New tripod purchase.

A while back I managed to loose the quick release clip for the camera to attach it to my tripod which meant that I couldn’t use the tripod. Seeing as though I will be having some indoor photo sessions in the near future with Christmas and the Columbus Flickr trip to the theatre, I decided to get it working again. I was debating getting a new tripod and the Opteka Tripod looked pretty good and cheap, but after a search on Google I tracked down a store that sold replacement quick release clips, so I’ve purchased one from Adorama. Hopefully the service will be good and the part is the right one!

Windows Photo Gallery now works

I’m now able to get Windows Photo Gallery working on the home pc – I no longer get the cryptic error message when I try to run the program. It is pretty similar to Picassa and I must admit I prefer the Picassa interface for most things. The one thing that I love in WPG though is the Panorama feature. All you have to do is select your photos and choose Make – Create panorama. The software then intelligently stitches all the photos together and saves you a very large file on your disk. Unfortunately the upload facility to Windows spaces only uploads a thumbnail, you don’t get the full benefit of the files. I’ve uploaded three panoramas to my spaces account. The best way to see them is to select the Full view icon on the right of the page, then click the gear icon at the bottom and then select pan and zoom. This gives a really good display of the Niagara Falls and the Scioto River panorama that I took fairly recently. However to see the full size, original photo you will have to go to my Panorama pictures on Zooomr and then click on the All sizes button.

Canada photos are up

The photos from our Canada trip are now uploaded. I haven’t entered any captions or explanations yet though – that will take some time to do. I had hoped to use Zooomr to host the photos but their infinite upload program just doesn’t work. It has uploaded a lot of the photos but a lot of them also come up as “Sorry this photo is currently unavailable”. I’m about to give up on Zooomr as there seems to be no interest in fixing the problems that have existed ever since the botched upgrade to version 3 took place back in May sometime. Unfortunately the head of Zooomr seems to be now focused on the Japanese market and gimmicks and less on the multitude of fixes. A real shame as they had a promising product. So, my pictures are hosted on my website for now and I’ll update the descriptions soon – honest!

Ohio Theatre Pics uploaded

I finished uploading the Ohio Theatre pictures to Zooomr yesterday. It took a while to process the pictures and narrow down the selection. I didn’t use a flash for most of the shots, but as most of the decorative items were lights, the flash wasn’t needed. For the few shots that I did use the flash, I often preferred the ambient light versions instead.
For those of you in Columbus, into photography and meeting up with other photographers, then I strongly recommend you keep an eye on the Flickr group and also the Upcoming group pages. (Both have rss feeds)

This past week was pretty eventful

This week has been pretty busy with several rather amusing happenings. Earlier this month was Kristen’s birthday so we decided to get new licence plates. I got blogg3r (as blogger was unavailable) but I wasn’t unable to remove the old plates from the car as the screws had rusted in tight. Whilst waiting for the new plates to arrive I was driving around with the temporary tag in the back window. I borrowed an extractor tool from one of the guys at work and tried to remove the plates from the car but no joy but by drilling the screw and some brute force I was able to get the old plates off. However, I had to get some proper fasteners to hold the new plates in. After one trip to the hardware store, the fasteners didn’t fit and so I planned to get some new ones the following day but and as I was driving home from work a cop pulled up right behind me. There were two sets of lights that he followed extremely close, I could see him talking on the radio in my mirror and then eventually the lights started flashing. I pulled over and he gave me a warning for not having the temporary tags displayed properly as it was lying flat on the parcel shelf rather than sticking up for everyone to see. That night the duct tape came out and the following night I drove to the hardware store to get some more fasteners and I eventually managed to get the plates put up whilst in the car park. This was the first time EVER I had got pulled over by a policeman.
Friday night we helped load up a moving van for friends from church and then this morning I headed off to the Ohio Linuxfest. There was a long break over lunch until the next talk (and the previous Ubuntu one had been disappointing and irrelevant) so I decided to skip the final talk and go take some photos in downtown Columbus.
I wandered around the streets taking various photos that I’ve uploaded to Zooomr for my 20070929 set including the shot below.

Apparently this is a really suspicious photo....

I continued taking various photos of the Columbus skyline and buildings (the rest of the photos in the set) and spent quite a bit of time taking various photos of the green paint “accident” and then took this photo.
What happened next?

Just after I had finished taking the photo, a siren blipped right behind me and a cop in his car called me over – this was the second time in a week! Allegedly someone had called the cops as I was looking suspicious taking photos of the buildings. He asked if I had been near a particular building, but the name wasn’t familiar to me and then said I had been taking pictures of a garage door (which I hadn’t – the only thing I can think of is the hydrant shot). He also asked if I was a photography student – (does this mean anyone who claims to be a photography student could not be a terrorist??) I said that I wasn’t but tried to explain Flickr to him. He then asked how long I had been in the country, where I lived, whether I had driven there and where I had parked my car – to that answer I waved vaguely in the general direction as I had no idea the name of the street I had parked on. He also asked for ID – it was a good job I had it on me!
I pushed him for more details on the alleged call but I got the “people are suspicious since 9/11” but I’m not convinced as when I asked where I should stay away from he said “I can’t really say”. I wouldn’t be surprised if they saw me on CCTV and then came to see what I was up to.
The good news is that at no time did he say I should not take photos of any of the buildings so I was almost tempted to retrace my steps and take photos again – but I wasn’t feeling *that* brave.
I continued to take some more photos which have been uploaded to Zooomr and then came home.
It really is a sad state of affairs when you can’t take pictures of picturesque buildings in a city without being accused (indirectly) of being a terrorist.

Flickr Columbus meetup

I had an awesome time on Saturday afternoon meeting up with the Flickr Columbus folks to take photographs of the Ohio Theatre. More than 40 people turned up for a 2 hour tour where we could take photos of anything (and everything). We couldn’t go on the stage but there were so many other things to take photos of. There are loads of photos online – I took over 200 but only uploaded about 5 so far. The flickr tag cmhflickrmeet092207 has the photos uploaded on flickr, the cmhflickrmeet092207 page on zooomr (currently only my 1 photo) and the upcoming event page contain the photos (if they are tagged appropriately).
Upcoming has nice integration with flickr now – you just need to tag your photos with the event id and they automatically get added to the upcoming page. Zooomr also works in a similar way, but instead links to the Upcoming page automatically for you and includes a link to show you all the photos with that tag however the photo doesn’t get added to the pool automatically.
Towards the end of the event we all sat in the seats and posed for a group photograph using various flash units from people. Thanks to Fensterbme for taking the photo below. (click through for the larger version)
Everyone at the Ohio Theatre from the Columbus Flickr group