wordpress

Cortado


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A cortado is an espresso drink that’s somewhere between a macchiato and a cappuccino. It’s about half express and half milk which makes it strong but small and easy to drink quickly. The barista’s at Rojo’s Roastery serve this drink in a small shot glass. The glass loses heat quickly so I had only a few seconds to make these photographs.

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With the exception of the espresso itself and the Americano I think I’ve had every espresso drink on the menu. I’ve had the cappuccino, the machiatto, the latte, and the cortado. I don’t think I have a favorite yet but I’m leaning toward the machiatto.

Cortado was originally published on Island in the Net

Macchiato


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Macchiato. Not something I drink often. Rarely drink. In fact, I’m not sure I have ever had a macchiato. I had a chance to chat with the barista about her process (they staff here is so knowledgeable). I love the coffee but I enjot the morning banter right before work just a much. This is my thrid trip here this week. Wednesday I had a cappuccino, yesterday I had cartado; another first. I haven’t had a bad drink here. I’m trying to convince the baristas to talk to the owner about putting a espreso con panna on the menu. via 500px

Macchiato was originally published on Island in the Net

How I use Adobe Lightroom as a blogging tool


Since the launch of Pressgram I have thought a lot about how my photos are published. While Pressgram allows me to snap a photo, add a filter, and post my photo to my WordPress blog1 it doesn’t offer an easy way to publish photos I’ve taken with my DSLR. With Pressgram, I have full creative control over my photos and since the photos are hosted on my blog, I benefit from the traffic to my blog that would otherwise go to a social network.

But as I thought about this some and I realized that for certain photo, photos taken with my DSLR and processed in some other software like Adobe Lightroom, that I would prefer posting these photos to other communities like Flickr or 500px while at the same time driving traffic back to my blog. I could publish my DSLR photos to Pressgram but I felt that I was better served publishing them into a more appropriate community. The communities on 500px and Flickr are more geared toward the DSLR and compact systems camera (CSC) photographer2. I have accounts on both but recently have leaned toward using 500px more.

A few years ago, I settled on using Adobe Lightroom for cataloging and editing my photos. The “good” ones the ones I feel comfortable sharing publicly, end up on my blog. My current workflow for publishing photos involves exporting a suitably sized photo to a local folder, optionally optimizing the photo using JPEGmini, then uploading and posting to my blog3. JPEGmini helps improve the performance of my photo heavy blog. Occasionally I remember to upload them to 500px via a 500px export plugin for Lightroom.

Here’s the current “publish” workflow.

  • Select the photo I want to publish.
  • Export photo to folder.
  • Launch browser and login to blog.
  • Create a new blog post entry and upload photo.
  • Write and publish blog post.
  • Copy text of post to clipboard.
  • Switch to Develop module in Adobe Lightroom.
  • Paste clipboard text into caption field. Add title. The caption text will become the body of the post to 500px and WordPress.
  • Export photo using 500px export plugin.

It’s not a complicated workflow but it seemed to me that there was room for improvement. When I export photos to 500px, I can set certain parameters for quality of the photo including sizing and JPEG compression. What if I could skip the JPEGmini optimization step and use the 500px optimized photo on my blog? My photos would be hosted at 500px and I would benefit from improved performance on my site since photos would be served from 500px servers instead of mine.

What I wanted was to post my photos to 500px, along with some text, while at the same time creating a blog post. Basically I wanted a Pressgram style workflow for my DSLR photos.

I had messed around with IFTTT, a service that lets anyone create connections between various online services (channels). I could create a recipe to connect 500px and WordPress. Each upload to 500px would trigger the recipe to create a blog entry. Posting my photos to 500px and WordPress would be as simple as using the 500px Lightroom plugin. My recipe requires that the photo is tagged with keyword “wordpress”. This allows me the flexibility of sometimes publishing to 500px without also creating a blog post.

Here’s the new “publish” workflow.

  • Select the photo I want to publish.
  • Switch to Develop module.
  • Add keyword, title and caption. The title will become the title of the WordPress blog post and the caption text will become the body.
  • Export photo using 500px export plugin.

When the IFTTT recipe is triggered, my content and photo will post to WordPress. Since I use Markdown to create my blog post the 500px text will appear formatted in Markdown. This isn’t much of a problem since most of my photos post don’t include links and Markdown text is easy to read. A plugin on my WordPress blog converts the Markdown to HTML. The blog posting will also include a small piece of text with a link back to my 500px photo.

I used this workflow on two recent blog posts. One about my early morning trip to Rojo’s Roastery and the other about scratching my food photography itch.

There is one downside to this. My photos will be hosted on 500px. I am will be subject to 500px TOS and if I close my 500px account or delete a photo from 500px, the photo links on my blog will break. However, I think 500px’s TOS is designed to favour the rights of the photographer. 500px keeps adding new features most of which benefit me as a photographer. I especially love the portfolio feature and I can mark my photos for sale.

This modified workflow will work with Flickr. Adobe has a built-in Flickr4 export plugin and it’s easy to create a workable IFTTT recipe.


  1. The photo will also post to the Pressgram community and optionally Facebook and Twitter. 
  2. Yes, I realize that the most popular camera on Flickr is the iPhone but I think my meaning is clear. 
  3. I almost always have a story to tell about my photos. 
  4. I prefer Jeffrey Friedl’s Flickr Export plugin

How I use Adobe Lightroom as a blogging tool was originally published on Island in the Net

Pressgram! An Image Sharing App Built for an Independent Web.


John Saddington didn’t like the terms of service of most online photo sharing services. He wanted to keep ownership and control of his photography. He discovered that there were many other photographers who shared his concerns. John wanted to combine the power of the WordPress publishing platform — something he’s also quite passionate about — with the his love of mobile photography. So he did something about it.

He started a Kickstarter project to create an application — Pressgram — that would allow iPhone photographers to share their photos with the world while retaining full ownership rights.

The premise is simple: I wanted to post filtered photos from my iPhone 5 but without worrying about any privacy or licensing issues (and we’re not interested in asking you to upload photo IDs). In other words, I wanted complete and total creative control of my images and content (as well as the pageviews).John Saddington

I know this thinking resonated with me. I was one of the many people who was upset ( no … PISSED OFF ) when Instagram changed it’s terms of service (TOS) soon after being acquired by Facebook. I didn’t feel ok with seeing my child’s picture on a billboard advertisement for Facebook? What about my wife’s photo next to an ad for vaginal herpes medication? I was so pissed off I said goodbye to all my followers, downloaded my images and deleted my Instagram account1.

The Instagram API limits exports to 612 pixels. So my downloaded images were the tiny, grainy images that look so great on a small iPhone screen but look like garbage on a large computer display.

If I wanted to publish my images to a self-hosted WordPress blog, there were a few WordPress plugins that allowed me to import images directly from Instagram but again only at 612 pixels. I wanted full creative control of my photos and to license them on my terms2.

On Instagram — or any social network — my followers are not mine. They are Instagram’s. Once I deleted my Instagram account I also lost all my followers. Wouldn’t it be nice to have those followers comment on my photos via a WordPress blog that I had complete control over?

Why not have complete control over how my images are represented and still get the social sharing benefits of Facebook or Twitter? Why not keep control of my photos while using social media to drive traffic back to my web presence?

Photographer Aaron Hockley summed it up nicely in a blog post:

It’s possible to have both our social emotional networks while also owning our photos in a more permanent location. I look forward to seeing Pressgram in the wild!

John and his team have worked tirelessly for the last few months to bring his ( the community? ) vision to reality. A few weeks ago the app was submitted to the App Store for approval. It was rejected. Apple wanted some design changes. John’s team made some changes and the app was resubmitted for approval. And was rejected again. Changes were made and the app was submitted to Apple for a third time. This time the app was approved. It was well worth waiting for.

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Getting started is easy enough. Download the app from the iTunes App Store and create an account via Twitter, Facebook or email. You’ll want to check your email inbox for your temporary password.

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The first thing you’ll want to do is complete the social profile for your Pressgram account. Tapping the area with your profile photo will take you to your profile page. Tap the little pencil and fill in the form with your name, your web site and a short bio. You can also change your password or make your Pressgram account private.

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Now it’s time to setup your sharing options. Head back out to the main menu and tap the little gear icon. This will take you to the Settings menu.

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You can add the settings for your WordPress.com or self-hosted WordPress blog so that you can optionally post content. The support team has put together a Knowledge Base to help guide you through this.

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In the Setting menu you can adjust your social media sharing and iOS notifications options. Pressgram supports Twitter and Facebook and I expect John has more planned for a future release.

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Ok. Now setup is complete you are ready to start sharing some photos. You can either import an existing photo from your camera roll or snap a new one. All photos will be square by default. There is a grid overlay to help with compositions and flash and rear front facing camera toggles. After you capture or import a photo, Pressgram will walk you through choosing a filter — there are some very nice ones — putting a border around your image or adding a blur effect. Instagram users will be right at home with the options. Once you are doing tweaking your image, Pressgram will take you to the another screen. Here you can add some text to go along with your image post to the Pressgram network. You can also add hash tags and choose which blog or social network to share your content to.

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Tap the little check mark and, voila! You have just joined the revolution. I spent quite a bit of time looking through the images in the Popular photo feed. Tap an image to bring up a screen with just that image.

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Double tap to “heart” a photo. Tap the little quote box to leave a comment. You can do @name type mentions in the comments. Tapping the … brings up a menu to report inappropriate content or share the image to Twitter or Facebook. Tapping the avatar for the photographer brought up his or her profile. You can see the photographers stats and if you choose to, follow him or her.

The app packs in a lot of the basic features that I think someone switching from Instagram would want. I know some people hate the square format but I love it.

There were some early birthing pains. About 1000 people signed up in the first few hours and John had to rapidly scale his AWS servers. Even though I posted early in the morning ( around 6:30 AM ) my images did not show up on Twitter or Facebook until the afternoon. At the time of this writing no images have posted to my blog.

But, I have high hopes for Pressgram. I am already counting down the date to deleting my Instagram account ( again ) and enjoying my freedom from the tyranny of Instagram’s TOS.

John wanted to change the status quo. He wanted a revolution. I think he has succeeded.

You see, this is a revolution in thinking – a way of freeing ourselves from the shackles of corporate greed and commercial exploitation to finally have true creative freedom through the publication of our own great work.John Saddington


  1. I recreated my account after Instagram changed the TOS back to the original. 
  2. Images on my site are all Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial unless otherwise noted. 

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p class=”wp-crosspost-linkback”>Pressgram! An Image Sharing App Built for an Independent Web. was originally published on Island in the Net