Introducing the Bento Box Gallery!

by Wendy Copley on August 4, 2011

I am insanely excited to announce a new feature on Wendolonia.com: the Bento Box Gallery!

A while back, I realized with amazement that I have taken and posted nearly 800 bento box lunch photos in the years I’ve been blogging. All of those posts are archived for posterity of course, but there are so many of them that they are hard to sift through and nearly impossible to search. So with lots of help from my super duper husband, Zach, I’ve created a searchable gallery of all of those photos. My hope is that people will browse through it for general inspiration and use the search feature to narrow down their choices when there is something specific they want to check out.

Shall we take a little tour? Please step this way.

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To enter the gallery, simply click on the “Bento Box Gallery” link up in the header.

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Once you are in the gallery, you’ll see nine photos of bento boxes per page.

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You can browse through the thumbnails in the  gallery by clicking the “Previous” and “Next” buttons at the bottom of the page. If you click the “First” button, it will take you to the very first page of the gallery. You can probably figure out what will happen if you click the “Last” button on your own.

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If you see a photo that particularly interests you, you can click on it to get a better view.

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You will be taken to a page dedicated to that bento box photo. Here are some of the things you’ll find on this page:

  1. The photo! Nice and big! If you click on the photo a full size version of it will pop-up. Click the pop-up again to make it go away.
  2. “Previous” and “Next” buttons. Click these to cycle through the photos in the gallery one by one.
  3. Tags. This area lists out all of the food included in the box, the age of the person the box was made for (toddler, preschool, big kid, adult and snack) and any special techniques or tools used (food markers, cookie cutter, note, etc.). Click any of these tags to be taken to a gallery page showing all the photos tagged with that word.
  4. Tag Cloud. This area lists all of the tags used in the gallery. Again, you can click any of these for more photos tagged with that word or phrase.

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I’d also like to point out the search box to you. The box is located at the top of the right hand column and it appears on every page of the gallery. It will search the gallery — but not the rest of the blog — for whatever you enter into it.

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The search is not perfect, but it will get the job done if you keep a few things in mind:

  • This search looks for exactly what you type into it. If you are looking for photos with strawberries in them, for example, it will return hundred of photos if you type “strawberries” but no photos if you type “strawberry”.  This is because I’ve only tagged photos with the word “strawberries” and the search is not fancy enough to know that “strawberry” is the singular form of the noun.
  • If you enter two or more words in the search box — such as “grapes bread salami” — you will get back any photos tagged with grapes or bread or salami.
  • If you put a plus sign in front of your search terms — “+grapes +bread +salami” — you’ll only get photos that feature all three of these ingredients.

One more thing I wanted to mention — I still plan to post my regular “The Week in Bentos” posts with full descriptions and commentary. I’ll update the gallery with those photos regularly so that they’re searchable as well.

OK, that’s all I can think of for now! If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments. I’m traveling the next few days, but I’ll answer them as soon as I can.

I really hope you enjoy this new feature and that the Bento Box Gallery proves useful to you!

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