Picasa v Flickr

I’ve been umming and arring over whether to use Flickr or Picasa for my photo storage. Pros for Flickr are it has better album/set support and allows photo titles. Pros for Picasa are it’s easier to upload stuff from the PC, has more free storage and the Shashin plugin for WordPress is excellent.

The lack of titles was the main problem I was facing but a quick edit of the ShashinPhoto.php file in the plugin and I now have titles as captions under the thumbnails in the album views. This allows me to have the full caption when the user clicks on the image to see the full version.

Basically all I’ve done is added a new title variable which takes a substring of the caption up to the first occurrence of a newline character. So to add a title to a photo in Picasa I just add it at the beginning of the caption followed by a newline. I can even not have a title if I don’t want to by not including a newline character anywhere in the caption.

If anyone finds this and would like to do it (and so I remember how I did it!) all you need do is edit ShashinPhoto.php in the shashin plugin folder and add the following two lines before line 680

$title = $this->data['description'];
$title = substr($title,0,strpos($title,10));

Edit line 684 to

$opt_caption = $title;

Astro Images

Now I have this nice new shiny (fast) blog I need to sort through my astroimages and reupload them.

I’ve started using Picasa as my online image storage. This time I want to avoid having them all on my own hosting for future proofing. I’ll see how that goes.

Picasa doesn’t support sub-albums though and only has captions which is a bit weird. Maybe I’ll use captions for the image titles and comments to store information about capturing and processing.

I’ll play around with a few images and see what works best.

Once In A Blue Moon

Well it’s a long time since I posted isn’t it? Just been busy on Twitter instead I suppose. It’s appropriate therefore that I post a new image of a partially eclipsed Blue Moon which happened on New Year’s Eve. It was a lovely sight and I was lucky with a break in the clouds which allowed the Moon to peek out right around mid-eclipse. Although only 8% eclipsed it’s always an unusual and beautiful sight. A Blue Moon is the second Full Moon in a calendar month BTW and happens about once every 2.5 years. Which is even rarer than me posting on my blog. Must do better!

New Astrocam

I splashed out on a new CCD camera for astronomy this week. An Atik 16IC-S which is a 16-bit monochrome camera with peltier cooling, resolution is 782×582 pixels. The chip is progressive scan as well. This is a big improvement over the Watec I have been using, which is great for live views of objects but its 10s maximum exposure and noisy output is restrictive for deep sky imaging. The Atik can do unlimited exposures but since my telescope is not autoguiding (yet) I’m limited to about 30-60s which is about as good as my mount can do. You can see my first efforts from last night in my photo gallery. I’m thinking of splitting off the astronomy images into their own gallery by the way.