Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

1/3/2014

Creative Resolutions

Filed under: Art,Fun,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:17 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

No, I don’t mean New Year’s Resolutions that are “creative”.

Rather, I’m talking about making some New Year’s Resolutions regarding creative output.
I’ll be honest, this year hasn’t been my most productive, creatively.  But, to be fair, I did get married and merge my life with another person’s and that did take a lot of time and no small amount of effort, for both of us.  I think marriage is a pretty good excuse for not being as productively creative as one…
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9/13/2013

Photography Fundamentals

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:42 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, yeah, I’ve got pretty much nothing this week.

Pretty much every bit of time and energy is going into either getting married (in just over two weeks!) or getting my fiance’s business, The Organizing Decorator, more customers.  So, that means I have little left to come up with too much that’s interesting here.  As it turns out, that’s okay because Haje and Daniela over at Photocritic have plenty to keep you amused, at least if you’re a photographer.  In particular,…
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8/16/2013

Reboot Your Photographic Creativity

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Do you feel stale?

I know I complain about this all the time these days, but my photography, such as it is, feels really, super stale.  I’m completely uninspired and just feel, well, “stuck” when it comes to my creativity in general and my photography in particular.  I have the photographic equivalent of “writer’s block”.
I have photographer’s block!

So, what to do?
Regular readers, and you know who you are, will know that I mostly try to share something interesting, fun and free…
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4/26/2013

Creating A World

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:06 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

It’s been said that every writer creates the world in their fiction, even if it’s not science-fiction, for their characters to explore.
Photographers can do the same thing.

I’ve always been a fan of science-fiction and fantasy in all its forms.  I remember as a kid seeing Star Wars in the movie theater and being completely captivated.  And, of course, like most geeks of my generation, I played Dungeons and Dragons and other table-top role-playing games.  Games that were born from the…
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4/12/2013

Light Painting

Filed under: Art,Fun,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:58 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Cool light techniques.

I love doing tricky things in camera.
Look, I work with software all day long at my regular gig, so when I get home, I don’t really want to spend hours and hours working with Photoshop to make a “photograph”.  To me, the whole point is to make photographs with the camera, not with software.  I know, it probably makes me an antique, but, well, there it is.
I’ve done some work with light painting, though, thanks to my tragic…
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12/21/2012

40+ Things Every Photo Assistant Needs In Their Bag

Filed under: Fun,Fun Work,Red Herrings,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:58 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

What do YOU consider “essential gear” on a photo shoot?

I’ll be honest, most of the time, I’m shooting it’s usually a pretty “run and gun” affair while out interacting with the public.  People generally refer to that as “street shooting”, but I think of it as “impromtu portraiture”.  Either way, I’m generally working alone in situations like that, so the idea of working with assistants is pretty alien to me.  Still, I have to admit I’d really love to assist…
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9/23/2011

Gadget Trak Really Works!

Filed under: Art,Fun,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Sheep which is mid-afternoon or 3:45 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Ever lost a camera?

And, by “lost”, I mean, has your camera ever been stolen?  Well, Gadget Trak can help.  And, now we know that it’s not an empty claim!
I’ve mentioned other camera tackers before, but Gadget Trak’s stolen camera finder has been verified by a photographer who used it to recover his camera.

The photographer is a pro by the name of John Heller who “lost” $9,000 worth of equipment he needs to pursue his livelihood while on assignment in California.  He used the tool to find other photos on the internet that had been taken with his stolen camera.  That led him to another pro who had unwittingly bought the stolen camera.  The L.A. Police are still investigating the people from whom the stolen camera was bought, but what really matters is that Mr. Heller has gotten his gear back!

And, yes, that is a free service they offer.  Because, hey, on a Friday am I going to try to sell you something?  Of course not!
Y’all have a great weekend!

8/5/2011

On-Line EXIF Viewer

Filed under: Art,Fun,PERL — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Another one for the photography geeks.

Some of you may have guessed that I enjoy photography just a little bit.  You may have deduced that from all the photography related links I share on Fridays.  Or possibly because I tell you am obsessed by it virtually every chance I get.  Either way, it’s true.  I find myself staring into portraits of people in magazines trying to figure out the lighting setup based on the reflections in their eyes.  When I see a photo I like on Flickr, I usually check the EXIF data, if it’s available, to get some idea about how the photographer made it.  The EXIF data is far from the whole story, but, at least, it gives me some idea how the photographer was setting the camera to get the light and depth-of-field that they did.

Well, recently, I was reading an entry on Chase Jarvis’ blog challenging his readers to reverse engineer one of his photos.
I kind of love those sorts of things, to be honest.  But, what was cool about this one was that someone in the comments pointed to a website that automagically pulled the EXIF information from the photo!  How cool is that!?
The site is called Jeffrey’s EXIF Viewer.  And you can use it to pull EXIF information from either a photo on your hard drive or that you find on-line somewhere.  I haven’t actually tried it on Flickr for people who don’t upload the EXIF data, but I’m sure I will be in the near future.  In any case, it’s free, outside of some advertising, and it’s pretty cool.  (Also, for the hard-core tech geeks like me, I’ll note that it looks like it was programmed in Perl, which is my favorite programming language.)

So, go forth, find photos and check them against the EXIF data to see if you can guess the photographer’s settings!
And, enjoy your Friday!

7/15/2011

Stolen Camera Finder

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings,The Dark Side — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:12 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Regular readers may be familiar with my photography obsession.

A number of years ago, I spent some money I’d hoarded on an entry-level Canon DSLR, instead of some medical bills.
I’ll be honest, sometimes I worry that I should have spent the money on the medical bills, but, my shots are getting better.  I take great comfort in the idea that it’s the photographer, not the camera, that takes the photo.  Mostly because the majority of my gear is, well, let’s just say, not “top flight” and leave it at that.  But, still, if my camera were stolen, I’d be quite devastated and I’d want to find it again.  Well, that’s where the Stolen Camera Finder comes in.

First, you should know that this is NOT something you install on your camera.  Nor is it some kind of insurance.  Rather, it’s a webpage.  And, it’s free.
Here’s how it works: You get a photograph which you which you took with missing camera.  You take that photo to the website I linked to above and drop it on the target, per the instructions.  Then, the website does a search, based on the metadata from you photo, which includes the serial number of your camera, to find all the photos it can which match the starting photo.  If, or when, it finds photos posted by someone else that have the same serial number embedded in them as your source photo, it shows you the sites.  You can then go track down the person who used your stolen camera to make some of those terrible Facebook photos, or, I guess now, Google+ photos.

How you handle it after that is up to you.
All that matters is that Stolen Camera Finder helps you find your camera.

Okay, maybe not the “funnest” Friday Fun link I’ve ever posted, but, still, helpful if you’ve had a camera get stolen!

3/4/2011

DIY Digital Picture Frame

Filed under: Art,Fun,Fun Work,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:54 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

I’m a cheap bastard.

I love the idea of using spare parts to make something cool and new.  I especially love it if the spare parts make something that I wouldn’t normally be willing to spend money on having, even if it is cool.
Digital picture frames fall into that category for me.

Sure, I’m a photographer and I shoot digital, so a digital picture frame is an obvious bit of techno-lust for me, but, like I mentioned, I’m a cheap bastard.  Too cheap to get a digital picture frame just to show off my own work.  But, when I saw this article on Ikea Hackers about making a DIY digital picture frame from an old laptop and an Ikea frame, well, I had to share it with you all.
I’ve seen similar articles, but this one really looked better than the other ones.  And, I certainly like the finished product better.  Now, all I need to do is find an old, working, laptop!


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