Welcome to KnickerPics
Pictures displayed here were taken mostly at Knickerbiker rides and hikes in and around San Diego and Knickerbiker tours around the world.
They are displayed using various web techniques because I am still experimenting, trying to find the best way to do this. Some of the albums are located on remote sites. I had to put them where I could when I had limited space. Now I have more space and shouldn't have to park in other neighborhoods.
I hope you enjoy seeing these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.
Please select an album from the list to the left and begin viewing. Enjoy.
20 May, 2009
How is it done?
Well the explanation below has become hopelessly out of date. Much has changed since then. I'll try to bring it up-to-date.
The camera I usually use now is a Canon PowerShot A560. It has a 4X zoom. It is not so much different than many other camera's in its price range. The photos it takes are fine for putting up on the web. It is rated at 7.1 mega pixels. The files I shoot are in the range of 1 to 1.5 megs. After cropping and resizing and any other processing I do the photos are 50 to 150Kbytes. This is up from less than 50KBytes in earlier times. By now most people must have broadband connections to the internet so file sizes can be greater and still download quickly.
The software hasn't changed much. For graphic software I still use Paint Shop Pro, I'm up to version 10, and Irfanview. Irfanview is still free and still the greatest bargain available in graphics software. I use Irfanview to help me select the photos to use. I open the selected photos in Paint Shop Pro and process them. As a minimum they are resized. Usually they are cropped. Often they are sharpened. Often wrinkles are smoothed, faces are brightened, backgrounds are softened. When this has been done it is back to Irfanview to create the thumbnails and the individual web pages. Fortunately this is all done in one batch operation.
The thumbnails and individual pages are taken into Dreamweaver, version MX, and imported into a standard framework. It is in Dreamweaver that captions are added and the final form is uploaded to the internet.
The webspace is still provided by Aplus.net. Originally I had 1 Gig of web space there. Originally that seemed like more than I could ever use. It wasn't long before I bumped up against that limit. I was given another Gig. That worked for a while. Well last year I began bumping up against the the 2 Gig limit. At that point I saw that newcomers were being offered 170 Gigs for the same plan I was on, for the same price. They were happy to provide me 170 Gigs of space, but it was on another server. They wouldn't transfer the content I'd already posted. I had to do it myself. At the same time ATT took over from SBC. My internet connection slowly went to dung. Basically ATT refused to help me. Finally one morning when I went to log on I got a msg that my router had the wrong password in it and I couldn't connect to the internet at all. Called ATT and canceled that service and called RoadRunner/Time Warner. I pay too much perhaps but the service is excellent. The help has been outstanding the few times I've needed it. Road Runner has my reccomendation. Well, anyway, with a decent internet connection I got my content transferred to the other server. How could I ever fill up 170 Gigs. It seems like more than I could ever use but experience has shown it is inevitable to run out.
One other piece of equipment is just coming in to use. With the GPS I use now Garmin etrex VISTA HCx I can make a track of the bike routes I ride. With a little conversion I can upload them to the web site in a form you can download and open in Google Earth to give interested readers a bird's eye view of the route. The first one with the route made available is the La Posta Sunrise ride on 16 May, 2009. Check it out.
16 December, 2003
In case anyone was wondering what how this was done, let me provide a brief explanation.
My favorite tools are free and actually most of the work is done with these. But lets start at the beginning.
First one has to obtain the photos. I have two digital cameras. One is the Olympus 2100 UZ. This is a wonderful camera. UZ stands for ultra zoom. This camera has a 10:1 optical zoom. This was a great feature.I say "was" because when someone stole my Camry the camera went with it. The Camry came back but the\ camera didn't. I wasn't surprised. Camrys are too easy to come by. The Olympus 2100 UZ unfortunately is no longer made. I've replaced it with an Olympus 5050. this is a very nice camera too but the zoom is only 3:1. Steve's Digicams had a nice review of this camera while it was still in production. I see it is out of production too.
My other camera is a Cannon S20. It is compact and sturdy, very sturdy. I've put that to the test! So far the stainless steel body has protected the camera from all the abuse I have subjected it to. Steve had a review of this camera once but it is out of production too so the review is no longer available. Before I has a digital camera I used film. At first I scanned photos after they were developed. That was terribly tedious and with the equipment I used there was always lots of work to do in a graphic program. After one session of this I had my film digitized. First I tried Photo Floppies. Photo floppies are okay if your pictures will not be enlarged or printed. Photo CDs offer much better quality and are worth the extra money if you are going to do any more than just send pictures by email. My advice is to get a digital camera. Not only are the results better unless you have a really high end scanner but it is much cheaper. You can take pictures with abandon. When you fill up your camera memory, put it on the computer and take more pictures. When you fill up your hard drive, buy another one or put the pictures on CDs. These days a new hard drive is cheap compared to film, printing and developing all the pictures you could store on it. Of course CDs are the most inexpensive way to store your pictures. It's a good idea to put them on CDs any way. Hard drives fail and you don't want to pay the price of recovery. Believe me. I did it once. Okay, that's getting the pictures. What do you do next?
My hands down favorite graphics software is IrfanView. For what it does it can't be beat and it is free. Also, it doesn't have to be installed. You just put the files on your hard drive, or a CD or a floppy and it works. The Network Nazis have things pretty locked down where I work but I can use IrfanView. Check it out at http://www.irfanview.com/. For things that IrfanView can't handle I use PaintShop Pro. I am up to version 7, no 8 now. You can find this at http://www.jasc.com/. I've been using this since at least version 3. There is one other graphics program I use. I used to use Fireworks from Macromedia to batch resize my photos. It is expensive and I only use it for one thing but that saves me a lot of time when I put up a bunch of pictures. Most graphic programs have some form of batch processing but none have all the features of Fireworks. I use it to resize all my pictures to fit within a certain area. It resizes the pictures, appends a letter to the filename and moves the original files to a new folder. It does this quickly and while I am getting myself a cup of coffee. Now this just in: The latest version of Irfan View does that too so I don't have to use Fireworks any more.
After the photos are prepared in the graphic program, there comes the task of wrapping them in HTML. HTML is what it takes to make a web page. If you haven't seen any HTML just right click on this page and select "View Source?" All that stuff incased in <> characters is HTML. The stuff incased within the <> is called a "tag." You should see plenty of <p> tags. That tag means, start a new paragraph. HTML can be written with very simple tools, Note Pad, (not WordPad), works fine. Lot's of people started writing HTML with Note Pad. I'm not sure if anyone still does. (People still do. I recently help someone learning to write html and the text he was using had him starting out in Note Pad.) You soon grow out of it. I grew into Arachnophelia. Arachnophilia is available at http://www.arachnoid.com/arachnophilia/index.html. Poke around on this site. Paul has some interesting ideas. Starting in an editor like Arachnophelia is a good way to learn HTML. However a WYSIWYG program can be easier to use. The most available WYSIWYG program right now is Front Page. It comes from Microsoft. I've even see it recommended. Like every web product from Microsoft it uses a lot of proprietary code that doesn't work in Netscape. What isn't proprietary is pretty terrible. Close inspection will reveal lots of code that doesn't do anything. Well nothing except slow down the browser which has to interpret it. I am fortunate to be able to use a much better program, DreamWeaver. Like Fireworks, this comes from Macromedia. This is a wonderful piece of software albiet rather expensive. Fortunately Macromedia offers great academic discounts. Teaching at National University brings this within my budget.
My first big project was the pictures of the Push Bike Tour. For this I scanned the pictures, tweaked them plenty and hand coded each page. It was a LOT of work. I learned a lot but I could have learned just as much with a much smaller project. This project was done using just Paint Shop and Arachnophelia. View the Push Bike Tour.
Using what I learned on this project, I built a template set that speeded things up considerably. The template set has a hundred pages. Each page is ready to accept pictures and captions. The navigation buttons are already coded. The Big Bear and Jacumba albums were built using these templates.
Some time after this I started using IrfanView. In addition to it's graphic capabilities, IrfanView will build an HTML page of thumbnails. Surround this page of thumbnails with the right code and a full size picture will display when each thumbnail is selected. The downside of this is that the pictures are not really displayed in a page so there is no place for captions and no navigation buttons. The Seattle to Portland (after the first page) and Helmut's Birthday albums were built using IrfanView thumbnail pages.
Enter Album GV (GV for Generator Viewer) is available at http://www.xydot.com/ . The author, Renate Schaaf, says Version 1.7 will be the last free version. With Album GV one can build web pages with captions and navigation buttons. It's not perfect, there is too much screen space wasted but it sure saves time and really does quite a nice job. The Knicker New Year 2002 album was built with this tool.
Album GV 2 has now been released. This version fixed some bugs in the 1.7 version and is quite nice. It went from free to shareware too.
One last thought. Putting these albums up takes lots of web space. I highly recommend A+Net at http://www.aplus.net/. You can get 500 megs of web space with your own domain name for just $9.95 a month. You can also get 500 megs for just $6.95 without domain name. Other places charge that much for 5 to 10 megs. These prices do not include internet access.