I have had a busy few days at work without much time to keep up with reading feeds, so I’m sitting here catching up on the feeds that have built up during the week. I saw Jeff Revell’s mention that the gallery for the walk he led was up on the official page so I went to check the page of the walk I took part in.
Sure enough the photos were up and I scanned the thumbnails to see what was there and check that my submissions had made it. It was only when I reached my own images, the last two, that I thought “Hey, one of those images doesn’t look right.” It took me a moment to realise what the cause was; the thumbnail was square and my images have the standard DSLR 3:2 aspect ratio. As the images below show, one of them is a minimalist photo that doesn’t lose much when cropped to a square, but the other one loses a lot.
In the case of the photo walk galleries, these are not clickable thumbnails but I have seen other sites do this and it concerns me that sites would use thumbnails that crop significant information from photographs. With all the millions of photographs out there that a potential audience might view, it’s vital that the first impression grabs the viewer’s attention to draw all possible viewers to your photograph.
So site developers, don’t be square and crop your member’s thumbnails; and photographers, think twice about signing up to and posting your photos to sites that are going to unfavourably crop your images.
…that thinks she looks better in the before photo?
Our company holds an annual photographic contest for employees, with the winner’s photographs featuring in the company calendar. I have had my photographs featured for the past three years and just received an e-mail letting me know that two of mine have been selected for the 2009 calendar.
My photos are highlighted with yellow rectangles in the image above and larger versions can be viewed at Groot Constantia and Hout Bay Harbour.
Expressions of Cape Town was a photographic exhibition organised by a group of Capetonian Flickr members. Each of us was able to submit up to thirty photographs, which were judged by a panel of five professional photographers. The best five photographs from each photographer, or fewer if five were not deemed worthy, were printed and placed on boards (one per participant) that were displayed on easels in the Clock Tower shopping centre in Cape Towns V&A Waterfront. It ran frm 12 to 21 October 2007.
My photograph Crossed Rods at Sunset has been chosen as the monthly winner on the Camera Club web site.
Posted in Photos
Is the concept of the global village simply a myth? Looking at certain US based web sites one might think so; do the designers of these sites not realise that more potential internet users exist outside the US than within?
A little while ago I was catching up on one of my Flickr photo feeds when I came across a reference to a competition with a Leica M7 as first prize. I’d love to earn one of those so of course I visited the link. Turns out it is a promo for uber.com, a new photography site, apparently started by Chris Weeks, a photographer whose work I am familiar with from Flickr.
Having been through this kind of thing once or twice I immediately checked the rules to see if I was eligible and found that I wasn’t, as they say “Leica M7 Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are at least sixteen (16) years old at the time of entry.” I don’t really have a problem with this as there are physical prizes involved, and with the cost of foreign shipping and other, possibly legal factors to consider, it is not unusual for web sites to restrict competition eligibility to the country of origin. Being a sucker for photographic web sites I decided to join anyway so clicked the link and got the registration form, which has a Zip Code field. Most of the world outside the US has postal codes, not zip codes, but web sites typically accept them along with US zip codes. Not this site though; when I submitted I got back a message saying “Please enter a valid US zip code”, and this is why I’m writing this post.
What is the deal with sites like this? Are the owners or designers ignorant and not realise they are excluding most of the world’s population? Do they deliberately exclude those outside the US for some reason? In which case why not go that little bit further and analyse visitor’s IP addresses so that they can block us from accessing the site completely, perhaps with a nice polite(?) “FOREIGNERS NOT WELCOME” message. I prefer to think that it is not malicious and in the case of uber.com, I still want to join, so thanks to Aaron Spelling for giving us Beverley Hills 90210, which not only provided us with entertainment but also provides foreigners with easy access to a US zip code that can be used to circumvent silly blocks like these.
Chris, if you should happen to read this post, I don’t really live in Beverley Hills, but in Cape Town, South Africa, where foreigners are welcome.
I am fascinated by old cameras but don’t have the money to be a collector, as such. No fancy old Leica’s for me, but occasionally I manage to look in the right place to find something interesting, if not valuable. On Saturday I popped into Cash Crusaders to see if they had an interesting old cameras there. They had two SLRs, a Pracktica and a Zenit, but the Praktica was in much worse shape than the one I already have and was also rather pricey. The Zenit was quite cheap but also looked pretty battered. What really caught my eye was this Martex rangefinder. I’ve long had a hankering for a rangefinder and at only R145 there was no way it wasn’t coming home with me, even if I found it didn’t work. It was Sunday before I got round to buying a roll of film to try it out. After cleaning the camera, loading the film and figuring out what appeared to be the right way to use the light meter, which seemed to be working, I headed off down to the beach, my favourite haunt. It was near sunset when I got there and being winter there weren’t too many people about. I strolled around and shot off my roll of film before heading home again. As I was very keen to get it developed and see the results I popped the film into the Kodak minilab in the mall next door to our offices, rather than making the trip into town to the more professional (so I’ve been told) lab I would normally use. I picked up the prints at lunch time and was pleased to find that the camera works perfectly. The photographs were pretty much (it will take a little practice to get spot on) correctly exposed and accurately focused. I was worried about the focus as I’d never used a rangefinder before. The only disappointment was that I was offered, and accepted digital copies of the photos on a CD, and the quality of these was terrible. they were horribly grainy and as the prints themselves were fine I can only assume that the scanning process was not all it could be. In the end I made my own scans of the better shots from the prints. Here is a selection of the photos I took, not too bad for a forty or fifty year old camera. These photographs have not been digitally enhanced in any way.
As I’ve mentioned my faithful old 300D is broken.
Today Mela and I went off to Orms and she bought me a 30D as an early birthday gift (my birthday is on 19 May). I haven’t really used it yet because we were out most of the day but the few shots I took amazed me with the sheer speed of the 30D, compared to the 300D.