Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Captain Rick: Having loved photography my entire life, an awarded Webshots photographer in the early 2000s, I became a Flickr PRO member shortly after its acquisition by Yahoo in 2005.

Flickr grew to become the one of the largest and best quality photo sites on the internet with over 12 billion photos and 100 million dedicated users.

The telecommunications giant Verizon announced that it will spend $4.8 billion to acquire Yahoo’s operating business, including popular online content such as Yahoo, Flickr and Tumblr.

FlickrVerizon

Verizon hopes that by pairing Yahoo with AOL, which Verizon bought in May 2015 for $4.4 billion, that the result will be a digital media unit that could compete with Google and Facebook. Having followed so many of these wild internet company purchases during the past decade or so, I have serious doubts that Verizon will be able to make that happen.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, a former Google exec, was hired in 2012 to turn things around at financially struggling Yahoo. Flickr’s core users were hopeful that it might get the attention it deserved. She allowed Yahoo to loose focus on Flickr, allowing the top site for photographers to slip in quality and innovation. Yahoo was desperately trying to appeal to the Instagram generation, and in doing so started to alienate Flickr’s core users, many of whom were professional photographers. As a Flickr Pro member, I often gave feedback … but it felt like no one was listening. Things would break and it would take eight to 10 months before someone would respond. We were members paying money for a service that wasn’t working. It was insulting to me and other photographers who had been using Flickr so actively for so many years. We were clearly not the target audience any more.

Marissa Mayer generated controversy in 2013 for saying “there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore,” when explaining why Flickr was phasing out its Pro membership at the time. As a Flickr Pro member for a decade, I protested loudly as did millions of other Pro members. She quickly apologized for the statement. Us Flickr Pro members saw it as extreme ignorance on her part. Flickr drew more flack the following year by putting 50 million Creative Commons licensed photos by users up for sale through its new Wall Art service. Although it was within its rights to do based on the licensing, the move left a bad taste in photographers’ mouths, and Flickr pulled the plug on the arrangement the next month.

Amid dwindling share of only 1.3% of a growing $187 billion global digital market, the best she was able to do is put Yahoo up for sale. Mayer will help in the transition, but it is not known if she will remain as a Verizon employee. I think that in view of her high salary and lack-luster performance of Yahoo and neglect of Flickr, it would be in Verizon’s best interest to let her go.

Yahoo, Flickr and Tumblr are set to officially become Verizon properties when the deal closes in early 2017, assuming anticipated government approvals occur.

My fear is that Verizon, being a giant in the mobile phone market, cares little about quality photography and photographers. I think Verizon will sell Flickr or perhaps just let it die as an expense it can write off. As a Flickr Pro member who has invested many hundreds of hours into building and supporting my Flickr Photostream and several high quality photo groups, I am deeply saddened by that thought. On the other hand, it is my hope that Verizon will realize the great photographic jewel that it will possess in Flickr and find a way to breathe new life back into it. If executed with excellence, Flickr will remain the top site for quality among serious photographers … like me.

Captain Rick : The Senna Artemisioides, commonly known as feathery or silver cassia, produces an abundance of beautiful yellow flowers in the spring. Endemic to Australia, it also thrives abundantly in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.
It is a hardy shrub that can withstand temps into 20’s F and loves dry ground with full sun into the 110’s F, making it a perfect match for the Phoenix Arizona area.

Senna artemisioides is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae.  It can grow to 3 meters in height, though I keep mine manicured in the shape of an inverted cone about 5 feet tall, which removes the many long flat green seed pods that grow with the flowers. At Christmas time, it becomes one of the many trees, shrubs and plants to be adorned with thousands of lights at my desert oasis. Below is a photo of my Senna Artemisioides before grooming.

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Click the image above to view the photo in HDTV format in Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

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Captain Rick : Moraine Lake is a glacially-fed lake in Banff National Park, 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) from the Village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. Banff National Park, in the breath-taking Canadian Rockies, is one of the most beautiful and most visited parks in the world. The emerald color of the water comes from rock flour carried into the lake by melt-water from the glaciers  on the surrounding mountains that overlook the lake.

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Click the image above to view the photo in HDTV format on Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

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Captain Rick: Massive Mesquite trees were blown over by a 100 mph macroburst in Ashley Park, Chandler Arizona on July 13, 2014. These beautiful 17-year old Mesquite trees and the shade they provided during my daily morning walks are now history. I find it amazing…what ‘mother nature’ can destroy in a moment.

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Click above image to view it in HDTV format on Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

This was the first macroburst I have ever witnessed. It is the opposite of a tornado. The wind rushes down a tunnel, rather than up. When the air aloft hits the ground, it rushes out in all directions at speeds that can reach over 100 miles per hour near the eye, as was apparent in this macroburst.

During the days after, I walked and bicycled many miles thru the neighborhood. For several days I heard the continual sound of chain saws and tree grinders. I have never seen so many trees downed, roofs and other structures damaged during my nearly two decades living in Arizona. From all of the damage I saw, I believe the above photo was taken extremely close to the eye of the macroburst.

Report from my Facebook page just after the storm:

Its been early March since we had a drop of rain in Gilbert…one of the longest dry spells I can remember.
We had our first monsoon storm blow in from the mountains to the east…with magnitude I have never experienced at my Arizona Oasis.
It brought some much needed rain…and lots of it. Part of my rear patio went under water as well as other areas of my oasis….
I measured 2.25” of rain in a pail and also in my pool, which is almost to the lower edge of the deck. That is a first during my 17 years at my Arizona Oasis.
It hailed for several minutes. I picked up one that measured almost 1/2”. That is a first during my 17 years at my Arizona Oasis.
The wind blew like I have never seen it blow…even during Hurricane Hugo which I experienced in North Carolina. I do not have a wind gage but I estimate that for a few minutes the wind blew at well over 50 mph…possibly over 100 mph. That is a first during my 17 years at my Arizona Oasis.
All is calm now and I am thankful for the much needed rain…but wow…did it all have to come at once with such vigor?

During my morning 5 mile walk and bicycle ride I toured most of the area within a half mile of my Oasis in all directions. I saw scores of trees blow over, some into houses creating roof damage. Some of the trees were huge…perhaps 50 feet tall or more. Some had their roots ripped right out of the ground. I could hear chain saws and tree grinders everywhere. From what I saw, the worst destruction happened within about a quarter mile in each direction…meaning my Oasis was the epicenter of what obviously was a microburst…first I ever experienced…and definitely the most violent weather I have ever experienced in my life, not only here in Arizona…but anywhere.
A microburst is the opposite of a tornado. The cold winds from above descend thru a tunnel and then spread rapidly outward along the ground creating tornado like winds…but in reverse. Microbursts have been measured at speeds of 175 mph+…rivaling tornadoes and dwarfing most hurricanes.
For about 2 minutes yesterday I saw the wind blow with massive rain and 1/2" hail coming down almost horizontal. There is no doubt in my mind that the wind was well over 100 mph. I have experienced 80 mph winds during Hurricane Hugo in North Carolina. Hugo was a ‘walk in the park’ compared to the microburst that hit my neighborhood yesterday. It took a couple hours to clean all of the leaves from my pool and yard. My skyline view from my patio has improved. A large tree that previously blocked the view of the International Space Station flying overhead, is mostly gone…thankfully not in my yard.

Today I extended my daily walk to 3 miles with Canon camera in hand. I got some awesome photos of massive trees that fell with roots pulled right out of the ground. I then hopped on my bicycle for an extra long 5 mile ride to tour all of the area to the east of me…also with camera. Scores of big trees down, some onto houses. Lots of tile roof damage. I captured a lot of photos. As I get time, the best of them will make it to my Flickr photostream in the full glory of Atridim WIDESCREEN…viewable full screen in 1080p on an HDTV.

All reports I have read and from the damage I have seen in the neighborhood…the recent Microburst was actually one of Arizona’s first Macrobursts…which rivals the destructive force of a tornado…except in reverse. The winds rush down the core tunnel and then outward across the surface at speeds up to 200 mph. Most of the downed trees have been cut up and removed. From what I could tell from my multi-mile walks and bike rides, the center of the macroburst occurred about 1/4 mile west of my house. There are still several gigantic roots structures ripped out of the ground remaining of large trees that all fell to the west. Several of the root structures on their side stand taller than me. It is an awesome sight. Looks like a massive hurricane went thru, but localized like a tornado. I captured some great photos that I will process to Atridim Widescreen for display on Flickr…when I get a chance.

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Captain Rick: As a Flick pioneer (2007), I was honored by my most recent photo:  ‘Arizona White Bougainvillea Brilliance’ being selected for presentation on Flickr’s Explore. It produced over 1500 views of the photo shown below and over 1000 views of other photos in my photostream…now approaching 300,000 views.

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Click photo for high definition viewing options via my Flickr Photostream

Arizona White Bougainvillea Brilliance

This white bougainvillea glistens in the sun at my Oasis in Gilbert Arizona.

Bougainvillea grow vines with thorns. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts in bright colors, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, peach, salmon or yellow. Bougainvillea are sometimes referred to as a "paper flower" because the bracts are thin and papery.

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Photography by Captain Rick

About Captain Rick including how he got his nickname and passion for photography and journalism

Photography

Captain Rick: Mount Rainier is a massive, active stratovolcano that dominates the sky over Washington State. With a summit elevation of 14,411 ft (4,392 m), it is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States. Worldwide, only Mount Everest tops this stat.  

With 26 major glaciers and 36 sq mi (93 km2) of permanent snowfields and glaciers, Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. The summit is topped by two volcanic craters, each more than 1,000 ft (300 m) in diameter. Geothermal heat from the volcano keeps areas of both crater rims free of snow and ice, and has formed the world’s largest volcanic glacier cave network within the ice-filled craters, with nearly 2 mi (3.2 km) of passages. It spawns six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems.

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Click photo for high definition viewing options via my Flickr Photostream

I captured the original of this photo during my 5000 mile ‘Wild West Road Trip’. This post presents a breathtaking high definition image in ‘Atridim WIDESCREEN’, viewable full screen on an HDTV or widescreen computer monitor. Click the photo above for high definition viewing options via my Flickr Photostream.

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Photography by Captain Rick

About Captain Rick including how he got his nickname and passion for photography and journalism

Photography

Captain Rick: Joan Crawford stands on the running board of her 1932 Cadillac Fleetwood in an image I restored with new sharpness and detail for full-screen viewing on an HDTV.

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Click the above image to view it in high definition via my Flickr Photostream. Captain Rick’s Flickr Friends can download it in 1920 x 1080 resolution for viewing on an HDTV or widescreen computer monitor

Joan Crawford (March 23, 1904 – May 10, 1977) was an American dancer and stage chorine, who later became a noted, Oscar-winning film and television actress.

Starting as a dancer in traveling theatrical companies before debuting as a chorine (a chorus girl) on Broadway, Crawford signed a motion picture contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1925. During the 1930s Crawford often played hardworking young women who find romance and success. These "rags-to-riches" stories were well received by Depression-era audiences and were popular with women. Crawford became one of Hollywood’s most prominent movie stars and one of the highest paid women in the United States, but her films began losing money and by the end of the 1930s she was labeled "Box Office Poison". But her career gradually improved in the early 1940s, and she made a major comeback in 1945 by starring in Mildred Pierce, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Joan Crawford was voted the tenth greatest female star in the history of American cinema by the American Film Institute.

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Classic Stars & Cars

Photography by Captain Rick 

Photography