This and That

Random bits of my life

Archive for April 7th, 2010

Quick and Dirty Blog Backup

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 7, 2010

I just read Sister Diane’s Archive-Along posting about blog backup. And, yes, I don’t do it as often as I should, so I exported my blog, saved it to my hard drive and mailed it to a couple email accounts as well.

I have another method for backing up individual postings. I don’t recommend this as your only backup method because it has major limitations:

  • It can’t be used for actually reconstructing your whole blog unless you are prepared to do a lot of cutting and pasting. However, it will save your text and photos. (Don’t forget to back up your Flickr account if you’re linking to photos there.)
  • It saves your posts when they are published, not when they are updated.

    It’s major advantage is that it is pretty brainless and, once in place, requires zero effort. The instructions that follow are for WordPress users.

    1. Go to My Dashboard.
    2. Click the Widgets link on the Appearance menu.
    3. Blog Archive

    4. Drag the “Blog Subscriptions: Email Subscriptions” widget to the sidebar of your layout.
    5. Blog Archive

    6. Go to your site and click “Sign me up!”
    7. Blog Archive

    8. Set up a filter in your email account to save these postings automatically to their own folder (or, for Gmail users, to label and archive them).

    One word of warning: this works even for postings that you delete. So if you use your blog to rant about your boss or your spouse and then delete the posting in the morning, your email subscribers will have already received it.

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      My Favourite March Photos

      Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 7, 2010

      To be honest, March was a tough month for photographing. With Passover and all its preparations, there were times when I really had to hunt for something to point my camera at. The worst day was the night after the end of Passover. I was tired, had a million things to do (laundry, switching the kitchen to non-Passover utensils and dishes), and the holiday ended late so there wasn’t anything particularly photogenic in the vicinity. That’s why I photographed some bottles to be returned for recycling.

      But, on the bright side, I got a flash for the first time, a Speedlite 580 EXII. It’s one of those things that I never thought I’d need (since I love low light and ambient light photography) and now I wonder how I did without it. I also spent half a day in the Old City of Jerusalem, so there were plenty of good things to photograph. Luckily, it was a slightly cloudy day (= more interesting sky).

      But first the Speedlite…. Wow — it’s great for photos of frozen water drops! I had the tap turned on a little harder than I intended, so I got these unintentionally elongated water drops.

      Pepper and Water

      During one of the March rain storms, there was a double rainbow. Since I hadn’t left home for work, I stood on my balcony, shot three frames, and created this panorama. I’ve shot double rainbows before but never an entire rainbow.

      Double Rainbow Panorama

      I photographed these tourists with my longest (250mm) lens. I stood on one of the stone benches at the back of the women’s section and got this shot close to the front. It just struck me as very funny, all these tourists with their cameras pointed at each other, over the barrier.

      How many cameras...?

      I haven’t done HDR for a while. When I did the Old City one I must have been in a mood for silly effects, so it’s a bit unnatural, to say the least. I may redo it someday, with less extreme tone mapping.

      Old City of Jerusalem

      What I love about HDR is the way it reveals detail normally hidden in shadows. This photo of a Chihuly installation was taken in the foyer of the new Aish haTorah building.

      Chihuly Installation

      I’m not sure what April will be like with my DSLR in the shop. It is still under warranty and was sent via registered mail this morning to Ro’im haOlam in Petach Tikva. Stay tuned. I did manage to borrow a camera body (an old XT), which is a relief because it’s not easy to find someone willing to lend a camera on Yom Atzma’ut. Rental wasn’t an option — too difficult logistically. There’s only one place in Israel that rents photography equipment, that I know of, and it’s  in Tel Aviv. I can’t get there by 10 a.m. by bus from Maale Adumim (if it were in Jerusalem, that’s another matter). That’s not even taking into consideration the 150 NIS/day holiday/weekend rental fee.

      Now I’m scrounging CF cards because my camera uses SDHC cards and the owner of the XT only has a single 2 Gb card. The cameras also use different batteries but I should be okay with the one battery because the Speedlite uses 4 AA batteries. I wish I could try it out this week but the owner wants to use it this weekend.

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      Posted in HDR, Israel, panoramas, photography | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »