Musings

Asking for opinion via vote!

I’m contemplating entering a photo in a “photos of BC” type contest. I’m torn on which of these two to enter… So, just curious and asking your opinion… If you had to vote for one photo or the other… Which would it be?

Photo 1:

Or

Photo 2:

Thanks!

If you see a photo that you love, I’d love to sell you a print!

Hey all!

Over the past few days, I have received a lot of compliments on my photos, especially my shots of Shambhala Music Festival 2013. A lot of people have asked “do you offer prints?”

The answer is yes.

While I love what I do, it isn’t always cheap to do it. Photography is my sole source of income, and I have overhead: fuel, food, ferries, supplies, batteries, equipment cleaning, maintenance and repairs, rent and bills – right down to web hosting and e-commerce options – it all costs money. And any support I get that can offset the costs is very, very welcome. And in return for your support, you get awesome, high quality art that you can put on your wall and impress everyone with for years to come. And I’m able to keep doing what I do best.

So, if you really want a print, and you really love that photo you commented on and liked, send me a message, and lets get that photo on your wall where it belongs!

Cheers, and thanks for all the love!

Robb

Just a heads up to anyone on Vancouver Island, and B.C. in general!

I want to warn you about a really innocuous looking, but horrendously dangerous plant. It’s an invasive plant originally from Asia, and growing EVERYWHERE around B.C. It called Giant Hogweed, and is absolutely no joke. It’s popping up all over the Island and other areas of B.C. and most people don’t know about it. While out with friends on French Creek last weekend, we ran into the stuff everywhere along the creek, along the shore, and in the wooded areas all around – and right along the trails, with it’s leaves hanging over the pathway. It’s easy to imagine people out for a walk with their kids and pets, and brushing the plant aside as they walk the trails. So if you are out with kids or pets, please be cautious and aware – it’s incredibly easy for them to get exposed to it. If you touch it, the sap on your skin will react with UV light – so when sunlight hits it, you end up with severe burns. And we’re talking 3rd degree. And even when they heal, the sap can keep causing burns for up to 10 years. YEARS! If it gets in your eyes, it causes temporary – and sometimes permanent – blindness.

It’s ridiculously nasty stuff, and NOT something you want to get tangled up in, especially if your kids are active and like to explore the outdoors.

Here’s a link with some more info.

If you happen to come across it the Government of B.C. asks you to call it in and report it. Just do a Google search for how to report it in your area.

Cheers! And be safe!

Burns caused by Giant Hogweed.

London Drugs Photo Lab VS Costco photo lab

Ordered 4 photos for print using London Drug’s photo lab online. 4 Prints, each 8×12. “Pearl” finish, because Matte is NOT a printing option. Uploader is fairly intuitive, quick and easy to navigate, as well as stable. No problem placing an order.

Total order cost: $35.80

Ordered the SAME 4 photos through Costco’s online print service. Same 4 files, same size, same everything. (except the finish, because “matte” is an option) Limit of 8MB on file size, and the uploader crashed twice in my initial test of uploading 10 images. But to be fair, I was using the “classic” uploader, as I didn’t feel like doing extensive java updates that give me dire warnings about security holes and risks. I’m not really trusting of Java anyways.

Total order cost: $8.92

Difference: $26.88

Hrm. In an economy where $26.88 is 4 jugs of milk and 2 loaves of bread… I think I will be getting my printing done at Costco. Of course, we’ll have to run a side by side comparison of quality and what not.

This is beyond “free”.

I would, in a heartbeat, and without hesitation, jump into this sport. SO. MUCH. AWESOME.

Finding Vivian Maier.. A pretty amazing photographer. Wow.

Guy buys a bunch of undeveloped film at auction, and an amazing photographer is discovered. After she’d died.

More on the story.

Twitter makes me rage.

A few days ago, I deactivated my twitter account, because apparently, I don’t have the option of deleting it outright. So, fine, whatever. I really find twitter to be irritating and not at all helpful, but I figured that hey, maybe I just over-reacted and deleted it because I was in a bad mood.

So, I reactivated it, and decided to give it another go. And within 20 minutes, I was ready to deactivate it again, and was just rotten in my mood

At the top of the home screen, there’s a large block that “suggests” feeds to follow. Two of the common ones were Wal-Mart corp, and Starbucks inc. Which is bullshit, because that’s just advertising being force fed down your gullet. Not cool at all, not in the least. And there is no easy or simple way to disable it – if there’s a way at all.

So, screw it. I just pulled the plug and disabled it, and have no intentions of ever using it again. Ever. So, Twitter is one tool I’ll never be relying on… Good-bye, and good riddance!

Out with the new, in with the old.

As you might have noticed by now, we’re back to the old, wordpress website, and no longer with Squarespace.

What a waste of time THAT was.

I’d heard about Squarespace on the Joe Rogan podcast, and thought I would give it a try. While it looked great, and had a lot of potential, there was a few issues I had with it. Most notably was the lack of customer service. Their response times were great, but they missed some of my messages entirely. The times they DID get them, they just glazed over my concerns and didn’t address ANY of my complaints or issues.

From my correspondence with them:

I have elected to not stick with squarespace, for a number of reasons. For
the sake of possible future changes, I will list the reasons:

It costs just under $300 a year for the business plan with e-commerce.
Pretty close to the same as Smugmug (with which I am already a paid
member), only smugmug offers full printing and shipping services.
Squarespace doesn’t. You can sell stuff, but you have to handle all the
packaging, ordering, shipping, etc.

You don’t offer FTP. You have no space to manage or use, or park, say… a
zip of photos for a client/friend to download. That’s a big issue for me.

Mobile posting/management is VERY limited. IE, from the mobil app, and the
phone, I don’t have the option of pushing to my social media when I post
from a phone.

Unless you blog a single image in a blog post, you can’t share an image, or
have anyone share an image. Only a page. So if you have a FANTASTIC image
of Brad Pitt running naked and drunk in downtown Vancouver, it can’t get
shared in social media. So having someone share a single image to facebook
is not possible.No one can view my portfolio, and if they see an image they
LOVE, they can’t share that image (from a gallery) on social media.

If you want your page to do something specific, you can’t change the source
code without a LOT of hassle. If it’s not a predefined option, it’s not
something you can do. IE, on my blog posts, the font for image captions
under images is “one size only” (at least with that template) and is so
tiny, you can’t read it. So, changing it is very, very difficult unless
you’re proficient at source code “injections” into headers, footers and
body spaces. And it’s done at CSS level. In addition, you can’t set
anything to save and use a set of settings by default. IE, every time I
post, I have to set the social media links to push, and set my location
from New York to my hometown. Every. Single. Time. Time consuming, and
frustrating.

It’s a good service, and I’d probably use it more or even exclusively, but
it’s actually more limited than advertised, and for me, the price point
doesn’t seem reasonable for what you’re getting, which is really just a
fancy GUI for a sliver of space on your server, which I don’t have ftp
access to. A slick GUI isn’t worth $300 a month, IMO.

And one other thing I REALLY don’t like… (and it’s a minor thing that
would only bother someone on a budget, like myself) is there’s a penalty
for paying month to month. If you sign up for a year, the business level
package is 24 bucks a month. If you pay month to month (even if you use a
credit card and auto renew) you charge $30 a month. Which to me, is
somewhat… unfair. The message I get is “Hey, if you’re on a budget, and
can’t fork over $288 in one shot, we’re going to charge you an extra $72 as
a penalty. Or “you’re low income” tax.

These are all points I will be blogging about, and sharing publicly,
because I am not happy with my squarespace experience.

I know to you folks, it’s not a big deal, but to me, I was really hyped
about your services, and it actually ended up being pretty frustrating. For
ME, anyways. Even though you don’t have FTP solutions I was willing to
rework everything to work around that, because everything else looked so
promising. So, I spent money on a new domain name to create my own “cloud”
service using the space I already paid for, which now, turns out to be a
waste of money. And on top of everything… Something got changed within my
own network, as none of my computers at home will connect to my website. I
keep getting directed to a page that says:

:Domain Not Claimed. This domain has been mapped to Squarespace, but it has
not yet been claimed by a website. If this is your domain, claim it in the
Domains tab of your website manager

It’s all VERY frustrating. I don’t know what or
why, but everything is just borked, and I’m so frustrated I could scream.

Cheers,

Robb

I then told them that the reason my payment hadn’t gone through was because the transaction had been cancelled, and not on their end.

And their response?


Hannah A (Squarespace Support)
APR 26, 2013 | 02:30AM EDT
Hey Robb,

Glad to hear that this has been resolved.

Feel free to reach out with any additional questions. Thanks!

Hannah A.
Customer Care
Squarespace, Inc.
help.squarespace.com

So. With that, my Squarespace experiment has concluded.

Pretty convinced that there is, and never will be, a PERFECT all round solution that will meet my needs. Which is a great, easy to configure website, emphasis on a blog, that has really great, easy, content management. IE, I don’t want it to take me 20+ minutes to post a single image. I liked that about squarespace.. it had great image management and made it super easy to post a photo to my blog while I was out and about and took a snap with my cell phone.

-R

PS: If you notice that the tables on the site look wonky, it’s because I’m messing with the code, trying to make the content (like this blog post) match the width of the page, so there’s not all that super empty, wasted space on the right over there ————>

Have patience whilst I tweak and configure.

Bluegrass, ferry crossings and great vibes…

Taking the ferry across the strait of Georgia is always bittersweet. It’s either going to something amazing, or coming back from something amazing. And the bitter part comes in where the “B.C. Ferries” part comes in. Because BC ferries has to be one of the poorest run, overpriced monopoly services in Western Canada. The sweet part comes in on days like today – choppy water, rocking boat, miserable day – but there’s a Bluegrass band giving a free performance in the forward passenger area. And a really good bluegrass group at that – Viper Central. (Click HERE to check out their site, and hear what they do).


So, the Kathleen, Steve, Tim et al; Thank you for making a decidedly unpleasant trip… pleasant.

I got some pretty great video clips as well. Will post those as soon as I get a chance to convert them and slap ’em on youtube.

A little bit of truth for your Sunday afternoon!

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