Back behind the lens

I’ve been neglecting my once-ambitious photo site for the past year. I used to think it was because Fiona was taking up all my free time, but I realized it was more the tools I was using and the restraints I imposed on myself. I’ve continued to take a lot of photographs in the past year, but I’ve been short on free time to process them or think of things to say about them. I realized the confined template and complicated workflow was keeping me from uploading photos to the site.

So I started from scratch with blank HTML page, and made sure it was flexible for any size photo and any amount of text while always keeping the back/next nav in the same exact place so you can click your mouse and page through dozens quickly.

Ultimately, I’d like to script something that lets me upload an image to flickr, pull it down along with the title and description into my photoblog, and have each entry link back to flickr to handle comments. Eventually, it’d be nice if I could just select a good photo in iPhoto, export to flickr and hit a single button to do the rest of interaction with my photoblog, but until then I’m still uploading them one at a time to my blog, only now the site can showcase shots of any shape or size.

iPhoto 6 mini review

So I just got iPhoto 6 going today and I was playing around with it for a bit and I’m pretty happy with the upgrade. Here are the things that stood out so far:

– It’s much faster than previous versions. There was a long painful step where it had to create thumbnails for a few thousand photos (took a while) but now it actually does scroll quickly through the library.

– I used to think iPhoto was slow but then I tried Aperture. Even on my 2Ghz G5 iMac with a Gb of RAM, Aperture would lag during scrolls, animations took a while, etc. I gave up on Aperture and am back on iPhoto now which feels super fast compared to both Aperture and earlier versions

– The photocasting out to .Mac is kind of pointless since I won’t use that feature, but subscribing to photocasts is KILLER. You don’t have to follow just .Mac photocasts, the app can read flickr RSS feeds natively. Here’s a screenshot of my flickr friends feed in iPhoto. This sure beats using a reader like bloglines. I can already tell I’ll be looking at more photocasts than listening to podcasts. It hink Apple’s really onto something here.

– I noticed you can drag flickr photocast photos into your own albums though it doesn’t seem to import them into your library. I could swear that shared iPhoto libraries over the network let you drag other people’s photos to your library. It’d be cool if iPhoto could interpret settings on photos like say, Creative Commons licenses, and let you pull down images from Flickr to your library based on the license, and maybe if people had a share-alike license you could edit them in your library and repost to flickr with the license info intact (along with a pointer to the original on flickr). At the moment, you can’t do anything with flickr photos in the photo editor.

– I imported several thousand old photos from my 2002-2004 iPhoto backups as well as hundreds of recent photos from Aperture and it went pretty quickly. Rebuilding all those thumbnails took a while, but I now have over 11,000 images in iPhoto and it’s still fast.

Overall, I haven’t found any problems yet, though I’m still looking for a flickr export plugin that works with iPhoto 6.

Yo Apple, make this happen

Now that I have a phone that takes some impressive photos (This shot is probably the best example I’ve seen for color, depth, and light that the little cam can capture), I really wish iPhoto could manage my images instead of my preview-free bluetooth file browser.

I bet it’d be trivial for Apple to enable connections via Bluetooth (to your paired devices) to import photos.

3,649 to go…

I removed the “daily” photo thing that was on this site, because I was being pretty lazy and only updating once a month as of late. But instead of simply stopping that feature, I chose to do something a bit more ambitious.

I like taking photos on a regular basis. I get a chance to practice and improve my technique and I also get the chance to capture memories in a format I can easily archive.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that time seems to move faster. The rate of change of those around me makes my head spin. Children seem to double in size between the times I see them.

Today I turn 31 years old, and to help me document the next ten years I’ve started a new site for daily photographs, at: http://tenyearsofmylife.com/.

From 31 to 41 I’m sure there will be a lot of interesting things coming up along the way. I’m going to shoot for one shot per day, but I’m not sure how many will be taken on the same day. I may eek out a dozen photos shot on one day over time, or simply try and pick the best shots from the previous few weeks of photos to showcase. I’ll see how it goes.