Why rumblings and whispers?

When I set the name I was grumbling about bad quality equipment… and “rumblings” was what I had in my mind (“…rumblings of discontent…”, see The Collins Dictionary). The content of this blog will be more varied and positive than that…  so I had to find a positive word to accompany rumblings, a word that hints that I will reveal technical and methodological secrets to those who visit my blog. For the time being,  “whispers” will do… (“If people whisper about a piece of information… …[it] might be a secret…”, see The Collins Dictionary). Both words also describe sounds. A whisper is “a low soft rustling sound (see The Collins Dictionary) and a rumble is “a low continuous noise (see The Collins Dictionary). As in “the whisper of the breeze and the rumble of thunder”.

What do I do?

In my work I study the sensory ecology of plants, but I am also interested in birds and insects. For me photography is an important tool in my daily work and also a hobby.

I teach several courses at the University of Helsinki, and for some of them I take photographs to use as illustrations.

I also like working and playing with computers. I have publicly released several R  packages mainly related to photobiology and light measurement.

I also like working with electronic equipment and instrumentation, modifying and building equipment for my experiments with plants and photography, including LED light sources.

What is this blog about?

The posts in this blog are mostly notes, which instead of keeping private, I share in the hope that others may find them useful. This blog is mostly about digital photography techniques with emphasis on nature and macro photography. Tests and reviews attempt to explain the origin of the differences in performance between pieces of equipment or methods in general, rather that specific ones.

Where are the photographs?

I have been until now keeping my photographs in Flickr albums, rather than in this blog.

Hosting, plugins, and workflow

This site was for some months hosted at wordpress.com using a free account. This was quite inflexible and even had I started paying for a subscription I would not have had as much control of things as I would have liked. Now it is hosted at a “webhotel” at Webbinen, an extremely reliable and well run hosting service in Finland. Most of the site is at a dedicated WordPress server while some additional pages are served directly.

A bare WordPress server is not ideal for a photography site as the media library and galleries are rather limited. There are many plugins available but most of them in a way or another make a site dependent on them. As a result switching among them at the very least requires one to edit all pages and posts containing galleries. I am now using plugins from MEOW APPS which seem to be very well designed and avoid these problems: Meow Gallery and Meow Lightbox. After installing these two plugins I did not have to edit any page or post, they just added the new functionality to the existing pages and posts. Pages and posts that I had exported from the previous server and imported into the new one.

The other question is how to keep the photographs stored locally in Lightroom in sync with those in a web site. I have been using Flickr for my galleries mainly because of a Lightroom plugin, Jeffrey’s “Export to Flickr” plugin, that makes uploading and updating Flickr albums very easy. MEOW APPS has a pair of plugins for Lightroom and WordPress, WP/LR Sync, that provide the same functionality to any WordPress site. So, I will be including more galleries in the future.

I have found that these very useful plugins do not work well together with some themes. Because of this, at the moment I am using one of the default themes included in the WordPress install.

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