As of 1/3/2013 many of my files are missing. No response from Fotki yet.
Currently(Jun 2012) I am not allowed to add files or download originals because my 'unlimited storage' is over the arbitrary 'limit'. This change was made with no warning or explanation until after it had happened. There is no allowance made for the ten years in advance I have paid. My current DB of pics will stay intact as long as they stay afloat, but that period is in doubt.
After 11 years I will be forced to start over on my photo sharing. Currently I am trying Photobucket as an alternative resource. So far it seems to be adequate.
Look for me here.
After over a month my originals were finally deleted so that I can now add files again, however, I'm still using Photobucket as a hedge against further service problems with Fotki. Subsets are also available on Flicker and SMUGMUG.
As a systems programmer for the University of Minnesota the integration of computers and photography came naturally. Creating slide presentations of data directly from CRT's was my first integration of photography and computer skills while employed as a programming manager. I began my career in computers on a Control Data 3300 (SCOPE) in 1970. In about 1978 we acquired a Honeywell 6600 system running GCOS and switched to an IBM 4300 using VM around 1984. It was retired in 2002 after many upgrades shortly before I retired. Apple PC's were used for our graphics applications and whetted my appetite for personal computers.
From a personal standpoint, archiving old pictures and slides became a priority beginning in 1982. I used video cameras to capture slide images for many years, but the quality was less than desirable. I began scanning slides and photos in about 1992 and will likely never finish this project to my satisfaction.
After retirement in 2003 my interest in digital photography was peaked by the advent of true digital SLR's. My wife has promised to bury me with a camera to record my trip.
My photographic tools through the years beginning in 1957. 35mm slide cameras were my mainstay for the first 20 years.
During the first year of my USAF tour in 1957 I bought a Kodak Signet 35mm f3.5 fixed lens rangefinder camera which served me well. I added a Ricoh f1.4 35mm before leaving Japan in 1960 which I still own. Both of these had fast wind levers for advancing film. I even tried my hand at developing BW film and making prints.
During the early 80's I acquired a Polaroid SX70 which was useful , but not very good quality. My next 35mm camera was a Kowa kit with interchangeble lenses which was a bust. I went back to Ricoh with an automatic XRP model which is a fine camera. Inbetween I found a used Nikkormat which is still a great manual film camera. In the eighties my son, Brad worked for Proex as a tech so color prints became a priority.
My 35mm lens collection is mostly generic Sigma stuff up to 300mm. Variable zooms were not affordable then.
When digital started to become affordable (under $500) I gained interest in my photography. Actually I also started using PC's to digitize old photos and slides at about the same time and technology finally made it all viable. As I progressed from a 1.2 MP camera to my current 14 MP Pentax my computer processing has grown from an Amiga 1000 with a 40MB hard drive to a quad core 3.4GHz processor with 3 terrabytes of storage and 4GB of real memory.
Since 2000 most of my travels have been recorded on digital media with film being used as a backup. My Epson PC700 & 850Z were fascinating, but not really great photographic tools. By the fall of 2000 I acquired a Sony MAVICA CD1000 which could finally produce competitive prints with only a 2.1 MP sensor. With a 10:1 zoom and a movie mode the f2.8 lens did a respectable job of recording my travels directly on 3" CD's. This combo gave me immediate backup for my jpeg files and reasonable capacity on a very portable & inexpensive medium. (about 160 pics per disk) Of course the lack of true manual controls kept me looking for technology advances.
In 2001 Minolta released the D7i with a 5MP sensor and manual controls. The 7:1 zoom wasn't quite as long, but the manual control gave much more photographic latitude and the removable (CF)memory chips had become more viable in size and price. Now one could think in GB's of storage and store over 200 jpegs at a time. This camera remained a workhorse until 2005.
When real digital SLR cameras became available I opted for a Canon 10D in 2003. With a 6 MP sensor and interchangable lenses I could retire my film cameras. Prints up to 11x17 had become competitive with film. Of course it was large and cumbersome to travel with so I added to my arsenal in 2005.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ20 is still a 5.0 MP sensor, but has a 12:1 Leica zoom rated at f2.8 at all focal lengths. This makes a fine travel camera and can produce superb photos in most conditions. The electronic viewfinder is its biggest detractor and the autofocus is a bit slow. It has, however, taken many fine photographs.
Pentax attracted my attention in 2007 with the K10D and their lens compatability as well as the in-camera stabilization. The K10D is now my backup for the K-7 acquired in July of 2009. The difference in 10MP and 14MP is not that great, but the AF speed and frame rate of the K-7 are far superior. I also like the color rendition of Pentax over the other DSLR vendors. This is a personal thing which one needs to experience to understand completely. The controls on Pentax DSLR's are quite accessible and more intuitive as far as I'm concerned than other vendors. Feature wise it also is more than competitive with other brands in the same price range especially when you add weather proofing. The K5 has been on my list for some time and the price now has allowed a purchase. Expect test shots soon.(They are here and looking good)
At some point I hope to create an album with a photo from each of the cameras I have owned. Settling on one pic for each may be too difficult, however.
It was way too hard to pick one so I now have many shots for each camera in a favorites album for that camera now.
This is perhaps the biggest attraction to digital photography for me. I've been a Photoshop user for 10 years or more and am still learning its capabilities. For cataloging pics I use ACDSee and see no reason to switch. It has served me well for a similar period of time. Picass3 is also installed and has some nice features and interfaces which I appreciate. They now have face recognition which is a wonderful tool. For beginners its a great free tool. My favorite printing tool is Qimage-pro which does a beautiful job of creating prints. It may be a little slow and difficult to learn, but is worth the time and minimal cost.
I've been a user of Fotki online services since its inception and now have over 20,000 pics online and will never change willingly. It has all the needed features and speed I require at a cost that is affordable. SMUGMUG has been added to my repertoire and hosts many of my better pics because I appreciate the display options. Besides, redundancy is good where computers are involved.
For saving slideshows to DVD I use something called Memories onTV (by Codejam) which does a nice job with transitions and background music. It even allows animated titles to be added. The interface seems intuitive for me so its become my tool of choice for distributing small collections or event pics.
Lightscribe or my Epson inkjet are used to label DVD's and CD's. Having a direct print to a DVD surface is a great feature of inexpensive printers these days.
My main host is now a generic box with a quad-core 3.4MHz processor with 8GB of memory and 2TB of hard disk storage. Windows 7 controls this system and the Raid-5 controller. Now I have an I7 processor running Windows 7 with XP as a virtual machine for compatability. The SSD partition for the OS makes it a screaming machine.
A local area network and hardware connection keeps my Vista system downstairs and two laptops communicating well with each other and the Comcast server. Since my wife and daughter use some of my computer resource a second box (VISTA) is very nice. The laptops allow me to upload pics when traveling and have mobile slideshows.
My newest laptop runs VISTA, but the other will remain XP oriented as long as possible. Firefox is my default browser and I'm looking at Photomatix for HD stuff. Panorama Factory works quite well for my wide angle needs.
I use two scanners when needed which still use an old SCSI interface. One is a flatbed and the other an HP S10 35mm film & print scanner (5x7 max). These may get replaced soon with USB devices so I can scrap the SCSI interface requirement. It is not well supported these days. This happened in 2011 when I acquired a USB connected Epson 4490 flatbed scanner.
My comcast connection will typically download at 15MB/sec and upload at close to 3MB/sec. When I started this endeavor speeds were in the 2-3k bits/sec range. Progress is wonderful.
Historically I started my personal computer experience with an Amiga 1000 in 1989 which had no hard drive and 256k of memory. Floppy disks were a primary media resource. My first HD was a 40 MB unit. It evolved to an Amiga 1200 before my first Windows PC came on the scene in .....??
My lens collection is not very extensive, but it does keep growing. I have tried non-prime fish-eye lenses and a variety of telephoto lengths for most of my SLR's. Zoom telephotos seem to fit my style quite well.
My biggest investment in glass was a 70-200mm L IS lens for my Canon 10D. It is truly a great lens, but rather large and heavy. You will find it on EBay shortly. The only comparable quality lens I now have is my Pentax DA* 50-135mm. DA* lenses are WP which is nice, but adds significantly to the cost.
My walk about lens is usually my Tamron 18-250mm which does a very creditable job and is not too large. My Tamron 70-300mm is used for wildlife stuff, but is not as sharp as I'd like. I have gotten a few good shots with it using a 1.4 TC, however. Recently I added a Pentax 55-300 zoom which promises to allow much better wildlife captures. The kit lens (18-55mm) is good quality, but limited in reach for me. For low light conditions I have a 50mm 1.4 which has an extremely shallow DOF.
The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 has attracted my attention and will be tested extensively soon. My son just acquired the Canon version and I'll be using his 40D to check it out. I liked it and bought one soon after our return from Alaska.
Now I sometimes use the 55-300 on my K7 and the 17-50 on my K10 together. At least one is in my bag if I'm using the other.
Since most of my stuff is handheld the SR function in the camera is a definite plus.
I'm a recent user of HD (high defenition) software and K-7 in-camera capabilities. My final opinions are still being formed. Photomatics is installed on a trial basis and seems to be a worthy program. Final effects are more artistic than realistic so I'm not totally impressed at this point.
Panorama Factory can produce very nice wide angle photos in an automated mode quite effectively. Even hand held shots come out nicely. I feel I can recommend this product to anyone interested in panoramas.
Currently I still use an older HP1100 BW laser printer for text printing and a couple of Epson R200's for color inkjet stuff. My Minolta color laser printer is a bit expensive to use, but works well for large print jobs. All printers are shared across my network.
QimagePro does an amazing job when glossy 8x10's are required using my Epson inkjets. Its slow , but the quality is wonderful and its versatile. You can print any combination of print sizes on the same sheet of paper and use the paper efficiently. Support for this product is outstanding.
Since I shoot everything from macros to panoramas my system needs to be versatile. I prefer to shoot without flash whenever possible so low light capability is required. Wildlife is a growing passion so I need long lenses too. Family portraits are important so medium tele works good.
This led me to my Tamron 18-250 zoom which is a fine lens. It covers all the bases reasonably well for a modest price. I leave it on a majority of the time.
For low light stuff my 50mm 1.4 does a good job, but the DA* 50-135mm f2.8 is my premium lens. A new DA 55-300mm added to my telephoto capabilities recently.
I recently added a 17-50mm Tamron which is a very sharp lens and is now my primary tool.
Minnesota state parks and lakes give me ample subject matter for my scenic shots, but we like to travel across this great country and visit the national parks as well. Hiking gets tougher as you grow older so the treks become shorter. Our next major trip will be a re-visit to Alaska for two weeks next spring. With a little luck there may be some wildlife to add to my collection along with the glaciers and Mt Mckinley. The quality of the photos should be significantly improved from those taken with my first Epson digital cameras in 2000.
In June of 2010 we visited Alaska by sea and by land. We stopped at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay NP, College Fjiord, Copper River Lodge, Denali Lodge, McKinley Lodge, Anchorage and Seward using trains, cruise ship, catamaran and buses. Here's a link; http://public.fotki.com/waynelr6/places/alaska-2010/
2500 plus shutter clicks were required to record this trip of a lifetime. About 500 will be keepers. Its worth the time and money to plan a trip to Alaska if you haven't been there. If you have, I don't need to remind you.
2008 produced my best views of New England in the fall. Check my yearly review albums for summaries of places visited.
Look for a follow-up trip to Idaho and Oregon in the fall of 2010 (Lake Pend Orielle, Mt Hood & the Columbia River Gorge for starters). This trip produced some good shots of Oregon and Idaho.
You may use the Fotkimap feature to follow our travels.
My family photos are generally listed in a hierarchical manner within family surnames on Fotki. I also have over a 1,000 entries on ancestry.com and FTM. FindAGrave.com is also used to record information and I volunteer for headstone photos in this area. Virtual family groups have been started as well as our local Evergreen Memorial cemetery in Mahtomedi, MN just a couple of miles from here. This has become a time consuming project to edge and photograph the 3 to 4,000 graves. The SW corner is almost complete as of 7/21/2011.