Vote for me in the photoblogs awards

Niall thought that inphotos.org wasn’t nominated for the Photoblog Awards but after registering and trying to submit my blog myself I found that it already was nominated by Gavin of Headphoneland. You can vote for his blog too. Thanks Gavin!

So, please vote for In Photos dot org. Like I did with the Irish blog awards this year, I won’t labour the point but I would really appreciate the vote! And if you can, please link here and encourage others to vote. Your trackback will get some linklove for your post!

Credit’s due when it’s due

I have just installed the hotlink builder plugin for WordPress. It provides a basic level of protection for the images on your blog from leechers visitors who come via Google and MSN looking for images. At least some of them are going to right-click on an image to use it in their own blogs, sites or myspace pages. This plugin displays a chunk of code they can copy and paste into their template or post to display the image. That code has a link to your blog which is much better than someone simply stealing your image and not giving credit.

It’s not perfect, but you can see it in action here. Right click on the image of the spire and James Joyce. A red bordered box will appear above it. Unfortunately if you right click on other images the box still appears in the exact same space which could be off-screen. I must try making it a popup div instead.

I also installed the small but useful break out of frames plugin. It simply breaks your blog out of foreign frames. Google Images is probably the worst offender of the referrers to this blog so hopefully it’ll encourage people to stay a bit longer here. Both plugins found via seobook.

Later… Some minor fixes required to make it work properly:

  • Line 116 of hotlink-builder.php should be $src .= ' alt="' . get_bloginfo('blogname') . '"'; otherwise it’ll print your blog title before every post.
  • WP-Cache needs to know about the cookie this plugin sets. Open up wp-content/plugins/wp-cache/wp-cache-phase1.php and add the following code around line 72, in the function wp_cache_get_cookie_values():

    if( $_COOKE[ 'imagesearcher' ] == 'yes' ) $string .= 'searchengine';

Take an ordinary photograph today

Instead of obsessing over composition, is the flash head pointed in the right way, what about aperture, and is my ISO too high, I’m going to try to take an ordinary photo in P or even Automatic mode.

It won’t be a scene of immense natural beauty in a wilderness somewhere, or it may not be a bustling street scene covertly shot to capture a busy moment in time, but it will be a memory. My son Adam has changed so much in the last 8 weeks yet I’ve been too tired or busy to take out the camera. Can you believe there are only a few dozen shots of him? That’ll have to change.

I plan on leaving my DSLR somewhere handy, or even the Panasonic FZ5 and record daily snapshots. These are the moments that make up my life – Adam’s smiles, his cries, his feeding, his playful gesticulating while he lies in his cot. My family, my wife, dog, my siblings, my dad, my friends. Visitors to the house will be encouraged to pick up the camera and take a photo of Adam with his mom and dad, otherwise we may never be in the same frame!

In preparation for the exhibit next month in Bandon I had some prints made. I also had some family snaps printed and they have gone down a treat. Digital photography is a wonder, these images will be with us for the rest of our lives.

If I can I’ll create a script that will allow me to autoblog them to Adam’s own blog. It shouldn’t be too hard and it’ll be great to have in chronological order.

Take an extra-ordinary photograph today and everyday.

Five more common digital photography mistakes

Jim posted his 5 most common digital photography mistakes and I knew I could come up with a further five, so here goes:

  1. I’m not ready!
    How many times have I missed a shot because my camera was at home or in the bag? Lens covers can be a nuisance too.
  2. Leaving the camera in timer mode.
    I can’t remember how many times I’ve left the timer mode on after taking a self portrait, a group shot or a long exposure shot.
  3. Flash photography in AV mode
    This usually happens when I’ve come from an area where flash photography is not allowed and I’ve shot in AV mode because of the low light conditions. Canon cameras expose for existing light in AV mode so you get a long exposure with a flash. Jim already covered not changing ISO rating, a related topic.
  4. Help! My flash is dead!
    I have a fancy pants Canon 580EX flash. When I bring it out at public gatherings people look at me as if I’m a pro, and they ask what newspaper I’m with. It really shatters the illusion when the batteries are dead.
  5. Deleting or formatting camera media before everything is copied off.
    It has happened a few times. Out in the field I’ll review my images, and sometimes delete ones I don’t want. Sometimes my finger nudges the next photo button and I delete the wrong image.

Not all strictly digital photography mistakes but I make them all the time. It’s a wonder I have any photos to show here at all. What’s your number one annoyance about digital cameras?

PS. Thanks Jacinta for reviewing this post! (via Photographyvoter.com)

In Summary, 11th June 2007

A few links you will find useful and interesting as we start another week.

The Gallery ICA launched on Friday

Haydn’s Gallery ICA launched with a party on Friday night. I wasn’t there but Haydn blogged it yesterday. Did you make it to the party Ryan? Jacinta and I were minding the baby and didn’t budge out of the house.

Haydn and myself have gone through a large part of my photo archive and we’ve selected 10 images I’ll be making limited edition fine-art prints from to display in the gallery. That was almost 2 months ago, but with the birth of my son Adam, other priorities came first.

Now I have to decide:

  • What size should the prints be?
  • Where do I get them printed?
  • Where do I get them framed?
  • Price? There will only ever be 10 prints of each image. The cost of a print must cover the expenses incurred in creating it. That includes the above printing and framing costs, time and effort, gallery costs such as insurance, running expenses, and more. I used to think that charging €400 for a painting was exorbitant but the costs quickly mount up. Pricing must reflect the exclusive nature of the print. This print could take pride of place in a living room for years to come. A small price to pay.

I’m heading to San Francisco at the end of July for WordCamp but hopefully my prints will be on display in the gallery long before then.

Zooomr Mark III launches with some hiccups

After what seems like a long week of false starts and unfortunate hardware melt downs the new Zooomr launched this weekend. I haven’t logged in yet but I’m looking forward to exploring all the new features Kristopher has been working on.

I do have a bone to pick with them. They are still not caching images properly! Run any Zooomr hosted image through the Cacheability Engine to test it and you’ll get a report like the following:

http://static.zooomr.com/images/2403982_586b90d879.jpg
Expires 1 day from now (Mon, 04 Jun 2007 19:04:14 GMT)
Cache-Control max-age=86400
Last-Modified 2 hr ago (Sun, 03 Jun 2007 17:04:14 GMT) validation returned same object
ETag –
Content-Length 65.4K (66953)
Server lighttpd/1.4.15

It makes no sense for the image to be sent again. Your browser should be allowed to cache the image. Besides the caching issue, the image is still slow to load and it’s only 67k.

Way back in December I asked, Is Zooomr slow for you too? and was heartened when Kristopher Tate said he was working on a fix. Hopefully the fix is part of an as-yet-unreleased part of Mark III. Without it, using Zooomr for image hosting is really not recommended. Please fix the caching. I really want to like Zooomr!

Now, if only Robert would evangelize fixing their image hosting I’d be a happy camper!

Tinfoil hat time! Google recognises you now!

Thanks Mike for pointing me towards this Arstechnica article about the new facial recognition in Google Image Search. If you add &imgtype=face to any image search url it will only show you faces. Try this search for Cork, Ireland and compare it with this facial search for the same terms. Scary eh?


Ordinary image search


Facial image search

PS. That 4th picture on the facial search is mine. This should make finding images a lot more interesting.

PPS. My Thieving Duck has been used on the Consumerist website! That photo seems to be rather well known!