Instagram is Stupid

March 3, 2019. I recently started uploading photos to Instagram via my Android phone. That worked out well.  But I soon learned to doing anything more advanced was problematic on Instagram.

The Problem
But my best photos are taken with my DSLR cameras, as the photos are taken with more deliberateness. Most are composed to tell the story I wish to tell. Then they are sometimes tweaked using Adobe Lightroom. So went to Instagram on my Windows PC and could not find the upload button. After some quick researched I learned that with Instagram, one can only upload using a mobile device, such as a phone camera or a tablet camera. There was/is not way to upload photos via personal computers. I found this both strange and idiotic. Like why would Instagram wish to exclude a whole category of people –professional photographers. You know, those people who know how to shoot photos with real cameras (DSLR) and who take photography seriously.

Reasons Instagram is Stupid

  • Excludes DSLR photographers from uploading. (yes it can be done, but who wants to do all that extra work?)
  • Excludes the Excellent Photos which DSLRs take to be posted.
  • Limit Instagrams Potential user base to just phone camera users.
  • It’s more than technically possible to allow website uploads.
  • It’s square photos are idiotic. Square photos went away with Poloroids. Who the hell takes that format? And why force your users to adhere to that idiot format?
    Instagram is short sighted.
  • It has moved to a “most relevant” postings instead of showing them chronologically, Uhhh!! Dam Them!!

In the end one must wonder about Instagram and it’s user base which allows for such stupid restrictions. But if I have learned anything its that the masses are easily lead and willing to accept almost anything.


New Domain Name

Although the name of this website has not changed, its domain name has. I have moved the website from its prior host to where I host my other websites –Hostmatters. I also have a new domain name for it. As you can see it’s I moved the site for a few reasons. One was for more visibility. Another reason was to be able to see statistics on who my visitors are. I hope to further update the website’s look somewhat and weed out some of the photos.

Lastly I hope to point people to the website as a sort of portfolio. It would be good to see what others think about my photos. Especially other photographers. I like urban photography. I take photos of what interest me. Let’s see how it goes.

Portfolio Press+

July 29, 2016. I just purchased Portfolio Press+ after having used the Portfolio Press theme for the last two years. But now I find that my portfolio posts are showing up with my blog posts. Only my text/blog posts should be showing up under ‘blog’. I have tried changing a few valued, mostly in the Setting/Reading section, but to no avail. I just wrote to the creator of Portfolio+ in hopes that he will be able to help me.

I did look at the Posts page and thankfully, the articles, blog articles are still there. It it just that the photos (portfolio) are also showing up when one clicks on Blog.

I hope he writes back fast with a reply.

I looked around some more and looked at the Customize settings under Appearance and low and behold there was a box that said “Display Image and Gallery Formats on Posts Page”. I unchecked that box and now only my post and not images show up. All is back to normal.

Time Stamp Problems

January 17, 2016 – Last weekend I noticed that the photos taken with my Samsung ST150F were one hour off from where they should have been. The time change getting off of Daylight Savings time was the cause. So all photos taken from November 1st to January 9th off one hour. I know this just looking at the photo file names as they are named by YYYY-MM-DD-HHMMSS. And looking at clocks in the photos and know what time I was a certain locations led me to the hour off discovery.

Most people don’t name their photos like I do, so there is no immediate problem. But I do name them as such and do use the name to later tell me more about the event, people or place being photographed. I also noticed that the meta info was an hour off. I also have to correct that too.

Lightroom Right Panel showing two areas which I had to change. The Top where it reads "File Name" and the bottom where it reads "Capture Time"
Lightroom Right Panel showing two areas which I had to change. The Top where it reads “File Name” and the bottom where it reads “Capture Time”

What To Do?
I do have programs which will change file names, even ones based on YYYY-MM-DD-HHMMSS. I have done it in the past for this very same reason, the unnecessary changing of the time by our government. But all my photos go through Lightroom and changing file names externally will cause Lightroom to show those files are unlocatable (with ?). I would then have to click on each photo, then reassign the corrected photo via a few dialog windows. Not much trouble if I were correcting just one or two photos, but most of my folders have at least 30 photos. Others as many as 167 photos. So I am forced to work from within Lightroom.

I did find that I could change all the meta information on “Capture Time” all at once. I change capture time to -1 hour and all is well with Capture Time info. But I still have to correct each photo one at a time.

It took an hour to change the photos taken with the Samsung to their correct file names and time values. At that time I did not check on the photos taken with my Canon SL1 because I was sure those photos were ok. But upon checking I found that camera also took photos which were now an hour off. I could swear that I checked my Canon SL1 camera right after the change in time and corrected the time change. I will have make sure this coming March and I will have to change for a few weeks thereafter just in case my camera changes the time on its own. This is a common problem for photographers. These cameras should be smart enough to allow for automatic time changes. What a pain it is to have to correct the file names and capture times.

Focus Stacking

Egyptian Lego Figure as a Macro Photography subject.
Egyptian Lego Figure as a Macro Photography subject.

January 2, 2015 – I tried out Focus Stacking yesterday. I used Helicon Remote to control the camera via computer software and Helicon Focus to blend the photos together. I am happy with the result. I just have to get better at lighting my photo subject and with getting more interesting subjects.

My first subjects were Lego figures. They were also my first subject when shooting my first Macro photos. The Canon 100mm Macro lens immediately shows you the shallow depth of field typical of Macro lens on the head of these small miniature figures. Hence the need for focus stacking.

iPhone ear buds on a jar lid.
iPhone ear buds on a jar lid.

Focus Stacking is a method where on bring in focus different parts of an object and then combining the photos to create one clear and focused photo. The Egyptian figure to the left looks huge. That’s the reason for getting a Macro Lens, to have the object of your photo appear large, or at least at it’s actual size. Since the object is as big as the sensor taking the photo, the object therefore takes up most of the frame of the photo. That also includes details usually lost to the human eye.

The best part of Macro Photography is bringing small objects into a larger view. The things you see, that you usually do not see is bot fascinating and fun.

The second photo shows my iPhone ear buds as placed on a plastic black jar lid. It shows small dusty hairs on the ear buds. In fact, since beginning macro photography I have noticed how much dust most things have on them. Dust which you don’t really see with the human eye. I tell my wife that my equipment has a ‘protective layer’ on them.

I ordered a DC power cable for my camera. When doing macro photography, I have to use the camera’s Live View which uses the battery at a much quicker pace. I used up one battery in less than half an hour of shooting. I will also need to get some soft lighting on my subjects.

I hope to improve the sharpness of my photos with lots of practice.

Macro Photography

December 25, 2015 – Two weeks ago I purchased my Canon 100mm Macro Lens. I wanted to try out Macro photography, that is, taken good large photos of the very small. Things which most people do not or cannot see. I like taking photos of the usual. In this case, it is the usual but in a large way.

Hinges on the bathroom mirror. Up close one can see the grime that is usually not very visible without a macro shot.
Hinges on the bathroom mirror. Up close one can see the grime that is usually not very visible without a macro shot.

The lens works well, but there are a few things which bare some patients.  The depth of field is very shallow. So that the closer one gets to the subject  of the photo, the less depth of field one has to work with. This means that a lot of the subject of the photo is not in focus. A lot of it cannot be in focus.

I also find that light is important. With little light the photo is dark and out of focus. This is sometimes due to the small exposure time and slow shutter speed. And even when I think I have those two things alright, any camera shake will also result in a fuzzy photo.

So I have learned to work with plenty of light, a fast shutter speed and use a tripod. The tripod and shutter quick release works wonders. I still have a shallow depth of field, but that is where the next paragraph comes into play.

I will have to employ photo staking to ensure that my macro photography subjects are totally in focus. This involves taking a series of photos either from the back of the subject to the front or the front to back. Each photo will perfectly focus on part of the subject and when all the photos are put together, a nice clear and focused photo should result.

I am doing the preliminary research right now to purchase the right equipment. What I will really need is a camera mount with an incremental slider.

If I get good enough I hope to sell a few photos online. Let’s see how this goes.

Photo Relaxation

August 29, 2014.  I have been taking photos since starting the website back in 1996. I used a film camera then and must have gone through about 50 rolls of films. With the advent of scanners I was able to scan a small percentage of my film photos. Working at a large non-profit and having one of my duties being to take the organization’s photos I quickly learned not to be afraid to go ahead and take the shot. Go right up to people and take photos. To this day that has served me well. I am not shy about getting my shot.

Seeds inside tree seed pod at East 108th Street near Third Avenue
Seeds inside tree seed pod at East 108th Street near Third Avenue

Digital camera’s afforded me the freedom to take as many shots as possible. In other words, to practice, practice, practice. I have had one since coming back from Florida in the late 90s. I used my Canon G9 for almost 6 years and now have a real DSLR. I can’t believe that it has been only since May 5th that I have gone manual mode and learned a lot more about photography.

I love framing and getting the shot. But I also love the way taking photos relaxes me. And unlike Amateur Radio, which involves some planning and heavy equipment, photography is more portable. I take my Canon Sl1 everywhere. I have learned so much since May. My favorite photos to take are the hard to get ones, night shots, time lapse, close ups (marcro) and wide angle shots.

I was hoping to learn more about photography from my friend John Ayala, but he passed away earlier this month while vacationing in Puerto Rico. I will miss John even beyond photography.

There is also the excitement of photography my other hobbies, my small card size webserver (Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black, and amateur radio. I wonder if I might not make a good product photographer? I may just look into it.  I also like taking photos while at church. All area’s of my life are subject to my camera.

My new photo blog

Welcome to Urban Photos website . This is my new photo blog. It will feature both photographs and my writings about my photography experiences. I hope you enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy taking photos. This WordPress website will also serve to help me home my WordPress skills. Although WordPress is simple is it also features some very complex, non-intuitive themes.

The type of photos you are likely to see on this photo-blog are that of the streets on which I walk, the animals I interact with my radio hobby, and the people in my life.

I will eventually allow people to comment on my photos. And although I have been taking photos at all my previous places of employment since 1999, I am still quite the amateur. It wasn’t until I puchased my Canon SL1 (100D) that I finally left automatic mode and now shoot exclusively in manual mode. May 5, 2014 is my real photography birthday, the day I purchased my SL1. Taking automatic photos since 1999 did teach me to be comfortable around the camera and the act of shooting people, places and things. In photography, no experience goes to waste.

Feel free to comment on my photos. I know they are basically documentary in nature, which is what I like to do, take photos of things as they are…happening.  Many are practice shots and some are photos which for some reason or another I like a lot. That I feel are something a photographer would take. Some day I may feel comfortable calling myself a photographer, but until that day arrives it’s practice..practice..practice.  JBR