One a Day Project Complete


My One a Day project is done… DONE, I tell you!

The complete list of thumbnails is here.

The short list of my favs is here with descriptions here.

In no particular order, here are a few things that I’ve learned over the last year:

• Flowers make good subjects: they’re colorful, usually hold still, and don’t complain when you point a camera at them.

• It’s not the equipment; it’s not the photographer; it’s not the subject; it’s all three.

• Really good shots take planning, sometimes luck.

• Use a tripod.

• Abstract art, patterns, and textures are cool.

• Shoot like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t.

• Don’t use the on-camera flash unless it’s in direct sunlight.

• Off-camera lighting rocks.

• Photoshop is great; but doesn’t make up for poor shots.

• Cameraphones are convenient for emergencies but take absolutely horrible pictures.

• Point and shoot cameras are also convenient and take mediocre shots.

• Shoot in Av, Tv, or Manual; never fully automatic modes.

• DSLR is the only way to go.

• To capture your subject, get close. Are you close? Now get closer. The picture of your wife and kids 30 feet in front of the camera and the neat mountain background would be better if you either 1) got as close as possible to your wife and kids or 2) removed them from the picture and took a shot of the mountains.

• For cool landscapes, get low — on the ground or half an inch above the water.

• Take your shots from unexpected angles.

• Unless you’re shooting street-photography, don’t just stand up and take a shot — that’s how everyone sees everyday.

• Shooting toddlers? Get down on their level… now get a bit lower.

• Wide angle lenses rock.

• Tele lenses are great when you have a tripod and a stationary subject.

• If you’re on a public sidewalk, street, or park, nobody can tell you what you can or can’t shoot. If you can see it, it’s fair game.

• If you’re traveling, take an extra memory card and battery.

• Read Strobist and any other photography periodical, magazine, blog, or website you can find.

• If people tell you your photos suck, they probably aren’t the best judges of photography.

• Shoot continuous.

• Shoot RAW when possible.

• Never, ever, ever, use a flash directly into an infant’s eyes — even that small on-camera flash can do serious damage to their eyes. Use an off-camera flash instead.

• Double-check your camera’s settings after a day’s shooting and set them back to your personal defaults so you’re ready to shoot generic stuff as soon as you pick up your camera tomorrow.

• Auto white balance never gets it right.

• Buy and use a WhiBal card.

• Process on a Mac — iPhoto is included and more than capable for the majority of photographers.

• Learn the rules of photography then learn how and when to break them.

• HDR is nice when not overdone.

• Blog your photos — Flickr or .Mac are both good for that.

• Landscapes are better in HDR.

• Learn about your white balance, which one you should use for each environment, or how to work around it by shooting RAW and using a white reference card like a WhiBal to post-process the balance.

• If you’re working in an ultra-dusty environment, be prepared to either throw out your point and shoot camera afterwards or clean your sensor on your DSLR.

• Learn how to clean your own DSLR sensor (actually its low-pass filter).

• Use a polarizer for your landscapes.

• Shoot black and white once in a while.

• Make time to shoot — if you already have a very busy lifestyle, maybe a One a Day project isn’t for you. You might find yourself simply taking shots of nothing more than your daily routine.

• Find a friend to shoot with.

• If you see somebody else’s photos that you like, it’s okay to reverse engineer them, but…

• Do your own thing: don’t constantly try to mimic someone else’s work.

• The Nikon D40 is a great first DSLR for someone moving away from pocket-sized point and shoot cameras.

• Shoot your subject, not the scene.

• Shooting pets takes patience, especially if they’re awake and want to play.

• Dog snot will wash off of your lens.

• Autofocus will almost never hit what you’re looking at.

• Security guards and property managers cannot take away your camera, its memory card, or force you to delete any photos.

• There are no laws on any books that make it illegal to photograph any buildings.

• There are copyright laws that, in very few circumstances may carry some weight in your shooting, but the copyright holder must prove that you’ve actually infringed on their copyrights — in other words, if you’re on public property, keep shooting.

• Traffic accidents are fair game.

• Shoot more photos than you think you want or need.

• Change a few settings and shoot a few more shots.

HP MediaVault Shares and RedHat Linux


Some time ago, I posted about how to connect to your HP Media Vault with Ubuntu. The problem — well, one of the problems, for there are many assorted problems in the world — the problem with that method was that it would only technically work with Ubuntu, not with too many other variations of Linux.

I’ve recently started playing with RedHat Enterprise 5 and Fedora 7 and the Ubuntu method won’t work with them. The solution, however, is easier than you might imagine.

Of course, you need to create your empty mount point somewhere on your machine. So, as root, do the following:

mkdir /mnt/sharename.

I used something logical:

mkdir /mnt/binaries

Next, edit /etc/fstab and add the following line:

//ipaddress/sharename /mnt/sharename cifs defaults,credentials=/root/.smbpassword,rw 0 0

Of course, you’ll need to replace “ipaddress” with the actual IP of your vault and “sharename” with the obvious.

Don’t forget to go to /root or some other appropriate location and create the .smbpassword file and give it

and replace “uname” and “upass” with your vault username and password as needed. Also, be sure to change permissions on the .smbpassword file appropriately:

chmod 600 .smbpassword

Then try to mount the share…

mount -a

There’s probably an easy way to simply use NFS to mount the vault, but if you want user-level security, you’re out of luck and will need to use SMB/CIFS as NFS doesn’t support user authentication.

8 Signs It’s Time to Quit


1. You don’t fit in. Your values don’t match the company’s. If your colleagues are “dishonest and focused on getting ahead regardless of legal or moral barriers,” Bayer says, it’s time to quit before an Enron-style scandal sinks the ship.

2. Your boss doesn’t like you and you don’t like him or her. If your boss never asks your opinion, and never wants to chat or have lunch with you, and if you disagree with her agenda and dislike her style, your days are numbered. Adds Bayer: “If you’ve ever done something that undermined your boss, you might as well get out now.”

3. Your peers don’t like you. Feeling isolated, gossiped about, and excluded from the inner workings of the organization is a very bad sign, as is feeling that you’re not part of the team and wouldn’t socialize with your colleagues even if they asked you.

4. You don’t get assignments that demonstrate the full range of your abilities. “Watching all the good assignments go to others, while you’re given the ones that play to your weaknesses or are beneath your professional level, should tell you something,” says Bayer. Likewise, if it seems the boss doesn’t trust your judgment, you’re in trouble.

5. You always get called upon to do the “grunt work.” Everybody has to take on a dull or routine task now and then, but if you are constantly being singled out to do the work no one else wants, alarm bells should ring.

6. You are excluded from meetings your peers are invited to. Sound familiar? If it’s painfully clear that your ideas aren’t valued, why stick around?

7. Everyone on your level has an office. You have a cubicle in the hallway. Bayer notes that, whatever your title, your digs can speak volumes about your real status in the organization. If your peers have offices with windows and you’re asked to move into a broom closet – no matter what the official explanation – start cleaning out your desk.

8. You dread going to work and feel like you’re developing an ulcer. Ah, here’s yet another of your symptoms, and a particularly nasty one at that.