Eric

IMG_7244
the Californian

Hiker

Photographer

Music Lover

Coder

Gamer

I consider California my absolute home. Angela and I enjoy varied adventures in life including hiking, landscape design, swimming, gardening, tennis, and travel.  I can never emphasize enough how very much I adore Southern California.  Growing up in Oregon, I was raised to bemoan this place with a nasally upturned distain, but having lived in both the North West and Mid West, I can’t imagine a more perfect domain in which to house my admittedly cantankerous ad unique self.  The people and places here bring me consistant delight.  A people that embody the Gene Roddenberry IDIC exsistance, there are many cultures and influences here that broaden and enrich our shared cultural experiences and zeitgeist.  The stunning variety of places continues to suprise me with beaches, mountains, deserts, urban and rural areas so diverse and accessible that boredom is an impossibility.  California Love.


the Geek

THE GEEK HIERARCHY

GEEK: 
Understands, creates, & fixes Really Cool Stuff.

NERD:
Understands & collects Really Cool Stuff.

DORK:
Confused by Really Cool Stuff.

An avid and self-described geek, I spend a massive majority of my life tinkering.  I must understand how everything functions and then improve upon it.  This nature extends from my professional career to my personal life and all things in between, behind, around, end upside-down.

eric work

In a professional sence; I take an almost perverse delight in simplifying a complex system, saving resources (money, CPU cycles, disk I/O, database calls), and providing the best in industry results.  I’m typical of my generation (lost and wedged between Gen X and the Millenials) in that I don’t respond to sales calls, distrust many within the technology realm of service, and like large-scale challenges.  I’m part enthusiastic wunderkind and part intellectual sceptical curmudgeon.  I’ve earned a few nicknames from colleagues: The Professor, Doctor, Tech Genius, and on; but likely the most accurate is simply geek.  

Within my personal life, geekery abounds.  I’m obsessively organized and structured where it comes to the places, activities, and objects I use.  My home is ever on course toward efficiency (large PV solar arrays, 218% reduction in water use, detailed scematics and control systems to automate any use of resource), beauty (monthly additions to landscape areas, internal and external lighting systems that allow color/luminosity control, art instalations), and ease fo use (home comand and control services for everything with an electrical current emulating LCARS interface, visual and autitory streaming to every locale, sensors to detect and react to various situations).


the Photographer
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A photographic landscape hobiest; I enjoy the art of capturing the right scene or moment, the fun of creating/using an import workflow that accomodates my needs, the art of developing, and the seemingly endless possibilities for further expression.

My current gear includes:

clickelitebackpack

My current favorite pack is the Clik Elite Compact Sport Camera Backpack.  While it can’t accommodate the addition of the battery grip holder (essentially a pro body), I chose it for the lightweight, small form factor and ability to hold a water bag (desert hiking afterall).

As a hiking enthusiest, GPS coordinates are very important to me.  I want to know where the photo was taken and where the subject is relative to the shot.  In the past I have used complex systems involving coordination between my camera clock and external GPS generated track file to edit the EXIF data and add the proper coordinates.  This task has become far simpler with the addition of the Canon GP-E2 unit as it will record lattitude, longitude, elevation, and compass data directly to the EXIF as I shoot.

Photo editing and organization has come a long way in the past few years.  I have always craved a strong organizational system to hold my photo data, but I deplore proprietary systems that are subject to change or a end-of-life that can porentially ruin my organizational schema and edits.  This occured when Apple announced the end of their Aperture product in favor of “Photos”, an absolute consumer-level system that mimics iOS over any sembalence of a professional cataloging system.  Consequently, in December 2014 I made the switch to Adobe Lightroom and have been thrilled with it ever since.

Lightroom affords me a few core standards that are imperative to my left-brain:

  • Holds photos in the Finder (Windows Explorer if you are on the Redmond, WA stuff) in a standard format that is non-proprietary.  Imported RAW files live in a folder structure I designate (YYYY/MM/DD).
  • Meta data is preserved in a  sidecar file using an XML format that is open and non-proprietary.  Changes I make to metadata are initially recorded in the catalog file.  Once I am done with a set, I commit those changes to the files but this simply means that a sidecar xml file is created next to each RAW file.  
  • Editing is non-destructive and lightweight.  Edits I make to the files are recorded in the same manner as are metadata changes, to the catalog.  Once I am done developing a set, I commit those changes to the files and the sidecar xml is created/modified.  
  • ddd

* About sidecar files vs. Adobe DNG:  There are two schools of thought regarding whether to use the Adobe (“open”) DNG format.  Some photographers justify DNG use because it makes for a single file (all metadata and edits are stored within the DNG container) that lived in an open-standard file.  I get that and at one point, thought this quite logical, however there are two key reasons why I chose to stay with the manufacturer RAW format (in my case, Canon .CR2) with the sidecar XML:  A. There are no guarantees that the DNG format contains all data from the camera RAW file (camera raw files are proprietary and no one knows for certain that all data is preserved in the conversion to DNG), B. the DNG system makes for a less elegant differential backup solution.  That second ratinalle against using DNG is big for me.  I use Crashplan to nightly backup my photos.  Consequently, I know that when I wake in the morning, my photos are all backup up.  If I make meta or develop changes to the files, all that changes insofar as the Crashplan differential backup are the sidecar files.  They are tiny in size and so hours of work can be backed up rapidly without needing to upload massive raw images again.  Speaking of backup, in addition to Crashplan, I also weekly backup (via the Lightroom catalog backup settings) my Lightroom catalog file to my Dropbox.  So if I have been working on a few sets and have not set committed changes to the sidecar files, I am still in a good place in regard to backup.

Lightroom and plugins

Link to Flickr works.


the Gamer

For my latest favorite tracks


the Music Lover

Discuss musical tastes here.

For my latest favorite tracks and artists, I maintain quarterly favorite playlists with Deezer.com.

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