Not about everything

March 30, 2013

50 shades of green, iPad case

Filed under: nature photography,photography — takaita @ 13:53
Tags: , , ,

ipadcase, 50 shades of greenSo it seems that Redbubble now does iPad cases. Thought I had some photos that are nice for that. This “50 shades of green” for example.

Order it here.


December 9, 2012

Installing Canon camera software on Windows XP x64

Filed under: photography — takaita @ 20:27
Tags: , , ,

The problem with the Canon CD that comes with a new camera, is that it won’t install on Windows XP x64 (the 64 bits version of Windows XP). The solution is easy. There are a couple of xml files on the CD and some of them have a line like:

<PlatformInfo MaxOS=”99.99″ MaxOS_SP=”99″ MinOS=”6.0″ MinOS_SP=”0″ ProcessorArchitecture=”x64″/>

The MinOS=”6,0″ means that for 64 bits Windows, at least Vista is required. Changing that to MinOS=”5.1″ will also include Windows XP.

Of course you can not edit files on a CD, so you have to copy the CD to your hard disc. There you can do the editing. Please check *all* xml files. The run the setup from your HD.

November 17, 2012

Long exposure bird photography, II

In the past I have written about “Long exposure bird photograpy” with some self-made examples which were meant to be sort of funny. But I never came to show some self-made examples which I really like. So here they are. Shutter times are resp. 1/10 and 1/15 second.

January 16, 2011

Flickr: my top 10 most interesting photos of 2010

Filed under: flickr,photography — takaita @ 10:28

#1. Banded Demoiselle
Banded Demoiselle
The Banded Demoiselle keeps being a favorite subject for me and for my flickr visitors. Here is a female submerged under water in order to lay her eggs.

#2. Blue-tailed Damselfly
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Another oviposition photo. A female Blue-tailed Damselfly gets herself reflected in the water.

#3. Grey Heron on ice
Blauwe reiger op het ijs
A grey Heron eating something undefined while standing on ice.

#4. Eye / Reflection
Eye / reflection
I do make often photos of my family and friends, but I usually do not share them with the world. This is an exception. An eye with a reflection.

#5. Green Emerald Damselfly
Green Emerald Damselfly
Posted here a few months earlier as well. Copulation of the Green Emerald Damselfly.

#6. Birds in flight
Birds in flight
Last winter, gulls would gather at places where some water was left unfrozen.

#7. Four-spotted Chaser
Freshly emerged Four-spotted Chaser sitting below its exuvia.

#8. Bizarre accident
Bizar ongelukje
How did this happen?

#9. Aeshna mixta
Aeshna mixta

#10. Vanessa atalanta
Vanessa atalanta

October 17, 2010

Damselfly Valentine

Damselflies copulate in the form of a heart. Valentine is about love too. So why not offer some of my photographs of damselfly couples as a very special valentine card?

Here are some. Order them from Redbubble.

Love Dance

Emerald Couple

Hold Me

January 3, 2010

Flickr: my top 10 most interesting photos of 2009

Filed under: flickr,photography — takaita @ 08:21
Tags: , , , ,

Here it is again: what flickr thinks are my most interesting photos of last year (2009). This year there were no obviously popular photos in terms of favorites and comments. Nevertheless, flickr has succeeded in creating an order in the photos I uploaded.

#1. In the winter
In the winter
Taken in January 2009, this photo had lots of time to gain interestingness. Personally I am not particuarly impressed by this photo, but it is okay.

#2. Calopteryx splendens
Calopteryx splendens
I like this one. From the population in Utrecht city.

#3. The emperors clothes
The emperors clothes
An exuvia from Anax imperator, the Emperor Dragonfly.

#4. Wren, singing
Wren, singing
Taken with a 70-200mm lens + 1.4 converter. The converter was new in 2009 and it allowed me to do some more things with bird photography.

#5. Sneeuwkapjes
December snow on trees in the city.

#6. Coenagrion pulchellum
Coenagrion pulchellum
One of my first damselfly photos this year. It is not really in focus, but hey, who cares on flickr?

#7. Winterkoning
Another Wren with the 1.4 extender, in my garden this time.

#8. Butomus umbellatus
Butomus umbellatus
Flower with bokeh….

#9. Bittersweet

#10. Sympecma fusca
Sympecma fusca
This photo is probably the only one I would have selected myself. A frosted Winter Damselfly.

November 17, 2009

A butterfly photo which makes people angry

Filed under: nature,nature photography,photography — takaita @ 08:00

One day I was out in nature and saw a butterfly. Nothing special, just a Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), a species which even I have photographed many times. But I could not resist taking some photos of this one. At first nothing special.

IMG_0207 IMG_0227

But then I decided to get creative. There is not much to be creative about when photographing a butterfly. I don’t know. I set the camera on manual focus and just tried some things. I sort of liked one of these photos, desaturated it a bit and uploaded it to a upload-your-photos-and-comment-on-other-photos site. That was last June. Nothing special happened then. One person said he liked it, another wondered why the focus was so weird. As I am not very active commenting photos of others, I don’t get many comments in return. That is only fair.

And then some months later the photo gets some more comments (wel actually only 2). That is as such a bit remarkable, because comments are usually written on recently uploaded photos. The interesting thing about these comments is that it seems as if the commenter has been made angry by this photo. One commenter suggested that I made this photo without looking through the lens, that I was trying to annoy people with uploading that photo. Another suggested that I should have thrown the photo away, as anyone would have done. Both could have easily ignored the photo (which is what people usually do when they don’t like it).

What is it that makes people angry about a photo of a butterfly?

January 11, 2009

Photos I sold in 2008

Filed under: photography — takaita @ 13:48
Tags: ,

There are many sites where one can upload photos in order to sell them. I have accounts on several of such sites, and on each I have a couple of photos. I am not very active in promoting my sales – I have a regular job, and it’s just to see if and how selling photos works.

In 2008 I did sell a couple of photos this way. Here they are. The photos are displayed here as they are on the site where they are offered, so I apologize for the differences in size.

This photo is from the Dutch ‘Natuurwerkdag’, a national day where people can volunteer to do some work in nature. It was sold twice from the Nationale Beeldbank, which is a Dutch stock photo site which gives photographers quite a reasonable price. I received about €30,- for each sale.

Rana temporaria
Rana temporaria
A photo of a frog, sold through Imagekind. Imagekind does not pay much. After two sales (the first was in 2007) they owe me about $4,-. Imagekind will not pay me anything until they owe me $50,-. With my current rate of selling there, that will be in 25 years.

In the forest
In the forest
My most successful photo in many ways, it won some awards, has been published in a couple of magazines and this year it sold twice as a framed print through Redbubble, for a total income for me of about €20,-.

That’s all. It is a bit more than 2007.  Maybe this year will bring even more sales. But the total income is not something to get excited about.

January 2, 2009

Flickr: my top 10 most interesting photos of 2008

For what it is worth, because flickr’s interestingness rating usually does not agree with my personal choice. Nevertheless, except for one I do understand that these photos did get a certain interestingness rating.

#10.Viola arvensis
Viola arvensis
This photo is taken with multiple extension tubes in a cleared part of a forest. The background is a cloudy sky, nothing artificial. Indeed the flower itself is sort of tiny – there are very big pansies growing in gardens, but wild ones aren’t that big where I live.

#9. untitled

Well, people on flickr love this kind of photos. It’s fun and quite easy to make, but I do not regard it as anything special.

#8. Sturnus vulgaris
Sturnus vulgaris
Portrait of the European Starling. Taken in my garden. In the days I made this, I was happy with it, because it was showing that my plans for backyard bird photography were working. Although there is not much wrong with it, this photo would not be on my personal list of 2008.

#7. Aegithalos caudatus
Aegithalos caudatus
Long-tailed Tit. Taken from inside my car. While spending a weekend somewhere nice, I noticed that some birds were really interested in their reflection in the car mirrors. I wanted to make a photo of that. To do that, I sort of hid myself under a blanket on the back seat of the car and made this photo. It belongs to my personal 2008 favorites, so much bokeh and I like it that the bird is undisturbed by my presence.

#7. Coot vs Great Crested Grebes
Coot vs Great Crested Grebes
The fight for a nesting place between two species of birds. I witnessed this fight and took a number of photos of it. The nice thing is the expression of the Grebe in the middle of the photo.

#6. IMG_4441
Not sure why flickr thinks that this photo is so interesting. It has been viewed twice and one of the viewers made it a favorite. Personally I never bothered to change the title of the image. Just an average damselfly photo.

#5. Sympetrum danae
Sympetrum danae

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae). This photo made me happy. The first time I could photography this species from close by. I even had the time to use my extension tubes.

#4. Mushroom


The autumn, when most dragonflies have died, always brings me to photograph mushrooms. This photo has an emphasis on “atmosphere”, and that probably is a result of the course in Landscape Photography which I followed earlier in 2008.

#3. Aeshna viridis
Aeshna viridis

The Green Hawker, a rare species of dragonfly in the Netherlands. I was excited to find it close to where I live. Not a groundbreaking photo, but it made me happy to have it.

#2. Aeshna isoceles

Aeshna isoceles
This year I took the time to make flight photos of dragonflies. I agree with the masses that this one is the best of my efforts this year.

#1. Hello!
This is all about cuteness, one of the things which do so very well on flickr.

November 18, 2008

Wikipedia: how my copyrighted photo got into the public domain

My copyrighted photo is now spreading around the world tagged as “Public Domain”, with no reference to me as photographer. Thanks to wikipedia. However the photo is still copyrighted by me, I did never change the license.

I have a flickr account with many photos, all are published there as “all rights reserved”. Out of curiosity I sometimes following links that are provided in the flickr statistics. On one such occasion, there was a referer to a Google images search. When I followed that, I saw to my surprise that it not only showed the photo on flickr, but also on wikipedia. A closer look revealed that my photo had been hosted on (the media storage for wikipedia) since March 2007. A bit by bit comparison showed that wikimedia hosted exactly the same photo as the medium size (500 x 333 px) version that was created by flickr after I uploaded the full size version. Wikimedia hosted the photo as “Public Domain”.


A further search on internet revealed a number of other places where this photo was in use. Apparently people had believed the public domain tag that was given to the photo by wikimedia, and thought it was free to use.

I was angry. My first step was to notify wikimedia of the situation. The problem was however not only that wikimedia was hosting the image illegally, but that a number of sites had copied the photo with the wrong license and that it will be very hard to stop further spread of the photo. It would have been a lot better if wikimedia would not use such free licenses, but would use a “wikimedia-only” license.

On, the photo got a “speedy deletion”. But people there immediately said that Commons (as they like to call it) is not responsible for the uploads. The uploader is responsible. Interestingly enough the accounts on wikimedia are basically anonymous. All you need to create an account is an email address, which is invisible to others. Wikimedia will only release this email address (and IP-number) when required by law. People can also use a temporary email address to create a wikimedia account.

On the other hand, sometimes the identity of a person can be found from bits and pieces. With some help of people on wikimedia, I was able to identify the uploader (name, address, email) with a high certainty. I have no doubts about the identity of the uploader, but I am not sure if what I have is evidence in a legal sense.

The question is who is guilty. Wikimedia claims to be not (never) responsible and says the uploader is. The uploader clearly did something wrong. But wikimedia has hosted the photo illegally for about 20 months, and worse even offered it for download as “public domain” during that period. To me – but I am no lawyer – that seems reason enough to be guilty of a violation of copyrights.

When I talked about sending a bill to wikimedia for this, some people started giving funny responses. One claimed that wikimedia would block my account there for that reason (I have had an account since a couple of years – I even have been an admin on nl.wikipedia for a while). As if that would invalidate a bill. Also it was questioned if I could prove that I never offered the photo with a free license. The photo has always been on flickr with “all rights reserved” – all my photos on flickr are, but I don’t know if it is possible to prove that. I know the photo was taken from my flickr account, and flickr does not provide an option to publish photos as Public Domain. It does offer several variants of the Creative Commons license, but not Public Domain.

Anyway, I decided to start to formulate a message to the uploader, explaining what exactly he had done wrong. I wanted to write how he had agreed that he in person is responsible for his uploads to Commons. For the exact formulation I opened the upload form of Commons. To my surprise there was nothing in that form that states that the uploader is responsible. There are only instructions. Indeed also instructions about copyrighted files which would be deleted without further notice. The text of the upload form suggests that all uploads are being reviewed.

In practice, uploaded files are being reviewed by volunteers who themselves say that they are not gods. Sometimes copyrighted files are being uploaded to Commons and removed. But some slip through. One person said that about 2% of the uploads to Commons are copyright violations.

In the case of this photo, the history of the file on Commons makes clear how this one slipped through. The history of the file is now invisible on Commons, but I have saved every iteration. In short: the uploader at first said it was a file from flickr (with no specified url) with a CC-license. Because a specified url was missing a bot on commons indicated that a human should check the status. The uploader was notified of insufficient information. The uploader then changed the file information to “own work” and the license to “public domain”. That change was accepted by an admin. But it would have been very easy to find the file on flickr. The name of the image on Commons was “HEMA_Utrecht.jpg”. A search on flickr for “Hema Utrecht” shows the photo as first result.

My suggestions to wikimedia:

  • Use a “wikimedia-only” license to prevent spread of copyright violations beyond wikimedia.
  • If you want the uploader to be responsible, only accept accounts that contain full contact information, make sure that it information is correct.
  • Change the upload form, so it is explicitly clear to the uploader that he is responsible for copyright violations.

The wikipedia is a large project with a big impact. Commons is a well-known and much-used source for free content. The organization behind these projects can or should no longer hide behind anonymous uploaders.

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