Sunday, 29 April 2012


This morning I started cutting out some pogs in Photoshop for my pog website update, then went to Church.

In the afternoon I watched Boukengers vs. Super Sentai with Billy. It was a Super Sentai 30th anniversary special program, but sadly only featured characters from the previous 4 series. The plot was a bad guy makes the Boukengers and Hikaru Sensei (from Magirangers) get stuck in a sub universe or something (those small room sets they always use in Super Sentai). But Silver is elsewhere. A red ranger with the Super Sentai 30th anniversary logo on his chest tells Silver he needs to get old sentai to help him.

Billy said it would've been good if instead of getting the sentai from the last few series, Silver had tried to get ones from the much earlier series, and then found out they were all too old to fight. Anyway, it was quite stupid and maniacal in the typical Super Sentai style.

After that I finished updating my pog website, then started writing an article for my photo tips website.

After tea I finished writing the article, then realised it was very similar to another article I'd written for the site a few days ago. So I posted it on hub pages instead.

For the rest of the evening, I did some more work on enabling prints and image licensing on my photo website. I think I mentioned before that I'd decided on using Photoshelter. Their API documentation is rather lacking, and when I checked it yesterday it actually said that it had been deprecated. I did send Photoshelter a message about a couple of weeks ago asking for the documentation for their real API, but didn't receive anything other than the standard 'thanks for your feedback message'.

So, what I've been doing is using Firebug with Firefox, and noting the AJAX requests that are sent. Because Photoshelter uses AJAX with their API for their website, this is an easy way to see what the API calls are and what parameters are used for doing different things.

I got as far as setting the pricing for an image, but this said I needed to provide payment details. So I did that, then when it got to the 'how would you like to be paid' page, it had a number of different options, of which paypal seemed to be the only viable one. I had always thought that Photoshelter did their own payment processing, then sent you your cut of the sale. But obviously I was wrong.

I could offer paypal processing myself without having to pay $30 a month for Photoshelter. Plus there are also a couple of other points that made me change my mind (for the moment at least) about using Photoshelter:

  • The rights managed licensing options are rather extensive. I fear that they could be too confusing and loose a sale.
  • Although Photoshelter offer prints, there are plenty of alternatives that do this as well.

I couldn't remember the name of the company I was thinking of that did prints, so I did a google. It didn't come up, but I did find a nice thread that had good examples to two sites that operate very similarly to how I want my site to be like:

Both of these photographers seem to organise printing and shipping themselves. This isn't something I particularly want to do as then you are responsible for cropping images to fit the print rather than the customer. Plus it involves more work for the photographer.

Some more googling, and I still didn't find the name of the prints company I was looking for, but I did find something that reminded me what their name was -

So I checked the website (I had already checked it before when I was looking at options and decided on Photoshelter). It seems I missed something when looking at their website before, as they give you a javascript you use on your site, which automatically adds buy links to your images. This uses an AJAX widget for everything, so the user stays on your site. Nice.

The thing that put me off fotomoto before was that their image licensing is very basic. But I could use fotomoto just for prints, and my own custom code plus paypal for licensing. Fotomoto doesn't charge a subscription, just takes commissions on prints, so this sounds good too.

So next I needed to check whether Fotomoto was actually any good. So far I found two positive reviews ([1] [2]), and one negative. The negative one was from someone that was used to making their own fine art prints. Their problem was both the quality of Fotomoto's prints and also that Fotomoto wouldn't ship the prints to them first so they could sign them. Regarding the print quality, it can't be dismissed that they just expected too much as they said they had several people who purchased prints complain to them about the quality, and had never had a complaint about print quality when making the prints themselves.

As an aside, while looking for Fotomoto reviews, I came across this very nice Tumblr of exploded flowers. Both a great idea and great execution I think.

I found this thread indicating that are now using Fotomoto for prints, which seems like a good endorsement for Fotomoto to me. The main disadvantage I can see so far is that Fotomoto operate and ship prints from the US, rather than having a variety of printers across the globe. I still need to check how they handle refunds if a user is unhappy with a print.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Writing and walking and photoing

This morning and the first part of the afternoon I was writing an article for my photo website. I actually had the article written by 10.20am, then the rest of the time was spent trying to find relevant images to illustrate it.

The Nikon G to Canon EF mount adapter I had bought on ebay arrived today. I had some trouble getting it on my lenses as it is a very tight fit. At first I thought it didn't fit at all. I also had to remove the rubber gasket from my 70-300mm lens for the adapter to fit, and found instructions on how to this on the website. (Actually it's quite easy - you just pull it up with your fingers).

Then I went out on a walk with the 5D MkII and 70-300 lens to test it.

In the evening I watched an episode of 24 with Mauser and Bo as per standard procedure. I checked my emails and geocoded todays photos and the photos from a week or so ago when I first got the 5D MkII.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Article writing

I spent most of the morning and some of the afternoon writing an article for my photo tips website.

For the rest of the afternoon I wrote descriptions for, and uploaded a couple of panos that I processed yesterday.

In the evening I watched an episode of 24 with Mauser and Bo. I wrote a blog post for my photo website and prepared an article from articlebase for my photo tips website.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Writing and debugging

I spent most of this morning finishing off the photography tips article I was working on yesterday. In the afternoon I prepared the update for my pog website for tomorrow.

In the evening I watched an episode of 24 and tried to find out why the Mailpress subscribe to comments add-on wasn't working for me. As far as I can tell from my testing so far, the problem seems to be something in my database that is stopping it from working.

Also, apparently the 21mm lens I bought on ebay yesterday has fungus, so I asked the seller to refund me. Thankfully they found out about the problem before sending the lens to me.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Article writing and cooking

This morning I tried to find out why Mailpress subscribe to comments wasn't working on my website, and narrowed it down to something to do with my wordpress installation (so not the plugin itself or the theme I was using). I spent the majority of the morning though, and some of the afternoon, working on an article for my photo tips website.

For the rest of the afternoon I made a fruit loaf.

In the evening I watched an episode of 24 with Mauser and Bo, then we did Sculpey while listening to Liz and Will. It was quite good because Will did one of his really long stories about nothing where he keeps repeating himself. Then Bo sent him an email, which got him to repeat his story again. For some reason they always ignore Mauser's texts (other HFM DJs don't), but didn't ignore text / emails from me and Billy.

Also, on ebay today I bought an Olympus 21mm lens for my "new" camera for £200. I bid on a Zeiss C/Y MM mount 35/2.8 lens as well, previously this lens had reached a price of £101, but not sold due to a higher reserve being set. This time it had a start price of £99 and no bidders with about 8 minutes left. The normal price for this lens seems to be about £150, but this one had some damage to the lens barrel. The damage only appeared to be cosmetic though, and didn't affect screwing filters on. However, the lens ended up going for about £147!

If I can complete a set of primes, I will be interested to compare the size and weight of a 24mm/2.8, 35mm/2.8 and 50mm/1.4 against the Canon 24-70mm/2.8. I don't have the Canon, but the stats are easily found online. I think that size, weight, image quality, and price might all favour the primes.

I did have quite a few things on my list I wanted to get done today. Unfortunately everything, particularly the article writing and cooking took a lot longer than I thought they would. I haven't even finished the article yet, and will have to finish it tomorrow.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

camera manual reading

Today I mostly reading the manual for my 5D MkII and checking that all the functions etc. work okay. In the evening I also watched an episode of 24 with Mauser and Bo.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


I spent most of today working on the email sign-up form for my photo tips website. I was trying to get it to advertise that you would get a free ebook if you sign up.

For the rest of the afternoon and part of the evening I wrote a post for my photo website. Also in the evening I looked at Ukraine photos / locations and watched an episode of 24 with Mauser and Bo.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Article writing and ebooking

This morning I found an article on articlesbase to republish on my photo tips website, then had to find relevant photos on flickr to illustrate it. After that I started writing my own photo tips article.

In the afternoon I finished my article off, then did some more work on my free photo tips e-book, just doing little things like setting the bookmarks. I wasn't sure how to do this so that you could have sub-bookmarks here: LibreOffice Writer: Defining Index or Table of Contents Entries. I had used custom styles for some headings, and the subheadings were just body-text. So I just changed the subheadings to be a different custom style, then followed the instruction on how To Use a Custom Paragraph Style as a Table of Contents Entry.

In the evening I watched an episode of 24 with Mauser and Bo. I spent the rest of the evening trying to get it so that Mailpress would include a link to my ebook in the confirmation email when anyone subscribes to my photography tips website.

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Most of today I was processing the photos I took with my "new" Canon 5D MkII I got yesterday, and writing a blog post about it for my photo website.

I also made some macaroons.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Finding photos for an article

This morning I wrote an article for my photo tips website, then spent the rest of the morning, and quite a bit of the afternoon, trying to find CC licensed photos on Flickr to illustrate the article. Some subjects can be quite difficult to find relevant photos for.

For the rest of the afternoon and part of the evening I made a cake. In the evening I also watched Gogol 13, a Sonny China film, with Mauser.

I bought a Canon 5D Mk II camera today as well. It was £1165 including postage. Originally I wanted to buy one for £1000, but they always seem to go for more than that. I don't think £1165 is a bargain, but nor is it really expensive. Generally they seem to sell for between £1050-£1250 depending on condition, included accessories, and ebay bid frenziness (actually I think one sold for more than £1300, which you can buy new ones on ebay from DigitalRev for).

The one I bought has a 3rd party battery grip (but only 1 battery) and an EG-S focusing screen included, with about 16,000 shutter actuations, and some scratches on the camera body. So now I just need to buy another battery, shutter release cable, Nikon G adapter, and lenses. Hmm...

I need to try and research the Nikon G adapters as there are some on ebay for £30-45, but the Novoflex / 16-9 adapter is getting on for £200. So I need to see if the ebay adapters are actually any good, or just a waste of money.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


The last couple of days I have been working on a smallish e-book to give away to people who sign up to my photography tips website mailing list. I wondered about adding a link my twitter a/c to the ebook, but when I checked the twitter a/c, it hadn't been updated since December last year.

I was using to automatically update it, so I checked, and everything seemed to be in order. I checked tumblr, which is another site that is meant to automatically post to, and that hadn't been updated since December either.

So I figured there must be a problem with reading my site's RSS feed. I checked the RSS feed, and it was working fine. I tried clicking 'Activate feed' on to reactivate the feed, but this just brought up the error message:

<html> <head><title>502 Bad Gateway</title></head> <body bgcolor="white"> <center><h1>502 Bad Gateway</h1></center> <hr><center>nginx/0.8.53</center> </body> </html>

Doing some googling, I couldn't find thousands of complaints about this, but it does seem to be a problem with Unfortunately of the complaints I did find, it was just people asking what the problem was, with no solution or statement from

I am pretty sure anyway that the problem is not with my site, as my photography tips is hosted by Hostgator, who use Apache, not Nginx.

The rest of the day I made some chocolate cakes and did a couple of photos to illustrate the e-book.