Photography Travel and places

Bean There memories

One of the things I enjoy about putting my presentation slides for talks and workshops together is using my growing library of photos. I’ve pretty much stopped using other stock photos for my talks (well, 99% stopped). This afternoon I came across this great little set of photos I took at one of my few visits to Bean There in 44 Stanley.

Travel and places

Afternoon at the park

I took our kids off to the park yesterday afternoon and spent the time experimenting with my kit lenses some more. In good light, they actually work really well for me. I love the colour and contrast I get with the lenses, particularly my 18-55mm lens. I am really enjoying the wide angle stuff at the moment.

Afternoon at the park-17

Where to share photos

My Flickr subscription comes up for renewal this December and while I am inclined to renew my subscription and see what Flickr does under Yahoo’s new leadership, I’m curious which of the photo sharing services available now are the better ones?​

I’ve considered 500px and while I get some pretty immediate feedback on photos I upload, a lot of that feedback is spam with requests to follow other users. I like the attention but not like that.​

I ​upload all my photos to Google Photos for storage and to share on Google+ (I also backup with Dropbox and manually to S3) so its not like I need Flickr to show all my photos or even share them all but I have been with Flickr for years. Of course I can share my photos here on Squarespace which is designed, at least in part, for photographers. I can easily do more private sharing through Dropbox and Google+ too.

Renewing my Flickr membership wouldn’t be a bad thing for me but, like I said, I’m curious about the other options.


Anyone using @Lightroom to manage photo libraries?

Is anyone using Lightroom to manage a photo library? I’ve been using Picasa but I am considering switching my habit to Lightroom to manage my libraries (I already using Lightroom for all my photo editing).


I need to be able to manage photos on multiple drives which preferably update dynamically (I know I can also do an import to refresh the folders). I’d also like to upload easily to Picasa (I use Picasa for online photo storage), Flickr and Facebook. I know about some plugins that do that but any recommendations would be great.

I’m pretty sure this is possible but I’m interested in your experiences if you are using Lightroom like this.

Business and work Photography

The Great Office Photo Wall debate

My wife and I are having a debate about my planned photo wall in my new office which I move into later this month. The idea is to have one wall in my office and one in Nastassja‘s office which will have photos relevant to what we’re doing. My thinking behind the wall in my office is to have photos of people in the Web industry who inspire me (and some people I have met). Here are a couple photos I’ve picked so far:

Lawrence Lessig

Mark Zuckerberg

Jimmy Wales

and (you might recognise this inspiring person)

M in colour

Gina doesn’t agree with my choice and thinks the photos are a little random. Her thinking is that the photos on my office wall should be more artistic than random photos of people. Another idea which came to me when debating this with Gina is to put up some of my photos. Here are a couple options which I picked out quickly (I may go out and take more photos for the office but these give you an idea of the photos I could include):

Bean There-6

Bean There-1

Bean There-5

Nokia Lumia launch-9


Nokia Lumia launch-51

What do you think? If I go the great looking photos approach, I don’t even mind including some of the more awesome (and more artistic) work by other photographers I know, like Darren Smith and Jeanette Verster, if they make their photos available. I haven’t spoken to them so this is just an idea.

Update: It looks like just about everyone agrees with Gina (and I do like that idea too) so I’ll pick out some of my photos for my office wall. Jeanette is happy to contribute some of hers so I’ll chat to her further about including some of her photos too (if you haven’t seen her work, you really should: Jeanette Verster Photography). Disclosure: Jeanette is a client at Jacobson Attorneys.


Morning Moon

The Moon looked particularly enticing this morning and I grabbed my camera and tripod and rushed outside and took a couple photos. They’re not quite the huge Moon you often see from better zoom lenses but these came out ok.

Morning moon-6

Morning moon-1

The rest of my Moon photos are here.

Business and work Entertainment People

Birthday @UberEllis

Birthday UberEllis-1

I do some work for Cerebra and I was at Cerebra’s offices when the staff gathered to celebrate Andre Ellis‘ birthday. Birthdays at Cerebra are great and I’ve only seen the office stuff. The staff gather in the kitchen area, sing happy birthday to the lucky birthday person and there is cake. Its a terrific environment and I love how the team gathers to celebrate.

Birthday UberEllis-5

Anyway, I take my camera with me pretty much wherever I go and had it with me yesterday. I took a couple photos which came out quite nicely and thought I would post them.

Birthday UberEllis-2

Birthday UberEllis-4

Birthday UberEllis-7

Blogs and blogging Social Web

UnifyPhotos and my disappearing Facebook Timeline

When I read about a little app or set of scripts called UnityPhotos that could easily migrate Flickr photo sets to Facebook I was intrigued. Since Timeline rolled out I have wanted to flesh out my Timeline with older photo albums and this seemed like a great way to do it. Of course few experiments like this ever work out for me and I’ve thought about adopting the slogan “I do stupid things so you don’t have to” because of the disasters I subject myself to. My UnityPhotos experiment is no exception.

UnifyPhotos start page

While I was a huge Facebook sceptic in the past, Facebook really seems to be taking users’ data protection seriously. If I was ever anti-Facebook (at some point I was), I am a convert and I have been using Facebook a lot lately. Google+ still appeals to me and it could well become a force to be reckoned with on the social Web in the years to come but, for now, Facebook is the dominant service on the social Web and it keeps getting better for me. I use Facebook Lists a lot to share selectively and while the current functionality mirrors what Google+ launched with, the people I connect to for personal stuff are on Facebook, not Google+. That makes Facebook the place to go to share with friends and family as well as the people who subscribe to my public updates (I have far fewer subscribers than Google+ and Twitter followers so I am interested to see if this changes much going forward).

I consolidated my blogs into this one with the intention of simplifying my blogs but until there is a way to share selectively and effectively with limited groups of people then this blog is far more useful for public updates and posts. My UnityPhotos experience has reminded me about the importance of keeping more control over my content through this blog. When it comes to limited sharing (primarily with friends and family), Facebook remains the place to do that sharing.

Anyway, I authorised Flickr and Facebook to give UnityPhotos access to my respective albums after I read this post on The Next Web which gave the service some credibility and one of the developers’ comments about how UnityPhotos would plug imported photos into the Timeline (by this I understood in the correct date order). UnityPhotos started copying photos across pretty quickly but stalled on half a dozen sets. I should point out that while the sensible thing would have been to try this with a couple sets first, I did everything.

When it was clear that UnityPhotos was stalled on a couple sets after a few hours I tried to edit the dates of the imported albums on Facebook only to find that Facebook now wouldn’t allow me to change the imported albums’ attributes. I revoked UnityPhotos’ access to my Facebook profile and that didn’t fix the issue. I decided to start deleting the many imported sets and even once that was done, I noticed that I had lost all my Timeline updates prior to the import (yesterday) and after 30 November. Basically, the month of December with all my updates is gone.

Where December used to be in my Timeline

I checked my photo albums which I uploaded manually before trying UnityPhotos and they were still there. My Timeline was just wiped clean for most of December. I don’t know for sure whether UnityPhotos broke my Timeline but the timing suggests it did. I have probably lost that profile and its a lesson learned about these services we rely on so much. Whether it be a bad app, a bug or a hack, our data is not guaranteed to be where we left it when we return next time. If anything this whole thing has persuaded me to continue posting to multiple locations (for example, limited share posts to Facebook and Google+; public posts on this blog which will republish to Twitter and Facebook along with a manual share on Google+ and photos to Facebook and Picasa at least). This sort of approach makes for a high level of duplication across multiple services but I wouldn’t want to put all my updates on one platform and risk losing everything in one go the next time I do something stupid.

In the meantime I have mailed Goyaka Labs (the developers behind UnityPhotos) and Facebook. Hopefully there is a fix for my lost December but I’m not betting on it.

Update: I received two emails from Allagappan Muthuraman, one of Goyaka Labs’ founders, yesterday evening letting me know the following:

Apologies for the inconvenience caused. We are also facing this issue and we have reported to facebook. Since it is holiday season, there is no one responding.

We have temporarily disabled adding of photos to timeline. (It just adds photos). We will let you know as soon as we find a fix for this.


We initially thought it was because of UnifyPhotos, but it seems to be that lot of other people are also missing data from timeline.

Do follow the community issue here for more info –

In the meantime, my Timeline seems to be borked so hopefully a fix will be in the works soon. My status updates are not reflecting in my Timeline even though they do appear in my newsfeed. Hopefully that means my December posts are not gone, just not visible.