Friday, 31 January 2014


Today I uploaded the panos I'd processed over the last few days. Then I wrote a blog post for my photo website about them.

In the evening I read a bit about G+ for photographers and also prepared some images for my pog site.

Thursday, 30 January 2014


Today I processed a couple more panos. I still have to prepare the images for the web yet though, that will have to wait until tomorrow. I think that the Smart Sharpen filter is meant to have been improved in Photoshop CC, it is loads slower than it used to be in CS5 anyway, so hopefully the results are better!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


This morning I finished off a pano I was working on yesterday, then researched and wrote up a description for it.

In the afternoon I processed another pano, then I spent the rest of the day researching a description for that one. (Researching the description probably took longer than processing the image, which takes a long time in itself).

Monday, 20 January 2014

Photography setuping

It was nice and frosty this morning, so I took a few frosty photos in the back garden.

After that I looked up using a metal cold shoe with a flash. I have a hotshoe to PC adapter that also features a metal cold shoe on top. Most cold shoes are either plastic, or have a plastic centre area (where the trigger pin of the flash rests). Having a solid metal one seemed like it would just short the flash.

According to this thread: Can a metal cold shoe really short out a flash? a metal cold shoe will short the flash, but won't permanently break the flash. The recommendation is to cover the metal with tape. So I did this with my one. According to the thread, some old flashes didn't have a hot foot, and this is why some cold shoes are made of solid metal.

Most of today I spent trying to work out how to do MYN style photography with as little equipment as possible.

In the evening I watched Winter Watch on TV.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Cleaning a PC keyboard

This morning my keyboard stopped working. I couldn't get it working despite trying various sets of batteries including one set I knew definitely had lots of power, and despite restarting the computer. I would guess that the wireless part (either in the receiver connected to the PC, or the transmitter in the keyboard) has stopped working.

I found an old PS2 keyboard in the garage, but it was quite dirty. After checking that it worked okay, I pulled all the keys off it to give it a clean.

Pulling off all the keys took quite a while. Cleaning each key took quite a while. I also soaked them in bleach solution for 2 hours. Then I rinsed them, and had to dry each key. Finally I had to put each key back in the correct position. Thankfully I still had my old keyboard to use as a reference. But the new keyboard has 3 extra keys, and I didn't know what order they went in. However, I think I have put them back in the correct positions. (2 of the keys don't seem to do anything, the other one hibernates the PC.

In the evening, I looked into the MYN style photography a bit more. Mostly just looking at the clamps used to hold the background / diffuser. It wasn't clear to me what sort of socket the Manfrotto 170 Spring clamp uses as it's connection point. People were also talking about adding a mini-ballhead for flash, and I couldn't see how you'd do that either.

In the end I found that my Nikon Justin clamp can be attached to a 1/4" thread by putting the thread through a small hole in the clamp handle, then tightening a 1/4" nut onto the thread inside the handle. Quite hacky, but lets me experiment without buying more equipment. I'm pretty sure I am going to have to buy the 237HD arm though.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Not what I wanted

The last couple of days I haven't got anything done from my to do list. But yesterday I did get an article done for my photo website. And today I did some work on photo 'ingestion'.

Also, Flickr seems to be quite slow lately (images often not loading). It seems that this has been a problem ever since they changed to the 'New' Flickr, but Yahoo have no intent of dealing with the issues: Why is Flickr so slow? Typical Yahoo to break something that was previously working okay. Clare uses Yahoo mail and keeps having problems with them changing and breaking things on that. Though to give credit to Yahoo, they did fix the issue of not being able to add attachments after they broke it.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


The vast majority of today I was writing an article for my photo tips blog. Ideally the article could still do with a couple more illustrative photos, but I can't take those at the moment.

In the evening I also tidied up the upstairs bookshelf.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Finished run 1

Well, I think I must have finally finished updating my old photo tips articles to use locally hosted images instead of images hosted on flickr. I haven't gone through all the posts, but the last 5 posts or so I've checked all had the images hosted on the same server as the site already. So I don't think it's really worth going through the rest of the posts just to check.

It's taken me at least a couple of weeks to do this with very little time spent doing anything else. And I wasn't even updating the text of the articles, taking more relevant / better photos, adding links, or adding pinterest-friendly title images. This all still needs to be done. Plus, some (maybe even most) of the articles that already have the images hosted on the same server could still do with the images renaming and better alt descriptions adding for better SEO.

But this work is not so urgent. Hopefully I can do it at a rate of one or two articles per week, but that might be pushing it.

Thursday, 9 January 2014


This morning I 'wrote' an article for my photo tips website. I didn't really write it though as I'd already written it a while back. I just added some Amazon pics and took a title photo for it, then it was finished. For the rest of the morning and quite a bit of the afternoon I prepared my pog website update.

After that I went out to take some photos. Unfortunately my camera battery died and I didn't take a spare with me, so I only got one photo done. I did check the battery before I left, and it was nearly full. The perils of using cheap third party batteries I think.

In the evening I carried on updating old articles on my photo website to use 'local' copies of the images in them, rather than ones served by flickr's servers. And also adding the CC licence details below each image. I think so far it's taken me about a week to do about one third of the posts. A very boring job, but it needs doing.

I did bid on a Canon 500mm f/4.5 L FD lens today, for £447.48. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) I got outbid, and it went to someone for the next bid up, £457.48. Of course, you can't tell how much the other person had put their maximum bid at. So you can't really say that if I'd bid £20 more I would have won it. I might have had to bid £500 more to win it.

I did research the lens before bidding, it was a new FD version, and is apparently nearly as good as the modern versions.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

updating articles

The last few days I have just been updating old article on my photo tips website. Unfortunately when I say 'updating', I just mean changing the images to be hosted on the same server as the site, rather than Flickr, and adding the required Creative Commons licence info below each image. I haven't really been updating the text of the articles at all, despite some needing it.

And I have only only done a small number of the articles so far, I still have a lot more to go. But it really needs to be done as currently quite a few of the articles have missing images where the Flickr user has deleted the image or their account. When I've changed all the articles to use locally hosted copies of the images, then at least I won't have that problem again in the future.

Part of the Creative Commons licence is that you must state / provide a link to the licence terms when using a CC licensed image. From Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) (emphasis mine):

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

This is not something obvious you think of when using a CC licensed image. You just tend to think of making sure that you credit the author. I wasn't aware of it for a quite a while, and so a lot of the older blog posts are featuring CC licensed images with credit to the author, but no link to or mention of the CC licence type.

Technically, these images are not complying with the terms of the CC licence. And so I could be sued for copyright infringement since the image use is not licensed.

So getting this corrected is quite important to me, especially since the blog is aimed at other photographers. It should be showing that I fully respect the rights of other photographers, and use their images correctly as per the licence terms.

Where possible I am also replacing CC non commercial licensed images with ones that do allow commercial use. I am not quite so bothered about this. The argument for only using images that allow commercial usage in the licence terms is that the blog has ads on it. In my mind, this is not commercial use. Commercial use to me means selling something that includes the image. Non Commercial use is a different thing to personal use only as far as I am concerned.

But there are some that feel otherwise. And the Creative Commons licence is not clear as to what exactly is deemed as non commercial. So it is better safe than sorry. As I said though, I am not too bothered about it. The probability of being sued over it is practically nill and the probability of being sued and loosing is even less.

I am just switching out non-commercially licensed images for ones that do allow commercial usage where practical. In some cases I can't find a suitable replacement for a non-commercial licensed image, and so I just stick with the non-commercial licensed image.

In terms of today, most of the day was spent doing my website stats checking. I wish Google would fix googlebot as it's so annoying having to sift through all the stupid made up and malformed requests it generates to find valid requests that may be generating an error. And of course all those requests from hackerbots trying to find vulnerabilities by looking for certain files are annoying as well.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Most of today I spent writing an article for my photo tips website. It's not quite finished yet, so I'll have to finish it off tomorrow.