Ebooks by TCDavis

 

Double Exposure ebook cover
What might a Vietnam combat veteran discover about himself as he revisits the country he fought in forty two years ago? TCDavis, a pastor turned photographer, and former naval adviser to a South Vietnamese junk base, reveals his answer in Double Exposure: A Veteran Returns to Vietnam, an exciting and thought-provoking memoir of 22 photo-illustrated reflections.  See my video, Returning to Vietnam.
A reader wrote in her Amazon.com review:
“The book will be of interest to anyone who wishes to have a better understanding of the effects of war on the individual and the healing journey that comes after. I also found it interesting to read about the Vietnam that has emerged from all those years of war, a vibrant and prosperus place. I highly recommend this book.”

Kindle version here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008Y2FOS4.

Get other digital reader versions: for Nook, Sony, etc. at Smashwords.com.

Using Amazon S3 for Streaming Large Files

Amazon-S3-logoIf you have tried streaming large files such as selections of music from the server that hosts your website files, you have probably noticed that this slows down your site’s performance.  Pages load slower.  Slow loading tends to reduce traffic to your site.  So you may want to check out Amazon’s S3 service.  S3 charges you not by the month, but only for the elapsed times of your data transfers.  Unless your site gets a huge number of visitors and a large demand for streamed files, your charges from Amazon S3 will be very minimal.  S3 is also a good place to back up your hard drives or your website files.  Many backup applications make it easy to back up to S3 automatically on a regular basis.

Starting to Use S3

Once you open an account at Amazon S3 you will want to create a "bucket."  A bucket is a large category for organizing your files there.  You can create folders within a bucket.  When you upload a file to S3 it will contain first the bucket name, then the address of S3, then a folder name (if you have stored the file in a folder), then the file name (with suffix.)  Let’s say the name of your bucket is mybucket, and a folder within that bucket is named music, and a music selection you have uploaded to that folder and want to stream is called livelymelody.mp3.  To make a live link to that .mp3 file so that it will play at your website use this address:  http://mybucket.s3.amazonaws.com/music/livemelody.mp3.

Making Your Website Even Snappier Using CloudFront

Since a major reason for using Amazon S3 is to speed up the transmission of website data, you may also want to use a sub-service of S3, called CloudFront.  CloudFront reduces the time it takes for a web file to be transmitted from where it is stored to where it is heard or viewed or otherwise employed by a user. It does this by pre-arranging shortcuts in data routing. When you configure a file using CloudFront, be aware that it will receive a new url, and this url will not be immediately available.  It takes a while for CloudFront to map the fastest routing.  Files optimized by CloudFront are very quick to resolve when users click on their links.  I highly recommend this additional way of speeding up your website’s performance.

 

Working with Expired Film

When the clouds come out I love to put a polarizing filter on my Nikon F3 and shoot with slide film.  Film looks less crisp than digital, a bit more like a painting, it seems to me.  Plus, I love to work with a well made classic metal camera.  It’s a slower, more meditative way of photographing.  Below are some recent Spring photos I took within a five minute walk from my back door.  I used Kodak Elite 200.  It has expired, but the former owner kept it in a refrigerator, and so have I, so it produces nicely saturated exposures.  The “Fire in Spring” photo is a double exposure of Crocus blossoms superimposed on the bark of a Tulip Poplar tree.

 

How to Edit Galleries and Slideshows in WordPress

Want to edit galleries and slideshows in WordPress?  Here are the detailed instructions:

Here’s how to make a slideshow on a page:

  • Log into your WordPress website.
  • If you have already created a page that you want to contain a slideshow, click on that page’s link, then click on “edit page” in the black bar at the top of your screen.
  • Add some text into the editing window if you wish to introduce the slideshow with an explanation.
  • Place your cursor in the editing window where you want your slideshow to appear.
  • Click on the “add media” button above the editing window
  • Now you will be looking at thumbnails of all the media files already uploaded to your media library.  You can add more media files by clicking on the “upload files” link just under the words, “insert media”.
  • Click “Create Gallery” in the left margin of the media library window.
  • Click on each thumbnail of a photo you want to include in this gallery (which you can make into a slideshow; instructions to follow).
  • Click on the blue “create new gallery” button at the bottom right of the media library window.
  • A new window now appears, showing the thumbnails of the photos you have entered into this new gallery.  To make the gallery into a slideshow, in the right hand portion of the window, in the “type” window, select “slideshow” in the drop-down menu.  Note:  You may discover that this pull-down menu does not appear in your edit gallery window.  In this case, install the JetPack plugin, configure the Carousel feature of Jetpack,  and click the “text” tab of the page you are editing.  You will see a line of code there enclosed in brackets which ends with ids= followed by numbers and commas.  Just after the first bracket insert this code: gallery type=”slideshow”.   When you have inserted the code click on the “update” button at the right side of the page.  The next time you edit galleries on this website the pull-down menu enabling you to select thumbnails or slideshow as your gallery type will appear and operate properly.
  • Click on ” the “insert gallery” button at the bottom right portion of your screen.
  • You will be taken back to the editing window of the page you’re working on.  You’re almost done.  Finally, click the “update” button at the right of your screen.
  • Check the front side (public side) of your website by clicking on the “view page” link at the top of the editing window.
  • You might need to refresh your web browser to make the page work properly.  In fact, whenever you complete an editing task it’s a good idea to refresh your browser, i.e., load a new copy of the page.  Why?  Because your browser stores prior versions of pages in order not to have to construct pages on the fly every time one is summoned.  But the version it has stored may not be the latest one, the one you just so painstakingly edited!  So get in the habit of refreshing your browser.  You do this by clicking on the little curved arrow, which in most browsers is located along the top of the window somewhere.

If you want to edit an already existing slideshow:

  • Log into your website.
  • Click on the link to the page that contains the slideshow.  The easiest way to do this is to go to the public side of your site and click on that page’s link in your site’s page navigation menu.
  • Next, click on “edit page” in the black bar at the top of your window.
  • You will now be looking at the editing window of that page.  At the right hand of your screen, make sure you have the “visual” tab selected, not the “text” one.  The visual choice gives you a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get view.  The text choice shows you the html code for that page.
  • You will see the area in which the slideshow resides within a dotted, colored rectangle.   In the middle of that rectangle is an icon showing two little squares, one superimposed on the other.  Click on that icon.  It looks like this:

gallery_icon

  • Immediately you will see two little squares appear in the top left corner of that rectangle.  Click on the left one, the one that says “edit gallery” when you hover over it.
  • To add new photos to the gallery click on the “add to gallery” link at the left of your screen.
  • To remove photos from the gallery, click on the “x” that appears when you hover over a thumbnail.
  • You can change the type of gallery (either slideshow or thumbnails) by making your selection in the “type” pull-down menu to the right of your screen.
  • When you have made all the changes you wish to the gallery, click on the “update gallery” button at the bottom right of your screen.
  • Finally, click on the “update” button of the page you’ve been working on.
  • Then, refresh your browser and check how the page looks and performs by clicking on the “view page” link at the top of your screen.