Tag Archives: photo

Gorging Ourselves (BBB Edition) #PDX #ColumbiaGorge

pdxing

A hop, skip, and a jump up the Columbia River. There and back again. A gobbet’s journey.

Last Friday my wife and I left the PDX zone and carved our way up the Columbia River Gorge. This is our humble travel blog.

Why is this called the “BBB Edition?” The clever reader will find three “B” words carefully hidden within this post that will illuminate. See if you can find them all.

Continue reading →

Photo Challenge: It’s a Picnic

The crappiest place on Earth.

The crappiest place on Earth.

It’s been a long time since we had a photo challenge. The wait is over!

“Set a course for the Nooglachmiaskoo system. I like their sense of individuality.”

“Sir?”

“Make it so, Number One!”

“Aye, sir.”

“Engage.”

Hint: The photo has absolutely nothing to do with Star Trek. But there is a wee wee clue buried in the dialogue above. For those who know me well it’s actually a very good clue. Think about it.

Hint: It’s where your guru wants to go for a picnic.

It sure looks a lot like a place where Kirk and Spock would beam down and have adventures, doesn’t it?

Oriented radially along the path of the sun, the building will feature a rooftop that folds up and down. As the seven separate folds of the roof tilt, in sawtooth rhythm clerestory windows fill the void created by the upward fold, responding to the movement of natural light and airflow. The downward fold drains the landscaped roof runoff into a berm, on the south facade, and bioswales, returning the stormwater to the Columbia Slough. The folded roof, combined with a north-oriented, louvered, and operable glass facade, will allow daylight and natural ventilation to fill the interior during working hours and make possible night flush cooling. The building’s hydronic system will connect to the plant water flow, efficiently heating and cooling.

–A description of the building

Can you identify the purpose of this architectural marvel recently constructed in Portland, Oregon? You can log your guesses in the comments section below.

You'll never guess what they do here.

You’ll never guess what they do here.

 

Hyppo and Critter: Act Naturally

Image hunting techniques for bloggers

On the prowl for a copyright free image? I found this one on the CIA World Factbook web site.

See that little doodad widget over there? No, not there. In the column on the side of this blog where stuff is. Yeah, there. The one that says, “Blog with Integrity.”

What does that mean?

Yes, even a Guru of Negativity can still maintain his integrity.

One of the ways I try to blog with integrity is by respecting intellectual property rights. I try to write my own stuff, and when I use a source, like Wikipedia, I give credit where credit is due. I do this with links and sourcing excerpts.

When it comes to images I try to do the same thing. Stealing isn’t nice so I try not to do it.

Here are some fun techniques I use for finding images for use in blog posts and respecting the rights of others.

Do It Yourself (DIY)

When possible, create your own stuff. Get off your ass and take your own photos. Of course that isn’t always workable or possible. So keep reading.

Search government sites

In most cases, images created by the government are open season and free of copyright. Makes sense since we own the government. (At least in theory.)

You can easily use a Google Image Search (GIS) to peruse these images. (This is just one way to do it.)

  1. Go to http://www.google.com
  2. Search for something (let’s try “paper airplane”)
  3. Search results for “Everything” will be displayed by default
  4. On the left column, click “Images” to narrow your search
  5. Near the top of the page, under the Search button, click the link that says “Advanced Search”
  6. Find the box that says “Domain” and enter the following to limit your search to government web site domains: *.gov
  7. Click the “Google Search” button to search again
  8. This time the results should only be from images hosted on government domains

I found the image on the left in the search results. I clicked it and was taken to a web site owned by the Federal Aviation Administration. I saved the image to my desktop and then loaded it into my blog.

Viola! It’s that easy.

Note: You should keep in mind that not all images on GOV domains are copyright free. You sometimes have to do a bit of research. Find the “policies” link and see what it says. You can usually get a pretty good idea whether an image is usable or not.

I have seen some city and county government web sites that claim a copyright on their material. I’m not sure what’s up with that. In those rare cases I just shrug and move on.

So don’t forget about the government when you’re looking for a photograph. You might get lucky. NASA is a great source for images. So is the CIA World Factbook and the Library of Congress.

Flickr

Photographers on the Flickr service have the option of making their pictures available for other uses (or not). One way of letting others share your work is by using a Creative Commons (CC) license. This is a great way to legally find photographs for your blog.

  1. Go to http://www.flickr.com
  2. In the search box at the top-right, search for something (lets try “mardis gras”)
  3. A bunch of pictures will be displayed
  4. Just like before, find and click the “Advanced Search” link
  5. Scroll down and find the CC section and check the box that says, “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”
  6. Click the SEARCH button again

Now you’ll only be seeing images where the license holder allows sharing. Neat, huh? You’ll be amazed at the quality and also the number of pictures available for most searches. There are some great finds here!

Find a picture you like, click to enlarge, then click the SHARE THIS button. Select the “Grab the HTML” option, choose a size, then paste that code into your blog post.

This will automatically create a link back to the original photo on Flickr. Be sure to leave that to say “thank you” to the photographer for sharing.

Here’s one I found for Mardis Gras that tells a nice story.

Maria and her Beads

Found on Flickr via a Creative Commons search

Sometimes you’ll find an image on Flickr that you want to use but it isn’t flagged as being part of the Creative Commons. Just drop the Flickr member and note and ask permission. I’ve done this many times and it has always worked. Be sure to link the image to the Flickr member’s account and then send them a copy of your post and say thanks.

Open Source Clip Art

If you want clip art rather than a photo, try the Open Clip Art Library for copyright free images. This is where the artwork for Hyppo and Critter came from.

So, that’s just a few ideas. There are many more. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.

Turd watching

Turd watching

When animals attack ... the ground with poop!!!

This weekend I’m out gallivanting around the world. If I haven’t replied or commented it’s because I’m on a road trip celebrating an annual festivity known as “Birthday Month.” This arcane ritual requires full attention and limited internet access.

I was able to get out in nature a bit and snapped the above photo. I hope you like it.

By the time this auto-scheduled post goes up I’ll be in my car mere hours from my home base in the Abyss. When I get home I’ll plop into bed, go right to sleep, then in no time at all the crushing morning rush to get ready for work will be upon me.

Oh yeah, I’m sick again, too. I love it when a new year meets all of your wildest expectation. Oh joy.

Sign

Bar scene signs

I’m a regular participant in the Shutterboo Weekly Photo Challenge (WPC) 2011 over on the Flickr web site. The premise is simple: Each week Shutterboo throws out a random word and we grab our cameras and try to creatively interpret that word with our captures.

I’ll be sharing my weekly WPC photos here on the blog. Above is my take on the challenge word “sign.”

The story behind this image: There I was at the local chowder house enjoying some clams and chips with my wife. I happened to notice that from where I was sitting, I could literally see no less than seven beer signs. I held up my fingers and made an imaginary crop of the scene and thought it might make an interesting photograph, so I gave it a try. My goal was to get all the signs, including the one in the front window, and not get any of the patrons at the bar. Due to experience, I knew to ask permission before starting to shoot. The waitress said no problem, then together we approached the people at the bar to let them know that I’d be pointing my camera in their direction but they would not be in the shot. Not only didn’t they mind, they demanded to be in the shot! I guess alcohol is a bit of a game-changer when it comes to that.

In the end, however, I kept my word and sacrificed the window sign in the final crop. This picture didn’t turn out quite like I hoped but that’s the story of how it came to be.

Links:

Shutterboo’s Weekly Photo Challenge (WPC) 2011
Shutterboo’s Blog

Colorful

Rainbow

I’m a regular participant in the Shutterboo Weekly Photo Challenge (WPC) 2011 over on the Flickr web site. The premise is simple: Each week Shutterboo throws out a random word and we grab our cameras and try to creatively interpret that word with our captures.

I’ll be sharing my weekly WPC photos here on the blog. Above is my take on the challenge word “colorful.”

Links:

Shutterboo’s Weekly Photo Challenge (WPC) 2011
Shutterboo’s Blog