Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

#4/52 Another championship for Greg

I play ultimate with Greg and our team won the Master's Fall Division title.

Challenge - Portrait: Headshot

Saturday, January 23, 2016

An update on photo sharing

Many of you know I'm a avid photographer and like to share my photos.  And most of that sharing is done via the web,  If I visit friends and family in person, I likely still reach for an internet connected device to show my photos.  I do load my mobile devices with photos on occasion, but that's the exception rather than the rule.  If I'm showing guests my photos, my first option is usually to use Apple TV and show photos from the web (Flickr and Google Photos) and occasionally I'll turn my iMac and show photos directly from Adobe Lightroom.  And of course, we do have a huge number of printed photos in albums that we like to look at and share older memories with guests.  But this post is focused on online sharing options.

Lets get one thing out of the way right up front - I feel that sending photos via email is the last option people should use.  If you're an incredibly private person or you don't have any clue on managing your identity on the web, then email may be your best bet.  If you're reading this, then I'm assuming you have a little more confidence navigating the web and using web based applications.

I can split this topic into two for different types of photographers: one for photography of friends and family and associated events and gatherings; the second is for the photographer who wants to share their work with a broader community who share similar interests, e.g. wildlife, travel, art, sports, etc.

The impetus to this post is tackling the problem of sharing photos with friends and family, so lets start with that type of photography.  And I'm assuming that most people reading this, put themselves into that category.


This is by far the most popular way people share photos today.  I do share quite a lot via Facebook but don't want to saturate my friends' newsfeeds with numerous photos that don't interest them.  I also have a challenge of organizing the photos - do I create specific albums, post to one large album or just post to my feed ?  Some people understand exactly how groups of photos (and how many) are shared in Facebook feeds, but I don't.  In addition, I'm not a big fan of how Facebook displays photos (see comparison's below), and somewhat nervous about ownership and copyright protection.

Google Photos
Flickr Photostream
Other sites dedicated to displaying photos pay more attention to the display features (like collages showing images in the original dimensions) and I believe also allow higher resolution images.  As you can see, Facebook shows album photos in a simple square formats and you only see the full image if you click on it.  So with Facebook, I share moderate amounts of photos with friends and I'm also now sharing more artistic photos with a 52 week photography challenge group.  I do add a watermark to these shots to add some level of protection.  The obvious disadvantage of Facebook is that you can only share with Facebook friends.  I'd probably guess that 80% of the people in my life are on Facebook, but there are a few important people in my life who do not have Facebook accounts or who are work colleagues that I'm still a little uncomfortable being friends with on Facebook.

Google Photos

Some of the reasons I use Google Photos are:
  • High quality
  • Attractive album displays
  • Dedicated to photography, i.e. I don't mind sharing a larger number of photos
  • Sharing is easy
Unfortunately, there has been a lot of confusion with Google's photo based applications over the years, starting with Picasa, then tied in with Google+.  But it appears Google have gone back to basics and Google Photos manages sharing simply via a encoded URL link.  Coincidently, the option to share via a link is available on Facebook for sharing with non-Facebook users.  I like its simplicity, however it means viewers have to keep the link around or bookmark the album.  There are drag-and-drop ways to reorder photos in an album, but unfortunately Google has removed ordering by date (oldest/newest) features that were available in Picasa.

Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat and Pinterest

These applications don't real manage albums of photos, but they all allow sharing of photographs in some way. I use Twitter and Instagram a little for sharing photos that tell a real time story.  I wouldn't expect people to download or save these types of photos.


I've been using Flickr for many years.  I use it mostly to share my artistic photos with various photographic groups and the public.  Flickr does offer private albums and advanced sharing features and permissions for Flickr members and non-members.  I've tested this side of Flickr a few times, but the reason I don't use it consistently is probably because the addition of family and friend shots would clutter my collection.  I prefer to keep Flickr as my public gallery.

There are plenty of other photo sharing web applications (e.g. 500px), but I have limited exposure to these sites, so I'll leave those to other photographers.

And lastly, I should include custom web sites or blogs.  Some people have well written and organized blogs that contain a lot of photographs.  I created one for my 365 project a long time ago, then consolidated that to this blog.

In closing, I should mention that I publish photos to these applications a few different ways, incl. sharing from my mobile phone and most often using the publishing services with Lightroom.

Later edit...

Reflecting more about this in the light of day and after my wife begins to structure her argument, there's a few additional comments and clarifications I'd like to make.

The post was intended to address the challenge of sharing albums or collections of photos, not just a few special photos or casual shots that really don't belong in an album (e.g. how does this shirt look?). In these cases, email (or even texting/SMS) may be a viable option. I actually had a moment just today when I thought of emailing a photo to myself (getting an edited photo to Instagram), but opted for DropBox.

Which brings me to DropBox which I didn't mention last night. DropBox definitely is a wonderful application for sharing any types of files with your friends and family. And some people do use it to share photos. I had thought it simply manages photo files, but I just had a quick look, it appears it now does some photo organization for you and displays the photos in your DropBox folders in a much nicer way than before.

With respect to my comment re: Apple TV, I should note that it has an app for Flickr, but not for Google Photos (for obvious competitive reasons).  iCloud Photos are available for viewing on Apple TV, but that's a whole other story for a later time (haven't figured out how to publish photos from Lightroom to iCloud Photos).

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Saturday, January 09, 2016

#2/52 Grenadier Pond in January, High Park, Toronto

#2/52 Grenadier Pond in January, High Park, Toronto

I liked this location and composition but needed to use all the tricks of my tripod for the low POV and a relatively slow shutter speed.  It took a while to process this one; and I actually thought it may work better in B&W, so I pushed contrast and clarity high.  I used the LR adjustmnent brush and gradulated filter to work the sky, tree line and pond.  I initially worked from the jpeg version, but quite a lot of the sky detail was lost; the RAW version did its job and kept the lovely sky details.  I then reverted back to colour and boosted vibrance to make the best of a very gray day.  The final step was the crop to 6x10.  There's also another version of this shot (handheld, less depth of field, higher POV) with a cute duck in the center of the ice.

Challenge - Landscape: Traditional Landscape

Sunday, January 03, 2016

#1/52 Self Portrait

#1/52 Self Portrait

I started a new photo project this year.  The 52 week challenge was created Dale Foshe.  

The Challenge List is available at: 

Dale's Facebook group is at:

This is the first shot of the project.  Natural light with a gold reflector.  Used Nikon WMU iOS app to remote compose and focus (however, flash triggering doesn't appear to function with this app).  Post processing from RAW in Lightroom 6.

Challenge - Portrait: Self Portrait