Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Photographs & Blogger

I have been treating photos as though they are gold. You only get 1 gig of free storage, so I have been downsizing my photos before storing them and worried about what am I going to do when I get to my limit. This morning I took a look at the Picasa Web Albums site where Blogger stores our photos. I have 66 photos stored and I am using 0.6% of my allotted 1 gig of free space. Well I guess I have a way to go before I have to worry. I checked the storage rates:

Select a plan:
20 GB ($5.00 USD per year)
80 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
200 GB ($50.00 USD per year)
400 GB ($100.00 USD per year)
1 TB ($256.00 USD per year)

According to the little blurb, 20 Gig will store 10,000 photos from a 5 megapixel camera. Ok so why am I downsizing photos? I think I can afford five bucks a year!
So let me post a few photos from yesterday's trip to the Living Treasures Animal Park near New Castle, Pennsylvania, and let's see what happens.

Living Treasures, Moraine

Click on the photos to see half size. Click on the half size photo to see full size.

I just added these 6 photos and my usage went from 0.6% to 0.86% I think I can add full sized photos rather than resizing them as I have been doing. But going back to the rates, usually when you buy more of something the unit price goes down. However, the rates maintain at 4 Gig per dollar (1 terabyte = 1024 gigabytes hence the odd looking but binarilly correct price of $256 per TB).

I read recently that computer storage is consuming more energy than air travel. That seems hard to believe, but the figure accounts for not just the energy that the servers use, but lighting, heating, and cooling required for the infrastructure.

My new camera has an 8 gig class 6 HDSD card. The cost $34. This thing is 32 x 24 x 2.1 mm thick. A bit larger than a postage stamp albeit a lot thicker--about as thick as the edge of a new quarter.

Wikipedia, Secure Digital Memory

Amazon threw in a free 4 gig class 4 card which is probably more than adequate for my needs but the class 6 card transfers faster. I don't know the exact figures but my guess is that my camera's memory card has more memory than existed in the world in say 1956--but that is a guess.

The card in my old camera, a Compact Flash was about 43 X 36 x 5 mm and held 64 MB. It ran about $30 when I bought the camera. The old card would hold 660 photos of 640 X 480. The new card will hold 61,000 of that size photos. In the 7 years that I owned my old camera I would have used on a 1/4 of the new card's capacity. I take bigger pictures now, but not huge, 1600 X 1200. I have taken 1063 photos and I have only used 911MB. I still have over 7 Gig left on the card.

Sometimes I undergo technology revelation euphorias. It is something like the oceanic feeling one gets with a spiritual euphoria but it is a--what? Being overwhelmed with wonder about the abilities of technology? I had one back in April of 2003. My wife and I were walking about the Kanawha State Forest not far from Charleston West Virgina. Now as the definition goes, this place wasn't what you would call exactly wilderness, but it was a large tract of forest with few roads and it appeared to be wilderness. We were walking with our GPS in search of a Tupperware container full of trinkets on a lonely mountain in the West Virginia "wilderness". The coordinates that we were searching were down loaded that morning off a server in Seattle. The GPS was calculating the direction and distance that we were away from the Tupperware container using up to 12 satellites located at an altitude of 12,500 miles above our heads. The GPS led us to within 9 feet of the cache. I took some pictures of cache and the surrounding area. That evening I would post a write up of our adventure including several photos on the server in Seattle and it just got me. How weird is this? Geocaching with a contraption a little bigger than a cell phone telling me where a container of trinkets is on some way out place in West Virginia from information stored in Seattle and using radio signals from satellites thousands of miles away.

And so it is with this camera memory card. I can store 61,000 photos on a piece of plastic a bit bigger than a postage stamp and as thick as a quarter. It blows my mind.

If you like my photos or dislike them, blame it on the camera. I only know how to use the point & shoot mode. The camera knows far more about photography than I do. The camera is a Canon SX20IS that I bought about 2 weeks ago. I am quite pleased with it.


  1. My comment just disappeared. I will try to recreate it. You, Sir, err. While a camera could well be responsible for the technical quality of a photograph, the photographer aims the camera and is therefore responsible for the actual quality of the photograph. Could a camera, if left to its own devices, produce that yawning tiger? Mercy! That's the old monkey, typewriter, great novel question except in this case the monkey is eliminated.

  2. True! But without technical quality the greatest pointer and shooter in the world is going to have lousy pictures. The tiger is proof that give a baby a machine gun, sooner or later he will hit something.

  3. Nonsense. Am sending you off to see the work of Andy Goldsworthy, whom you probably know. Would there be art without the photographs? Would there be photographs without the art?