Nikon Closes Digital Camera Factory

Nikon announced today that it will be shutting down its digital camera factory in the Jiangsu province China, blaming the rise of smartphones for the demise of the compact digital camera market.

Read the whole thing.

If you’ve been following this blog for a long while, you could have seen this coming just from the ominous predictions at PhotoKina already 5 years ago.

I’m very conflicted about this. My Galaxy S4 and my Canon S100 have about the same amount of pixel power, but in terms of breadth and width of ability, there’s no comparison. The S100 wins hands down even if I don’t use all its functions.

And then for the first time the S100 encountered the dreaded “Lens Error” that Canon issued a recall for in 2012, unbeknownst to me. Still waiting to hear whether it can be repaired or I’ll be looking for a new camera. The Fujifilm X100F is looking pretty darn good; now I only need to win the lottery.

Meantime,  all the action these days is taking place on my mostly mobile photoblog, ShutterClutter. This post will likely be the very last on Random Acts. Crowd “Favorite” posts like the Gallery FAQ will remain online for now.

Have a wonderful holiday season and hope to see you over on ShutterClutter.

Smartphones Dominate Flickr Uploads in 2016, Apple Leads Device Makers | Flickr Blog

31338847801_4c77491e27_bJust as we’ve done in previous years, as part of our year-end celebration of Flickr photography, we’ve taken a deeper look at the cameras and camera types used to upload to our platform. In 2016, we saw interesting trends continue with the top manufacturers and devices.

Source: Smartphones Dominate Flickr Uploads in 2016, Apple Leads Device Makers

This should come as no surprise if you’ve been paying attention to the various camera shows over the last 5-6 years.

In the photography class I’m taking this year, if it isn’t our phone camera, then it’s compact point and shoots. The favored camera is the Canon Powershot G series, but all of us are bemoaning the lack of a viewfinder and needing to rely on the LCD screen to compose our shots.

Not The Official Gallery FAQ – Calypso Style

When introduced the latest version of the New Dashboard’s Post/Page Editor in late 2015, working with the Gallery feature was completely re-imagined. It was also revealed to the community that the changes we’ve experienced on over the last two years were due to the new motor under the hood (aka Calypso). This is the “New Blue” Dashboard users arrive at when logging in from the home page. If you regularly use the WP Admin Dashboard on your site and/or want to dig deeper into the Gallery feature and what it can do, you’ll want to read my original “Not the Gallery FAQ.” What follows is relevant for creating a Gallery in the Calypso dashboard.

First, a definition:

What is a Gallery?

A Gallery is a thumbnail set of images that appears in your Post or Page. Clicking on any thumbnail image will open by default the full screen Photo Carousel viewer with a link to the original image.

Since Calypso’s introduction, many of the posts published with multiple images I’ve seen seem to show that users are not aware they can create a Gallery of photos in their posts. It’s true that the Calypso interface makes inserting multiple individual images very easy, but doing so makes your post a very long scroll for your site visitors and a long page load time if you’re inserting the full size image of each.

ProTip: Check your theme’s image specs so that you aren’t uploading oversized images and eating up your storage space unnecessarily. The added bonus is that page load times speed up considerably when images have smaller pixel dimensions. 1600 pixels wide is a good all-around size also for Featured Images.

Here’s an overview of how to create a Gallery in the Calypso interface. We’ll break down each step after the video.

Give it a Title:

You’ll notice that the first thing suggests when creating a new Post or Page in the Calypso dashboard is to give it a title before doing anything else. That’s great advice because it immediately saves your Post/Page to memory. Don’t worry If you can’t think of your final post title right away, but you should change your Title to the final version before you publish, not after.

Add Media:

calypso-gallery-faq-add mediaNext, place your cursor where you want your Gallery of images to appear and click the “Add Media” button in the tool bar above the Post Editor.

On the following screen you can select or upload the images you wish to include in your Gallery. You can also add images from URL, which uploads the image to your site’s Media Library. If you accidentally select a wrong image, click it again to deselect it. Note: The Gallery feature can only be used with image files (JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG). When adding an image from URL, your image must also end in one of those extensions.

When you’ve finished selecting the images for your Gallery, click on the “Continue” button.

Pick a Layout:

On the next screen, you can preview your selected images both as Individual images, inserted one after the other, and in various Gallery styles. I strongly suggest experimenting to find the layout you like best for your images. Factors that influence Gallery image layout include the ratio of portrait to landscape images you have, as well as the relative image ratio of each image (4:3, 16:9, 1:1, etc.).  As you go through the list of possible Gallery styles, in the right sidebar you’ll also see the options under each style change. Here, too, experiment a bit with the options to see what layout works best for your images/theme. You can reorder, add and delete Gallery images by flipping over to the “Edit” tab to do so. Note: One “option” that isn’t listed under the “Link to” drop down menu along with Attachment Page, Media File and None, is the Image Gallery Carousel. That is because it is the default for all Gallery styles. If you want to use the other “Link to” options in your Gallery feature, you first need to disable the Carousel in your site’s Media Settings.

Insert and Preview:

Once you customized your Gallery to your liking, it’s time to click the “insert” button and preview your Gallery in your Post or Page.

In my screenshot above, I chose “Tiled Mosaic” but because all the images I’ve included in the Gallery are portrait orientation, I don’t like the way the resulting Gallery looks in the Post. Fortunately, you can edit the Gallery in your Post Editor after you insert it as well.


Click anywhere on the Gallery images and two icons appear, “Edit” and “Remove.” Clicking on the Edit button brings you back to the Layout screen where you can select and/or rearrange your images in a different layout.

This time I’ve chosen the “Tiled Columns” style, clicked “Update” to update my Gallery settings and returned to my Post Editor screen. Now it’s time to look at the full Preview.


When you click the “Preview” button in the Post Editor, an overlay screen appears with a number of different ways to preview your post. You can select Full Window, which opens the Preview in a separate browser window; Desktop, Tablet and Mobile resize the overlay screen to emulate those devices. Click on the X in the upper left corner of the overlay screen to close it and return to your Post Editor.

If you like what you see and you’ve added all the text to your post, it’s time to Publish!


Wait! Remember when we started about 10 scrolls above, the Post title we gave was a temporary one to get the Post saved to memory. Now’s the time to update the Post title to it’s final version and add all the other features that will get our Post noticed in WordPressdotcom’s Reader, in Publicize and shared on social media. Click each module in the left sidebar to open it and make all your changes as desired. Note: If your theme supports it, in the “Post Format” module you may see an option to publish in Gallery Post Format. This is not the same thing as creating a Gallery feature and affects how your Post is displayed only on the blog front page. You do not need to publish your post in Gallery Post Format for the Gallery feature to show in your Post.

Now it’s time to publish!

09-calypso-gallery-faq-ready 10-calypso-gallery-faq-published

Happy Gallery creating, publishing and sharing!

To see all the images in this post displayed as a Gallery, click the Next Page button.

When in Prague

Last month I headed to Prague for a long weekend. Other than hearing that Prague is a beautiful city, which it is, I went with no expectations and no plan other than to enjoy the sights. Here’s a small sampling.

The most delightful part of my trip was the break from the relentless 30C degree plus weather that we’d been suffering at home for nearly 2 months. Prague’s 15-17C daytime temperatures were really welcome; the drop to single digit night time temps, not so much.

My Prague magazine on Flipboard

Why flickr won’t be selling my photos

20141202-featured20141218A welcome update/retraction from flickr 

If you are a flickr member you may have seen at least one of these high profile commentaries about flickr’s recent shenanigans:


Thomas Hawk: The Controversy Around flickr Selling Creative Commons Licensed Photos

Cnet: Some photographers bristle over Flickr’s selling of photos

PetaPixel: Flickr Taking Heat from CC Photographers for Selling Their Work as Wall Art Without Compensation

“More than 300 million publicly shared Flickr images use Creative Commons licenses, making it the largest content partner. Yahoo last week said it would begin selling prints of 50 million Creative Commons-licensed images as well as an unspecified number of other photos handpicked from Flickr.” –WSJ

The default license on flickr is “©All Rights Reserved”, unless you change your default license to one of the Creative Commons Licenses which allows others to use your uploaded photos. Since signing up in 2006, at least 99% of my images have been tagged either © or licensed under a BY-NC-ND Creative Commons License (the same license in my site’s sidebar) and therefore, thankfully, not eligible for this new “feature.”

“Yahoo says it is complying with the terms of Creative Commons by selling only images that permit commercial use.” -WSJ

While there may be nothing illegal about what flickr is doing with images that have a Creative Commons “Attribution” License**, there is a very wide moral chasm  between an individual ordering a printed wall art image from their own photostream and flickr offering those same images for sale to 3rd parties.

Come on flickr! Don’t be that guy.*

(*from the flickr “Community Guidelines“)

** Just to clarify, the images being sold by flickr are any images that have a CC License that does not include the “Non-Commercial” clause, not just those that only have an “Attribution” License.