Archive: Posts about Photography
July 17th, 2012, 19 Comments »
Travis has decided not to renew his Flickr Pro account.
Like Travis, I’ve been using Flickr for a long time. I got my first Pro account–a paid account that provides a variety of benefits, in December, 2004.
Travis bemoans the loss of community on the site–a pretty common complaint. Much of that community has, I think, migrated to apps like Instagram. I recognize the same style of friendly, real-time conversations on my Instagram photos that I used to see on Flickr. Several friends, like Rachael or Kris, who were active, popular photographers on Flickr now play a similar role on Instagram.
For me, Flickr has always been first and foremost a backup site for my photos. I enjoyed the community aspects, but I rarely really participated the way friends and colleagues did. I probably spend more time per week with Instagram than I ever did with Flickr.
A few years ago, thanks to a hard drive failure, Flickr became the only place where all of my photos from the past decade live. So, that kind of sealed my commitment to paying a $25-a-year tithe to Flickr.
I suppose I eventually ought to download all 7000 of my Flickr photos (using something like this), praying that all the metadata remains intact when I do. Assuming an average of, say, 3 MB a photo, that’s only about 21 GB of photos.
Our online habits have the same inertia as our offline ones. So, in truth, I’ll probably keep uploading photos to Flickr until the service’s quality really degrades, or it shuts down entirely.
Are you still using Flickr?
Footnote: I was poking around my account, and looking at my most popular photos, according to Flickr’s ‘interestingness’ algorithm. Oddly, the top photo is this scanned Vancouver Sun article from 2005. It’s about blogging, and quotes myself (with a particularly stupid photo) and Flickr founder Caterina Fake. I do not know why this article tops the list.
Sidenote to that Footnote: It saddens me that I can’t find that article online. Not because it’s about me, but rather because it’s only seven years old and there’s a (admittedly small) financial incentive for the Vancouver Sun to keep it online. We are doing such an awful job of archiving what we create in the digital age.
19 Comments »
December 3rd, 2010, 4 Comments »
I was walking through the Waterfront Canada Line station and spotted this big ad for Steamworks on the wall.
I don’t want to pick on arts majors (for I am one of them), but I fear the copywriter and graphic designer could have spent more time in science class:
It’s either 119 seconds, or just “1:59″. “1:59 seconds” is sort of redundant, and sort of just wrong.
I recently bought a camera (a Canon T2i) from London Drugs, and received this coupon book. Does this qualify as a Photoshop Disaster?
It’s particularly odd that they put that starburst over a, uh, particularly close eagle.
4 Comments »
June 7th, 2010, 6 Comments »
We’ve had some odd weather recently. The camera happened to be near our balcony, and so I snapped these two photos–one of a torrential downpour, and the other of a sunbeam breaking through over the Burrard St. Bridge–last week. Click to embiggen:
6 Comments »
April 21st, 2010, 15 Comments »
It’s time to buy a new camera. We’ve had our trusty Nikon D70 for over five years. I forget how you check, but last time I did, it had taken over 11,000 photos. I think this was one of the first photos I took with it:
Interestingly, the D70′s use on Flickr has been in sharp decline this year–apparently the camera is reaching its end of life for lots of users. The current most popular camera among the Flickr community, after the iPhone, is the EOS Digital Rebel XSi.
I don’t feel a lot of loyalty to Nikon. We have one additional, cheap Tamron zoom lens, but we rarely use it, so I don’t have a lot of money invested in Nikon. I’m happy to be convinced to switch to Canon, for example.
I know that the common wisdom is that the magic of the camera is in the lenses, not the body, but the reality is that we’ve used the same default Nikon (35mm to 70mm, I think) lens for 95% of our photography. I’m happy to buy a premium lens with a new camera body, if that’s what experts recommend.
I don’t want to get hung up on the question of megapixels, but it’s worth noting that I recently considered printing a biggish version of one of our photos, and the resolution I’d shot the photo at wasn’t big enough. I’d wanted to print something roughly 14″ x 17″, and the 1998 x 3024. I’m not sure if that’s the maximum resolution for the D70, but I’d like to go somewhat bigger.
So, what kind of camera should we buy? I think our Nikon D70 cost about $1500 all in, so I’m prepared to spend roughly that much again. Of course, if there’s an awesome camera for $1000, all the better.
15 Comments »
January 20th, 2010, Comments Off
This is the second item in a week on which I’ve been successfully pitched. Either I’m getting busier, or the pitches are getting better. Maybe a bit of both.
Rollip is a very simple website that enables you to apply stylized filters to your photos. You can generate an expired film effect, sepia tones, black and white and so forth. It emulates functionality that you can find in Apple’s iPhoto, and other similar programs.
I don’t need to do this sort of thing very often. When I do, I usually search for a Photoshop tutorial online and follow the steps. This would enable me to have much finer control over the output, obviously. For those without iPhoto or Photoshop, Rollip seems like a viable quick and dirty alternative. Are there other online tools that do this sort of thing?
Rollip offers a freemium model, where you can filter low resolution photos (up to 600 pixels, I think) for free, while you pay for higher res conversions.
One reason Rollip appeals to me is that it’s so obviously a totally boot-strapped, no frills start-up project. The website is aesthetic free–it’s functional only. It’s a bit like Nitobi’s PhoneGap (they’re a client) project, though they’re in the midst of redesigning.
Here are a couple of samples of, uh, Rollip’d images that I generated. That’s the original on top–me emerging from the water after a successful (in that I didn’t get stung by a jellyfish or bitten by an eel) snorkeling session–with two filters applied:
January 14th, 2010, Comments Off
The good (if a little opportunistic) folks at GeoEye sent me a really big satellite photo taken yesterday of Port-au-Prince, shot after the tragic earthquake there. At full size, it’s 11, 445 pixels by 15,403 pixels and 47 MB–surely the largest photo I’ve ever uploaded to this site. You can view or download the full-size photo here (or here–this one might load faster).
Otherwise, click the image below and it will pop in a light-box. If you’re on a slowish connection, it’ll take a while, so click at your own risk:
The photo was apparently taken by a satellite from 423 miles in space at 10:27 am EST on January 13 as it moved from north to south over the Caribbean at a speed of four miles per second. The ground resolution is a half-meter.
November 1st, 2009, 5 Comments »
I recently got a MacBook Air. Julie has one too, so we’re constantly mistaking hers for mine and vice versa. This seemed like a natural opportunity to stick a decal or ‘skin’ on our laptops to tell them apart.
I’ve never really been a guy who puts stickers on, well, anything. I’ve never had them on my car or binders in high school and never on a laptop, either. There’s nothing wrong with them–I’ve just never had the impulse.
I wanted to make a custom skin from a photo I’d taken. So I spent a while trolling through my Flickr account and settled on this one (click for bigosity):
I wrote about taking that shot–it’s from Malta. So, too, is the photo on Julie’s laptop.
More or less at random, I chose Unique Skins, and placed an order. It costs $20 per skin, which seemed pretty reasonable to me. The skin arrived last week, and here it is on my laptop:
I’m pretty happy with that result. That photo doesn’t really do the colours justice, but they feel quite true to my original capture.
I asked around on Twitter, and a couple of people recommended Gelaskins as an alternative, Canadian vendor of custom skins.
5 Comments »
August 18th, 2009, 2 Comments »
I recently spent some time in a government office. While in the usual back and forth through the front door, to the bathroom and so forth, I observed that they had a surprising number of signs that stated the obvious.
They seemed, like so many preventative measures, to attempt to indemnify the government against potential legal action. They amused me a little, so I snapped some photos. Each one is really mundane by itself, but the volume of them was a little overwhelming.
This one was on the inside of the mens’ room door. I wonder how I’ve survived the hundreds (thousands?) of sign-free swinging doors I’ve confronted in my life.
Ironically, I had to hold the door open to snap a photo of this one:
Here’s one more photo from the same office. These packages were attached to the underside of each desk in the conference room:
I gather they’re individual disaster preparedness kits. I didn’t look too closely, but they contain a filter mask, a little bottle of water and whistle, among other things.
I only discover them because I accidentally kicked one under the desk. I’m not sure I’d like to be reminded of my potential doom every time I took a meeting.
2 Comments »