New Photo Gallery

Well, I’ve finally set up a gallery of some of my best/favorite photos and I’ll be actively adding new ones. I’m currently running it using Pixelpost and am looking at integrating some sort of service to sell photos.

Check it out at: Feel free to make suggestions.

P.S. I know it’s a bit slow, it runs over my home DSL currently.

Calling all Photographers

I could use some advice on the following image (my first attempt at in-city long exposures involving headlights).

Night Photography attempt

The street lamps are hard to white balance as I assumed them to be sodium vapor, but that really threw off the colors. Also, there’s some light distortion (see the note on the flickr page) and the car headlights appear to be blown.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Adding GPS Coordinates to Photos’ EXIF data in OS X

As I mentioned in my last post, my Garmin eTrex Legend HCx has no real way to talk to my OS X laptop, where I do all of my photo processing. Since my Nikon D70s doesn’t support attaching a GPS to the camera and using it to embed GPS data in the EXIF tags, the fact that the USB connection on my Legend HCx wouldn’t be compatible with doing that is moot.

So, for a multitude of reasons, I can’t easily put my lattitude, longitude and elevation into my photos. The camera doesn’t support it, the GPS doesn’t support it and Garmin doesn’t support OS X. Luckily though, I’m not the only one that wants to do this. My friend Gowtham informed me of an application called GPSPhotoLinker which uses track logs to find the appropriate coordinates and enter that data into the photo’s EXIF data. (Track logs being a log stored by most GPS receivers containing information about longitude, latitude and elevation with a timestamp.)

Since my GPSr allows me to save these track logs to the microSD card I have installed, I can simply use a card reader to pull the logs. (Fear not though, the program claims to support pulling them off the device over USB.) Once I have the log on my machine, I simply load it into the program via the button at the top of the screen.


After that, load the photos. Upon going to the batch menu, you’ll be presented with some options. You can tell the program to ignore images with location data already in the EXIF tags (which I recommend) and set tolerances for how close a track point must be to the timestamp in the photo’s EXIF data. You can also set it to link to the nearest track point or a time-weighted average point.

GPSPhotoLinker - Batch menu

Once you’re done, simply push the “Batch save to photos” button and sit back while you wait.

Has it been a month?

I guess it has been quite a while. Where to begin? I suppose work is always a good starting point. It’s been crazy in DCS (Distributed Computing Services) lately. Our new storage array (EMC again) arrived and we’ve been working on getting that set up. Thankfully, EMC pushed off their original date to come set it up (it was supposed to be yesterday) to this coming Monday giving me a little more time to finish the wiring. Our new fiber switches are in and installed along with new fiber trays to attach to our ladder rack. Tomorrow we should finish running the obscene number of cables required to get all 5 of our new cabinets on the network. Then we just have to configure the connections.

We’ve also been working on a number of other projects:

  • We moved one of the air conditioners to the middle of the data center and will be moving the other one once Telcom finishes moving their telephone racks. This should improve our cooling efficiency.
  • The second UPS and the flywheel will be installed soon – thankfully I have no responsibilities with either of these projects.
  • We’re beginning to run into space limitations in our racks and on our switches. Vendors are coming to help us decide what to do with our patch panels. Recabling those if we have to will keep me busy for the better part of a year. Hopefully they can suggest a way to simplify our cable management (we have 2Us of cable management for every 1U patch panel) that will leave our existing patch panels the way they are.
  • We’re looking at ways to seal our cool rows from our hot rows to increase the efficiency of the AC. We’ve been attempting to get big sheets of plexiglass mounted in the spaces between our populated racks, but that has been pushed off for a while now due to all of our more important projects.
  • There’s quite a few other projects that are still being evaluated, so I probably shouldn’t say much about those except that they’ll all be keeping me busy for the foreseeable future.
  • I’ve been traveling quite a bit as well. Recently I picked up a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx with the intent of using it to insert GPS coordinates into the EXIF data of my photos along with auto navigation and perhaps geocaching. I’ll post a review of the unit later, but simply having it has been invaluable during my trips.

    I’ve been doing a bit more on the photography front than I did earlier this summer. My motivation is returning and I’m beginning to go places just to take pictures again. I think the lull was definitely good for me. I’ll end this post by leaving a few photos and some links.

    I went to Porcupine Mountain State Park with my friend Gowtham in July and discovered some amazing scenery. You can find the photos in a flickr collection, but I want to show everyone this one (I think it’s one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken:
    Preque Isle River gorge-1

    I also attended an autocross and took an astonishing amount of pictures. What made it onto flickr is only a smattering of what made it home with me.
    Car 26

    My most recent photo expedition was simply a trip around downtown Houghton. I decided I wanted to learn a bit more about black and white photography, so I stuck my 50mm f/1.8 lens on the Nikon and headed out. It’s simply amazing what black and white does for the atmosphere of a photo. Sticking with just the one focal length made me focus quite a bit more on where I was in relation to my subject and my framing. It was definitely a good learning experience.
    Old McDonald's drivethru

    Summarizing Summer

    I’ve been fairly busy the last three weeks (not busy enough to actually justify a complete lack of updates though). Work has been going pretty well and has kept me working at least 45 hours most weeks. On the 29th, I went to Minneapolis so I could pick up Sarah (my sister-in-law) at the airport the next day; luckily Kim put me up for the night and I was able to spend quite a bit of time catching up with her. This past weekend I also took 2 of my MTTC tests, the Basic Skills and Social Science ones; I believe I did really well on both.

    I pulled an 11 hour day today, and tomorrow looks as if it should be a 12 hour day. (See what I mean about long hours?) It wouldn’t have been so bad, except the technician Dell who was sent to replace the motherboard on one of our new servers discovered the problem wasn’t actually the CPU (well, the pins in one of the sockets on the old one were actually bent). Instead, one of the ISCI cards was bad, and causing the server to spit out the CPU error. Of course, we had disassembled the machine and rebuilt it with the spare parts he brought by the time we figured this out.

    But, on to the more interesting part for you non-computer people. I’ve been fairly (at least in relation to the few weeks before my last post) productive on the photography front since the 19th. I finally processed all the photos I took at the ROTC Commissioning on Tech’s Campus in May. I only put a few of the photos online. (I gave the detachments a CD with over 100 photos on it.) You can find them on flickr of course.
    ROTC Commissioning-2007-2

    I took a few quick snapshots of my new apartment (I know the photos suck, I was in a hurry).

    The Centennial Mine is the latest set of industrial ruins to garner my interest. I made an afternoon trip out there as a followup to a trip I made with Kevin in early June. Unfortunately, between now and then, someone had been through and locked up most of the doors, so I was stuck with what I could see from the ground and what I could climb to. It actually turned out to be a fun trip though, and I focused on a lot more of the details than I probably would have otherwise.

    Hoist House

    The 4th of July rolled around and I made the trip to Copper Harbor for fireworks again. (I went to Lake Linden on the 3rd, but a light fog kept me from taking any pictures that didn’t look like crap.) I’ve said it before, but it needs to be said again: “There’s no better place in the U.S. to watch fireworks than Copper Harbor, MI. I’ll just leave you with photographic proof.

    My most recent excursion is one that I’ve been looking to for several years now. Douglass Houghton Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the area. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get to and the path is a bit dangerous; this combined with the fact that it is located on private property means it is closed to the public. Honestly, it isn’t hard to see why, I’d be afraid of the liability issues as well. It turns out that I know the land owners though, in fact, I’m a regular at the restaurant she owns. So, my friend Gowtham and I were given a guided tour out to the falls and left to have a very fun photography session. You can see the results in my photostream.

    Douglass Houghton Falls-2007-2
    Douglass Houghton Falls-2007-3