Steve's TODAY page

Freak
Merriam Webster Online (m-w.com) defines freak as
4 : an ardent enthusiast <[ex:] film freaks>


Why?
I'm just a guy who likes taking pictures. A lot of them. That about sums it up, but if you really are interested you can read the next paragraph.

Am I expressing myself through my pictures? Maybe. Who knows? . I really like the thought of allowing someone else to be able to look through my eyes (to see what I saw) for that brief moment when I press the button. I like to try to capture things of interest or beauty I see in everyday life as well as those rare moments that almost happen too quickly to think about. I like to try to do this in a way that someone else would immediately understand the inherent qualities of a situation photographed, or maybe discover beauty overlooked in their own everyday life (when seen through someone else's eyes?). Sometimes I just capture things that tell a story and sometimes I capture things that are only interesting for the first moment you look at the picture. Sometimes I'm lucky to get the shot, and sometimes I miss the greatest shots. I guess I am an amateur photographer looking for something constructive to do with the little talent I have. Right now, that something is sharing it with you.


Your Feedback
I do like to know what others think about the pictures I take. It helps me to understand how other people interpret them. I think it's pretty fascinating to take a picture for a particular quality I see only to have someone else tell me about something totally different that they see in the picture that I did not originally see. So
tell me what your favorite pictures are. (I also try to place my email address at the bottom of each page on this site. Just click on my name.). Tell me why. Tell me what you see in them or what they remind you of. Also tell me whether or not I could share your comments with others, and whether to put your name by it or to be anonymous. Maybe someday I can get some of your comments posted alongside the pictures so everyone can read what they made you think of. See "Looking Forward" for other ideas I have for the pages.



Looking Forward
Although I don't have any plans yet for thumbnails, getting organized is one of the most important plans I have for the future of these pages. Right now, the pages are primarily in chronological order, with a bit of sub-grouping. However, the servers that host these pages have php language and sql database capabilities. I hope to be able to utilize these in the future to make it a lot easier for you to find groups of pictures you want to see. At the very least, I should be able to group what I do have into more subject-clickable format, so that you will only see more of the kinds of pictures that you want to see (this should be a little easier for the short term). Unfortunately, realistically, for the advanced sql/php programming aspect, it could be spring or summer before this part of my dream is realized. Thanks again for being patient.

In the meantime, you should be able to do a browser text search for a key word like 'cloud', and find a lot of pictures having to do with clouds. Of course, sometimes just picking a random picture here and there (without looking at the description) can be kind of fun. There's definitely enough to do this with!

Some other ideas I have for the future include:
(Not trying to be vain here, just dreaming about ways to sharpen my programming talents AND at the same time make the pages more interesting)



Notification List
When I post pictures to the page, I can send you an email to let you know. I usually post pictures every monday but sometimes I get too busy, and have to wait a while longer. So whether it's because of my sometimes late postings or maybe if you have a hard time remembering to check as often as you would like to, I can add you to my email list.

The list is private. I don't sell or give it to anyone else. You won't get spam from me. Just announcements about pictures I post to the web pages. And all you have to do is tell me, and I will remove you from the list.

Unless I already know your email address, to add you to the list, you should email me from the account you wish to receive the notifications at. After all, I don't want to be sending mail to the wrong person, intentionally or not.


Stitch Photos
I have been taking and posting more stitches lately. Even if there are slight imperfections in them, I find that it is much better to tell the entire picture story with a slightly imperfect stitch, than to not tell the story at all, or to tell it inadequately in only a single frame. The human mind can usually overlook the blemishes, and see the finished product. So think of most of my stitches as stories instead of picture perfect artwork.

A new aspect that I was introduced to with my digital camera (Canon Powershot G3); stitch photos. Basically, it is a group of pictures that are sequential in some fashion (horizontal, vertical, or otherwise), and can be attached to each other by photo stitching software, with the goal of making it look like one big photograph. It's concept is similar to panoramic photos, but is more flexible I believe. The software itself seems to be able to do some complex kinds of things, from what I have observed using mine (that came with the camera). It can detect and focal distance. It can also adjust the images it is stitching together to make them match, correcting for lense curvature and other phenomenon. It also seems to purposefully blur the seams of the photos if they do not match quite right. Sometimes, it does really whacky things to your pictures, but fortunately, there is a manual setting which sometimes allows you to correct for some of the wackiness. The camera also has a stitch assist mode, which helps you to better frame the overlap when shooting stitch photos. However, I have found that manually doing this is easier for me.

So why take stitch photos? I have been asking myself this question since I got my camera, and I think I have arrived at an answer. if you take one picture (zoomed, panned, or anywhere in between), you are limited to that one frame. You can take more, but without stitch, multiple pictures trying to define your subject just seems fragmented, and usually boring to anyone who was not there. I know I have tried. So here's my answer...

Sometimes, stitch can tell a much bigger story than a single frame ever could, and that's what picture viewers want sometimes. And sometimes, its what you as the photographer need to be able to tell your story. Stitch allows you to put together the images into one big photo which is easier for the individual to process on their own. It is a pretty neat feeling to be able to scroll across a scene that just won't quit at your own pace; and keep scrolling, or go back to see something. More so than a photo, its like actually being there and being able to look around. Its almost like Virtual Reality. A well done stitch photo can be pretty exciting.

Stitch isn't perfect. There's a lot of new aspects to consider when shooting a stitch. white balance / lighting can change drastically from one end of a stitch to the next. This can cause noticeable seam areas where the photos were stitched together. your subject can change, which would cause visual anomalies. parallel lines can also look very strange after a photo has been stitched because of the corrections needed to make the photos stitch together. Keeping the camera panning in a parallel fashion can also be challenging. If you start and finish at different heights, you may get a stair step or jagged picture, reducing the amount of prime area to make a good shot. Furthermore, some subjects (in my experience to date) are just not stitchable (or at least VERY DIFFICULT). Large and awesome panning cloud formations have been the most difficult for me to capture. there were a few that took up large portions of the sky, and because of the lens curvature when panned out, came out looking very unacceptable, deformed, or could not be stitched at all.

My stitches. In any case, I have been taking and posting more stitches lately. Even if there are slight imperfections in them, I find that it is much better to tell the entire picture story with a slightly imperfect stitch, than to not tell the story at all, or to tell it inadequately in only a single frame. The human mind can usually overlook the blemishes, and see the finished product. So think of most of my stitches as stories instead of picture perfect artwork.


Copyright
I have placed copyrights on the pictures so that if you do download them and give them to someone else, it should be universally recognized where the picture originated from and who owns it.
If you would like a copy of a picture without a copyright notice (or maybe a smaller one), let me know, and we can discuss it.
Please do not remove the copyrights from these pictures.

Here are a few good links I found about copyrights:
10 Big Myths about copyright explained
Copyright and Fair Use
Graphics for Web pages
US Copyright Office


Linking
If you would like to link to my site (even directly to the pictures), I no longer mind. That is, as long as you do not obscure the identification or copyright displayed on the pictures. Send me an email if you have any questions. (I try to put my email address at the bottom of each page on this site. Just click on my name.).
For the advanced users, the page main is laden with anchors (view source) that can help you direct people to a certain part of the page. You will see the anchors are derivatives of dates and picture or page names.


Pop-ups
I use popups when you click on a link to someone else's site from my site (this doesn't happen very often). That way, you can just close their page and you're back where you left off on my page. If you have pop-ups disabled in your browser, such links might not work for you, and you will have to type in the address manually.


Request a photo
If you would like a picture turned into a windows desktop or higher resolution for some reason, let me know, and we can discuss it.



most photos
Steve Warrick