Showing pictures using map tools

Usually, we present our pictures on the internet by means of a digital album. In a previous blog I mentioned jAlbum, a perfect software tool with many skins to  customize the album. For nature pictures that I take during a hike I was looking for something that would give a better impression of the surroundings.
During a short hike near Laguna Llanganuco (also discussed in this blog) I took my GPS to keep track of the trail. If the time in the camera is well-synchronized with the time given by the GPS it is quite easy to assign geo-coordinates to the individual pictures. I did so with Photo Mechanics.
The nice thing about Laguna Llanganuco is that it is in a rather small valley surrounded by mountains being part of the Cordillera Negra (no snow because of the influence of the ocean) and that during the hike I could see Huascarán, the highest mountain of Peru. It is part of the Cordillera Blanca (eternal snow). It would be nice to show the terrain combined with the picture to better enjoy the experience I had.
After looking around for some time I found this nice WordPress plugin called WP GPX Maps. The viewer can choose between different types of maps (top left icon): regular map, satelite, map with altitude lines (OCM) etc, in many different languages. To get a better view of the map click on the white icon (top right, left icon) to go to full screen mode. It is also possible to zoom in or out to see more detail or more of the surrounding area. Of course, it also shows the hike.
NextGen Galleries is another WordPress plugin that nicely integrates with WP GPX Maps. It allows for uploading the geotagged pictures in a gallery (which is not made visible). With a simple command this gallery is easily integrated into the map with the hike (as you can see at the top).
In full screen mode it is easy to see where the 3 pictures where taken (it only misses the direction in which they were taken). Combined with the satelite image it gives a much better impression of what I experienced during the hike than a traditional album. Enjoy.
Update: licenses of all three pictures of Laguna Llanganuco have been sold.

Stock Images

First sale on Werk aan de Muur

Dom Tower, Utrecht
Dom Tower, Utrecht

Werk aan de Muur sells pictures on canvas, wood, Xpozer etc of photographers that have a shop within Werk aan de Muur. Photographers can open their own shop, upload pictures, and decide themselves how much they want to earn. A very interesting concept.
Since April 2015 I have opened such a shop (see also my previous blog on this topic). By now I have uploaded 50+ pictures. Some of them are popular, others are not.
The team behind Werk aan de Muur selects certain pictures to belong to their Collection. They don’t tell you, however, you can find out by scrolling through What is new in the Collection. A pleasant side-effect of being selected is that more customers will view this picture.
As it turns out two of my pictures are part of the Collection: Dom Tower of Utrecht and Machu Picchu. As a consequence they are viewed a lot more than other pictures. Until now no sales. However, this week I got an email saying that the Dom Tower was sold to be used for an Xpozer. My first sale on Werk aan de Muur. I am very excited about that.
Have a look at Werk aan de Muur and get high quality art on your wall. Many good artists sell their art there. Please feel free to suggest more pictures to be added to my shop. Enjoy.

Rating my own pictures

The foreground is messy and the high grass blocks the view
The foreground is messy and the high grass blocks the view

At Laguna Llanganuco, during my last trip to Peru, I took a hike for about an hour along the lake. The setting was impressive:

  • a beautiful lake with a greenish color,
  • surrounded by mountains, some of them with snow,
  • a deep blue sky, hardly any clouds,
  • a view of the top of the Huascarán (highest mountain of Peru).

Altogether, really overwhelming. During this hike I took 82 pictures (actually, a bit more, however, a handful I threw out in a first round because they were out of focus). I selected only 7 for Dreamstime; all of them were accepted. The others I did not submit. The question is why.
To answer this question I rated my own pictures. Normally, I have a quick glance and reject most of them without making explicit why. It has become intuition. Now, I forced myself to make the reason for rejection explicit. Here are the reasons why:

  • Lack of composition, like lack of balance, blocking flow of the eyes, lack of depth, distracting parts of the picture etc
  • Technical flaws, like out of focus, sun flare etc
  • Snapshots, no other interest than for my own recollection

What is left over are the Winners and close to winners (of which 7 were submitted to and accepted by Dreamstime). Sometimes the differences were minimal.
Here you can view all the pictures I took at Laguna Llanganuco including my comments. And here and here are the Dreamstime pictures (including pictures from another location).
Stock Images

Sharing photo albums and jAlbum

Market at Chinchero, sacred valley of the Incas, Cuzco
Market at Chinchero, sacred valley of the Incas, Cuzco

After the photoshoot, selecting the high quality pictures, and processing them it is time to share them. In the past there was only one way to share: printing on paper. Although this is still a fascinating way of sharing, nowadays, in the digital era, there are many places to digitally share your pictures with everybody: social media, photo websites, microstock websites, your own NAS etc.
Here I will explain my own setup, hardware and software. At home I have a Synology DS412+. It is a NAS, which stands for Network-Attached Storage. It runs 24/7 and allows me to access my pictures from wherever I am. For convenience, it has its own domain name It allows me to share pictures with specific (groups of) people, for example family, the models I work with, or with everybody on the internet.
For sharing albums I use jAlbum. It is a very convenient software tool to easily create and maintain photo and video albums. I just drop the pictures in a specific folder on my iMAC, decide about the order, select the album cover, select a particular skin, make and finetune the album, and finally upload the album to my NAS or my jAlbum account. Currently, I use Photoblogger as a skin because the albums look nice both on a computer as well as on an iPad. It has a lot of nice and convenient options, one of them is that it gives a slide show in a tiny window as a preview of the album. Another one is that it makes search based on keywords possible, and it also supports selling pictures. I have not used that yet.
Every time I write a blog about a recent photoshoot I make a small photo album to accompany that. With jAlbum it is just a matter of minutes to make one.
Enjoy looking at the photo album of my Dreamstime pictures. At the top is a crop of a picture taken during my last trip to Peru.
Stock Images