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Merry Christmas!

Here are a few of the gifts given and received this Christmas. I flew back to Nova Scotia to spend it with my family. A few days ago we all went skiing together, and we spent time today around the tree, playing board games, and remembering why we truly celebrate Christmas, because God sent Christ to earth and he was born of God as a gift to us, which is why I celebrate!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Reuters has posted their pictures of the year for 2007. The stories of the photos are often more astounding that the photos themselves. These are a few I found interesting, not necessarily my favorites. See them all here.


Indonesian children play on a railway track in a slum area in Jakarta, January 30, 2007, as a train travels past.

REUTERS/Beawiharta


A bicycle burns on an unattended property near Del Dios Highway in the Rancho Santa Fe area of San Diego, California October 23, 2007.

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni


Somali refugees run from the dust at Ifo camp near Dadaab, about 80km (50 miles) from Liboi on the border with Somalia in north-eastern Kenya, January 8, 2007

U.S. soldiers push the car of an Iraqi man to start the engine at a check point in north Baghdad June 13, 2007.

REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic


A Brazilian soldier gives water to a suspected Haitian gang member after a patrol in the volatile neighbourhood of Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince May 16, 2007.

REUTERS/Kena Betancur

One of the photoblogs I follow is Epic Edits, and the author (Brian Auer) and Martin Gommel came up with a good idea "of starting a project that could connect photography bloggers and photographers on a more global scale . So after a few emails, we landed on the idea of self-portraits that included our cameras. "
Check out the project page at the Epic Edits weblog.

Well, here is mine:

I taped a picture of me sitting on a cliff in Brazil as a kid to the inside of a glass door, then used a lamp to catch my face in the reflection. I boosted the shadows and highlights a bit, and then converted it to Black & White, then warmed it up a bit to come up with this. A bit of a challenge for me...I never take pictures of myself! Flickr Link.

More and more people are installing and using linux on their personal computers for everyday use. I use Ubuntu on my laptop and computer at work. The host of photo applications available today makes it a great system for photographers as well. These are the main programs I use after transferring my photos to my computer.


1. Picasa

Picasa manages my collection of photos. Once I copy my photos off of my memory card onto my PC, it automatically scans my picture folder, and organizes them according to date. I first look at my photos in Picasa. It also provides some simple tools for quick editing if you choose to do so. I often take advantage of the crop tools, and color correction in picasa. It can also resize batches of photos, and export them while adding title & tag information to the photo. For bloggers, you can post right to your blog, or create cool galleries by using addon gallery scripts such as SimpleViwer. Also available for windows.


2. GIMP

I do any major editing in GIMP, an open-source alternative to Photoshop. GIMP is a feature rich application which is nearly as powerful as Photoshop, and allows you to do the most basic or complex editing, from color correction, to layers, to selective coloring, or applying filters, it is a powerful graphics editor for anyone who does post-processing to your photos. Also available for windows.


3. Firefox + Fotofox Addon

I use the Fotofox addon in firefox to publish my photos to the web. Fotofox allows you to simply and easily upload, name, tag, and categorize your photos to several different online photo communities. I use it to upload my photos to Flickr.com. Also available for windows.

4. UFRaw

For anyone who shoots in RAW format, UFRaw is a great application which allows you to read an manipulate RAW data from your photos. Change the white balance, view/add to your EXIF data, export to jpg, and much more. There is even a GIMP plugin to use with GIMP.

5. Hugin Panorama Creator

This program allows you to stitch your panoramas together to make great wide pan shots. Allows for very advanced control if you want to tweak little things about the pano, but also is very simple to use its defaults.

Well, I have been thinking about doing something like this for a long time, and even started last year with www.excursions.dimensity.net, but somehow I like the versatility and "easiness" of blogspot rather than spending so much time working on getting my own hosted blog.

I am not sure what this will turn into yet, but for now it will be a place where I can post what I am learning in photography and to share any cool ideas I have enjoyed with anyone who cares to read.

For my current photography:

My Flickr Photos

My DeviantArt Page