Is This The End?

Ever since the terrible decision to end the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge I have found my interest in blogging slowly but surely starting to wane. To the point that I’m not blogging at all.

I have been considering what to do about Say It with A Camera and have come up with several options

  1.  just leave it dormant and never post again
  2.  delete it completely for reasons you will see if you read below
  3. try to resurrect my interest in blogging to showcase my photographs, using the WordPress media server, but start with a new blog completely, for the same reasons as 2 above

In a way I think the decision has been made for me with the recent announcement from Flickr that they are ending the free 1Tb of storage space and limiting non-pro accounts to 1000 photographs. In January or February they will start to delete photographs from Flickr starting with the oldest first until the 1000 limit is reached. That’s a disaster for this blog as nearly all of my photographs are hosted on Flickr. When the deletion starts there will be so many broken links here because the older posts will have no photographs in them, just the words. Not ideal for a photography blog.

I did consider downloading all of my photographs from Flickr and then editing each individual post to make use of the WordPress Media server. However the amount of work involved in reducing the file size down from the hi-res photo’s I post to Flickr would take me such a long a time, time that I can’t really devote to such a task.

To give you an idea, I have 2698 photographs stored on Flickr, probably about two-thirds of these are used in this blog. I have 916 published posts. I would have to take each post in turn, click on the individual photographs to see what I had named them, find the corresponding photographs that I downloaded from Flickr, reduce the Flickr photo file size and then load them up to the media server for use. I almost forgot. I’d also have to delete the Flickr link as well. So a really mammoth task.

I am faced with a difficult decision and not sure how to proceed at this point. What ever happens in the coming weeks I will have to do something, I’m just not looking forward to it.

I’d appreciate any thoughts you may have on this.

In the meantime this could be the final photograph, so I hope you enjoy it

Gwydir Forest Waterfall

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Goodbye Zemanta

For years I have used Zemanta to suggest Related Articles for my blog post and it has always served me well. Mainly I look for other WordPress bloggers who are taking part in the Weekly Photo Challenges and include them as Related Articles. Usually Zemanta would return links to about twenty or thirty weekly challenge participants and I would choose the ones I liked to add to my blog.  Recently though it has no longer been returning the results I want and gradually I have been seeing less and less results from Zemanta.

For example, whilst I have been writing this article Zemanta has suggested the following Related Articles to me

  1. Summer Days :: Lately on Instagram
  2. We Crawled in Each Others Skin for Game Nights
  3. Happy Holidays from Cul-de-sac Cool!
  4. Most anticipated movies of 2015
  5. Krishna Adisesha Appeared in the Sky ?

All of them are obviously relevant to this post. Even using the search term “WordPress Weekly Challenge” doesn’t return any hits. So reluctantly I am going to remove the Zemanta plugin from my browser. Why keep something that isn’t working?

Sure WordPress has the facility to insert Related Articles but I have never found the articles they supply relevant to my blog articles.

So if you know a browser plugin that can suggest Related Articles for a WordPress.com blog I’d love to hear about it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

In all the time I have been writing for “Say It With A Camera” I’m pretty certain that I’ve only ever used my photographs for the Weekly Challenges. After all that’s what the blog was about. To show you my photographs and tell you about them. Over the years I have used lots of photographs, some that have been included in blog posts have been stored on the WordPress servers, others using Google+, some on what used to be called SkyDrive but is now called OneDrive. But mainly I use Flickr and embed the photographs from there.

In fact that’s about all I use Flickr for these days, storing photographs that I want to embed into my blog posts. Why? Because if I kept using the paltry 3Gb of space that WordPress give us for photographs eventually I would run out. Are you close to using up your free space on WordPress.

But what has this got to do with Silhouette. Nothing really. I just thought I’d mention it. Well actually there is a point.

Silhouette

It’s getting harder to keep track of which photographs I have used over the years for which posts, hardly surprising really since “Say It With A Camera” has been going since March 2009 and I’ve written 609 blog posts. I’m almost certain I’ve used this one before way back in the distant past but as it’s one of the best silhouettes I’ve got I hope you’ll forgive me for using it again. Maybe you’ve done the same?

Looking back though, it’s not the first time that WordPress have used Silhouette as a Weekly Challenge theme as this post shows

Taken in Cape Town, South Africa, 12 March 2008, I was at one of these company motivational events. Flew in from the UK to spend four days being bored to death by numerous speakers, talking about sales drives, statistics, what the customers wanted etc. Highlight of the whole junket was when celebrated National Geographic Photographer Mattias Klum gave a talk about his photography. Heaven.

Anyway that night we were down on the beach, the sun was setting and the chief rabble rouser was getting everyone in the mood for the meal and party we were going to have later. Perfectly silhouetted against the setting sun it was too good an opportunity to miss. I didn’t need the motivation, I already had it. I was in South Africa, there were great photo opportunities, what more did I need.

And so that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photograph, and as usual if you have any comments I’d love to hear from you.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

First of my apologies if any of you were inconvenienced by test emails sent out whilst I was trying to correct the problem with Windows Live Writer bein unable to download my blog theme. The problem has not been resolved but the Happiness Engineers seem to think that it’s a problem with WLW. I on the other hand think the problem lies within WordPress, especially as all the error reports point to WLW being unable to download content from the WordPress servers. I suppose it will never be resolved as they keep directing me to Microsoft to resolve the problem. Great idea but as WLW is no longer supported by Microsoft, there is little chance of finding a fix. Anyway I digress…

Not far from Prestatyn is the village of Dyserth which has extensive quarrying remains, waterfalls, a disused railway line (now a footpath), and mountain (Moel Hiraddug). The oldest industry in the village and surrounding area was mining, with lead, copper and limestone just some of the minerals being mined locally in the past. The quarries are still visible and form a major part of the village’s geography, though mining ceased when Dyserth Quarry closed in 1981.

In the 19th century one of the biggest problems for the local mines and quarries had been how to transport the materials they produced. The existing solution of carting the material over land to the River Clwyd at Rhuddlan was proving to be costly and not an ideal solution.

Hills

In 1848 the Chester to Holyhead rail line opened, ten years later saw the opening of the Vale of Clwyd railway which ran from Rhyl to Corwen. But the mining and quarrying companies who had started using these lines still had to get their materials to Prestatyn for the Holyhead line or Rhuddlan for the Vale of Clwyd line.

Buildings

The coming of the railways in many ways helped the companies who operated around Dyserth. But just as equally it caused problems because their competitors who were closer to the new railway lines had a commercial advantage. Concerned about this disadvantage the Dyserth companies held a public meeting in November 1860 in Prestatyn to consider constructing a railway from the LNWR main line at Prestatyn to Cwm via Dyserth.

Woods

It wasn’t until 1869 that a solution was finally found to the problem  when the LNWR opened a branch line from Prestatyn to Dyserth. The Branch Line was two and a half miles long  and carried the London and North Western Railway on a single track with stops at five intermediate stations, Chapel Street, Woodland Park (to be Meliden Road, but Rhuddlan Road until 1923), St. Melyd Golf Links, Meliden and Alt-y-Craig (altered to Allt-y-Graig during 1929). Initially it carried mineral traffic only. In 1905 a passenger service was opened but it only lasted until 1930, eventually being withdrawn by the LMS but the line still remained open to serve the quarry at Dyserth until it was closed in 1973.

Sea View

Nowadays most of the old line is now used as a footpath and recently it was paved. It’s one of my favourite walks with the dog if I’m not on the beach but even if you are walking you get glimpses of the sea, from it’s reasonably high position on the hill.

Caves

When you walk along the line you come to some caves at the base of Craig Fawr which are closed for safety. Prehistoric tools found in these caves have revealed the existence of early human habitation in the area.

That’s it. I hope you enjoyed this short walk along the old branch line with me.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

I was thinking about this challenge and deciding what photographs to use this week. So I’m going to take you back to 2004 when I first bought a digital camera. A little Fuji S304, cost me an arm and a leg, but it opened up so many new possibilities for my photography. It’s still in working order and this is one of the first photographs I took with it. (I never throw anything away)

John Arthurs

I wasn’t experimenting. I took this photograph for a purpose. My wife was working on her family tree and by recording this digital photograph of the gravestone of John Arthurs, her great, great-grandfather, we were able to share it with other family members.

Digital opened up a whole new world, we were able to visit locations where past generations had lived and instantly record grave stones and their location for future use in the family tree.

Saint John the Baptist - Sampford Peverell

This is the beautiful church of Saint John the Baptist in Sampford Peverell, Devon and it is where John’s grave is located. I am standing almost next to his grave and by recording this viewpoint it allows others to find the stone should the churchyard get overgrown, as many do nowadays.

Finally I’d like to mention the decision by WordPress to drop the Zemanta Plugin since the start of 2014. For a good few years I have been using Zemanta to point to other bloggers who were taking part in the Weekly Photo Challenge, or articles from the web that were relevant to my post. Suddenly we have lost the facility. No notice, just an arbitrary decision. I am not happy to say the least. The folks at WordPress say that their new in-house Related Posts is far better. I disagree. In fact I would go so far as to say it is totally useless as i only points to posts from my blog and i have no control over what is considered related. At least with Zemanta I could select how many related posts to add and choose what i consider related.

However there is some form of workaround. You can install a plugin for Zemanta into your browser which seems to work except for WordPress related posts. So far I have been unable to get Zemanta to find any related posts for this weeks challenge.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning

Since last weeks challenge I have hardly stopped, but annoyingly photography has not been the focus of my attention. I did manage a few photographs for my 52 Challenge but that was more by luck than planning. Unfortunately, I’m still pretty busy so this weeks post will have to be a short one

According to WordPress stats there are now 1241 followers of “Say It With A Camera” and I’d like to thank all of you for your great comments and likes. Hopefully I have managed to reply to all of your comments but if I haven’t let me know.

Right, to this weeks challenge….

Grumpy Old Man

The “Grumpy Old Man” likes his morning constitutional on the beach. It’s a great place to socialize, meet lots of people, chase seagulls (not as much these days), go for a paddle and read the doggie news.

We make a great team, he does the posing and I take the pictures.

 

Paul’s Photography Challenge: Industrial

Not content with the Weekly Photo Challenge on WordPress and my 52/2013 Project on Flickr I decided to have a go at Paul’s Challenge as well. .For challenge 1 there are 8 topics, one of them being industrial..

For many years a colliery operated at Point of Ayr; it was one of the last remaining operational deep mines in Wales. On the 23 August 1996 the colliery closed and nothing now remains of the colliery, not even a memorial plaque.

Railway Sidings

Serving the colliery was a spur off the Holyhead/Chester railway line. The rusty tracks are still there, as well as the end stop buffer.

Point of Ayr is also where natural gas from the Celtic gas-fields comes ashore, here it is processed and sweetened at a nearby plant.

Gas Terminal

Gas is piped through a pipeline 33.5 km long from the Douglas Complex of gas and petroleum drilling platforms in the Irish Sea.

Although I could find no reference information, there is a quay at the edge of the colliery site giving access to the River Dee and the sea.

Point of Ayr Dock

It is possible that the quay was used, like the nearby Mostyn colliery, to ship coal by sea.