Gravel Path

Best of 2021

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Happy New Year to you all. As always, New Years Day is a time to share my favorite photos from the previous year, and even though 2021 was another doozy of a year in terms of COVID, hurricanes, and all sorts of things that prevented me from really being out shooting nearly as often as I’d like, in looking back over the past year, I still seem to have managed to find some moments of beauty and fun.

Here’s hoping for many more of those moments for all of us in 2022!

Keep walking down the path life offers.

Red Rose

Best of 2020

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I do this every year for New Year’s Day, put together an album on Flickr of the photos that I think make up the year and share them here. Some of these haven’t even made it to the Photo a Day section of the blog yet, but they will, in due time.

Normally, this exercise is a reminder of all the places we’ve been, and the adventures we’ve had over the year, and it’s nice to reminisce about the year past. This year, looking through my photos for 2020, while it did still contains some adventures, and some beauty, it was also a reminder of how different this year has truly been. Every single photo I took this year shares one thing in common; Louisiana.

Yeah, we didn’t even leave the state this year. Not once. If you look back at previous years, I think you can clearly see how odd this is for me, and yet, it was what we needed to do. It was the right thing to do, and we survived it. We even managed to spend more time photographing flowers, birds, and landscapes right around us, and finding appreciation in those, in much the same way that we have found a growing appreciation for the people who’ve managed to stay in touch, and care about us, during these last couple of difficult years. So, we head into 2021 hopeful that we’ll be able to get out of the state again, mindful of all of those who’ve suffered so much this year, and grateful for what we do have. In the meantime, I think the Best of 2020 serves as a nice little love letter to our current home state, and I hope you enjoy it.

I hope it even inspires you to come visit, when it’s safe to do so again.

 

Annual Look Back at My Photos – Best of 2018

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As we enter 2019, like I do every new year, I make it a point to go back to the previous year and pick out an album’s worth of my favorite photos that I took during the year. As always, the album tends to be a small reflection on the year that was, and 2018 was clearly a year of less travel, but plenty of local exploration of Louisiana and some surrounding states.

Best of 2017

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An annual tradition, including some photos that haven’t been blogged yet. As always, looking back on my photos from the year is a good reminder of how the year has brought about many changes, starting out with a lot of work travel, some Oregon coast trips, a couple of vacations and a lot from our new home in Louisiana.

If the album doesn’t load for you, you can also go check it out on Flickr

New Category – Window Seat Photography

On a recent flight, one of many, it occurred to me that I spend a lot of time in airplanes and traveling around. It got me thinking about new things I could add to my blogs and social media. So, in addition to the travel tips section I’m adding to my professional blog, I’m also adding a couple of new photography things as well.

First, I’m going to add a section to the photo blog for pics taken out the window of airplanes. They will generally e taken with my iPhone, and out of a window, so I don’t expect the quality to be as good, but it’s kind of fun to see the world from that angle.

Highways and byways

Secondly, I’m also going to be playing around with Snapchat stories a bit as I travel around, as a way to sort of keep people posted on where I am and what’s going on. If you want to see what I’m doing each day, you can follow me there. Be warned though, that when I’m working from home, the story may not be very interesting, if I even update it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Flickr Starts Auto-Tagging Photos, Creates a Mess

posted in: Observations, Site News 1

I have to admit, I wasn’t even aware that Flickr was going to start auto-tagging photos hosted on it’s service until I saw an article complaining about it.

I didn’t like what I saw in the article. I liked the idea even less when I went over to my Flickr account to see what these new tags looked like on my own photos.

It isn’t pretty. Take this set of tags for a photo of a flower.

2015-05-27_0754

Now, at least Flickr was kind enough to show my tags in gray and the auto tags in white, so people who understand what is happening don’t think I’m just a pain. On the other hand, these tags don’t offer much benefit. For example, the “outdoor” tag has been applied to over 2,000 of my photos, making it basically useless for organizing photos, and something that requires more time than I have to fix.

In order to see how effective Flickr’s tagging is, I’d have to use a less frequent tag, so I clicked on the “plant” tag.

That tag was applied 205 times. Including for this shot of St. Andrews.

Landscape

I mean, yeah, maybe if you want to consider the grass of a golf course a “plant”, I could maybe see that, but that’s hardly a tag anyone would use to categorize this photo.

Let’s continue down the rabbit hole shall we?

The photo of St. Andrews was also auto-tagged “field”. Again, a not very useful description, but let’s follow that tag and see where it leads.

52 photos were tagged field, but I’m still looking for the field in some of them.

Setting Sun in the Port

A field of water maybe? Also, this photo was tagged “sand” as well. Yeah, ok….

Anyway, the point is not to ridicule Flickr’s erroneous tagging, the point is that tagging of photos in any social network should be done by the person uploading the photos. Tagging is a part of the content of a photo that I decided to use as a way to link various photos together, whether it be by subject, location etc. By auto-tagging, Flickr has, essentially, usurped my ability to tag things in a way that makes sense to me and a way to help people looking at my photos to find similar photos. The service has disrupted a tool that was being used by many, many users as part of a strategy.

It’s as if Twitter started automatically adding hashtags to tweets without your consent, or Facebook started automatically tagging people and pages without giving you a way to disable it, and both went back into your history and added those things to thousands and thousands of posts, making it nearly impossible to clean up. That’s what Flickr did, and I can understand why people are unhappy about it!

So, if you see a white tag on a Flickr photo, understand that it wasn’t tagged by the photographer. Also, if you want to see tags the way the photographer meant them to be used, only follow the gray ones. For now, it seems as if Flickr is at least not co-mingling items tagged automatically with those results, but who knows how long that will last.