Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

small strange world

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

I’m listening in to the Seattle Police radio scanner, because the taxi drivers are blocking one of the streets downtown to protest the rideshare alternatives that are kicking their asses by providing better service, and hear a be-on-the-lookout for a Rice Krispie donk’ed car.  With a single google, I’m able to find a picture of the actual car.

Meanwhile, they aren’t saying anything about the protest.

Millionare

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Sometime over the last 24 hours, I clocked the millionth view of my photos at flickr.  Which doesn’t include the punk picture from funkaspuck.  Technology empowers us in ways our ancestors couldn’t have imagined.  How long did it take Ansel Adams to get a million views of his photographs?  How much harder did he have to work for those million views?  And how much more time did each of those views last, compared to those I’m “counting”?

2013 Seattle Pride Parade

Monday, July 1st, 2013

I am slowly uploading my pictures from this year’s Seattle Pride parade in downtown Seattle.

I decided to take pics instead of riding the scooter, this year, though after seeing how few people rode in our group this year, I kinda wish I’d joined the ride.  Oh well.

Went to an after party at Pop-Cap, played a little Settlers, Adam’s Family pinball, and headed home before dark, grateful that I’m one of the few people I know in Seattle, with A/C at home.

 

2013 Fremont Solstice pics

Monday, June 24th, 2013

I am still in progress on uploading my pics from this year’s Fremont Solstice, to Flickr.

 

Yes, there are naked people on bikes before the parade, but there are also tons of interesting artistic creativities going on as well, during the proper parade itself.

Google+ photo failure

Friday, May 17th, 2013

With much fanfare, and free laptops, Google announced, among other things, significant ‘improvements’ to the wasteland that is Google+.  Of the stuff they touted, 99% of it sounded worthless and a complete waste of time, since they were features that are only useful if people actually started using Google+ exclusively, instead of Facebook.    The only new features that sounded worth checking out were the photo sharing related ones, so I fired up Chrome and logged into my + zone for the first time in months.

The first thing I see is that the UI design idiot who ruined Gmail, has had his hand in the UI for +, and made a mess of things there too.  Basic tasks that you can do with a single click on Facebook, take several to dozens of clicks.  But it sure looks ‘clean’ while doing nothing. eye-roll.

Anywho, the photo stuff…so first problem is, of course, they didn’t do any sort of QA on the uploader process, and it is very easy to crash, as a result.  As few as 240 pictures cause the uploader to crash.  I give the Chrome team props, that at least when the poorly written code from the G+ team kills the browser, it only kills the G+ tab, but still, it seems shamefully negligent to not have tested the uploader with the browser produced by your own company.

If you do manage to get some pics to load, the automatic animation builder works surprisingly well.  I’m still working on finding a stream of images that it will turn into a panorama, and will report those results when I have them.

Overall, it sounds like 2 good ideas, and 41 terrible ones, released before they were ready, by people who just don’t care about quality.  I doubt it will save plus.

Other pain

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Looks like I will have an excellent view of every lifeflight into Harborview.  Some potential for picture taking, but with the knowledge of someone’s tragedy in every image.

When is art not art?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

For the people at my workplace, apparently photography isn’t art, or at least not the same class of art as some art is.

We are selling off all the photographs on our walls, prior to moving to a new space.  But not all photographs are for sale.  Only the one they don’t consider ‘fine art’ art for sale.  So of course, the only print I want, is one they consider fine art.

Oh well.

It is not like I will have any room for all the art I already have, once I get it home.

Facebook privacy quirks

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

I picked up a Windows 8 machine, and have been slowly setting it up, and trying to give Microsoft’s vision the benefit of the doubt, and a fair attempt.  I finally set up the People app with a connection to my facebook account, and was exploring that integration this morning.  For 99% of the people I tried, everything that would be visible to me from facebook.com, was visible in the app.  But then I got to one of my friends, who used to work at MS, and he has privacy settings such that, the app can’t give me anything, and says he specifically disallows the People app access (probably just disallows external apps).  But facebook is quite happy to email me every post he makes, so if they really wanted to, MS could have figured out how to scrap my email for facebook updates from people who disallow the app, and silently just ‘work’.

The flickr integration continues to choke on my super-sized library (130,000 pics and growing).  It hasn’t been able to update since the first attempt.  Oh well.

Bye bye cooliris

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Realizing I am late to the party, Cool Iris having abandoned their original product back at the beginning of the year, but still wanting to express my disbelief that a company would turn their back on a half-million + users, in favor of a market that has given them less than 50,000 users. I get that they are desperately searching for relevance and a way to monetize their basic idea, but walking away from the larger market, in favor of a much smaller market, with a lot more competition, and more importantly, so many limitations due to the form factor, that leave their product with little to differentiate it from the many gallery applications already available. The mobile experience is never going to match the desktop experience, being a wired vs wireless speed competition, restricted to a tiny screen, and a tiny local memory pool.

If I had invested money in the company, I’d be very worried about the diligence that management is putting into their control of the company’s direction, because right now, it seems like they are driving for the nearest cliff at top speed, fingers in their ears, and cloth over their eyes.

Victorian Adventure

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

I’ve been wanting to check out the Victoria Clipper, and try one of the ziplines in the northwest, so this weekend, I did both. On the ride up, it was semi-amusing, to watch the lengths one woman went to, to keep from having to share her row with a stranger, up to being willing to delay the entire boat while people searched for the last remaining seat in the fully booked boat. I hope someone wasn’t forced to wait for another boat. If there is any justice in the world, that severe look of anger she used to drive people away will give her tons of wrinkles.

With a groupon for the fare, I stayed at the Chateau Victoria, a decent enough hotel, with an 18th floor bar/restaurant that featured live music Saturday night, by a trio doing jazz standards in a reasonable fashion. I did find it odd how there was a portable A/C unit, permanently installed in the room. Looking over the hotel booklet, it turns out that they have 3 different kinds of heating/cooling, depending on which range of floors you were on. My door was directly across from an elevator, so got noisy as people turned in after last call.

Victoria is distinctly Canadian. Despite being further south portions of Washington state, there was no mistaking it for a different country. It is also very dedicated to the tourism industry, or at least better than Seattle, at concentrating it all within easy walking distance. Their harbor is busy with purely tourist traffic, plus the ferry and floatplanes. There’s a pirate ship zipping back and forth several times a day, plus a constant stream of little water taxi/tour boats, and the waves of whale watchers.

There was a busking festival in progress, which meant lots of entertainment, and crowded spots here and there.

I checked out Miniature World, a small museum of small scenes, some from American history, some Canadian, World War II, and some just every day life, in a range of scales, from completely custom, N-scale and HO-scale, and traditional dollhouse. I didn’t make it to the bug museum, I used the flash so much at the mini museum, I wasn’t able to take pictures past the 3rd hour in town. d’oh.

On Sunday, I got up near my regular, ungodly early, hour. I passed on spending $14 for a cup of yogurt at the hotel, checked-out, and went in search of a starbucks, where for half the price, I got the yogurt and fruit, AND a hot chocolate. Not a chocolati hot chocolate, but nothing is perfect.

Victoria is very quiet in the early morning, much more so than Seattle’s downtown. I saw a seal in the harbor, thankfully I had at least my cell phone to capture the moment. Eventually I found the shuttle van to the zipline. There are confusing directions that point you to two places. It turns out they go to both places because of said confusion, so I didn’t feel alone. The drive out is pleasant enough, when there’s no traffic. There was an accident on the only road to Sooke, while we were up in the trees, so we passed a long line of people waiting to get up the hill, on our way down. Adrena Line Zipline Adventure Tours seemed a nicely professional outfit, though they didn’t give me any discount on the video camera package, which is supposed to come with a print from their static camera, even though the static camera was broken, something they didn’t mention until we got to that particular zipline. The sign also says they put your video on a custom USB drive, made to look like a carabiner, but you actually got a 16gb SD card. whatever, the point is the experience, so any memory aids are really just gravy, and the videos did turn out (not ETA on upload, editing video is annoying). Two guides and seven people, including me, two hours in the trees, and one piece of maple sugar candy. Lots of standard adventure-guide patter (one of the guides mentioned how well the South Park episode on ziplines captures their spiel/attitude), and a good time all around. Even with the traffic issues, we were back in town in reasonable time.

Waiting for the return ferry, I checked out the Victorian floating homes. Unlike in Seattle, where they are private and just another way of living, the houseboats of Victoria seemed to have to work for their existence, sharing dockspace with tourist attractions, and allowing people full access to their entire dock. They also had quite a few for sale, all at the same time. They also have a more haphazard feel.

The one thing I wonder about most is their seagull poop situation. It is everywhere, and they don’t seem to make any effort to clean it off the buildings. We’ve got plenty of gulls in Seattle, but even at our fisherman’s wharf, I don’t recall seeing this level of splatter.

I ate poutine twice, I really don’t understand how this isn’t a thing in America too.

I found it odd, the way immigration is in Canada for both directions of the trip (canada border patrol on the way in, US on the way out), but customs was done on the home soils only.