Coming Changes to the Club Website

Hello all,

As you may recall, I changed the hosting provider for our site from Netfirms to Squarespace in mid-2012.  I am relatively pleased with Squarespace as performance is never an issue with them.  At the end of the summer, Squarespace introduced their new publishing platform Squarespace 6.  It is completely new and different and while most pages and functions will come across to the new platform there is a lot that will not.  That's annoying, particularly since any kind of continuous development on Squarespace 5 has stopped completely.

In order to keep the site fresh and to better consume social media services, I will be building the site (again) on Squarespace 6.  This will entail a number of changes for you, our members.

1.  The Discussion forums page will disappear.  Use is minimal at best, and based on research and guidance, we will leverage the Google Plus page for the Newmarket Camera Club as our discussion area starting today.  Gabe, Bryan and I have been using this service for a while and it allows for more flexibility in the future.  Bryan and Gabe are doing Daytripper Webtalk on Google Plus to great success and at some point, the club may start hosting Hangouts there as well.  Thanks for your support of the Discussions page and to Gabriel who has done great work as its moderator.  If you would like to be an author on behalf of the club, please let me know via email.  Any topic of interest to Club members is awesome.

2.  The Marketplace will also move to Google +.  If you would like to post something let Gabe, Bryan or myself know.

3.  I use Mail Chimp as our email communications vehicle.  It is marvelous and very powerful.  However under Squarespace 5 we have multiple user databases that I have to maintain and this is a pain for me and often confusing to new members.  Squarespace 6 integrates directly with Mail Chimp whereas Squarespace 5 does not.  i will be using Mail Chimp exclusively as the member registry once the change in site design is complete.

4.  This will mean that the need to sign in and remember IDs and passwords for the club website will go away.  While it does provide exclusive access to our content, it is also discouraging to people who may be interested in the club and what we do.  My intent is to work hard to keep membership open and free and having a walled garden doesn't help with this.  I will take measures to prevent right click downloads of your images in the galleries, and continue to recommend physical and/or digital watermarks on images you submit to the club.

5.  Effective today, meeting preregistration is no longer required.  We have a great room at the Community Centre and we have room for more tables and more rows if needed,  Issues with Squarespace make booking attendance a real pain in the butt, and it is unfair to ask Bryan to maintain lists so we won't be doing this any longer.  Want to come to a meeting?  Awesome!  Come on out, seats on first come, first served basis and we have never had to turn people away.

You'll see the changes completely transparently and with no downtime.  All existing articles and posts will be preserved when the cutover happens, except as noted where pages will go away.  Thanks as always for your support of the club.

 

Ross Chevalier

Join us on Google +

I realize I have neglected to encourage members to join us on Google +.  There are lots of social networking spaces but only one really loves photography and photographers.  So please consider joining Google + and adding Newmarket Camera Club to your circles.  Please also add myself DR Chevalier and Bryan Weiss as well as Google + contributing editor Gabriel Bousquet.  Gabe is posting stuff regularly to the club page so you will find it informative and interesting.  I also tend to put up a number of posts, most not referenced here, that you might find interesting.

The Photo Video Guy Podcast - Episode 24

The latest episode of The Photo Video Guy podcast is ready.  Subscribe on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/photo-video-guy-enhanced-podcast/id493184154.

This episode I note firmware updates for Nikon as well as the availability of two new lenses.  We hit the Canon rumours as usual and confirm last episode’s rumour of new firmware for the 7D.  I share a story on how SD cards can cripple performance on the 5D MK III and touch on the state of the 1Dx and DP Review’s samples from the 40/2.8.  I refer to a month old story about the power of photographer and blogger support, check the updates from Apple, Ricoh and Leica and talk about the Fuji X lens roadmap.  I close with a list of books and a web site recommended by Joe McNally.Save & Close

The Photo Video Guy Podcast - Episode 23

Thanks to all who are listening via the website or subscribing via iTunes.  The latest episode is now available.  This episode we look at lens and sensor information from Nikon, touch on some firmware updates from Canon, reveal that the 1Dx actually exists and discuss the rumoured Canon mirrorless.  There’s a quick not about the M mount adapter for the X-Pro 1 and news of the release of ACD See Pro for Mac.  We close with a review of the Lastolite Joe McNally Triflash.

 

And then it was quick...

Well folks if you are reading this, you are at our new home.  It is still a work in progress, but I just couldn't handle trying to work with WordPress at Netfirms any longer.  You may have heard of Squarespace and that's where we are now.  As good as I had gotten (or not good depending on your perspective) with WordPress and its 10,000 plugins this is much simpler, and much faster.  There will be some issues in the transition, but hopefully I covered most of them in the email blast that went out on the 1st of June.

If you did not get that eblast it's because your email was not loaded properly into MailChimp our eblast service provider.  Shoot me an email at the address below and I will get that cleaned up.

Questions or concerns ?  Send to ross@newmarketcameraclub.ca

Member Update for May 18, 2012

Hey everyone,

I wanted to get a short post up before I head off to Seattle for a week so here goes...

Please be sure to send in your challenge entries for Bring On The Night by Monday evening so I can have the deck finished for Bryan for this coming Tuesday night's club meeting.  We have some amazing shots already on the gallery but are always looking for more.  If you've submitted more than one and didn't specify which one goes into the Photo Review, let me know by email at ross@newmarketcameraclub.ca

Episode 18 of the Photo Video Guy Podcast is now up on iTunes and at http://thephotovideoguy.ca/?p=321  This episode we look at rumours about a new larger sensor camera from Nikon, look at the specs for the rumoured Canon T4i, chat about the Sony NEX-F3, listen to thoughts on grids from David Hobby and I review some flash modifiers from the good people at Honl.  I appreciate it very much when club members listen to the podcast and subscribe to it on iTunes.  The audience continues to grow and while it's not generating any revenue yet, I remain hopeful.

And moving on to the website, I am very sensitive to the concerns about performance of the site.  I have had long conversations with the hosting provider that I use and tests indicate that the problem is the platform not the host.  Basically, this site has a lot of content and member engagement areas, plus logins and calendars and a bunch of other things that I did via plugins for Wordpress.  Wordpress is fine for blogs.  It's not fine for this level of work.  I am in the process of evaluating a completely different platform on a different hosting framework.  Since it is all on my dime, I am being very selective before making a decision but I really hope to have the decision made and the initial new site up in the next couple of weeks.  I could start stripping out things and that would improve the current performance but I'm not a fan of going backwards.  If I am successful in my consolidation efforts the new service won't cost me a lot more than what I am doing now and have already paid for plugins and themes and other stuff that leaves me increasingly underwhelmed.

Bryan has some good material for the meeting following the photo review and will be going deep on point and shoot cameras at the request of some of our members.  Timing is good since he knows this stuff with great depth and I, well let's just say that Point and Shoots aren't anywhere on my personal hit parade, so you'll get great info without any sarcasm from yours truly.

I am very excited that June's Challenge theme comes to us from a member and I am very grateful to this person for the suggestion,  Bryan will announce the theme at the end of the Photo Review.

I'm sorry I will miss the coming meeting, the shots that have been submitted already are really very good and I was looking forward to hearing your thoughts about your images.  Unfortunately I will be in Seattle at the company Partner Conference and stuck in a stadium that night watching the Mariners do whatever it is that they do.  I think it's baseball, but I'm ignorant of that sort of thing.

Henry's has the big Exposure show the weekend of the 27th and there will be lots of cool stuff to see.  My contacts at Westcott say that their live shoot area will be the biggest they've ever done.  They will have professional models and their own modifiers and continuous light systems prepared.  There are also numerous training sessions in addition to all the vendor displays.  If you do not have tickets, please email bryan@newmarketcameraclub.ca and he can get you a PDF that you can print that will get you free admission.

I also want to thank everyone who has been very supportive of our efforts on Daytripper Television.  DTP TV is a separate business entity from Daytripper Photo.  Bryan and I are partners in the television show, whereas he is the proprietor of Daytripper Photo.  Our producer at Rogers has been really enthusiastic about the program and the first six episodes are in regular rotation.  Last week, we shot an additional six episodes and hopefully you will enjoy those when they air.  We have also submitted a proposal for an additional twelve episodes and want to include sessions outside the studio in those episodes.  If you like the show, and are willing to support us, please send an email to jennifer.harrison@rci.rogers.com and let her know that you like the show and want more of it.

I would also request that you consider sending images in to the Daytripper Television photo contest which is photocontest@dtptv.com.  The themes we announced in the first six episodes are;

  • Somebody You Love

  • Same Shot Different Exposures

  • Selective Focus, Lens Alternatives

  • Shoot in Different Kinds of Light

  • Get Your Flash On

  • Your Muse


I know you've got shots that fit, so take a chance and who knows you might win a really cool prize!

Thanks to all who support the club with your suggestions, your images and your attendance at our meetings.  We aren't even a year old yet and the club has grown significantly.  You all make a huge difference and I am really getting a lot out of learning from you.

Until I see you next, peace!

 

Member Update / Bryan's HDR

Hey everyone,

As noted in the email sent to members, we've made some changes to the registration form for new members to require first and last names, plus a contact telephone.  Those of you who have been members since early days are asked to update your profile (Membership | Manage Your Profile) if you have not already done so.  The new form also allows you to upload a picture of yourself if you wish, but that is not mandatory.

I have also implemented some services to prevent / reduce comment spam and to prevent new signups by bots so new members will need to use the ReCaptcha function now added to prove their humanity.  I guess it's good news that we have become sufficiently successful that bots are signing up for membership, but ripping them out is a pain so I'm trying to stop them before they start.  I'm sensitive that we are asking for more now and appreciate your support in keeping this a great club.

Due to lots of interest in Bryan's HDR presentation, we've recorded a new version with a voiceover by Bryan. The article on the site has not changed, but the video link now displays the new video.

Also a big kudos to Gabe for his suggestion for our new photo library software.  His suggestion works really nicely and hasn't cost me a lot either.

Cheers and thanks!

Ross

Membership has its privileges (with all due credit to American Express)

If in your purchase decisions for photographic products, our supporter in Newmarket, Henry's, has established a unique discount for members of the Newmarket Camera Club.  Discount levels are available on an assortment of products with different levels applying by item.  In order to leverage this discount you must contact Bryan or Ross in the store and do the transaction with either of us.  We will be able to advise what the discount is at the time you make your purchase.  There is no public discount code that we can share and other Henry's staff will not have visibility to this account.

Obviously you must be a registered member of the club to leverage this discount program.  I will be preparing very simple membership cards that Bryan and I will be able to issue to you when you come in to the store.  You'll need to show your card when you buy.  We are grateful to Henry's for their support.  The program is subject to alteration without notice at the sole discretion of the sponsor.

This program offered to Newmarket Camera Club members by Henry's

Changes to the Member Challenge Submission process

As discussed in last night's meeting, I have decided that the club will not continue to use Flickr as our photo sharing site.  Instead, I will be creating monthly galleries for the challenges here on our own site.  This decision was reached because of my concerns about the integrity of your intellectual property.  Most members watermark images, and many have set up Flickr accounts to prevent the download of images.  Regardless, I find Flickr's Terms of Service to be overly onerous and not balanced in favour of the photographer.  We had suggestions from members to move to Google + and while Google's terms of service are less onerous they are still too Google favourable to suit me.  You may of course do whatever you wish with your images, they are YOUR images.

For our club challenges however, effective February 29, 2012 all submissions should be emailed to ross@newmarketcameraclub.ca as large JPEG files with the EXIF data intact.  As we do not have internet connectivity in our meeting location, a slide presentation will be constructed each month for our photo review.  The deck will also be posted within a week of the meeting.  Please submit your challenge entries no later than the Monday before our meeting to allow for creation of the slide deck and inclusion of your images.  Please include your full name when you submit.  Our galleries will be set to prevent image downloads and I would encourage everyone to watermark your images for your own protection.

I hope that this decision does not negatively impact any member, and that you see the value to yourself in this.

If members would like to see the gallery pages restricted to view by club members, you may vote so by sending an email to ross@newmarketcameraclub.ca by the Friday prior to our March meeting.  Votes will be tallied and the democratic process will determine the outcome which will be announced at our next meeting.

Thanks for your attention

New page - Marketplace

Hey everyone,

I've just added a new page to the site called Marketplace.  Any member can list any photography related item for private sale.  We have a nice list of goods available from one of our friends already posted that will be of interest to Canon shooters.  If you have items you would like listed, send an email to ross@newmarketcameraclub.ca

Cheers!

It's Alive!!!!!

The first six episodes are in the can!  That's right member friends, York Region now has its very own Photography TV show starring Bryan and Ross.  Despite the hosts, you should watch it!

We had a blast last week working with the incredible people at Rogers TV shooting the initial episodes of Daytripper TV.  Each episode covers multiple aspects of photography, many of which you're likely familiar with.  The show first runs on Rogers Cable starting the week of February 27th.  Here are the air times;

Tuesday 7pm - first airing of the week then the same show will air again:
Wednesday 11am
Thursday 7am
Thursday 2pm
Saturday 2pm
Sunday 8pm

A new episode each week for six weeks, then a full rotation again for six weeks.  We've already been advised to prepare another six episodes as well so we are very stoked.

BTW, if you catch yourself humming or bopping to the theme music, it was crafted by our own Bryan Weiss.
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