Happy Holiday Photography Reading

Hopefully you’ll have a few days off over the next 2 weeks but you’ll still need your fix of photography news and articles. Your feed aggregator might be a little quiet but here’s a selection of reading material to keep you amused.

Artistic Nude or Pornography?

Is this photo (Edit: link is gone, domain expired!) pornography or an artistic nude? I think it’s an artistic photo of a nude but some people scream and shout whenever even a bit of leg or shoulder is shown.

Thankfully 400 people emailed him and agreed that it was not pornography. Check out the description of the second photo linked above. Jessyel definitely is crazy, but also a great photographer! The nude bookmark on photoblogs.org has more photoblogs on the same subject.

It goes without saying, that the photos above may not be suitable for a work environment. You have been warned. Artistic endevour has very little place in a litigious environment.

Chistmas Tree Lights

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mallow is lit up by the lights of the Christmas tree in the church grounds.

The camera club social night was in Mallow last night and after a great meal myself and Jacinta left the rest to prop up the bar! I had my camera with me and I got some good shots of the town and the church above.

It gave me the idea of writing an article about night shooting, so expect that in a day or two!

Will photoblog images ban me from Adsense?

It’s long been known that placing images next to Adsense adverts can have your blog banned, but that raises a question about the use of Adsense advertising on photoblogs. Will my blog be banned?

Worry no more, the Adsense blog clarifies their policy with some examples of what does break their policy. Looks like I’m ok, and your blog probably is too, although be wary if you use thumbnails next to an advert. Put a break of some sort between the two!

Does this mean I can’t place ads on pages with images?

You can definitely place Google ads on pages containing images — just make sure that the ads and images are not arranged in a way that could easily mislead or confuse your visitors. For example, if you run a stock photography site with a catalog of thumbnail images, don’t line the ads up with the thumbnails in a way that could be misleading. Consider using a full border around your ads or changing your ad colors, for example.

Here’s an example of badly positioned images. The images next to the advert could confuse a visitor.

fruitimages.png

The Girls of Cork City

Two girls standing at the edge of a crowd on Patrick’s Street, Cork.

A quick search for irish cork girls hoops earrings led me to the answers.com page on scanger. Judging by the definition of both male and female clothing, there are plenty of them about!

Stereotypical Appearance

* Very short haircuts (sometimes with a short fringe or quiff at the front) in males. The wearing of a high pony-tail in the girls (usually at the crown of the head), negatively referred to as the “knacker knot”, “scrunchie” or “Annie”. The wearing of ‘quiffs’ on women is also becoming quite popular.
* Peroxide blonde highlights, usually on the top of the head and quiff of males, and as streaks in females have been popular in the Summers of recent years but are losing out to shaved-in patterns among short haired males.
* The wearing of thin moustaches, (“knacker-taches”), such as that made famous by Irish Boxer Barry McGuigan.
* The wearing of branded baseball caps (such as the Burberry check pattern). The cap is often worn at a sharp 70-90 degree angle. The Nike brand has a high take-up rate traditonally among this market segment. In recent years Burberry has also emerged as a strong market player.
* Prominent jewellery: sovereign rings (on men); large earrings, especially hoop earrings, (on women); and thick chains (worn around the neck or wrist) is another characteristic of the scanger; another overt display of affluance, these are often hallmarked silver or gold, or at least gold in appearance—another similarity with the british chav.

Females can be identified by the so-called “Knacker Facelift”; a ponytail with hair pulled back so far that it stretches the facial skin, hiding the wrinkled skin developed from years of eating chips and smoking since childhood.

Clontarf Bridge at night

Clontarf Bridge in Cork City joins Lapps Quay to Albert Quay where the City Hall is situated. The construction cranes in the background are those at the site of the Elysian pictured previously.

This picture was taken on Monday night when several members of Mallow Camera Club walked the streets of the city taking photos of the streets and the people out on a cold December night. I didn’t have a tripod with me but there is enough street furniture to suit most circumstances and if not, then a wallet stuffed under the lens makes a shot from the ground more interesting!

Google Maps has a relatively good shot of the bridge if you’re interested!
I didn’t know the name of the bridge but this page came to my rescue. Thanks Blue Dolphin!

Girl and the bear

A young girl greets a bear on Patrick’s Street, Cork.

Shopping is in full swing but it’s the small things like the smile of a child that bring light to the world.

Is Zooomr slow for you too?

One of the things stopping me hugging and embracing Zooomr is how slow it is for me to view images off their servers. Take for example the image on this post on Thomas Hawk’s blog. There are two things wrong with it:

  1. It’s 241k, but it downloads on my fast shiny broadband connection like it’s ten times bigger. Brings me back to the good old days of dialup and a modem connection. Remember how that was? Oh, there’s the connection made, first bit of the image, oh oh, a small bit more, half way there, yawn, zzzzzz. I’ve fallen asleep.
  2. It’s not cachable. Every time you reload that page the whole image has to download again. Go check out what the cacheability engine thinks.

    *
    http://static.zooomr.com/images/265853_8ec115b6db.jpg
    Date Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:22:30 GMT
    Expires –
    Cache-Control –
    Last-Modified –
    ETag –
    Content-Length 241.9K (247754)
    Server lighttpd/1.4.13

    This object will be considered stale, because it doesn’t have any freshness information assigned. It doesn’t have a validator present.

    Compare that with the image from my previous post:

    *
    http://static.flickr.com/131/322052492_c728e66f9e_o.jpg
    Date Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:24:50 GMT
    Expires –
    Cache-Control –
    Last-Modified 2 min 28 sec ago (Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:22:22 GMT) validated
    ETag –
    Content-Length 127.2K (130220)
    Server Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat)

    This object doesn’t have any explicit freshness information set, so a cache may use Last-Modified to determine how fresh it is with an adaptive TTL (at this time, it could be, depending on the adaptive percent used, considered fresh for: 29 sec (20%), 1 min 14 sec (50%), 2 min 28 sec (100%)). It can be validated with Last-Modified. The clock on this Web server appears to be set incorrectly; this can cause problems when calculating freshness.

    Despite the problems reported above the image is cached by my browser and even with a force reload, it loads quicky.

I’m not sure how to fix the first problem except by adding a faster pipe to the servers hosting the data or upgrading the hosting hardware, but the second problem is very easy to fix using eTags and better headers. There are numerous tutorials and even code examples out there. Please, please, please look into it and make your images more cacheable! Your European neighbours will really appreciate it!