Convert < > to &lt; &gt;

2008-08-11_105145

Can’t wait to see how WordPress tries to format that URL. 😉

Anyway, there’s a great site hosted at Stanford that will convert your HTML code into its character literal equivalents for posting within a webpage / blog post so that it is visible as code instead of being interpreted into formatting.

Quite nice for making Flickr invite/comment code snippets, btw. 🙂

Update: Here’s the URL, by the way: http://www.stanford.edu/~bsuter/js/convert.html

Flickr: Excellent Photo Advice

One of my Flickr friends, Steve-h just sent me a message today recommending that I read the profile of Bachspics, which contains a wealth of advice on taking better pictures and scoring better in Flickr Explore.

Here’s a clip:

TIPS ON TAKING AND PRESENTING BETTER PICTURES

Here are some tips on improving composition, taking better and more interesting pictures I’ve collected. [Feel free to send me a Flicker Message with your suggestions.] I also recommend Geoff Quinn’s “A few lessons learned the hard (and slow) way on Flickr” at: www.flickr.com/people/gcquinn/ You may also be interested in David Brooks’ Photographic Composition Tutorial and blog about photographic composition theory found here: giant-steps-giant-blog.blogspot.com/ You can see 24 articles mostly about nature photography by Darwin Wiggett, here: www.darwinwiggett.com/articles.html Also check out some Photoshop tips and tutorials here www.tommysimms.com/photoshop.html See “Ten Questions To Ask When Taking A Digital Photo” here: digital-photography-school.com/blog/10-questions/

In the examples below you can click on the picture for a larger view.

* NO FORMULAS: To begin with there are no formulas or recipes for great photographs. But there are matters pertaining to beauty and interest such as principles relating to light, harmony, balance, color and emotion and elements of design such as line, form, pattern, shape, texture and color which enter into making a photograph attractive and interesting. Successful photographs are about knowing and applying those principles when appropriate, but also about perception, thought and creativity.

And more:

TOP TEN WAYS TO MAKE “EXPLORE”

Just photograph….
10. …looking down on a buxom woman from above her head; preferably if she has a low-cut top on.
09. …a flower and/or an insect on or near it; or just the insect will do. [Late in September 07 Flicker averaged about 50 flowers in each day’s 500, or 10%; They had 10-15 insects per day.]
08. …a cat, any cat, lots of cats; and once in a while a dog; or a dog, any dog, lots of dogs; and once in a while a cat.
07. …a sunset [Flicker includes anywhere from 25-50 of these per day.]
06. …a young adult leaping through the air, or one eye of a woman (there was a tie here).
05. …a picture of the “the 275th day in the life of…” (Who started that inane fad?); these are often self-portraits (see # 3 below)

Wow. Excellent advice. Thanks again to Steve-h for the suggestion, and Bachspics for the excellent writeup!

By the way, the rest of the writeup is on Bachspics profile page. =)

dPS: Prime vs. Zoom Lenses

Yet another excellent article from dPS, this time about lenses:

Canon-EF-50mm-lens-1-tmCanon-EF-24-105mm-lens-1-tm

What is a Prime Lens?

A prime lens is a lens that has one focal length only. They come in all focal lengths ranging from wide angle ones through to the longer telephoto ones.

What is a Zoom Lens?

A zoom lens is a lens that has a range of focal lengths available to the photographer in the one lens. These have become increasingly popular over the past few years as they are obviously a very convenient lens to have on your camera as they mean you can shoot at both wide and longer focal lengths without having to switch lenses mid shoot.

As you surf around different camera forums you’ll find people who argue strongly for both prime and zoom lenses. Each have their own fans and each will pull different arguments out about them. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons Zoom and Prime lenses:

(continued via: Prime vs Zoom Lenses – Which are Best?)

dPS: Moving Toward Manual Settings: Understanding Aperture

Excellent tutorial on a fundamental concept of photography from digital Photography School:

In this tutorial Natalie Norton explores the topic of Aperture.

A few months back I wrote an article here at DPS that created a bit of a stir:

4 Reasons Not to Write Off Shooting in Automatic.

I expected to get a lot of naysayers scolding me up and down and all around. I did get a few of those, but what I didn’t expect were the literally dozens of emails (not to mention comments on the post itself) from people sincerely thanking me for taking the pressure off, for helping them see that great photography is great no matter how it’s captured.

I stand by everything that I wrote in that post. I particularly maintain that photography should be FUN and rewarding and that focusing too much energy on the technical aspects of it shouldn’t detract from that.

HOWEVER one can’t argue with the fact that shooting in Manual does give you more control and greater creative freedom. Period. End of story.

So on we go to Manual settings: I know this topic has been discussed a ZILLION times over, and that it’s as boring as dry toast, but we’re going to go at it again. . . in layman’s terms.

(continue reading via: Moving Toward Manual Settings: Understanding Aperture)

Pacific Northwest Parkour Association

Cool stuff!

Who We Are:

The Pacific Northwest Parkour Association is a non-profit organization chartered by Northwest traceurs (Parkour practitioners) to further these goals:

  • Foster collaboration among Parkour communities
  • Educate new traceurs and the general public about Parkour
  • Build confidence through safe and effective Parkour training
  • Encourage overall fitness and healthy living in our communities

The PNWPA supports community projects that contribute to a healthier world. This includes coordinating and participating in cleanup and building/rebuilding efforts in our public places, particularly those where we enjoy practicing Parkour. We also offer guidance and support for Parkour training, including providing assistance to schools wishing to teach Parkour as part of a physical education curriculum

We are moving fast, but just getting started! Stay tuned for more information on membership and upcoming events!

(http://www.pnwpa.com/)

Update: There’s also a Flickr photo pool here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/849156@N23/

ASP.NET: Starter Kits and Community Projects

In relation to the last post, here are some starter kits and projects officially listed at Microsoft’s own ASP.NET site (http://www.asp.net/community/projects/)

Starter Kits

 

DotNetNuke® Web Application Starter Kit

DotNetNuke is an open source web application framework ideal for creating, deploying and managing interactive web, intranet and extranet sites. The combination of an enterprise portal, built-in content management system, elegant skinning engine, and the ability to display static and dynamic content makes DotNetNuke an essential tool for ASP.NET developers.

TheBeerHouse: CMS and E-commerce Starter Kit

TheBeerHouse starter kit enables you to implement a website with functionality typically associated with a CMS/e-commerce site. This website demonstrates key features of ASP.NET 2.0 and is the sample used in the book, “ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming / Problem – Design – Solution.”

Small Business Starter Kit

The Small Business Starter Kit provides a sample of a business promotion website suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides a template for customizing and creating a site for your own business out-of-the-box, with advanced features including integration with SQL and XML data sources for content and data management.

Open Source

dasBlog

dasBlog is a blogging engine that offers elegant visual aesthetics, powerful easy to use features, and a unique application architecture. dasBlog requires no database engine, using file-based content management with an architecture that ensures excellent performance.

Visit the dasBlog Web Site

ScrewTurn Wiki

ScrewTurn Wiki is a fast, powerful and simple ASP.NET wiki engine, installs in a matter of minutes and it’s available in different packages, fitting every need. It’s even free and open source.

Visit the ScrewTurn Wiki Web Site