Twin Cities from the Air

I snapped a couple of shots of Minneapolis and St. Paul while passing over the cities on the way to Chicago today. Clicking the images will take you to Flickr where you can see larger versions.

Cooper Neighborhood

That’s the Cooper Neighborhood of Minneapolis. The St Thomas University track is at the top of the photo across the Mississippi river gorge. The field in the middle of the photo is Minnehaha Academy’s soccer and lacrosse stadium at the high school.

Mississippi River, Lake St Bridge

The lower bridge is Lake St and the further one is the Ford Bridge next to the Ford plant. It’s approximately a 6-mile loop if you run the trails on both sides of the river, crossing the two bridges.

St Paul Snelling Avenue

A good slice of the NW section of St Paul. The North-South main drag is Snelling Ave starting at Har-Mar Mall, facing South. The MN State Fair and Como Park (and lake) are in the shot with downtown St Paul in the upper left.

Como Golf Course

Como Golf Course’s East-West running glaciers seem to be still holding up for some spring cross country skiing. What’s up with the green fields at McMurray (upper left)? Do they have field turf over there these days?

St Paul from the North

Downtown St Paul. Republican-ready.

PicApp's Ad Supported Photo Source

After reading GigaOm’s announcement about PicApp’s new photo service, I decide to give it a try.

As Om explains, the site gives publishers access to copyrighted stock photography and news photos. Publishers, including bloggers, are free to republish the photos on their own sites using PickApp’s embed code. The code delivers both the image and advertisements.

I searched for photos tagged “Minneapolis” and found this image from Getty taken a few blocks from my home.

The photo includes tags for: Building, Skyline, City, Horizontal, Urban Scene, USA, River, Minnesota, Minneapolis, Mississippi River, Office Building, Skyscraper, Color Image, Downtown District, No People, Photography, Morning, Twin Cities

Strangely, it doesn’t include information on when it was taken. I can assure you it wasn’t recently since we’re still in the middle of winter here in Minneapolis. My guess would be September of some previous year.

It will be interesting to see whether this site gains traction. I think my first source for discovering bloggable images will continue to be Flickr. That site has a ton of unique and fairly well tagged photos available for publication. And ad free.

Click-Happy Photographers

I’ve gotten some crap about taking over 1000 photos on our most recent vacation. Sure, that’s quite a few. But, check out this stat from Jeremy Toeman’s recent trip to the hospital for the birth of his child:

As a “on-topic” item, here’s a list of all the gadgets I took to the hospital

* Digital camera (Canon SD700is) – usage: approximately 600 photos in 48 hours
* RCA Small Wonder – usage: lots of video, easy download to PC, easy edits, worked great, no silly videotape needed
* Laptop + EVDO card – usage: sent photos to family at night, made Muvee mix of especially cute photos
* iRiver clix – usage: made awesome relaxation playlist for labor, never used it
* QuikPod – usage: tripod for extra video recording, still love my quikpod!
* Cell phones – usage: mostly ignored

At that pace, he wound have hit 7000+ photos on my vacation. See. I’m actually fairly normal compared to Jeremy.

How to Photograph Milepost Markers

This one is for Jeremy:

Milepost on I-35W

Jeremy had issues on our recent trip trying to take a picture of a milepost sign. First, the flash was going off while he shot through the windshield, then there were issues with the delay in the shutter, then blurs.

I grabbed this shot of a 1/10th of a mile milepost on 35W using my Treo. Of course, I was moving at about 1/2 MPH rather than 80.

Upload Your Pictures – Flickr Photo Sharing Explained

Explains why you should upload your photos to the web, and explains why Flickr is a good place to do this.

Please, please, please put your photos online.

Quick story:

I recently stopped by my parent’s home in search of a few pictures of their home for use in a web project I’m working on. They have lived in the same home since 1983 so they have a ton of pictures of the house from the past twelve years.

What did I have to do to find the photos I was looking for? Dig through shoe boxes and photo albums! How primitive. And to make matters worse, what else did I find in the shoe boxes? Photos of me from the past two decades! Outside of a few awkward teenage years, I don’t belong in a shoebox.

Memories Should be Easily Accessible

Have you ever taken a picture with the intention of putting it in a shoe box? Leaving it in the package from the developer? Stuck on your computer in a random folder? Trapped on your camera’s memory card? Of course not, but that doesn’t stop most of us from doing exactly that every day.

Photos Should be Shared

The photos I find most interesting are often candid shots. There is something special captured in pictures that managed to discretely document a moment in time. Posed photos simply capture a group of people trying not to flinch when the flash goes off while wondering how much longer they’ll have to smile. The problem is many of photos like this are distributed over the group of cameras that were used at any given event. Those pictures deserve each other.

How many pictures of your friends do you have that they’ve never seen? Put those photos online now so your friends can enjoy them too.

Share Photos Online

There are certainly a lot of options for uploading and sharing photos online today. I’m going to share what I like about one photo sharing service below, but this doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice. Please share your thoughts in the comments below about the photo sharing services you’re tried and loved or hated.

Flickr is a web based photo sharing service acquired by Yahoo in March that lets people upload and share photos with others. It’s a popular and fast growing web site with over 1 billion uploaded photos. That’s a lot of photos, but considering that more than 1.3 billion photos were uploaded to online systems last year alone, and over 28 billion digital photos are snapped per year, it represents only a fraction of our documented world.

Here is what I like about Flickr:

  1. I can batch upload photos to the site while doing other things like writing this blog post.
  2. I can set permissions on every photo I upload. This lets me decide which photos are appropriate for my family, friends, everyone, or should remain private.
  3. I can “tag” each photo with descriptive keywords that allow me to easily search for related photos.
  4. Other people can add comments to my photos, sharing memories or perspectives of the photos I took.
  5. It gives me peace of mind to know that my digital photos are backed up somewhere beyond my computer.
  6. I can order prints for as little as $0.15 for 4″x6″ photos and pick them up at my local Target store.
  7. I can let my friends, family, or even people I don’t know print my photos without lifting a finger. 
  8. Flickr will store photos at their original resolution, so I can print photos larger than 4×6.

Does this beat the shoebox treatment? I think so. Think outside the shoebox!

What online photo services do you prefer? Which ones drive you nuts? Share your thoughts in the comments below.