MVW Travels: Day 09, Exploring Kutaisi

Dateline: Kutaisi, Georgia—08 Mar. 2017

Feet be damned, I was going to get out and about today. Because there's no point in traveling halfway around the world to sit inside.

I did spend the morning looking over the city map to get a good idea of where I could go, and what was in walking range. Kutaisi isn't a large town, but on foot it feels bigger than it is.

The first part of my route took me past yesterday's pharmacies. But a majority of my travels were around the central city. I managed to find a massive open air market quite by accident, along with what might be the tallest set of stairs I've ever climbed. What was at the top was worth journey.

The Bagrati Cathedral

The view from the parking lot.
The view from the parking lot.

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A Few Thoughts on Covering Campaign Rallies

In March, before the Arizona primaries, all of the major candidates passed through the state. Well except for John Kasich, who seemed only marginally interested in campaigning outside of this home state. Both Clintons, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump all held events in the week before the election. For me it produced a bumper crop of political photos.

Earlier this week I found out that Saturday might be the last time a presidential candidate visits Arizona during this election cycle.

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Blast from the Past

Sometimes you run across a family photo that makes you wish you knew your parents when they were young. This is also one of the only two photos I have of my grandfather.

They’re sitting in a hotrod my father build from scratch in 1954.

El Segundo, California, USA. Rockwell International displays a full-sized mock up the Space Shuttle orbiter.
My mother and grandfather in a homemade flathead Ford powered hotrod.

One annoying thing about scanning old photos, is that they’re never square to the paper. Here I chose to have the image square even though the paper edges would be crooked. I also left the ragged edge because it suits the nature of the photo.

Easy FTP Export from Lightroom 6/CC

This is one of those sticking points I have with Lightroom: there’s no native FTP export. The functionality is built-in, because it’s possible to export a web gallery via FTP. But not from the regular export. I starting thinking about developing such a plugin as a side project and downloaded the Lightroom SDK to see what I’d be in for. Well it turns out that Adobe already wrote an FTP plugin, they just don’t include it in the default install.

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Selective Lightroom Import Using Camera Folders

Here’s a neat trick that works when you’ve shot multiple events on one card.

Let’s suppose it’s been a busy day with your camera and you’ve been shooting to same card all day. If all the photos are in the same folder, then you’ll have to sort them on the computer. But if you planned ahead, then each event would be in a separate folder. It usually takes no more than a couple of button presses to tell your camera to use a new folder. The hard part is getting into a habit of changing folders during the day.

Here’s a quick slideshow on how to create a new folder on a Canon camera.

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Election Season by the Passes

This is my Arizona election season summed up in press passes.

Press pass collage
A collage of 2016 election season press passes.

Now that they’re scanned in and the paper is about to be thrown out this is the first time I’ve looked at them all together. I’ve also noticed a few things that I didn’t see before.

  • Ted Cruz didn’t even get his name on the pass. The Keep the Promise PAC took top billing.
  • Hillary Clinton only used her logo on both the pass for her event (March 21) and Bill Clinton’s event (March 20).
  • The Donald Trump passes were the only ones handed out with a neck lanyard. The rest used safety pins. The lanyard from Fountain Hills was better than one I had, so I used it as an upgrade.

Regardless of personal politics, covering these events offers quite a bit of insight that doesn’t come across in the news reports. But at the end of the day, it’s just another person giving a speech in bad light.

Behind the Scenes: Lightning to USB Camera Adapter

It’s always fun to take a peek behind the curtain an see how things are done. Sometimes I forget to grab a shot of my setup, but I’m working on getting better about remembering.

Last week I wrote a post that needed a combination of photos and screenshots. So I headed over to my in-house studio (actually the third bedroom that doesn’t have a renter right now) and set up under the window.

The subject was a fancy USB cable, and I wanted two shots. One by itself and another on a note book.

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Rockwell Archive Project

Everyone has one of those time consuming projects that isn’t difficult but it’s still something that you keep putting off. I’ve been doing this with a photo scanning project that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while now.

It started when I wrote the article My Father’s Spaceship. I scanned a few pictures that he brought home from the job to show what an aerospace shop looked like in 1960s and 1970s. But I also had a much larger stack that I didn’t scan.

Lately I’ve been meaning to change that. It’s was always a nebulous “someday thing” sort of project. So started with little chunks, and have slowly been scanning about a dozen per week (or so). I don’t have a deadline because it’s one of those spare time projects that I use to fill gaps here and there.

It’s also helped that as I’ve gotten better with Lightroom, touching up the scans is much easier.

Contact sheet showing scans of archival photos from the 1960s to 1990s.
Contact sheet showing scans of archival photos from the 1960s to 1990s.

A few technical details about the photos in this project:

  • Most are black & whites with a square photo printed on 8×10 paper.
  • Usually they were handed out to all the workers after a project was done, and showed various stages of what was built.
  • I guessing the square format is from a Hasselblad because of the era.
  • Most of the photos have some sort of project code and date at the bottom. I’m not sure if this was baked into the negative or was done during enlargement.
  • Some are almost 40 years old, and have held up remarkably well. Nothing special was done to preserve them.
  • I’ve cropped out the white border, just because it’s distracting.
  • It’s also unexpectedly emotional, as these are also family photos that have my father in them.

There’s still got a most of the stack to go, but I’ve found that scanning a few makes me want to scan more.
The stack on my desk.

Photo Import with the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter

A few weeks ago I bought this cable to connect my phone to my camera. So after a few uses it seems like a good time for a quick review. The bottom line is that it works, and other than a few camera related quirks it’s a good value at $30. As a bonus it can even be used to transfer photos from one iPhone to another.

The cable

Artisinal data transfer, every byte imported by hand.
Artisinal data transfer, every byte imported by hand.

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Photos: Bisbee & Tombstone, Arizona

Last month I took a trip to Southeastern Arizona. Other than a few trips to Tucson, it’s part of the state that I’ve never explored, and because of the elevation, it’s a little cooler than in Phoenix.

The original plan was to visit the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum on the west side of Tucson, then visit Tombstone the next day. But with a late start leaving Phoenix we decided on seeing Tombstone first. Once there we found the main road being paved, so we kept going after seeing that Bisbee wasn’t that much farther down the road.

I’ve never been to Bisbee, and didn’t want to miss the chance since we were in the area. Overall it’s a cool little town, but not much was going on. We headed back to Tombstone and had lunch and walked around the town. If I were to go back it’d be to do the mine tour. The reenacted gunfights didn’t interest me too much.

My pictures are after the jump.

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