This Week’s Project 365 with Sunsets and Storms

Abstract Sunrise Out My Office Window

For the last few weeks when I finally got around to reviewing the images for my Project 365 (see gallery of all P365 images here) I always seem to have a unique sunset or sunrise photo I like. The above shot wasn’t actually an official P365 image, but I really like how the abstract, somewhat pastel, sunrise turned out. This shot above was taken with my iPhone out of the window of my office-study around 6am while I was doing my daily routine of reading.

This week was a super busy week all around, and the images are really from all over the place. Two images in this set are part of larger posts, one of Deborah, which was posted yesterday, and another below is one image in a full set of images to be posted later in the week. These images represent my week well, and they are really all over the place, but my favorite image really has nothing to do with good photography, it has to do with the power of a yellow sticky note. I’m not sure I’ve ever received a more encouraging note on a computer left for me to fix. On a day I had almost no extra time to do anything I was handed a computer that didn’t work because of an unfortunate coffee spill directly on the computer’s keyboard. This note, and the fact that the computer was actually able to be cleaned up and get it fixed within about an hour was such a great end to my work week.

Update on Photo Project 365 From June 2012 ::

Project 365 June 2012 Update

Project 365 [Day 199] Waiting for the Rain in the Parking Lot

It’s the first part of July and I finally got around to updating my June Project 365 Photos (read about my Project 365 here). I am up to day 215, as of June 30th, which makes me 58.74% of the way through this project. Sometimes it feels like I’m taking the same photo every day, but I keep trying to find a unique image each day, and so far I have 215 unique images over my my Flickr gallery. My favorite shot (that was not published previously on my site) for the month of June is above, probably because it is a little more abstract. This huge storm came up while I was sitting in the Publix parking lot waiting for Deb to come out, and this shot was the result.

I still have mixed feelings about this project. It’s a pain in the neck, it takes time, it’s every single day with no break, and it’s a unbelievably accurate look at your life one photo at a time. Just like all photography, when I look at each individual image, I can remember great details about each day, just because I took one single photo. The mind is an amazing thing, and images create a very strong reminder in the brain, causing us to remember details we would otherwise have long forgotten. I know there is some psychological reasoning behind this, but once that image is taken, it takes certain details and moves them from our short-term RAM memory and places them in the long-term storage. That’s what I love about photography.

Just 151 more days and photos to take, and I can’t wait for November 29th when I can say it is finished. You can see a few previous blog posts on Project 365 here. To see the full gallery over on Flickr just go to

Google Drive vs Dropbox, Amazon, or Microsoft Sky Drive for Cloud Storage?

Google Drive Storage

There was some great news from Google this week concerning cloud storage, and while it isn’t up to what I want in replacing your hard drive, Google Drive is a great step forward in drive cloud storage with 5GB free, and apparently I’m grandfathered in to my 20GB $5/year plan (see screenshot below). Finally Google put some effort into developing something we can truly use instead of trying to beat Facebook or Twitter at social networking. Eventually, this type of storage is going to do away with our need to keep purchasing more and more hard drives to store our files with only a small flash drive needed on the system for the OS. I have almost 8TB’s of data stored on local hard drives at this point, so this lousy 5GB of storage won’t help that, but it’s a start.

If you aren’t familiar with using cloud storage, until now, there was really only one real option, and that was Dropbox. Yes there are those like and Amazon Cloud Drive (provide 5 GB), and Microsoft’s SkyDrive (offers 25 GB) who just made some nice improvements this week, probably in anticipation of the release of Google Drive. Each of those have some significant disadvantages, and I don’t ever really consider them to be viable options because of their limitations or issues. Apple’s iCloud is great for backing up devices, but it doesn’t even offer an option for drive storage in the cloud. While I love Dropbox, the basic computer user still isn’t really familiar with Dropbox, and they are with Google. That doesn’t make Google better than Dropbox, but it does make Google Drive easier to integrate with your friends or family to share files. So which one is better, Google Drive or Dropbox? There services seem to be almost identical, but Google has some significant advantages over Dropbox.

Google Drive Storage 20GB $5 year

The biggest news, at least to me, about the Google Drive launch in the fact that they are going to allow you to keep up to 100GB of data stored for a reasonable price of $5.99, it’s just too bad once you get above that, it’s outrageous, but that too will change. This is great on multiple levels, and something probably only Google could do with some massive data centers that companies like Dropbox, and perhaps even Microsoft, just don’t have. When you are looking at possible server farm potential for cloud storage, the biggest possibilities right now are Google, Amazon, and of course Apple who just built a massive cloud server farm in North Carolina, which is even visible from space now. All of this is good for those who want all files stored in the cloud instead of on local home hard drives that fail.

Advantages and Disadvantages in Google Drive vs Dropbox

  • More storage – 5GB of Storage on Google compared to 2GB on Dropbox (you can gain more on Dropbox)
  • Blanket Existing Coverage  – most of us already use Google for just about everything from email to Internet searches
  • Google Recognition – sometimes this is negative, but in this case, everyone has heard of Google, tech-nerds know Dropbox
  • Integration and Development in OS – both have ability to run within MAC OS-X or Windows but Google has greater development potential. The biggest plus here is with Google Docs and other Google products.
  • Automatic Syncing – both have this as well, that’s the point of cloud storage
  • Works with iOS and Android – both have this too (Google Drive says coming soon on iOS), but the Dropbox versions could use some better features, hopefully Google will do this
  • Backup – this is a big question for me, what happens with my account and my files if the company goes Chapter 11. Google has less chance to do this.
  • Potential Increases in Storage – Google is known for increasing storage size constantly, and to me, the more storage the better
  • Integration with Google Apps – Not sure how soon this is on their radar, but at work we use a Google App account
  • No URL Links – Dropbox just released this feature this week, a feature that lets you have a unique URL for each file. I see no mention about this in the Google Drive information but it has to be in the works, they couldn’t have just overlooked this feature. For now, I only see this available on Dropbox.

For now we all have to wait until Google actually rolls it out instead of just giving us the information, and of course, they developed the Android OS before the iOS, so us Apple iPhone and iPad users will have to wait even longer. Still, it’s a step in the right cloud storage direction!

The Dallas Skyline at Night on Our Arrival

So we made it to Dallas, just a quick 12-13 hour drive and we arrived. The trip was pleasantly uneventful and after dinner I was thrilled our hosts wanted to stop at their favorite skyline view so I could take some photos. I love photographing traffic at night, it has a unique motion all it’s own, but being here in Dallas standing over the I-30 bridge with a large tripod looked conspicuous to someone driving by and it only took about 10 minutes before the Dallas Police Department showed up. For once the police didn’t make me pack it up and go home, instead she just wanted to know how much my camera cost? The three above were my favorite of that shoot. At dinner tonight I found out I am going to get to go to the PGA Byron Nelson Championship, so hopefully I will get my first decent PGA Tour shots while I’m there, after that it’s Polka time.

Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium Photos :: Friday Feet

City of Atlanta Street

CNN Center in Atlanta

Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

Deb in the Atlanta Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

Today for my Friday Feet post we made the drive over to Atlanta and finally went to see the Georgia Aquarium.  It has been on the bucket list for a while and it was nice to get out of Auburn for a short period of time today.  It is easy to forget what kind of traffic issues we have here in Auburn (none unless a football game is going on) until you drive into downtown Atlanta.

Deb and I did make our way over to the CNN Center for lunch and walked around Centennial Park in Atlanta before making our way over to the Georgia Aquarium.  The Georgia Aquarium is a collection of several different displays totaling an 8 million gallon display of fish from all over the world.  It is the largest aquarium in the country (so I have been told) and well worth the trip if you are going to be in the Atlanta area.

I did think it would take a little longer to go through than it did.  All in all it was about 2 hours to walk through all the displays, and the jellyfish display was really the most impressive tank out of all the aquariums in the building.  It was a bit pricy to me at $27 a ticket and I wanted to see the new exhibit with the Titanic artifacts but for an additional $7 we opted out.  I actually would have paid the extra $7 to see the museum on the Titanic, but the kicker was I had to leave my bag outside and couldn’t take any photos in the museum.  Since I had all my camera equipment with me and was there to take photos, we decided to leave it for another day.  What I found really great is the Georgia Aquarium is actually on Twitter (as @GeorgiaAquarium), way to go.

It was nice to spend my day off with Deb, a long overdue few hours of time together today, and we managed to do something new for Friday Feet.  It does take some effort to get out of the house and do something.  One wouldn’t think so, but it is far easier to just sit and soak or just do more of the same thing each week, but why do what is easiest… but… coming up with new ideas is not always easy, so I may do what Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs has done and take suggestions from my readers.  Any suggestions for a Friday Feet post you would like to see?  Just let me know in the comments below.

Hope you enjoy the photos of the day.  You can see the full shoot I uploaded on the Georgia Aquarium and Atlanta on my flickr page gallery here.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Lake City Colorado Wide-Angle Water Landscape

Lake City Overlook

One of the things I probably dis-like the most about blogs is having to clean house, but, this weekend I went through the tedious process of implementing a new design, updating all the categories for each post, and changing some previous posts to display the full size images this design will accommodate.  I really think that much of the details in photography is lost in viewing small images, so, for those still on dial-up, I apologize now.  From this point forward I will be displaying my images on up to 900px wide in some cases, like the image below of Lake City lake in Colorado (although I will try to keep the file size as small as possible).

The image above was taken in August of 2005 in Lake City Colorado.  There is an overlook on the forest road where you can stop and hike up the side of the mountain. Image data: Camera, Nikon D2X, ISO-100, Focal length 35mm @ f/16

This is one of those scenes that has probably been photographed a million times but is still so beautiful that you just have to stop and take a shot.  This particular shot I did do a bit of hiking off the main road.  I climbed up to the top of the ridge overlooking the lake and the most gorgeous colors appeared.

I rarely think the best shot is in the foot pegs of the tripod that just left (or where everyone else tends to take the same shot), and in this case I was greatly rewarded.  The drive from Creede to Lake City is one of the most wonderful drives found in the country, so if you ever have a chance, take the road right out of Creede and take a slow drive over several passes until you drop down into Lake City.

Happy Labor Day to everyone.