Archive for the 'photography' Tag  

For more of my photography, visit my Flickr stream.

Bittersweet Falls

November 7th, 2010

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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A hundred yards from the aptly-named Bittersweet Falls Road, the Beaver Brook cascades over a formation of marble and dolomite to create a beautiful 18 foot cascade.

Bittersweet Falls

Above Bittersweet Falls, the Beaver Brook cuts a deep ravine through layers of black slate. The gorge can be difficult to traverse without getting one’s feet wet, but is filled with cascades and mossy bottoms ringed by ferns and overshadowed by hemlocks.

In the glen

I headed out the door today planing to swing by Bittersweet Falls for a few quick shots before driving out to the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area where stargazer05756 has been following the migration of snow geese. I never made it to Dead Creek. After taking a few shots below the falls I climbed up above and noticed an impressive gorge winding upstream. Ever since I was a child I have always loved exploring up cascading streams. There is just something magical above clambering around a rock to find another waterfall or quiet pool surrounded by moss, ferns, hemlocks — and in the south, rhododendrons.

311/365: In the glen

The Beaver Brook didn’t disappoint and while its steep slate side posed a challenge, I hiked about a third of a mile upstream along the stream bed before scaling the hillside and quickly walking back to the car from above.

View Larger Map

The Northeast Waterfalls site has directions and more info.

Project 365

January 1st, 2010

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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Sarah announced today that she was going to do a “365 project” this year: taking a photo every day of the year, both as a journal and to force one’s self to get out and take some pictures. This sounded like a fun idea and one that would be easier to stick to if we were both doing it, so I’m going to give it a whirl as well. You can follow along with this feed or check the photo-set for updates.

Subscribe to a feed of 365 - 2010 Feed – Subscribe to the set “Project 365 – 2010”

See Sarah’s “Project 365” on Flickr.

Fiddlehead Pizza

May 2nd, 2009

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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For the few weeks in spring that they are available, fiddleheads are a real treat. I find their flavor kind of like asparagus, but a bit nuttier.

This pizza is a whole-wheat crust topped with pesto (some of the last of the 3 gallons I made in 2007), fiddleheads, portobello mushrooms, red bell pepper, and mozzarella.

YATS! (Yet Another Thunder Storm)

August 19th, 2008

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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This has been a crazy summer with only about 5 days between June and mid-August that didn’t have rain. The thunderstorms usually start in the afternoon and sometimes last over night. A few drop several inches of rain at a time causing the flash-floods that have taken out Route 125 several times as well as other bridges and roads.

Flickr and Creative Commons

July 28th, 2008

Filed under: Life and Everything Else


As a proponent of open-source software and freely usable culture I try to encourage others to make use of my work as much as possible by applying the GNU General Public License (GPL) to all of my software and the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (CC BY-NC-SA) to any writing or photography.

Aside: The reason I use different licenses is that for software I have a reasonable expectation that commercial use of my software would result in feedback, bug-reports, translations, or patches that would further improve said software, whereas I do not feel that commercial use of photographs without compensation would improve my photography.

While I encourage others to make use of my work, I do expect them to respect the (liberal) license that I have applied to them and properly give credit where it is due. What particularly bugs me is Flickr’s so-so support of Creative Commons licenses. They encourage usage of CC licenses (decent) and display license information on the photo page (good):

Flickr Creative Commons license badge.

But in the HTML snippets that they provide users for showing an image in one’s blog, they do not include any attribution or CC license information as required by the CC licenses (bad).

One of the knocks against the Creative Commons effort as a whole is the lack of clarity as to how attribution should be done in different media. For web publishing however, how to attribute is quite clear – though buried as the 11th item in their FAQ. Major services like Flickr failing to provide good example of attribution and how to properly credit work just makes the whole Creative Commons thing that much less clear for the general public who now find Creative Commons work readily available and with copy-paste code that violates the license by default.

In an effort to push Flickr to provide a good example for users of Creative Commons-licensed works I’ve started the following thread (reposted below) on the Flickr Ideas forum. I encourage others to weigh in if proper attribution is important to you. Such a fix should only take a Flickr developer about 15 minutes to do, but first such a feature needs to hit their radar.

Flickr Ideas: Update embed code to properly attribute for Creative Commons Licenses

As discussed in this Help thread from a year ago, the “Share This” and “All Sizes” embed code does not meet the Creative Commons license requirements for proper attribution. To quote the FAQ:

How do I properly attribute a Creative Commons licensed work?

If you are using a work licensed under one of our core licenses, then the proper way of accrediting your use of a work when you’re making a verbatim use is: (1) to keep intact any copyright notices for the Work; (2) credit the author, licensor and/or other parties (such as a wiki or journal) in the manner they specify; (3) the title of the Work; and (4) the URL for the work if applicable.

You also need to provide the URL for the Creative Commons license selected with each copy of the work that you make available.

If you are making a derivative use of a work licensed under one of our core licenses, in addition to the above, you need to identify that your work is a derivative work, ie. “This is a Finnish translation of the [original work] by [author]” or “Screenplay based on [original work] by [author].”

Further recommendations and guidelines for marking works can be found at the CC Marking project.

The creator’s name (2) and license logo/link (1) are required for proper attibution, but missing from the Flickr-provided embed code. This means that when a user copy/pastes the embed code provided by Flickr, they violate the license by default if they do not take other steps (not mentioned anywhere on Flickr) to give proper attribution.

After no response on the previous thread for a year, TeX HeX has utilized the Flickr API to create an embed code generator at that can take the URL of any CC licensed Flickr photo and generate the proper HTML code on the fly. This ImageCoder example page provides embed code with the results below:

Note the proper link to the license and attribution of the photographer. Also, note the very understandable description of how the Creative Commons license terms affect usage of the image:
Screenshot of the ImageCoder license overview

I applaud TeX HeX for his wonderful work, but this embed code really should be generated by Flickr itself as only a small percentage of users are going to find their way to ImageCoder.

Please Flickr staff, update the embed code with proper attribution lines so that users of our images can properly attribute by default.

Comment on this thread in the Flickr Ideas forum »

Big Spring Creek Canoe Trip

August 29th, 2007

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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Kayaking on the Big Spring Creek.

Sarah, my dad, and I took a canoe and kayak trip down the Big Spring Creek in Newville, Pennsylvania. The creek is beautiful, with clear water, many aquatic plants, and much waterfowl.

Since the creek has a tiny drainage and is primarily spring fed, it does not flood regularly (if at all) and is hence heavily silted. For about the first 3rd of our trip, the canoe was constantly scraping the bottom and getting stuck. My dad in the sea-kayak had a little bit shallower draw and only got stuck once.

After the first 3rd of the trip the channel deeped, but was still quite narrow, requiring a lot of maneuvering of the large canoe.

In a few spots fallen trees block the channel, though we were able to gingerly maneuver over or under them.

Be aware that a State Boat Registration sticker is required on all boats.

The Google Earth/Maps images are making use of two scripts that I have just written that generate a KML file from the Flickr photo set and then join the photo collection with the GPS track of our route.

Flickr Photo Set to KML

August 23rd, 2007

Filed under: Computers and Technology , Software

Tags: , , ,

One of the things I (and others) have found lacking when working with geotagged images on Flickr, is the inability to retrieve a “photo set” (Flickr’s take on a slideshow) as a KML document that can then be displayed in GoogleEarth, GoogleMaps, or other geo-browsers. Flickr provides some KML links and GeoRSS feeds, but these are either limited to 20 items or can only be pointed at tags or users’ photo-streams, not a particular photo set.

To fill this niche, I present a small script I wrote to generate a KML file from the geotagged photos in a set:

Photo Set to KML     (try it out)


  • Generate a KML file from a Flickr photo set
  • Directly open the KML file in Google Maps
  • Choose what size image to include in the placemark description for each photo.
  • Optionaly draw a path (line) from photo to photo ordered in one of several ways: by date taken, by date uploaded, by set order. Useful for making a quick and dirty map of a trip.


  • KML / GoogleMaps – Some photos from Cape Cod.

    View Larger Map
  • KML / GoogleMaps – A set of photos from a trip I took around Turkey, with lines drawn chronologically. Since this is a large set that causes GoogleMaps to time-out, I’ve downloaded the KML file and then re-uploaded it to my website. This is the method I recommend for large photo sets.

    View Larger Map

You are welcome to use this script hosted on my site, or you can download it and run it on your own computer/webserver. If you would like to run it yourself, please be aware of the following…

System Requirements:

This script is available under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3 or later. (Source Code)


  • 2011-10-06
  • 2007-08-27
    • Now uses htmlspecialchars() to clean titles instead of htmlentities(), the latter of which was causing excessive translation of German characters. Thanks Stefan Geens, for pointing this out.
    • Form now generates valid XHTML 1.0 strict.
    • Now can use image thumbnails instead of camera icons. Thanks for the idea Nicolas Hoizey.
  • 2007-08-24
    • Now escapes ampersands in titles and descriptions. Thanks Jesse for pointing this out.

    Future Improvement Ideas::

    • Add an option for icon size.
    • Add options for custom icon/path styles. I’m not sure whether to give several options, or just provide a field for a block of arbitrary KML style-markup.

May showers bring May flowers

May 11th, 2007

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

Tags: ,

A few roving thunderstorms last night gave new plants a much needed drink. The flowers below are “Bleeding Hearts”, a beautiful surprise to find in the beds our first spring in this house.

April Snow

April 5th, 2007

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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Today we received an unseasonably late snow-storm that has left us with several inches of snow on the ground. We woke up this morning and were greeted by the first several inches of heavy, wet snow clinging to branches during a lull in the storm. After accidentally letting the cat slip out the door I spent 45 minutes tromping around the yard with my camera. Click on the image below to open a Quicktime VR panorama (a 3D view that you can rotate around in).

QuickTime VR (5.5MB)

equirectangular panorama, a stitch of 93 photos (3.6MB)
I have made a few more QuickTime VRs as well, of a sunset off the back deck (3.1MB), our front yard (7.1MB), and the Parthenon (4.8MB).

More Blizzard Photos

February 18th, 2007

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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Sarah’s Valentines Day blizzard photos

Featuring your’s truly in snow-blower action shots as well as crazy downtown drifts.

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