, I pick a simple text template under Create a page, add the introductory information with a picture, and post it.


Each time I post a new page it goes to the bottom of the site’s list of pages. The page listed on top serves as the site’s welcome page, but the one that’s up there is not the one I want visitors to see first.


By fiddling I discover I can drag the new welcome page to the top of the list so it will be seen first. After checking that the new page looks good, I can delete the old introductory page.


I still want to design my own welcome page, and now I have an idea how to do it.


Recently, I’ve been playing with Apple’s new iWork ’05 software suite, which includes Keynote 2, for creating presentations (sort of like PowerPoint), and Pages for creating documents with page designs (essentially a word processor and page layout program combined).


Because Pages can convert its designed pages into HTML format for publishing on the Web, and because HomePage can now import external HTML pages, I decide to use Pages for the welcome page.


The design part is easy and fun. Pages manages the basic word-processing functions well and makes creating pages with columns, pictures and other layout features easier than I’ve ever seen.


The problem arises when converting the pages to HTML — the Web-ready results don’t hold my design. It takes several tries and multiple adjustments to achieve success. Finally, the HTML page looks good when I export it to HTML and view it as it will look on the Web.


Now I’m ready to move my designed welcome page to the site. Directions in HomePage Help instruct me to open my iDisk (which stores files online) and move the HTML page and accompanying folder to the iDisk Sites folder or, if I have sub-sites, to the appropriate sub-site folder within the Sites folder.


However, that doesn’t work when I do it. After fiddling a bit, I discover it does work if I put the HTML page in the karate site folder and the associated files in the general Sites folder.


Then I go to www.mac.com, click on HomePage, sign in, select the karate site, press the Add button, then the Advanced tab, click on HTML, and pick the HTML page displayed (the welcome page I created). It pops up on the screen, I press Publish, and it shows up listed as the last page in the karate site. I drag it to the top.


Holding my breath, I enter the Web-site address and — wow! — there it is.


The site looks good and I can’t wait to share it with others at the dojo.


But wait. I’m thinking this site deserves a shorter, simpler Web address than homepage.mac.com/lindaknapp/karateovercoffee.


So I look around before choosing www.domaindirect.com to register a domain name and point it to my karate HomePage site.


The process is easier than I imagined. I sign up for a Personal Identity Account ($35 per year/$25 sale price), register a domain name, and under domain forwarding, enter the original (long) karate HomePage site address.


Now I’m ready to share my site. The dojo owner, Sensei Joni Wilson-Sharrah, announces it, and now, oh my gosh, I really will have to keep the pictures coming.


Two months later: The response has been positive, especially since I update often with new photo collections and musical slide shows. If you’re interested in doing something like this, check out www.karateovercoffee.com and send me a message.


Write Linda Knapp at lknapp@seattletimes.com; to read other Getting Started columns, go to: www.seattletimes.com/gettingstarted