Sunday (20-February-2011) — New Jersey

Technology Update: Digital Image Storage and  “Image of the Day” Photoblog Redesign.

Once home after the Patagonia Photography Workshop, my first priority was uploading and backing up images from the trip to my primary storage and backup hard drives. During this process, I discovered that one of my Western Digital My Book 2 TB disk arrays was having problems. Then when restoring images lost on the Western Digital My Book disk array, I found that my backup Western Digital My Book array was also having problems. I ended up restoring the images from a number of Western Digital Passport USB drives (tertiary backup). Even though the backup drives are USB 2.0, the transfer rate was slow and it took almost two weeks to completely restore the lost files. In the middle of this process I also lost a HP Pavillion HDX9200 laptop during the ice storm. I was surprised that the UPS power supply didn’t protect the laptop during the several power disruptions. I have used the time to rebuild and optimize my Lightroom Catalogs. This has significantly improved the performance to find images within Lightroom.

I have updated the layout of my WordPress “Image of the Day” Photoblog site. A thumbnail slider for the current month goes across the top of the display. Images from the most recent three posts, and slides on chronologically going back several years. This replaces thumbnails for the most recent 8 posts. Which allows the most recent post and image to be front and center. The calendar for the current month then moves to the top of the right hand sidebar column. Clicking on any of the dates highlighted in blue get to the post for that date. Below the calendar, is Tag Cloud. I’ve gone back and tagged all of the posts with keywords. The tag cloud shows the top ~50 tags, with the font size related to the number of times the tag shows up in all of my posts. (Thanks to Hans for using tags). Below the tag cloud is a Blog Search function that searches all of the posts and images. Thumbnail links to the Monthly “Images of the Day” Galleries in Photoshelter. PhotoShelter is where all of my posted images are stored, and is the online location where images can be purchased. At the very bottom on each of my pages there is a PhotoShelter Search app, where all images stored in the David Mathre Image Gallery  can be searched by keyword.

Comments regarding the Images of the Day Photoblog redesign are appreciated. The goal was to make the site easier to use and navigate.

Wednesday (02-February-2011) — New Jersey

Winter Nature in New Jersey: Freezing Rain.

The storm was forecasted. The township and the power company sent e-mail warnings for everyone to be prepared. When I woke up the power was going off and on, and finally at about 08:30 stayed off. I don’t know how long the power will be off and if I will be sleeping in the RV tonight where I have a propane heater. In the morning I  took a number of images with a Leica D-Lux 5 camera. Later as it warmed and turned to rain, ice and branches started falling. There will be a lot to clean up this spring.



Individual images from this slide-show can be viewed here.

Friday (21-January-2011) — New Jersey

Happy to Be Home!

I’m back home in NJ recovering from walking pneumonia contracted while in Patagonia. Yesterday I started going through 560 e-mail messages at work. Please check out Thom Hogan’s blog about our being held hostage in Chile. It was real, I was there. This weekend I plan to start uploading new images from the fun part of the Patagonia workshop. I also need to deal with hard disk space on my main desktop and back up all images (~20k, 360 GB) taken while in Patagonia.

Troll Family. Composite of 30 stacked images using Helicon Focus. Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G (ISO 100, f/1.4, 1.3 sec) (David J Mathre)
Troll Family. Composite of 30 stacked images using Helicon Focus. Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G (ISO 100, f/1.4, 1.3 sec) (David J Mathre)

Monday (17-January-2011) — Florida

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 22: Back in the USA!

I arrived in Miami at about 5 AM, made it through immigrations but had to wait for my luggage. After going through customs I couldn’t directly recheck my luggage to Tampa because I didn’t have a boarding pass. It was a long walk to Terminal D. The problem with the boarding pass was I had multiple reservations on the AA flight. Once that was resolved, I had to go through security again. I just barely made it to the AA Tampa flight. The flight arrived in Tampa on time, but now we are waiting for the rain to stop so they can unload the luggage.

Jens Picking Me Up at Tampa International Airport (David J Mathre)
Jens Picking Me Up at Tampa International Airport

22-January-2011 edit: Check out Thom Hogan’s blog about being held hostage in southern Chile.

Sunday (16-January-2011) — Chile

Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 21: Beginning the Journey Home!

Yesterday we moved from the Hotel in Puerto Natales to the Red Cross Refuge center (in the E3 School). Early in the morning we thought that things were about to be settled and thought about a dash in a bus to Calafate Argentina. Our local guide visited the nearest barricade and found that the protesters were in no mood to let anyone through. Therefore, we decided to go with the safe option. By the time we got to the Red Cross site, they had us stand in line to be registered. A line in the main auditorium was for folks wanting to go to Calafate, Argentina, and another line in the gym for folks wanting to go to Punta Arenas. Looking at air schedules out of Calafate, made it look like we could be there for a week or two before catching a flight. Punta Arenas had more flights and appeared to be a better overall choice (even though it is still blockaded from the city 24 km away).  Lunch for 1000+ in the Red Cross center was pasta, some meat sauce, an apple, bread, and orange juice – a typical elementary school meal on the school lunch trays. By late afternoon two buses had been organized to bring folks to the local airport. The initial selection was families with small children, elderly, pregnant women, and sick.  With my cough, I ended up on the 2nd bus, and the rest of the photography group was with the 3rd group.

NOTE: As we were leaving and going through the roadblock we saw others being separated from their transportation and having to walk the 10+ km into Puerto Natales rather than being pointed to the local airport for transportation out of southern Chile.

After running the blockade and being dropped off at the local airport, the Chilean Air force transported us to Punta Arenas via a B737.  This got us past at least 6-10 additional blockades. I ended up sleeping in the airport and taking the first flight out at ~5:40 AM to Santiago. I am currently working in the LAN Executive Salon waiting for a flight to Miami that leaves late tonight.

LAN Business Class Seat - Back as a full lay down bed (David J Mathre)
LAN Business Class Seat – Back as a full lay down bed (David J Mathre)

22-January-2011 edit: Check out Thom Hogan’s blog about being held hostage in southern Chile.