Oct 31, 2010

Bermuda Images and Canadian Images launched

Happy Halloween everyone!!!

What a weird weekend.  Most of my plans got dumped into the garbage.   For some reason, Saturday decided to start off with rain and then switch to snow.  In FRIGGING Oct!!!!    It was suppose to be a light dusting of 2cm's but we ended up with over 5cm's.  And did it melt on the Sunday?  Nope!   Still on the ground.   So I didn't get many of my chores done - like take down the antennas at the ex's.   Fingers crossed I get a nice weekend somewhere before the real snow flies.  And this had better not be the real snow!  ;-)

On a positive note,   Northern Foto got it's main page update with a nice flash show.   Only 7 images on the flash show for now but there will be many more over the coming weeks.

But, my other 2 domains have also been purchased.  Bermuda Images and Canadian Images!    Bermuda images will exclusively link to my Bermuda work and Canadian Images is just parked/redirected to Northern Images for now.   The Bermuda images it the one that I hope will get things rolling.  I would think that the words Bermuda and Images would be fairly common in web searches?  In fact I was very surprised that both domains were available for purchase.   The Canadian Images domain I'll deal with after I get Northern and Bermuda up and running fully.

So both are now launched but much work to do yet.  Still have done no key wording and only have a few images posted.   For now I'm not flogging the websites too heavily.  Going to need some free hours to get everything up and running the way I want it.

Off to the states tomorrow!  Hope it's warmer ;-)

Oct 29, 2010

Northern Foto is launched

Well sort of ;-)

Managed to purchase the domain name and got a very temporary homepage up and running @  Northern Foto   but still have lots of work to do.    I also have 2 more domain names on order and hope to have those by the end of the day.   In the end I should have 3 photo "homepages" that all use the same backend for the purchasing.   The 2 new domains that are coming should get picked up by the search engines on a regular basis.     Then will come the keywording and getting out there trying to advertise a bit to drag people to the sites.   Fingers crossed that I can make a go of this!

But haven't had much time to upload photos or put much work into things.  Have been preparing all week for a trip to Baltimore next week.  I have to give a presentation so been building that up and living in powerpoint hell.

This weekend I'll be back at my ex-wifes place taking down all my antennas and tower now that the leaves are off the trees.  This is pretty much the last thing I have to do at the old house and I need to get it done before the ground freezes and while the leaves are down.   Will probably take me most of the day and I still have to rent a truck and cart away the tower sections to a friends, who is kind enough to loan me some barn space.   I still need to get the canoe and kayak cleaned up and put away for the winter as well.   Not enough days left before the snow flies.

And then off to the states on Monday.   So sometime in there I hope to get the webpages up and running and maybe add a few pictures.

On an interesting note, a friend of mine (and former boss - luck bugger is retired) Bob, works with stained glass.  He's requested a few of my images to attempt to do them on stained glass.  This should be pretty cool, really looking forward to seeing the results as his work is very nice!   They promised me some pictures so will be sure to post them when available.

That's the news for now, here's a tune to end our week with.  Rush in the very early days before Neil Peart and before they could play bars in Ontario due to the drinking age of 21.   They are 18 years old in this video, this is the song that propelled Rush into the limelight.   I think most of us can relate to this song - Working Man!    Have a great weekend everyone.

Oct 27, 2010

Thailand has moved!

Grant has moved his wonderful images over to blogger so people can comment on his pictures and text.   Here is the new link to Thailand In View.

Oct 26, 2010

Working on Stuff!

Hey everyone!   Received a few notes wondering if I'm still around and if everything is ok?  Yes and yes!

Been a busy few weeks.  Getting ready for yet another business trip and for some reason the powerpoint juices are just not flowing.  I gotta get this presentation done before the end of the week.  So that and an "in-house" conference have been taking up much of my daily time.  

Last weekend Jen and I were out and about but no camera work.  We made wine instead!   I've been brewing wine at DeFalco's for years and have recently run out.  This after having over 200 bottles at one point a few years ago.   Decided to try out the Orleans store so Jen and I went up.  A lovely store and seems much better laid out compared to the Gladstone store.  But the staff at both locations are wonderful and had a good time putting on 2 batches.  One Shiraz and one Raspberry Merlot.   Back to bottle in 4 weeks.   Jen had never made wine before and I think she enjoyed it.  It's almost like a religious experience ;-)   The smells in that store are just amazing!

The rest of my time has been spent working on my long dormant photo business - Scott Crouse Photography.   It has made enough over the previous years to pay for the website but that has been pretty much it.   I've been fairly happy with smugmug over the years but I'm finding it getting a bit stale.   The site doesn't offer a few products that I'd like to see, such as an easy method to do matting and framing, and I've been finding their template restrictive and everyones websites look the same.  Last year I used a company called imagekind to  do some printing and framing on a few images that I gave as Christmas gifts.   As they have a 30 day money back, no questions asked, policy I opened the package and I was suitably impressed.  The framing, matting, printing, packing and shipping was wonderful!   I started to look at them more closely.    They offer a storefront (like smugmug) but it's more customizable if you know how to manipulate CSS coding.    Pretty much unlimited uploading and overall pretty reasonably priced.  I get to do my normal market up and also get a 15% commission on the framing.

I've spent the past few days "learning" CSS and manipulating the code.  Pretty easy once you put your mind to it and understand what's going on.  I've managed to create an entire new back-end for the purchasing.  I have no intention of using the website as the front-end given that it's CSS and not very "flashy".   The plan is to purchase 2 domains and have 1 business under 2 domains.  It'll make more sense when you see the finished product.   Both domains will use the same back-end ordering system.   Should be pretty cool, I just need to purchase the domains and setup the webpages that will be the front page.   At the same time, Scott Crouse Photography (which is one seriously boring name!) will be slowly phased out over the winter and "Northern Foto" will be created.

For those who would like to check out the backend of the website, you can see it at Northern Foto Imagekind.  I will link the full webpage when it's ready.  Remember, it's a work in progress, only the back-end, only a few pictures to figure out the "look and feel" and it's changing on a regular basis.  Any comments, criticisms are ALWAYS welcome.  Remember, I'm not a pro-programmer but I try ;-)

Thanks to Jen for putting up with my "mind wondering" moments this past week while I try to mentally get a handle on what I'm trying to build here.   Still lots of work to do building the front ends, tagging, key-wording, uploading and trying to make default frames and stuff.  Going to take some time.  I also plan on working on the marketing much harder this time round.   Want to setup a facebook store, a flickr site for promoting and some other ideas that have popped into my head by doing more and more research.   I want to take my old "winter gaming time" and put it to more productive use.

That's why I haven't been blogging as much, building that webpage that's going to make me rich and famous! hahaha, not likely, but if it could buy me a new camera every few years and pay for itself I'd be a happy man.

Hope everyone is having a good week.

Oct 18, 2010

More Fall Colours

A short walk around Long Island Locks on the Rideau this past Saturday.   Many of the leaves are gone or are going but still a few trees with colours of fire around.  All shots were taken with my little Lumix FH20.

BTW, check out the 2 new links from some friends (both very good photographers) on the side;

Fotovisions - Chris
Thailand In View - Grant

She always seems to be waiting for me ;-)

Time for a change?

I haven't been watching the camera market for some time now as I just found it to be very depressing.  All these new cameras and lenses coming out and they get more and more expensive.   I'm also one of those who continually uses the line "it's not the camera that makes the image".    I watched the full frame D700 come out and I drooled over it, but in the end reality reigned.  Replacing all my lenses and camera body would have cost a small fortune.  And would full frame really give me that much more?

On the DX format, which I currently use, the D300 was a bit of an upgrade and the S version was even more so.  But not enough to grab my attention considering the price.   I would love to switch to the Canon 5d Mk II, a wonderful landscape camera but again I'd be forced to replace my lenses to Canon and the body itself is not cheap.

Info from Nikon -  Nikon D7000
Info from Rockwell - Ken Rockwell D7000

But along comes a new DX Nikon camera.  The D7000.   Very similar to my older D200 but many new advanced features and a new generation of sensor.   Much lower noise, more mega pixels (not a big deal), dual SD slots, HD video with auto focus, silent mode (wonderful) and saved setups (about friggin time).  All for a fairly reasonable price, as DSLR's go, around $1200 USD.   Early reviews are giving this camera very high marks.   More expensive in Canada but I'll bring it across the border from the states.

This would/should be a worthy successor to my D200.   So is the time here to put my old D200 out to pasture?  Or make is a backup camera?  I would like to have to cameras so I can stop switching lenses all the time....

Now it's coming up with the money :-/   ARGH!

Oct 15, 2010

A crappy day needs a good tune.

A miserable rainy day here in Ottawa.  It's after 7am, I'm in the office and it's still dark out.   Still shaking some of my cold that just won't go away, skin is all yucky as the air is dry thanks to the heat being on, didn't sleep well cause I was to lazy to get up for a pee so I just laid there, think I snored most of the night so have a sore throat and just feel grumpy! ;-)

This seems to match my mood;

What a great song that brings a smile on a crappy day!

But should be a good ending to the day.  Cooking a turkey for Jen after work, I see turkey, wine and a movie in our future!

Oct 10, 2010

Autumn 2010 - Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!    A lovely walk at the bird sanctuary yesterday, the fall colours are wonderful.  Jen had never had small birds land on her hands before, so that was really cool.

Someone finally agreed to a pose! ;-)

 Jen had never had a bird land on her hand before, was great fun!

 A perfect day for the wide angle lens.  Pretty trees, leaves and blue sky.

My favourite non-Jen photo of the day.

 I hate snakes!  Unless they are posing.  Jen spotted this little guy that then tried to attack her.

 Amazing what you see when you look UP.

 Will he bite me?

Where'd he go?  Hellooooooooo, free fooooooood!

My Pretty Lady!  ;-)

Oct 8, 2010

Long Weekend!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!  A long weekend ahead of us.  Jen's coming out to the farm, wine is all purchased, steaks and pork chops are in the fridge, the weather is suppose to be awesome, the trees are in fire with colours, camera batteries are charged and a hiking path has been picked!

And my cold is almost completely gone!  Woot!!!  Have a great weekend everyone and will post pictures when I can.  Maybe someone will play model this weekend?

Haven't had time to think of some good tunes to post but here's a couple that caught my attention today, an oldie and a newer one;

The oldie;

Don't we all wish we had hair like that?  Ah the good old days!

A newer one;

Can't understand why they haven't made an impact in North America yet.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Oct 4, 2010

Still Here - Barely :-(

Hey everyone, just a short update.  Sorry for not being around much this past week.

Was in Baltimore all last week on business where it rained, rained and then rained some more!   But not a bad trip, the conference was really good and interesting.   Flew back on Friday night and by Saturday I had a lovely head cold.  Seems I picked something up on the plane.  I keep swearing that I'm going to start wearing a mask on airplanes, just worried about looking out of place and getting kicked off - lol.   But that Dulles airport is wall to wall people, god only knows who I picked the bug up from.   Unfortunately I felt find on Friday when I got home so promptly gave the bug to Jen.  Seems to have about a 12 hour incubation, it's a fast one.   So we're both off work today snuffing and sniffing.  Each suffering at our own homes.

Hope to return to work tomorrow but I'm about 50/50 at this point.   Jen seems to be recovering faster, must be the Cold FX she takes.

I had recorded Stephen Hawking's "The Story of Everything" and this line sort of hit me - "We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."

And my all time favourite Hawking quote - "I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."