Archive for April, 2007

Apr 22 2007

Meteor Crater, AZ is Windy!

Published by under Declan,Fun,Nathan

Click here for more pictures at Meteor Crater, AZ!

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Apr 20 2007

Moon, Venus, Stars April 19th, 2007

Published by under Declan,Nathan

Nathan and I are heading back west from our Spring Break trip.  This involved crossing a lot of New Mexico on a very dark road – NM285.  The stars were out in force, and there was a tiny sliver of Moon accompanied by a very bright Venus.  Here’s my first 30″ shot from the moving van:

Ok, it’s silly, but turned out kinda neat.

We pulled over and I grabbed the tripod and set up for more stable shots.  Here’s my first attempt:

Hmm, what’s that shadowy crescent between Venus and the Moon?  We’d just come north from Roswell, so I figured that it was a UFO with a cloaking device.  Turns out it was my lens cover – so I screwed that off and got clearer shots:

I took a series of shorter exposures until I got that one above.

This one was a longer exposure that shows a little horizon.  The red light is a radio tower in the distance, and the slight light bloom is Albuquerque.  I bet I could do some interesting HDR stuff with these images…

I also shot some star fields at varying times and apertures.  I SO need to take a class in how to do this right.

If you go to Flickr by clicking here, you can see the whole set with all of my exposure setting experiments.  You really need to see the full sized images to get the full effect.  I think you need a free Flickr account to get the option to see full sized imaged.  Once I’m home, I’ll put them on my server as well, but Flickr is faster.

One response so far

Apr 16 2007

Picture Contest (Spring Break 2007 Day 2)

Published by under Declan,Fun,Nathan

So, what would you do with a picture like this?:

Here’s my caption:

“Soon after we passed, we were stopped and asked if we’d seen these people:”

One response so far

Apr 14 2007

Spring Break 2007

Published by under Declan,Nathan

Nathan and I are off on a road trip to Austin.

We need these in California:

Gonna have a BIG omelet tomorrow:

I’m legally bound to include a sunset picture.

Click here for more pictures.

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Apr 13 2007

Flickr Flooding

Published by under Tech

Short version – Flickr has removed their 2G/month upload restriction.  You can use an extension called FireUploader to upload thousands of files to Flickr.

Long version –

I like to take pictures.  Lots of pictures.  My favorite feature of the Canon Rebel XT is the “b’juuu b’juuu” setting.  That’s the one that goes “b’juuu b’juuu” when you hold down the button, taking up to 9 pictures at once.  Sweet.

Last year, I took about 5500 pictures, all of them 8 megapixel.  That’s about 16G of pixel abuse.  Add to that the 4G of stuff I had from older cameras, and we’re up past 20G.

Last year, I also bought a Flickr Pro account.  Unlimited storage!  But there was a catch…  A 2G upload limit per month.  So, to get all my stuff backed up on Flickr, I need to split all my pictures into 10 groups of 2G each, and commit to keeping track of what I’ve done each month.  Bleh.

So, I avoided the problem, took more pictures, and felt bad every time a month went by and I’d wasted my 2G quota.  Something had to be done.

I knew Flickr had an API, and I knew that I could break the problem down to a simple queue processing problem.  All I needed to do was relearn how to program, something that would probably take another 10 months. 

So I did what I usually do in this situation.  I Google until I find someone else with my same problem.  And just like browsing the shelves of a library, I found something even better!  Flickr had lifted the 2G/month limit!  W00t!

Well, maybe no so W00t…  After many experiments with diminishing sized batches of photos, I learned that the Flickr Uploadr is not a solid piece of software, at least for more than 100 pictures at once.  Even then, it would fail once in a while, leaving a mess of pictures that never made it into a set.  With 100 pictures at once, I’d have to do this more than 50 times, checking each upload a picture at a time.  Very tedious. 

If only there were an upload tool that could hook to my Flickr account, let me point at thousands of local files, and upload them one at a time unattended – kind of like a smart FTP client.

Another methodology I use to solve these kinds of problems is to whine to all of my friends until they get so sick of hearing about it that they think of something.  My buddy Tad mentioned that he was able to use Amazon’s S3 file storage service to save significant costs on some popular files on his company’s web site.  I asked, “How did you get the files onto S3?”  “I found a Firefox extension that just let me drag and drop.”  Neato, I thought.

Although I didn’t apply Tad’s situation to my Flickr problem, another buddy, Robert, found the S3 extension and IM’d me that the same author had written a Firefox transfer extension for Flickr!

The extension is called FireUploader and it solved all my problems!  It is written by  All I had to do was install the extension, dump all of my thousands of photos onto a machine, fire up the tool in Firefox, select all of my photos, select the set I wanted them to live in, then walk away.  Three days later, and I’ve got gigs and gigs of photos all backed up.

There’s a nice Progress Bar area so I can find any files that failed and reload them.  Actually, once I diagnosed a latency issue with my external drive, and subsequently moved all the files to the local drive, I had no errors with thousands of files.

I love the intarweb!

10 responses so far

Apr 09 2007

Vegas Trip

Published by under Declan,Friends,Fun

TJ and I ran to Vegas for the weekend and had many adventures.

We make a cute couple.  Here’s our love child:

We call her Wendy.

We encountered pirates:



Pagan Rituals:


Floating Heads:

People from Braveheart:



Pagan Rituals:

Spinning Orbs:

Consumption of Mass Quantities:

The Sun Rising in the West:

And Finally, and Eight Hour Drive Home, beset with Fog:

Click here for more pictures of our Vegas trip.

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