Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gary Takes Pictures

Self Portrait

For those who aren't already aware, I just wanted to call attention to my flickr photostream, where most of my photos on this blog come from. I try to get out and about as much as possible to take pictures of what's going on in the city, and for a while there I wasn't really taking pictures. Well I started shooting more pictures again, and I've recently been playing with some new features. I've always saw the potential for geo tagging to map photos, but without a built in GPS on my camera I usually neglected to manually plot photos with flickr's mapping setup because of the time it takes to do that.

Recently however I upgraded to Aperture 3, which includes built in mapping and it can now read GPS track data from any GPS device. I've long used a Garmin GPS cycling computer (Edge 305 model for heart rate monitor) for purposes of physical training and recording routes for mapping, but it just occurred to me recently that I could use it with my camera. So basically what you do is match your digital camera's internal clock to the exact satellite time on your GPS unit. Since every photo is time stamped, with the right software, which now includes Aperture, GPS track data can be used to plot your photos on a map, since all the recorded GPS data is also time stamped.

For example I started a new photo series to start plotting everywhere in Santa Monica where there is an intersection with restrictions on pedestrian crossing, as well any pedestrian access issues I witness along the way. Not surprisingly many of the worst places to be a pedestrian are the worst places to be a cyclist, although so far my focus has been on Lincoln Blvd. near the 10 freeway. On the flickr map view, you can see where each photo corresponds on the city grid.

No Human Crossing
No Human CrossingThe Symbol That Best Describes The Attitude Of CaltransNo Human CrossingSidewalk ClosedNo Human Crossing

Sometimes I snap photos and post them before I get around to writing a corresponding blog post, and some photos will never show up on the blog. So if you want the heads up on what I'm taking pictures of, you can always subscribe to my photostream. Occasionally I'll post things that have nothing to with bikes what so ever, but of my over 6,000 online images, the majority are about cycling and our urban environment. There is also the flickr group Bike L.A., that I started a while back, and which various cycling photographers in the L.A. region have been contributing to. All are welcome to join, I'd love to see more activity in there.

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