30 April, 2008

Spy balls

I did wonder what was inside the giant spy balls when I saw them a month or so ago on the way back from Nelson Lakes. Now I know.

Thanks to N. for sending me the link to the story.

Titahi Bay & Rock Climbing

I spent Anzac Day climbing at Titahi Bay (near Porirua (near Wellington)) with Chris and Kelly. It's a pretty nie place to climb; sheltered from almost all wind, nice views of the sea and pretty little bouldery beaches to eat your lunch on. The rock was a little sketchy in some places with one hold that looked solid enough but flaked off when I pulled on it. It seemed like a good practice spot for me though, with some easy trad routes (I hadn't led trad before) and a few slabby climbs which I tend to find much harder than equivalently graded climbs with real holds. Later in the day a few other people from P.N. turned up along with two dogs. Pictures below and over here.

People's Coffee Lampshade

A week or two back I was in Wellington with N. and we dropped by the People's Coffee store in the city (Garrett St, just off Cuba St and up from Ghuznee). The Coffee's great and the store is fun --- it's set in the loading dock of an old warehouse and has the coolest looking lampshade/sculpture above the one table they can fit in the place.

Another photo, this one taken from the bus on my way to Wellington, outside the New World in Porirua. I do like this one a lot.

After our coffee, N. and I wandered down to the waterfront and Waitangi park. Good on Wellington City Council for putting a bouldering wall in the central city. Too bad that the holds are mostly dirty and worn slick though.

There are a couple more pictures from the weekend in the album here.

28 April, 2008

Tama lakes

After the photography course on Ruapehu I walked to the lower Tama lake with N., Aurelie and Nicolas. I tried my alpine boots for the first time --- they gave me blisters. Here are a couple of pictures from the walk.

There are more photos here.

NZAC photography course

This post is a couple of weeks out of date, but then again, most thing here have been recently. These are a few pictures from the photography course run by Marty Blumen and the
NZ Alpine Club at Mt Ruapehu. Around half a dozen of us walked from the Whakapapa carpark up to the NZAC Ruapehu hut, shooting on the way. The next morning we were up around five for more of the same. I was pretty happy with how a couple of my pictures turned out, especially the ones with trails from the head torches of people heading up the mountain. They may be a little gimicky but I like them none-the-less. Oh, and be warned --- I messed up matching the hyperlinks for the photos with their images in Picasa. If you click a photo you'll probly end up at a different photo in the Picasa album. There are only a few there so it should take long to find the one you were really after though. Sorry.

Here's the link to the Picasa album with the photos.

So, how do photos look here?

This is my little trial of the quality of photos in Blogspot. This one here was uploaded with no changes from the camera, it was 1.1MB originally.

LiveJournal always seemed to struggle with displaying portrait format photos. Here's one, also at original size and compression.

So far, Blogspot isn't doing too well. The exif data for this image says it should be rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise. Seems like Blogspot isn't interested in that and that changing the image after uploading it is difficult or impossible.

Here's the same photo after it's been exported at full size and with mimimum (no?) compression from iPhoto. It's the right way around now but I don't really want to have to load each photo into iPhoto then export it again before I can post it correctly.
Oh, and it seems that Blogspot puts each new image at the start of a post rather than at the cursor position. That's just plain annoying.

Since I often want to make a bunch of photos available, but only have some of them appear in my blog, I like to be able to link a post to a gallery/album of photos. Best would be if I could upload an album and then select a couple of photos from it to post in my blog. It seems that Blogspot and Picasa web albums should allow this sort of integration...

This album was exported from iPhoto to Picasa web albums using iPhoto. The exporting was pretty simple and snappy --- even if I did have to use hungry ol' iPhoto for it. I guess if Picasa for Mac is ever released that could improve that step a bit. Now, let's see if I can link to or import those photos into this post.

Woah! that's big. Well, I didn't set the size of the image so that's to be expected. It is also a bit of a pain since I have to do all the html for the image myself in order to get a link back to the original image --- not the end of the world, but more effort than I hoped would be needed. I'll try that image again but with reducing the size of the image...

I suppose I should be able to import a picture from Picasa web albums using the import url widget that blogspot has...

Well, that seems to work. Sort of... I guess I expected things to work a bit more easily and for there to be more integration between the various Google products. Still, things look nice here at least. Nice enough that I'll try switching to Blogspot for a bit to see how it goes.

Trial run, the second

Well, back in 2006 sometime, I set up a blog here when I was in China. Then I found that limited access to goggle websites from within China made it difficult to post things to Blogspot so I started a LiveJournal blog instead. I've been pretty happy with the LiveJournal hosting for the past couple of years, but of late, as I've put more effort into taking photos, I've become annoyed by the quality of the photos once LiveJournal displays them. Now, one solution would be to invest some time and effort into getting LiveJournal to work how I want it to. The other option, the one I will try first, is this: a return to Blogspot perhaps in combination with Picasa web albums. I'll see how it goes. If things work better here then new posts from frontlawn.livejournal.com will be here exclusively. In the mean time, any opinions on the matter would be appreciated.