Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Currently the Stevens Pass area is under winter storm conditions with blizzards and dangerous avalanche conditions. The access road to Scenic has been blocked by plowed snow berms. Currently, there is not easy access to Scenic except a backcountry snowshoe hike. As the one responsible for access to Scenic I request that everyone stay away for the next few days until conditions improve.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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Saturday, December 6, 2008
This blog is one way . . . my primary means of sharing a naturist journal. Yet a blog is mainly a writing tool depicting a lineal passage through time . . . the reader travels with you as you go from one experience to the next. Seeing where you've been . . . what experiences excited you in the past is best done with a photo album. A little bit of planning makes this process easier:
- Organize and manage your photos with a program like Picasa Photo
- Sign up for an Online Photo Storage account like Flickr. Give some thought to how you would lay collections and sets out
- Batch edit the image metadata of your photos using a program like Exifer or PhotoMe
- Cleanup and enhance your images with your favorite editor
- Consider copyright and the use of your images
- Geo-locate your images using GeoSetter
- Upload your images to Flickr
Organize Images on your Computer
Get an Online Photo Account
My experiences with online photo albums have been mixed in the past, and for me the judgment of 'best' is still out. Blogger (this service from Google) uses Picasa with a sizable amount of storage. I've been happy with Picasa (both the online and desktop interfaces that do a good job of sorting and categorizing my photos) but recently I've come back to Yahoo's Flickr service as that service matures and provides better control of who sees content . . . the so-called Permissions and Safety Filters. It used to be difficult to share photos containing nudity on Flickr but now you can set a Safety rating of Safe, Moderate, or Restricted and Flickr will allow access to your images depending on the visitor's stated level of content they are willing to view and the Permissions you have assigned. Safe, of course, means no one is going to have a problem with the image. Restricted is for stuff that is likely to 'offend' and probably belongs on a porn site and not a widely-popular sevice like Flickr. Moderate is in-between and is fine for images of simple nudity. With images assigned Permissions and a Safety rating when I upload them, I'm pretty much assured that those who view my images are not caught off-guard by the nudity that I consider an essential part of the journey. I don't like the fact that my images have to be 'filtered' but that's far better than the old system of requiring all nudity to be locked up in private sets viewable upon invitation only. The new system puts the onus on the uploader to correctly categorize their photos as Safe, Moderate, or Restricted; and the viewer setting a Safety Filter. Lacking a viable alternative I can live with Flickr's TOS.
Use MetaTags to your Advantage
- Keyword where (Index-Galena, Sunset Mine, Wild Sky Wilderness, Trout Creek, Washington, Cascades)
- Keyword the activity (cold weather nude hike)
- Keyword a time frame (Dec 2008)
- Keyword features (old log bridge, old mine site)
- Keyword the nudity factor (nude, naked, nudism, naturism) though a Safety Flag of Moderate will keep those images from unexpected eyes (Flickr's "Take Me To The Kittens")
Cleanup and Enhance your Images
Once I have my metadata in shape I will launch my favored photo editor from within Exifer. The reason for this is because Exifer will save an image's metadata and restore it after editing is done. As noted above, many editors do change the metadata or add their own information. My favorite editor is G.I.M.P. but use whatever one you like.
Today's digital cameras are pretty faithful in recording the image as you see it. However, some manipulation will clean up slight color imbalances, blur and out-of-focus images. The G.I.M.P. Heal Tool is a one-step process to auto-correct images. Many other effects are available . . . this program is fully functional, open-source, and FREE! However, it does have a steep learning curve.
Picasa from Google, which can also organise and manage your photos on your computer, also has a photo re-touch function . . . easy, one-click fixes to many common problems; and enhancements like to color balance filter to warm up the colors in an image like the effect on the first screenshot at the beginning of this article. Picasa is also free from Google.
An additional note on editing JPeg images. The JPeg format is what is known as a lossy compression format. The image size is reduced to a manageable size by the reduction of image information that, presumedly, is not visible. Every time you save to the JPeg format you lose a little bit more of the image quality. So make all your changes first and then save. Or save to a lossless format such as a bitmap (BMP) if you must take a break.
Retain Rights to your Images
Exiting G.I.M.P. you are returned to Exifer and your metadata restored (assuming your have kept the default settings. Metadata is not readily available to a viewer of your photos and you may want to note some information (like copyright) up front. The process of doing this is called watermarking, as I've done on the example below, using Exifer. Of course, if someone wants to steal your image and use it as their own it is a simple matter to crop the image and leave the visible watermark out . . . though they'd have to go a step further and edit or strip the EXIF/IPTC metadata encoded within the image file if they wanted to be complete.
There are more elaborate solutions to protect your images if you are willing to pay a price. One of them is called Digimarc which inserts an invisible digital watermark as part of the image. You can't see it but a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop can read and write those watermarks. Digimarc primarily sells a tracking service that crawls the web noting where images with embedded digital watermarks are located, telling you if any of yours are posted out there, presumedly without your permission. Unless you have high-value images which you need to protect I don't see the value of digital watermarking that can only be done with the expensive Adobe Photoshop suite; and the added cost of tracking your images for a steep $80 per year does not seem like a good value to me. Likewise the value of a visual watermark may or may not be appropriate for you . . . for me, I prefer to keep my images unadorned with extraneous text.
On the issue of copyright and image ownership, you could just simply state copyright and be done with it. The image is yours and a conscientious user would ask permission before using or posting it somewhere else. No copyright within the metadata and you'd have a difficult time demanding someone take down your image if it were being used inappropriately. However, standard copyright also hinders the sharing of your photos.
One option that is becoming very popular is to use a new copyright convention called the Creative Commons License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://nudehiker.blogspot.com.
With the Creative Commons license, you state and retain ownership of your image but you also grant certain usage rights up front. For example, all my images have been tagged (using Exifer) as CC Atrib NC ND firstname.lastname@example.org. What I am doing is stating that:
- This image is covered by a Creative Commons License
- The image belongs to me
- The image can be used with Attribution
- No commercial uses may be made of this image, and
- No derivative works may be made of this image
Add Location Information to your Images
Perhaps the funnest part of Web 2 Photo Sharing is geo-tagging your images so that others can see where they were taken. For geolocation I like to use a nifty freeware program called GeoSetter. GeoSetter can also edit your EXIF/IPTC metadata but it's main purpose is to add geographical lat and logs to your image so that they can be displayed in applications like Google Maps and Flickr Maps. GeoSetter can add geolocation by importing tracks from GPS receivers, or you may manually note a location by clicking on an interactive Google map.
Using the interactive mode by clicking on the map is intuitive and easy . . . assuming you remember where you took the photograph. Attaching your GPS receiver and importing a GPS track takes a little bit of planning . . . and adjustment, but is more accurate, faster on a large group of images, and also adds a bearing that applications that support this datum can use to indicate what direction the camera was pointed.
The planning part means you have to insure your GPS receiver and the digital camera have synchronized times. They rarely do so I take a reference picture with a GPS waypoint and later use the GeoSetter dialog boxes to set an offset to be applied. This keeps all the images synchronized with the times on the GPS track.
Upload your Images to your Online Photo Account
Once uploaded you can rearrange and perform minor adjustments to make you images more accessible. Tags, titles and descriptions will be automatically generated for you based on the EXIT/ITPC metadata saved with each file. Any photos that have been geo-coded will get added to your Flickr Map (if you've enabled this feature) and viewable depending on the Safety and Permissions for this image.
Unless you have a Flickr account and are logged on, you can only view images marked as 'Safe'.
A Flickr mashup called FlickrRiver is an alternative viewing method that will likewise display images marked 'safe'. You still have to log into a Flickr account to view images containing nudity and marked as 'moderate'.
Anyone who has a Yahoo account can signup for a Flickr account in moments here.
Enjoy the photos . . . please feel free to comment on them (constructively and with good intentions). Comments let me know that people enjoy riding along with the adventure and perhaps come to know that nude is not lewd.
Now get to work and start sharing your own memories of nudism with others.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Lee R. Baxandall
(January 26, 1935 - November 28, 2008)
Lee R. Baxandall died in
Born January 26, 1935, in
After graduating from
Upon the death of his father in 1970, Lee returned to
Lee was also an ardent and knowledgeable collector of art. Perhaps his most important contribution in this realm was his recovery and promotion of the long-ignored works of Robert Koehler, a 19th Century German-American artist who’s most significant painting, “The Strike,” depicts a unique moment in the history of the labor movement in
In addition to his prolific writings on naturism, and his plays, essays, poems, commentaries and works of aesthetic criticism, Lee was a noted translator of the German playwright Bertolt Brecht. Lee’s many books include Radical Perspectives in the Arts, Marxism and Aesthetics, and (with Stefan Morawski)Marx & Engels on Literature and Art.
Lee is survived by his wife, Johanna Moore Baxandall of Oshkosh; his son, Phineas Baxandall (from a previous marriage to Rosalyn Fraad Baxandall) and grandchildren, Julian and Nell Baxandall, of
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. at the Seefeld Funeral and Cremation Services,
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Please visit www.seefeldfuneral.com to send online condolences to the family.
Seefeld Funeral and