Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Got Print?

As I sit here printing out some 4×6 proof shots – I am reminded of something I heard today. A photographer was speaking to a group of photo enthusiast about, you guessed it – photography. This person is fairly popular online and has somewhat of a name, especially in the tech world. Anyway, in the course of the conversation this person said. “You know, I have never printed one of my photos.”

Excuse me?

I won’t question the talent, or creativity of the photographer.. but come on, you’ve never printed one of your photos? Not once in the 5+ years you’ve been working?

Wow. Holy Crap. Wow.

She, I mean ‘they’, went on to talk about how their walls were blank and just never gotten around to having anything printed.

Walls Blank? ok, this I get. I constantly keep a queue on the website of my print house of thing I want printed BIG when time, money and space allow. Seems something is always jumping to the head of the line and if I could ever pick a photo for more than a day… I’d get more printed. But regardless, I do have stuff printed quite a bit and 8×10 or smaller I’ll print myself. I don’t have a lot hanging on the walls, but that’s more a function of space. I can’t imagine not having a few pieces of my own art on my wall… it’s inconceivable to me.

I’m assuming her clients have printed her images, and I really hope they were printed in a managed environment and not at the local department store though based on the above I’m guessing so. Maybe one of her clients should give her a print…

Seriously, I know we are mostly digital (some more than others) but never?

KTVB.com needs an editor

KTVB is the only local news station I’ll watch – I like their anchors and I think KTVB is a great part of our community. But their website is horrid. If you follow me on twitter you know I occasionally post the KTVB.com quote of the day, stuff they have written in an article that just doesn’t make sense or lacked basic proof reading. I don’t do as often now because their online stories have become so horrid I don’t spend much time on the site any longer. I’m a bit of a writer and my wife is an English prof, so it would be easy to nitpick… but no, I’m talking blatant mistakes that if the reporter had bothered to read the story or had their 5 year old read it, it would have been caught. Every time I visit I’m amazed they don’t even read their articles before they post it. Friends on FB and twitter have confirmed noticing the same thing.

I especially liked this article today…

The fire started near the Eagle exit just around 5:20am Tuesday.

Idaho State Police says the driver of the truck was no hurt.

ISP says the driver of the truck was no hurt.

“He looked back in the mirror and saw that the truck was on fire…

http://www.ktvb.com/news/Semi-truck-fire-closes-lanes-on-I-84-103923944.html

UPDATE – I recieved the following response from KTVB via twitter. I appreciate them taking the time to respond and I really hope that we start seeing improvement in their online editing. As I said above, I love KTVB, they are the only live TV news I watch and even with the bad editing they still have the best news site in the valley. (sorry statesman)

Colbert goes to Congress

I was rather fascinated by Steven Colbert’s testimony in front of a House committee today – talking about migrant workers.

Lets step aside from the politics for a second…  I’ve never watched Colbert for more than a minute or two a few times a year on Youtube – I think he’s funny, but I don’t know much about him, his politics or anything else for that matter. He’s undoubtedly a very intelligent person, to be that satirical you have to be (take it from me, I know).

Obviously a lot of today was an attempt to bring publicity to an otherwise dull, boring and generally pointless hearing. He was invited by the chairwoman of the committee, together they apparently spent a day in the life of a immigrant field worker some time ago. I haven’t seen it but it was apparently featured on his show. Based on this, I think his knowledge of the subject was at least valid enough that this wasn’t 100% publicity (for congress). I also think the case can easily be made that he was the most intelligent and thoughtful mind in the room. (though will all the Congress members in the room, I realize the bar was set pretty low)

So again, I don’t know anything about him, but I was interested to see his testimony and the response, especially knowing that he was going to be ‘in character’.

Per usual, he submitted a written statement (which I have not read) I assume this was serious, he was given 5 minutes to verbally summarize his position. This 5 minute statement was all comedy. Well, all comedy if you weren’t paying attention. Much like any great satirical comedian, there was a lot of thought and intelligence to his statement.  I’m sure you’ll see the talking points and soundbites from his visit but I want to look at one particular aspect of his comments.

He gave his testimony and answered questions all in basic character, he only broke form once. He was asked why he choose this, of all things, to be vocal about. He immediately dropped the act.

“I like talking about people that don’t have any power and it seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come and do our work but don’t have any rights as a result. And yet we still invite them to come here and at the same time ask them to leave.”  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/24/stephen-colbert-appears-capitol-hill-hearing-illegal-immigrants/

Dropping the act, the look on his face and his response proved to me that he was serious about the issue and about being involved. I may or may not agree with all of his opinions about what needs to be done, but I respect him and the time and thought he has devoted to the issue.

Tagged , , , , |

Priority Inbox Notifications on Gmail for Android

Gmail on Android is now it’s own app, separate from an andoid release – largly so that gmail can have a faster release cycle. I love the updates, better lables, more sync options, shortcuts to specific lables on your inbox, early (basic) support for priority labels and such…  But there is one thing missing, I hope that Google will add this setting when Priority Inbox is fully supported by the mobile app — Notifications only for new priority messages.

Lets face it, I don’t need notifications every time my hulu queue has new stuff in it, newegg posts a new deal or someone sends me a message on some social site I haven’t visited in years. When a notification plays letting me know that I have a new email, I *have* to check it. But 90% of the time it’s something that I don’t care about or it will wait till I’m at my desktop – turning off notifications for any non-priority email would be awesome! Please Google? Pleeeaaseeee?

YOURLS – URL Shortener

I really don’t remember how I found this program, but after using it for 24 hours, I love it. YOURLS is a very lightweight URL shortener platform that you can run on your own LAMP based web server. Install took about 3 minutes and consists of unzipping, entering server/db setting in a config and running the web based install script. Once setup you can create random or custom short urls based on your domain (may I suggest a short domain) I chose a short domain that I haven’t used in years aside from an old email server: hznet.us.

I’m always worried that a url shortener will shutdown and invalidate a bunch of links I’ve posted on forums and social media – I worry more about this since it’s happened before. No, I don’t expect bit.ly to die tomorrow, but if they do – I won’t notice.  This program lets you define multiple users and even allows you to open the service to the public (don’t). You can also install a wordpress plugin to have wordpress automaticly generate a short url and tweet it.

After getting things setup last night I posted this link ( http://hznet.us/z ) which is a custom short url, to twitter asking for a quick test. The admin interface of YOURS gives you stats (number of clicks, locations, referrers) very similar to bit.ly and other popular services.

Only been using it for 24 hours, but so far, I love it.

Tagged , , , , |

Missed Opportunities

I hate it when a print order comes through for a photo I almost didn’t take. No, don’t get me wrong, I love my customers and appreciate every sale. But imagine for a minute. You’re backpacking, 10 miles into a 14 mile day… you see something kinda cool, but don’t take the time to stop, pull out the camera and take the shot. Some stuff you see and you have to take the shot, but in this case, it’s borderline. You’re in ‘go’ mode and just want to get to camp, get the pack off and eat something warm. For the next 300 yards you wish you had stopped, but soon it’s out of mind.

Imagine you’re driving on a dirt road hours from anywhere trying to get to a location for sunset and see something kinda cool. You don’t stop. For the next half mile you play a round robin in your head on whether or not you should have stopped. Sometimes you turn around and get it, sometimes you keep moving.

I live in Idaho – I’m outdoors or traveling in really cool places literally all the time, there’s no way I can shoot every shot I see. This happens to me almost daily. There are so many images in my head that I thought “cool” and kept walking, driving, biking… Thankfully I also have a bunch where I did stop, turn around and get it. What really messes with my head is when, like this week, a print order comes through for a photo I almost didn’t take. I’m happy to sell it, but then my mind flashes back to all the photos that I could have taken in the last few weeks, months or even years. I think about those photos and the walls they could have been displayed on, and yes, a part of me thinks about the sales… sigh.

This one? I wasn’t even driving for it, had to debate whether it was worth asking the driver to turn around. I do love it though and know that it’ll look great on your wall, but I almost didn’t take it. almost.

Also posted in Photography