Month: December 2005

Octopus massager

Octopus massager

The coolest gift I saw this holiday was this octopus massage tool. You grab the head and use the tentacles to massage. I wish it had come to me, but no such luck.

It may be a piece of crap but to me it looked like a cool piece of plastic and a great design and it definitely needed to be documented IMHO.

The power of tags

I know I’m late to write about this but in spending so much time on flickr I’ve gotten used to and excited about tags.

On flickr tags are words or short phrases used to describe an image.

Erin enjoying the holidayTags for this image might be:


Clicking on a tag on flickr will display all of the pictures in your account that share that tag, for instance, Erin.

Tags and categories/sets
Tags are different from categories or what we call “sets” on flickr. In some ways tags replace categories but sometimes it’s useful to have a courser way to sort through large amounts of information. I still make flickr sets and still give posts on this weblog categories although I think the importance of that structural element will diminish in time as more people get used to tags.

Once you wrap your brain around the possibilities you can use tags creatively as a way to sort and find images. In exploring flickr via tag clicking you may notice the link on the left side of pages: See all public photos tagged with erin. This will be true for any tag you use and so, it’s useful to get a sense of what the common tags are if you want your pictures to interact with others on flickr.

You can see a list of the most popular flickr tags at any time, in case you’re undecided about how to tag your photos so they “connect” with others. The way they are displayed is called a “tag cloud,” more use makes for bigger type.

I’ve been using tags to sort out the lenses and camera gear I used to take pictures and it’s been quite useful to me and I’m told, to others who look at my images on flickr. Here are a few of my commonly used gear tags (clicking on these will display all the images I took with that gear):

Canon EOS 20D
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L
Canon EF 135mm f/2 L
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L

Using tags with WordPress
There are various plugins that allow the use of tags with WordPress, the weblog engine used to power this web site. I’ve been looking into both the plugins as well as how high end designers are using them at their sites.

I’ve also been looking into a new archiving system for this web site. There are now enough posts up here so that finding older ones is awkward if you happened to tune in late.

Tags and archiving systems and a structural hierarchy are all things mulling around in my head at the moment. I hope to update this site to reflect that mulling in the coming few months.

Erin enjoying the holiday

Erin enjoying the holiday

There was enough going on with present opening that I was able to sneak around with the camera and get plenty of candid shots of my granddaughter Erin who tends to be a little camera shy. Either she poses (no good) or sticks her tongue out (cute but grandma doesn’t like it).

You know something, family photojournalism is hard. The politics alone could kill you.

Erin tells a secret

Erin tells a secretThe complexity of Erin’s language has taken a leap in the past six months and it’s a lot of fun to watch and listen as she uses language to affect her world. At the same time the complexity of her world is increasing and now she has things that only mom and maybe grandma need to hear, so there are secrets.

Grandpa’s camera can’t lip read but it can catch fleeting expressions.

Erin gets the sweater

Erin gets the sweater

Erin finally got the sweater Anne knit for her and she quickly showed the appropriate gratitude. Even posed for a picture.

However, she was much more interested in fairy tale toys because the last time she was at our house we watched The Princess Bride and she adored it (we were worried it would give her nightmares). Now she thinks Robin Wright is it (who doesn’t?) and is running around quoting Wallace Shawn: “inconceivable!” and Andre the Giant: “anybody want a peanut?”

Morning light on chairs

Morning light on chairs

Every morning I make coffee for Anne and me, feed the cat, start a fire in the wood stove and if it’s cold I sit right where I’m sitting now (near the stove) and look at email on this PowerBook in my lap.

As the sun comes up it beams through various front windows of the house and sometimes a Kitty toy gets lit up. The dining room chairs get lit as well and I generally have not had enough coffee to muster the energy to attempt a photograph when this happens. Yesterday I gave it a shot.