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Case Study 01: Moose Peterson

The Problem

Moose is a man of many talents: acclaimed photographer, research associate with the Endangered Species Recovery Program, writer published in over 143 magazines worldwide and author of 24 books, and lecturer, to mention a few. With so many years behind the lens, it’s no surprise that he was also the owner of many websites.

“When I put up my first website in 1994, business was pretty simple. As time went on, the business grew, and I’d simply create a new website for the newest facet of the business. After a while, I needed a map to find them all. Galleries were on one site. Teaching seminars were on another. Videos were on another. In order to see everything, you had to go to several sites.”


To top it off, the site designs were a combination of hand coding, Dreamweaver, and some FrontPage extensions for navigations, which made the management of each site cumbersome.

Having separate sites for separate parts of Moose, people weren’t able to see the breadth of what he can do. By combining all of the content into one spot, you get one site with a lot of traffic instead of a bunch of sites with a little traffic.

Also, putting so much information out there made it very easy for people to take the images for their own use. “The grabbing of my images on an hourly basis got really old, but more importantly, the main reason for folks coming to my site—my photography—was being devalued by those not respecting it. The goal of all our sites is to share our images and the story behind them to inspire others. But it’s a labor of love, so protection is a must.”

So, Moose needed to solve two problems here: having so many separate sites and his images being vulnerable.

The Solution

WordPress with a Modified Theme from StudioPress

Because Moose had a lot of written content (over 2,000 pages), we needed a theme that would support a large amount of written information. This, combined with the fact that Moose combines blogging with article writing, videos, and multimedia presentations, made it apparent that he would need more of a news-y type theme. StudioPress has got some great themes that you can install in WordPress to facilitate this. Customize some graphics and categories, and import all of the data, and we’re off to a good start.

SWF Files

“What an easy solution to keep honest people honest. Using Image2SWF and a very simple line of handwritten text, we can share our images. It has brought online theft to nearly zero.” Because Moose wanted to prevent individuals from hot linking his graphics, reading his content without visiting the site, or having someone Right-click on the graphic and save it, the majority of his images on his site are actually single-frame Flash (SWF) files. This prevents individuals from being able to save them locally, they don’t show up in RSS readers, and it forces individuals to visit his site to view his images and read his content.

The Moosecam

“Tapping into the current trend of delivering content via video was at first very scary, but with such tools as CS5 Premier, QuickTime and, we now have over 150 original video programs on our website with one million views in 18 months!” Video plays an important part in Moose’s teaching of photography. When he’s out shooting images, he takes a similar video of the scene and includes it in the post. Having video on your site can slow performance down, so he uploads the videos to his free account. This allows users to see the videos on his site, using’s bandwidth, and exposes users of the website to a new channel. This service will even aggregate the content to an iTunes podcast if you set it up correctly.

If you want to take a look at Moose’s newest venture, the Air2Air workshops, or his most recent book, Captured, visit


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