Tutorial posted on Photoblog

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Today I have spend a little time working on my photoblog. I fixed a few issues and launched two new features: a “tweet this” button and tutorials. The “Tweet this” button makes it easier to share something you found on my blog with the world using Twitter. As for the tutorials, sometimes people have asked me questions how I did certain things and what better way of sharing it by using tutorials?

So here it is, the first tutorial on my photoblog. It deals with Geocoding images using the GPS on a (WM) smartphone.

The next feature is still undecided, if you have some ideas please leave them in the comments.

The end of Pixelpost (at my blog)

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In the summer of 2006 I decided to start my own photoblog. I had just bought a new DSLR and was looking for a way to display these images. I found Pixelpost to be the only package meeting my requirements and I started using it. During the development of my photoblog I fixed some issues in Pixelpost and after that I found myself on the development team.

Together with Piotr I fixed a lot of bugs and added a lot of features in the 1.6 release. One of the main features I worked on was alternative language support for templates. I also developed some addons, one of the biggest the Googlemap addon to display images on the map. It is still a nice showcase of the addon power in Pixelpost because it uses a lot of workspaces to plugin its code. If I look at the downloads from my site over this period the absolute number one addon is the Entrypage addon, followed by the Googlemaps addon.

Working with the codebase of Pixelpost made me realize one thing: the code needed a complete overhaul. Jay, Dave and myself started making plans for the new revamped version of Pixelpost, the illustrious version 2.0. Like all good plans it started out real nice and we made some nice progress. In our attempts to make it clean, lean and mean we had to restart a few times from scratch. It took a bit longer than anticipated and we also had other stuff to attend to. All this lead to a stop in the development, ultimately leading to a blogpost on the forum describing the current situation.

Over the last year I came increasingly disgusted with the administration panel of Pixelpost and the lack of features found in other programs these days. Also I found it hard to maintain the self-imposed upload scheme of posting a new image every three days while not taking any new images. And last but not least, I also found I uploaded an image both on my blog and on Flickr. After some reviewing I discovered Flickr had most of the features I implemented on my blog as well. It had the maps, a nice way of organizing images with tags and sets and an easy way to upload images. Next to that it features multiple sizes, something I always wanted to use on my blog.

So I decided to scratch the blogging idea, turn the whole thing into a portfolio and use Flickr as a base. I closed my photoblog (e.g. stopped uploading pictures) and set out on a search to fulfill my requirements. After a couple of weeks programming and figuring out the (wonderful) Flickr API I present you with my revamped portfolio: http://foto.schonhose.nl.

As always there are some minor issues to fix, which will be dealt with in the next few weeks. I managed to retain most of the features of my old blog, although the comments now go through Flickr. Flickr doesn’t allow anonymous comments so that is the only drawback I found. That being said, over the last year I only got 2 legitimate comments, the rest was SPAM. Love to hear your comments on the new site!

Current events

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Over the last few weeks I have been really slacking in writing blog posts. Let me make it up by giving a small “current events” lecture.

Well, Lightroom 3.0 is out and that means we can start working on updating the Pixelpost to Lightroom plugin. However, the problem with that is that I don’t have Lightroom 3.0 yet, but I plan on buying it. That goes for Adobe CS5 as well. It all depends when it comes available in our special store since I’m eligible for a special discount on Adobe products.

As mentioned earlier I have taken a trip to Paris a few weeks back. Some of those shot will make it onto my photoblog, so check back often. It will also feature some shots from the Giro ‘d Italia and some other random stuff I made the last few weeks. I’m really trying to get back into the groove of taking pictures, but because some other stuff I also have to work on, it is hard to find time.

Some of you guys wonder what is happening with Pixelpost these days. Well, to be honest we’re having some kind of break. With the dreadful winter behind us it is time to leave our computers and explore the great outdoors more often. Rest assured, Pixelpost is not forgotten and we’ll continue to work on it. If you’re willing to help, just drop us a line with some examples of your work.

Well, that is it for now, take care and until next time!

Good times ahead

With the basketball season almost over it seems I’ll finally have some time to pursue photography again. I know I have been really lacking in this department, not only due to being a coach, but also due some stuff in my personal life. Selling the house and moving into a new place takes up more time than planned. But all is well now and I do have some fun photo projects planned.

It seems the Giro d’Italia is starting in Amsterdam this year and will come through most of the province of Utrecht on May 9th. I’ll probably will try to get a good spot near the route and will take some pictures.

After the Giro we have a couple of weddings ahead, but before that we have the bachelor parties. These should not only be loads of fun but hopefully will provide some decent shots as well. To top things off I have a small trip planned to Paris, France so as you can see there are more than enough photo moments throughout the upcoming weeks.

Looking thin in photographs

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Recently I have moved from shooting landscapes to shooting people. Don’t worry, instead of a gun I use a camera to do all my shooting. One thing I find fascinating working with people is how to make them look their best. We all have some unflattering photographs which we rather want to hide in the back of the closet. Not only does that prevent other people actually seeing them, it appears they also scare the rodents away. :-)

If you scrounge the internet you will find various resources detailing with tips and tricks on how to look thin in photographs. It is no secret, the camera usually adds about 10 pounds (around 5kg) mostly due to unflattering lighting. In a studio shoot you can control the lighting but outdoors this is somewhat of a challenge (although not impossible).

However, as a model you can do some things as well. Here are 5 secrets you can use to loose the 10 pounds the camera adds (courtesy of Julyne Derrick of About.com):

  1. Turn partially sideways to the camera, planting one foot in front of the other. Point your toe to the camera and place your weight on your back foot.
  2. Pull head forward slightly to minimize any appearance of a double chin.
  3. Hold arms slightly away from your body. This keeps upper arm flab from flattening out and therefore appearing flabbier (much like thighs do when one sits on a couch).
  4. Pull shoulders back, chest forward and gently suck stomach in. Be careful not to suck stomach so far in that your ribs show, thereby causing those who later see the photo to cluck to themselves in a bemused, sing-song voice, “She’s sucking i-in.”
  5. If you can get away with it without looking like a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Girl wannabe, try the look away trick. To do this, look away from the camera, then turn towards it, breaking into a smile just before the camera clicks. Your smile will appear fresh, not frozen. This trick takes practice behind closed, locked doors.