Is Flickr Dying?

If you read this I really would like your comments on the quality of the photographs which are being stored on the WordPress Server rather than my usual Flickr versions

Over the past couple of weeks or so I have been picking up rumours on the web that Flickr as a service may well be terminated since it’s sale to Verizon by Yahoo. I sincerely hope not as I host all of my blog photographs on Flickr. In fact for me it would be a downright disaster as there would be so many broken links on Say It With A Camera, making it almost unreadable.

I was never happy with the way WordPress handled my photographs and the let’s face it the 3GB limit is measly in comparison to the 1TB that Flickr allow. I know, I know, some of you will be saying “what do you expect from a free service?” But here’s the thing. The ideal size for a photograph on my current theme is 994 pixels wide on the longest edge, and ideally you should keep the file size to between 60 and 150kb, whereas when I use Flickr my file size is 2048 pixels on the longest edge. Now that doesn’t really matter as WordPress will display the Flickr photograph at 994 pixels, but click on it and you will see the larger size photograph in all it’s glory.

Also for convenience when I write my blog, I do so of-line using Windows Live Writer and the very excellent Flickr plugin from Tim Heuer. WLW allows me to write my blog in slow time, I can save a copy on my hard drive as well. With the Flickr plugin I can embed photographs without worrying about resizing or positioning as it’s all taken care of in WLW.

So anyway as an experiment  am going to use the WordPress Media storage option to try and see if it has become a better viable option for storing my blog photographs. You may have seen these photographs before, but this is just an experiment so bear with me. There won’t be too much of a write-up as this is about the quality and placement of the photographs

First up this wonderful bridge over the River Clyde in Glasgow

Over The Bridge

Followed by Rhyl Harbour with a sunset.

Rhyl Harbour

Now we have a Black and White of wind turbines off the coast of Prestatyn

Wind Turbines

What about this shot with a 300mm Olympus lens?

Stonechat

If you go to Berlin you can see one of the two Soviet War Memorials, this one was in the west when Berlin was a divided city.

llyn Ogwen

Right, what else do we have? How about a nice sunset at Talacre Beach?

Talacre Lighthouse at Sunset

Finally let’s finish with another sunset, this time at

Orange and Blue

That’s it. I really would appreciate it if you could take the time to comment about the quality of the photographs after WordPress has done whatever it does to them.

Blackpool Illuminations–A Festival Of Light

Blackpool Illuminations have been going since 1879 when eight arc lights lit up the promenade. Nowadays the light show stretches for approximately 6 miles (10 km) along the promenade from Starr Gate at the south end of the promenade to Bispham at the northern end. This year, 2016, the light show will run from the  2nd September until the 6th of November and use over a million bulbs in the light displays. For more information you can follow this link.

Anyway let’s get going with the photographs. As we set off from our hotel I caught this murmuration of starlings before they settled down to roost for the night. It was interesting to watch for a while but I was here for the lights, so time to move on.

Black Cloud

Without the light show Blackpool’s sea front is already quite well illuminated as the various attractions have their own lights which are on all year round. That’s the Blackpool Tower in the background.

Blackpool Tower

Still waiting for the lights to come it was time to take a wander around the amusement arcades on the Central Pier. Free entry, but you pay a fortune for everything else. Yeah I know I’m just a cynical grumpy old man. Oh! By the way, it was half-term this week. All the children were there, the little darlings……..

Ice Cream

Like all amusement arcades there’s the usual mix of “pay your money and take your chances” stalls. Oh! And of course don’t forget your highly over-priced miniature doughnuts, that’s the correct English spelling, ask the BBC.

Hot Donuts

It’s starting to get dark now and it’s time for the donkeys to come off the beach. They were moving so fast that they’re just a blur.

Donkeys

We’re still waiting for the lights to come on and so is everyone else. Way down at Starr Gate the traffic is queuing to start the run, well actually it’s a crawl, along the seafront. It’s at a dead stop and the whole time I was there, about twenty minutes, that white bus moved forward exactly 0 feet. It’s far easier to buy a 24 hour tram pass. You can hop off and on as often as you like, in either direction, for £5 GBP or $6 USD.

Queuing Traffic

Lots of light are on by now, including rides, street lights amusement arcades. Great for photographers to practice shooting lights at night,

Globe Lights

For fans of Doctor Who, who isn’t, there’s a static display on one of the roundabouts as you head towards North Shore.

Doctor Who

But this is what I really was after. Light Trails. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has a great feature called Live Composite Mode. It works by taking one photograph but constantly adding light as it changes. It makes it so much easier to get these light trails which are of trams passing by the camera. Watch the video, it’s only 1m 34s long and it explains Live Composite far better than I can.

You can see the fixed lights all along the seafront but the trails are from moving objects. I love this feature and I’m still experimenting with it to get the right settings.

Light Streaks

That’s it, just a few photographs from our one day trip to the amazing Blackpool Illuminations.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine, Or In My Case, Reflection

Looks like I got this one wrong. I’m going away for a couple of days and for some reason I had in my mind that this weeks challenge was reflections. So I prepared a load of photographs that obviously had reflections in them and how wrong that was.  I don’t have time to go back as we are going away first thing tomorrow, so here we go. Reflections, NOT Shine. Shine, NO, Reflections.

First up, Valle Crucis Abbey. Or at least the ruins of the Abbey. Built in 1201 by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor, Prince of Powys Fadog, the abbey was one of the richest Cistercian Abbey’s second only to Tintern Abbey. However in 1537 the abbey was dissolved on the orders of Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The building is now a ruin, but you can visit it as it’s under the care of CADW, the historic environment service of the Welsh Government.

Valle Crucis Abbey

Talacre Lighthouse, always good for a photograph, features next. The beach at  Talacre often ends up with pools of water left behind when the tide goes out. Of course when that happens chances are you will be able to catch reflections of the lighthouse or the sky in the water

Talacre Lighthouse

Couple of weeks back I was at the RSPB reserve at Burton Mere on the Wirral. Although the reserve is mainly on the Dee Estuary, the opposite side from me in Wales. If you look to the horizon, that’s Wales and that’s where I am, well not when this photograph was taken, obviously. I’m in England then. Anyway I digress. There are several large ponds that the migrating birds use although not at the moment or I wouldn’t have this lovely mirror photograph.

Reflections In A Pond

Llyn Nantle Uchaf is a funny lake. It’s certainly not one of my favourites, even although it has distant views of Snowdon. I don’t know, there’s just nothing there. Sometimes you will see some small rowing boats tied to those poles but……I just can’t explain it. Anyway Llyn Nantle Uchaf.

Llyn Nantle Uchaf

If you walk the Miners Path from the top of the Llanberis Pass you can eventually end up on the top of Snowdon. The Miners Path itself is quite level, ok there’s a little bit of up hill and down dale, but nothing too strenuous. That is until you need to start ascending to meet the Pyg Track and the eventual climb up to Snowdon, which can be seen in the distance.

Snowdonia

I love Cornwall, land of myth, small fishing villages and so much more. In the summertime you can’t move, the roads are busy, it’s full of tourists, I know, I know, what am I but a tourist, but if you are willing to explore you can find little villages which are off the beaten track.

Harbour

For my final photograph I’d like to leave you with this beautiful sunset taken on the coast near Harlech in Wales. The sun sets over the Llyn Peninsula and those rocks in the foreground just add that little bit of extra interest.

Sunset Reflection

Here’s what other bloggers, who got it right, are saying about this week challenge.

Jaspa’s Journal South Stack Lighthouse, Anglesey, Wales
Weekly Photo Challenge- Shine – Svetlana’s Photography
4otomo Shine
Ron Mayhew’s Blog Photoessay- Prague after Dark
Photography Shining Pools – Mike Baker
Diary of a Married Woman Macro Shine
Anvica’s gallery Shine
Weekly Challenge- Shine… – Through Jersey Eyes
The Royal Palace of Sweden – From Hiding to Blogging
Lulu’s Musings WPC- Shine

Weekly Photo Challenge: Local

Over the years I have written about many of the places I have visited in North Wales but never really shown you much of where I live; Prestatyn. It’s a typical small town bordered on one side by the sea and on the other by a range of hills, which are supposed to protect us from the harsher winter elements. Do they? Don’t know, but when all around gets snow we don’t see a lot in Prestatyn. But there again we do live by the sea and that’s always good, too much salt in the air for snow and ice to settle.

Anyway to the photographs. Prestatyn High street is typical of many small towns you can find, some empty units, some that never seem busy and some quite bustling. What more can I say.

High Street

There is evidence that the area around Prestatyn was settled in prehistoric finds with artifacts found in caves nearby. The Romans were definitely here as there are still the remains of a bath house to be found situated in the midst of a housing estate. No other Roman buildings exist, probably because the land they may have been buried under was excavated and built on. More on that later.

High on the hill above Prestatyn there lies a bronze sculpture of one side of a Roman legionnaires helmet. With the existence of the bath house it is thought that Prestatyn was probably the site of a Roman fort on the road from Chester to Caernarfon.

Roman Helmet

The sad thing is most people in Prestatyn probably don’t even know it exists , especially as it’s sited an area that very few visitors to the town would venture to. Still staying with old Prestatyn. Up until the arrival of the railway and holidaymakers in the 19th and 20 century the population of Prestatyn was very small. But Prestatyn had something that city dwelling Victorians considered very healthy; fresh air, clean seas, fantastic beaches and promenade entertainers. Prestatyn suddenly became a very popular place to visit.

Nowadays most of the tourists have gone but we still have fresh air, clean seas and the fantastic beaches that stretch for miles and miles. We also get some amazing sunsets….

Long Beaches

If you look in the photograph above you can see to the right a small object sticking up from the sea. It’s a marker for part of the sea defences which become submerged when the tide comes in. But when it goes out you can walk out to those markers and sometimes beyond. So not only are our beaches long, they’re also wide.

Beach Marker

However, we also get exceptionally high tides several times a year and our sea defences have to be able to cope not only with the high tide but also a storm surge if the wind whips the sea up even higher, Unfortunately a couple of years ago the defences were breached just a little bit further up the coast and many houses were flooded.

Stormy Seas

Although Prestatyn is a small town the surrounding area is very rural so we sort of have the benefits of both worlds.

Evening Sunset

 

Dechrau a Diwedd

Back to the sea again, it’s the best part and those sunsets….what more can I say.

That’s it for this week, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Sky Blue Daze How to be a street performer
Shots and captures Weekly Photo Challenge- Local
Fife Photos & Art Greenside Cottages, Leslie
The Photographer Smiled… Our celebrity
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Colours of Autumn.. (Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Local 2)
Penne 4 Your Thoughts Exploring the Waverton coal loader
Photocracy Sukkah
Gwyncurbygodwin’s Blog LITTLE RED CHICKEN HOUSE
Coffee fuels my photography! So Local they made themselves at home! (WPC- Local)
Weekly Photo Challenge- Local – Angela Kay