Sorry, everyone …

… but I’ve decided to moth-ball this site, as I’m spending more time taking & editing photos, creating digital art with them and posting them onto Flickr. Basically I wish to spend more time creating images and less time writing about what I do.

WordPress might decide to close this site, if it’s been inactive for some months, so it might disappear altogether. If you wish to see what I’m up to, please follow me on my Flickr site … to find it, just do a Google search for the words: “Flickr Mr Joel”.

Hope you all have a lovely time over Xmas and a very Happy New Year.

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Flickr login problem

In the past few days, I’ve been having problems logging into Flickr using Google Chrome. To cut a long story short, I have been able to do so using a different browser: Microsoft Edge – a tip I obtained by reading through the Flickr forum on this topic …

https://www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/72157668446997150/page16/

You can imagine my initial horror and feeling panicky, being locked out of my Flickr account with nearly 16,000 photos on it!

My first attempt when logging on using Google Chrome, produced this warning from my AdBlocker, Bad Ass Johnny …

Flickr_problem_reduced

I’ve put a larger version of this image onto my Flickr site, together with a recurring apology from Yahoo, whenever I’ve attempted to log on with Google Chrome since then.

Here is the link to the larger image on my Flickr site   …   https://flic.kr/p/WasPsy

It looked as though there was some malware on the Flickr site, or possibly on mine, so I did a full scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and found 3 bits of malware which I quarantined, followed up by a full scan with Kaspersky, which showed no problems at all on my computer. I also uninstalled Google Chrome and then re-installed it. However, Google Chrome is still not working, though Microsoft Edge is. Perhaps by coincidence, I had a major update from Microsoft Windows (Win 10) shortly before the Flickr problem arose – I don’t know if this is relevant or not.

So what’s going on?  Several other people have reported problems logging onto Flickr in the past week, so it’s not just me.

A lot of people have had problems logging into Flickr, as they have not kept their account details up to date. You should have a current mobile phone number and an alternative email address to use as part of your login process, so if you were to lose your phone, you would still be able to access your account using your email address, and then be able to add in your new mobile phone number. All this is just common sense.

How to transfer your Flickr photos to a WordPress site

As you will have seen, I’m using a WordPress.com website. Many of the themes are free of charge – some themes are called premium themes, which you would have to pay for.

I have just done a Google search for photographic themes – there are 123 of them at present. Mine is called Nishita, which I think looks classy, though the text is not all that easy to read. For easier viewing, you could opt for having black text on a white background with this theme.

There are two photo sizes for this theme – 1024 px width for the header, and a maximum of 768 px width for other photos on the site. As regards the smaller photos, you could create this width in a photo-editor such as Photoshop Elements, and then upload it into the website’s media centre, and then to insert it into the post you’re writing.

Now if you’ve already uploaded a batch of photos onto Flickr (either at full size or reduced size), you can get one or more of these photos onto your WordPress.com site, rather more quickly. The key to this is to look for the “embedding code” of your Flickr photo …

Starting with your Flickr site …

1.Open up your Flickr photostream.

2. Click on the photo you would like to add to your WordPress site, so you can see your photo against a black background.

3. Click on the Share icon to open up a menu similar to the one below.

Flickr - embedding code for a photo
How to get the embedding code for your Flickr image

4. Select Embed, and then click on the arrow alongside the current image size, to bring up another menu of varying images sixes.

5. Click on a size you’d like, to add to your WordPress post … for example the Medium size: 640 x 426 px.

6. Next, use your keyboard keys to copy the embedding code … Ctrl + the letter C (Mac users: use the Command key + the letter C)

Now switching to your WordPress site …

1. Log into the login page: https://wordpress.com/wp-login.php

2. Select “My Site” at the top left of the page

3. Click on “Add” next to “Blog Posts”

4. Start writing a new post, writing the title first, and then below the text editor, start adding some text, up to where you’d like to add your first photo.

5. Now if you paste in the Flickr embedding code, you will end up with seeing just the code and not photo … for example …

<a data-flickr-embed=”true” href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/14836724@N00/33117852282/in/dateposted-public/&#8221; title=”IMG_8628artr”><img src=”https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/772/33117852282_580500b8d3_z.jpg&#8221; width=”640″ height=”426″ alt=”IMG_8628artr”></a>//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js 

The trick is to select the HTML button at the top right of the text editor. Now, paste the embedding code onto the page. Next, click on the Visual button, and your image will appear as if by magic …

IMG_8628artr
                                                                       poppy photo

6. Carry on writing to complete your post, adding more images if you like.

7. Press the blue “Publish” button, to post your article onto the internet.

8. You can now view your post online. You can go back to edit it if you so wish, and then upload the edited version.

All this might seem daunting if you haven’t done this before, but this process is fairly easy and quick to do. A professional web designer will no doubt point out that you’ve missed out on adding descriptive text for each image (which is usually added during the fuller uploading process). However, you could add a small description for each image just above / below the image instead, so that those viewers who are blind (or who are of limited sight) can understand what the image is about.

Photography Update

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I posted anything on this site, as if I’d gone into hibernation over the winter. I had planned to go walking with my wife and The Nottingham Wayfarers today, but a recurrence of my low back pain (after lifting some heavy things) has stopped me going. I’ve spent today doing some light food shopping, to make a fish pie for dinner this evening, watching a video on how to play Bridge (the Losing Trick Count), and then “pottering” on Flickr (and saving some lovely pics using the Windows Snipping Tool, to add to my Desktop slide show).

For anyone who’s been following my photos on Flickr, you will already know that I love taking snaps of my family members, and of the great outdoors. I’m also starting to do more in the way of street photograpy / portraiture, and also using various programs to add a painterly look to my photos. I also love taking twilight shots, and hope to combine this aspect and taking landscapes shots when we come to stay at Derwentwater in The Lake District this coming weekend. Here’s hoping for some dry weather (as if!).

As regards street photography, I’ve watched loads of YouTube videos and read lots of articles on this subject. Two of my favourite street photographers are Thomas Leuthard and Helio Tomita

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasleuthard/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/helio_tomita/

Here are three street photos taken with my Canon G15 and 5D Mark 2 cameras …

Wimbledon, London IMG_3457


Nottingham – The Exchange
IMG_3149


Nottingham Market Square, in front of the Council House.
IMG_3118


There are lots of photographers out there, who do really arty things with their photographs. Two of my favourites are José-Luis Benítez and Roland Ezquerra …

https://www.flickr.com/photos/skizo39/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/aigaleo/

I’ve tried out a few software programs, such as Photoshop’s arty filters, Fotosketcher (which is for Windows users only), and currently Topaz Impressions 2. I’m also looking into using Autodesk Sketcher on my iPad, to produce some abstract backgrounds to use in collages.

I’m very impressed with Topaz Impressions 2, which has a range of pre-sets for famous Impressionists, which you can then easily modify. So if Renoir doesn’t look very good, you can improve on him.   You can create your own pre-sets too (and share them with the Topaz online community). I’ve been using Topaz in the last 2 weeks or so, and you will be able to see a few of my early efforts in my Flickr album: Digital Art … I’ve put one of them below.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/14836724@N00/albums/72157673303614563

IMG_8628artr

How to make a header for your Flickr site


In the past few weeks, I’ve uploaded much larger photos in landscape format, onto Flickr. 

Previously I was using images reduced in size to 1024 px across. Now they are double that size,
at 2048 px, in common with many other Flickr users. When re-sizing, I use a resolution of
150 px / inch, so if anyone were to try printing them out, they wouldn’t look very good.

I’m now using a large Acer computer screen, which is 1920 px across, so my new-width photos
look even better, as do those of other Flickr members who offer larger image sizes. 

Re-sizing images in bulk is easy to do in Photoshop Elements.
Click on File > “Process multiple 
files”, which will bring up a menu like the one below …

 

Re-sizing images in bulk

                                                            Re-sizing images in bulk in Photoshop Elements 11

 

… just fill in the relevant boxes, press OK, sit back and let Adobe do the work for you.

You will have to create extra folders beforehand, one for landscape views and another for portrait
views, as you will have to process these different sizes separately.

Now it just so happens that the optimal width for making Flickr headers is 2048 pixels, so it’s
really easy to make a new header from one of the new-width photos you’ve uploaded onto Flickr.

Sign into Flickr, wave your mouse cursor over the right hand side of your existing header, until you
see a short white pencil appear on the header. Click on the pencil, which will bring up a gallery of
all your recent photos. Click on an image > “Select”. Part of your image will appear in the header area,
and you will be able to move it up or down, by clicking on it and dragging it to the position you want.
Now save your image. It’s possible to delete your original image from Flickr, without deleting the 
header you’ve just created, if you so wish.  (Open up the image in Flickr. In the bottom right hand
corner, just below the image, click on the second of the four icons, then select “Delete” in the menu.)

In January 2015, I wrote another post outlining another way of creating a new header for your site.
This is much more complicated than what I’ve described in the above paragraph, so I’m now using
my much easier method. 

Upgrading from Windows 7 to 10

I’m very pleased to say that this has been a huge success, thanks to the wonderful team at Microsoft.  I spent two hours this week, doing the upgrade.  My new Desktop is almost identical to my previous Windows 7 one – wonderful!

desktopviewwp

You’ll be able to see a larger version of this (up to 1920px width) on my Flickr site …
https://flic.kr/p/GjZJ7g

My Photoshop Elements 11 and Lightroom 5 programs are still there. The only thing I’ve had to do so far, after upgrading to Windows 10, has been to set Google Chrome as my default browser & program opener. I’ve ended up with two shortcuts to the Google page, which I’ll reduce to one, and I will need to re-activate Google Drive. Much to my surprise, my wireless Epson printer worked without any problem at all !

So I can recommend upgrading to Windows 10, if your PC is up to it, and while the upgrade is free.

If you would like to personalize your Desktop by adding one of your photos, this is how you do so …  re-size the image  first of all to fit the dimensions of your Desktop, and then right-click on the image to set it as your background.

To set up a slide show for your Desktop background, right-click on the desktop > Personalize > click on the word “Picture” and select “Slide show” > Browse (lower down the webpage) > find and select the folder containing your images > select the speed of the slide show. Windows will do the rest. Brilliant!

P.S. If you prefer the Windows 7 layout for your Starter button and menu, have a look at 
“Classic Shell” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCnEhqmfZgc

Holiday news

Hi everyone,

We’ve just returned from a week’s holiday in Benalmadena, which is near Malaga in Spain. Fab weather and also fab to be with our London family who came with us. We all stayed at one of our favourite Diamond Resorts locations, the Sahara Sunset Club, which has all the mod cons we would ever need (including an indoor heated swimming pool), lovely staff and the sea and beach close by. We managed to dodge the awful wintery weather that the UK had while we were away.

As usual, I took loads of photos, including some which I’d already taken on previous visits. This time some of the photos should be a bit sharper, as I took on holiday with me my “beast” of a camera (the Canon 5D Mk 2) and my new travelling tripod, which I’m very pleased with. I’ve been taking more twilight shots, using the manual settings on my camera, and with the help of my tripod (without which many of my earlier photos have been rubbish).

Currently I’m looking at the Fuji X range of cameras: the x 100T and the x Pro 2, for travel use. I’ve been to two talks at the Nottingham and Notts Photographic Society, where the speakers have raved about them, and where I’ve seen the high quality of images taken with them. I will wait until next year to buy one of them, when newer models have been introduced and when the price of the older ones has fallen somewhat. 

You might be interested to hear that we’ve got other holidays planned for this year: the Reims area in France, Rome, Whitby, Staffordshire and Ilkley. Our last holiday will be in October, so I’ve got lots more photographic opportunities ahead.