To Strava, or not to Strava

I’ve been a loyal user of strava for years. But I’ve been thinking recently of dumping my premium subscription. Why? 

Well, in all honesty, it just no longer fits my use requirements. I’ve never really used the segments, other than beating my own times. I’m not interested in bragging rights or KOMS. One of strava’s issues is that there will always people out there who will game the system to get the bragging rights. The leaderboard is knackered due to this.

Garmin recently brought segments to many GPS units. I used to use it, but due to a bug with the garmin firmware and the inability to set a default target it fell out of favour.

So what else is out there? Well, there are a few logging sites. None of them have the same pull as strava, but my current usage is Training Peaks and Ridewithgps.com. 

Training peaks is arguably the grand father of them all. With no limits to the way you can view data, and the sheer amount you can do, it is the greatest at seeing your performance improve. But it can be a massive data overload. 

Ridewithgps is simple, but powerful. With support for ride tagging, gear management and maintenance logs. It’s recently started to gear itself more toward clubs, but it’s still a great choice for lone riders who arnt looking for a social aspect, although it does offer that, but so far has failed to pick up the type of following strava enjoys. 

And that’s what strava has going, the social aspect. It’s simply unmatched in that regard. And that’s why I’ll continue to keep a strava account, but not a premium. It just has no benefit for me. 

Been quite awhile

It’s been sometime since I updated my blog, but I’m still here, alive and kicking.

Back in October, my beloved felt was stolen out of the garage. I know, I’m partly to blame for not securing it, but the loss hit me hard. Loved that bike for what it was. A workhorse.

But anyway, it all worked out well with the replacement. 

I’ll try doing more posts, and make them interesting 🙂 

Unhappy people

I do a lot of street photography. Most of the people I photograph, don’t notice, or plain just don’t care. However, there are some that will look at you when you take the image, with that quizzical look in the eye. There are others who will ask, out of pure curiosity. And then there are others who are just down right hostile, which I hasten to add are in the extreme minority. Like this message I got through my ipernity site last night.

I found a picture of me on this site and demand u remove it.
This is a gross invasion of my privacy and against human rights.

So remove it as quickly as possible. I will look to make sure. I will contact a law professional to sue you if you dont.

Now, this is just rude, and hostile, so it naturally got my back up somewhat. I may have considered removing the image, if it had been phrased with a little more care. But as such, knowing I am in the right I am refusing to remove it.

If your on a public street, in the UK, I have every right to take an image. There are occasions where I wont, such as people leaving hospitals, clinics or such. But generally, it’s all fair game. After all, this breach of their human rights, how do they feel about the amount of CCTV that watches them in a day, let alone the number of stores that you walk in, and get captured on in store CCTV. That argument just does not hold water.

I put my professional head on and crafted this reply.

I’m sorry you feel like your privacy has been invaded, but the fact is you where on a public street, and as such are open to be photographed as there is no expectation of privacy in public. Had you been a little more polite in your approach I may of considered removing it. However, the image will be staying online.

Please feel free to contact a solicitor to clarify this if you wish.

You also didn’t mention which photo it actually is, can you please supply the full URL of the image?

Many thanks

Michael.

I now await a reply, or a letter from their Legal Advisor 🙂

Chimping

Chimping

1160 • f8.0 • 85.0 mm • ISO 100

Chimping. This is the habit of looking at your LCD every time you take an image. Its a bad habit.

It distracts you from your surroundings, you may be missing that shot, what ever you just took a shot of, may be doing something your missing.

Have you ever had an engaging conversation with a friend and then suddenly your friend gets a text message? What happens? Your friend says “sorry one second” and checks their phone, sends back a text, and slowly adjusts their focus back to you and says “Oh sorry–what were we talking about again?”

When taking photos, enjoy the act. Don’t put pressure on your self by inspecting each image.

LCD’s are not the best viewing platform either for looking at the image. What your seeing, is the JPEG, which has been rendered by your camera software, and passed through its various filters. What you see when you get home, may not be as exposed, vibrant as you see. And depending on the reflection your seeing on the LCD from ambient light, will fool you.

If you do look at the LCD, look at the histogram. This will always show you more than viewing the actual image.

And please don’t delete images from camera. It may look blurry, out of focus. But when you view it at home, there may be something about it, something you love. There are photographers who make their name with photos like that.

Just wait til you get home to inspect your photos, or wait until your in a coffee shop sipping on a mocha.

This is of course coming from the point of view of someone that primarily shoots street. And of course, macro, landscape and model photographers have an excuse. But not street. Enjoy being out, keep your eyes open and never miss a shot.

Of Gods and Science

On the long walk home, my mind wanders. With the rythmic roar of the traffic, my mind went to religion.

Specificly the case of is religion still has a place in the modern world. Thousands of years ago, humans did’nt know why their crops died, why did the floods come? They had no other idea other than a supieror force was playing with their lives. So religion was born to give people the reasons for these events. Its Human nature to have reasons. And that nature led to science explaining more and more of these events, eroding the grip religion had on the population.

This is why the religious institutions where hell bent on dismissing science as heresy, trying to destroy all scientific research and generally being repressive as possible. But Human nature always wins. People grew to live with both religion and science. But science was always there, gradually explaining all lifes mysteries.

Is religion defunct? No, its not. It gives people a sense of worth, community, identity and continuation, even after death. Long after science explains the last mysteries of the universe, people will need the other comforts religion brings. Be it Muslamic, Christianity or Buddism or any other religion, it will never pass. It will wain and grow, but religion will always be with us. For good or for worse.