Posting Photos New and Old

I have been on a photo publishing streak lately. I have tried to be diligent to post new photos quickly, as well as going back to post older photos.

Here are a few direct links to new albums:

At the Children's Discovery Museum - Spending a few hours here with Mia. It is her first time visiting this museum.

Celebrating Kayla's High School Graduation - Celebrating at the Crow's Next

Mia and Her Car Seat - Mia graduates to facing forward status!

Photos from 1999 - I have managed to post all the digital photos I took in 1999. They are no a lot of photos, but I posted what I have.

If you need the password to the albums either email me or ping me on Facebook.

What's Public is Public

When I post my photos online, my main goal is to share them with family and friends.  Most of the photos are private, but some that I truly like and think are very nice shots, I leave for public viewing and comment.  I would never think that they would be used for anything.

When I was trying //, I posted several photos that I had public in my //Flickr account.  I then forgot about  Well, yesterday I logged into my account on and I looked at the featured photos page and there was one of my photos!  It's a photo of Tiana, which I like very much, and thought it was cool.  Then today I go to's home page and see:

Tiana on

It's cool and unsettling to see a photo you took on the front page.  They do give me photo credit (my username in the lower left-hand corner) and the photo is used within all legal guidelines according to their Terms of Service (TOS).  So I just need to be fine with it, since I did sign up for their service.

The lesson here?  Just know that any photo you post on the Internet, whether public or private, has the potential of being used.  You should know your rights if someone is using your photos elsewhere.  And last but not least, read the TOS before signing up with a service.

Believe me, I like the photo.  I like it being used - in a way.  I just feel a little awkward about it all.

Website and Photo Updates

As i mentioned previously, I've been updating the website.  The 'theme' that is implemented now will be the default look.  If you have any feedback on how the page looks or navigates, please feel free to comment on the page or write to me.  I'm guessing feedback may range from the page being too dark or the font being too small, but I'm not sure.  I find it easy to use and read, but do you?

Viewing photos also has a new option: viewing via //Smugmug

The reason why I chose Smugmug is the look and feel appeals to some of our visitors, as opposed to my //Flickr account.  I'm guessing people do not want to sign up for a Flickr account (which is free) or simply don't want to sign up for a Yahoo! account.  I still prefer Flickr as a service, but understand the appeal of Smugmug.  Either way, you now have two methods to view photos.

I do not have all the photos posted to Smugmug yet, but I will work on it.  I have password protected several photo galleries on Smugmug, as individual photos cannot be password protected.  In order to view those galleries, you will need to provide the password to the gallery.  It's a simple question, but if you do not know the answer, please write to me for guidance.

Photos can be ordered from both services.  To order photos from Flickr, you need to be on my Friends and Family list.  When you are a member, you can order photos, which are printed by //Target, and either have them mailed to you or you can pick them up at your local Target store.

You can also order photos through Smugmug.  They will mail you the photos.  I think the photos are more expensive than ordering them through Flickr, but I do not know if there is a quality difference.  I'll need to order some photos for comparison.

Anyway, back to more web stuff.

Updating the Photos Page

Well, I've been updating a few things on the website.  The biggest update is the use of a //Flickr plug-in called //FAlbum To see it in action click on the Photos link above.  Cool, huh?

This just adds another reason to love Flickr, which allows the use of their API's to interact with the data stored on their website.  I don't fully understand API's, but hey someone does and made this plug-in.  Now it looks like I have the photo albums on my website.  You can still access the photos on Flickr as well.

So, this is another reason to sign up for a Flickr account if you wish to see more albums on // Of course you need to be someone I know.  After all, the photos that I have private on my Flickr account are those of family and friends.  Nothing too embarrassing, but things I don't wish to share with the general public.  As always if I have a photo posted in the public space (of yourself) that you wish for me to take down, please write to me and let me know.

Too Many Photo Sites to Choose From

I have been trying to find an online solution to display my photos that isn't reliant on hosting the software myself.  If you go to // you will see the photo gallery that is hosted on my site.

The software is provided by //Gallery and is a great piece of open source work.  My problem?  For one thing, I am getting a little time crunched on doing any patches that is required from time to time.  The second thing is I can't upload the original image (due to lack of disk space).  This requires me to spend time resizing images for the web.  It becomes a pain in the butt after a while.

Looking for a Solution

There are many photo sites to choose from.  Most offer a way to make prints, such as //Ofoto, //Shutterfly, and //Snapfish.  These are very good sites, but they lack the customization I'm seeking.

I took at look at four solutions.  Here is how I rank them and their pros and cons - IMHO.

1.  //Flickr

The lowdown:

A free account gives you 20MB upload limit per month with no limit on storage space, but only 200 most recent photos will appear.  Older photos are not deleted they just don't appear.

For a paid account it's $24.95 per year.  This gives you 2GB bandwidth a month for uploading and all your photos appear.  This works out to be about $2.08 for unlimited storage!

My view:

The best of the bunch.  You can't beat the price for a paid service.  The community, if you are seeking comments on photos you have taken or want to make comments on what you see, is very active.  It can get brutal at times, but overall it's nice to see people interacting online.  I also like the ability to control permissions on a photo level.  The current knock against Flickr is the incredibly awkward way it handles organizing of sets.  The drag and drop UI for this needs to change and subsets need to be implemented.

2. // Zoto

The lowdown:

New kid on the block getting attention.  Free account gives you 2GB of storage with currently no upload limit. Paid accounts are a little pricey at $44.95 per year, so about $4 a month.  At this price it only gives you currently 5GB of storage.

My view:

The big positive for this service is the ability to create photo galleries easily.  Organization of photos is done by keyword (tags) as Flickr, with the mass tagging of photos a little easier than Flickr.  The big knock against this service, besides the price for a paid account,  is site outages in the last several weeks.  Not sure about leaving my photos there for the long run.

3. //

The lowdown:

Community photo site with easy to use tools for organization.  Photos can be organized by albums and subalbums as well as by date.  For a paid account at $50 per year you receive unlimited storage, FTP access to upload photos, and customization to suit your needs.

My view:

FTP was a very nice feature to have.  I found the password protection scheme awkward though.

4. //Smugmug

My view:

No free accounts here, but free to try for 7 days.  All paid accounts (starting at $29.95 to $99.95 a year) offer unlimited space for photos.  You can even order prints of photos from your gallery, as well as allowing friends and family do the same.

My view:

Easy to use interface for anyone. The albums I created were very attractive.  The big point I didn't not like was that photo albums that I had password protected or private was searchable through Google for some reason.  I've read on Smugmug's message boards that this is a known issue and they are working to remedy this problem.  If they solved this issue, this would rank as my #2 out of the four services I've looked at.

So for now it seems //Flickr, in my opinion, is the place to be.

Dave's Headshots

Met up with Dave yesterday to do our weekly coffee talk.  I had a chance to test out the replacement 50mm since I needed to get headshots of him for a web site.  Well, here they are:

Classic Dave

Overall I think they turned out well.  I had to remember to enable the flash after the first shot, to fill out the shadows.  I think it worked out.  Man, I never noticed how much I like the 50mm.

Christmas Photos Plus Old Stuff

Just got the Christmas photos back from the lab. They are now posted in the Holidays section. Tried using Longs Drugs this time to see how they are. Eh, there ok. Also posted some older photos (Halloween stuff). Slowly getting more photos online just to have them all there. So what was added?

Note: above links only work if you are already logged into the photos page.

Also albums were changed to be 3 columns by 10 rows (maximum) to keep with the width of the page. As more albums are posted, I'll post what albums were updated on this page.