Photography Club Exhibit Opening and Reception in Concord

First Parish of ConcordThis Sunday on April 22 the Photography Club at the First Parish of Concord will present its fifth annual Photography Club Exhibit. The public is welcome (and wanted) to attend... hey, that's what its all about. I joined the group in 2006, and I've been told that membership has swelled in the last couple years, and we're nearly 50 members.

Come join us for food and drinks this Sunday from 3 to 6pm while you wander the galleries throughout the First Parish, just off Concord Center. Concord Center is usually busy on weekends, and with the first burst of Spring's warmth expected for Sunday the place will probably be bustling. You can find a huge parking lot very near on Keyes Road just across from the Sally Ann Food Shop and behind the Bank of America.

Here's photos on Flickr geotagged for Concord. For my photos of Concord click here, or here on a map.

www.flickr.com

Video: The Streets of Bangalore India

You'll never complain about the traffic in your town again! Driving in Bangalore, India is not for the faint hearted. Bangalore has undergone an extreme population explosion in the last decade with the growth of the IT Industry. In my experience, Bangalore has unparalleled traffic congestion and chaos compared to anywhere in North America or Europe.

The first 3 minutes of this video are the last stretch in our daily commute from the Leela Palace Hotel to the Adobe office on Bannerghatta Road along the IT corridor. Starting at 4 minutes into the video is a backseat view from a ride inside one of those yellow-capped auto rickshaws from the office to the nearby Forum Mall. It was as much fun as an amusement park!

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My Recommendation for the Best Massachusetts Home Inspector

Our recent home buying experience was one filled with lots of research, paperwork, planning, and conversing. At times it seemed overwhelming, and my wife did a great job of managing things, especially during times that wore me down. However, among all my interactions with attorneys, real estate agents, insurance agents and such, my experience with the home inspector was the best. If you're in the market to purchase a house in Massachusetts, I highly recommend Paul Rogoshewski of Harmony Home Inspection.

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Our New Home and the Home Buying Experience

For several years now my wife and I have been researching towns of Eastern Massachusetts to find the best neighborhood to begin a family. In 2006 the real estate bubble in the Northeast finally began to deflate, and for the first time in a decade it became a real estate buyer's market. Coupling the favorable market conditions with regular seasonal lows, we felt the time was right and this winter our search intensified.

We considered factors such as the best schools, lowest crime, amount of open space, commuting distance, housing prices, and overall quality of life. Each year Boston Magazine publishes comprehensive spreadsheets which rank nearly 200 Massachusetts towns by more than 30 factors, including population, average house prices, percent change in prices, student spending, SAT scores, MCAS scores (Science/Math, English), crime rates, contamination, open space, disease rates, average age, and much more. Although this data is published in tabular format as a magazine insert, on some years Boston Magazine made the data available via Excel or CSV document download. We've kept some of these downloaded comparisons and found them to be very handy.

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Small towns are in the big leagues of writing ... and photography

My photo of Concord Main Street Market and Cafe after a snow storm was published in the December 2006 issue of The Writer Magazine. The photo set the mood for an article titled Small towns are in the big leagues of writing, a reference to Concord's notable literary history including former residents of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathanial Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott. I would add to the list current resident Alan Lightman, author of the former NY Times best seller Einstein's Dreams.

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My Second Cover on New England Printer and Publisher Magazine

November 2006, NEPPApril 2006, NEPP
The trade magazine New England Printer & Publisher has once again selected one of my photos for its cover. The November edition bears an image of a long exposure over Memorial Drive, taken in September from the Long Fellow Bridge as part of my Boston at Night set. The April edition of this year featured my photo of Concord Center at night.

This November cover makes a great addition to my growing collection of references while I pursue my interest in photography.

Boston Skyline at Night

Some wide angle, long exposures of the Boston skyline at night, as well as some of Memorial Drive and the Longfellow Bridge near Kendall Square in Cambridge.

www.flickr.com

I've been Schmapped!

Schmap Brussels Guide
This week I received an email in my Flickr account from the editor of Schmap Guides requesting the use of several of my Brussels photos:

I am writing to let you know that four of your photos with a creative commons license have been short-listed for inclusion in the second edition of our Schmap Brussels Guide, to be published mid-October 2006.


Schmap Guides are described as:

Every Schmap Guide comes with dynamic maps, useful links, playable tours, top picks, plus photos and reviews for 100s of sights and attractions, hotels, restaurants, bars, parks, theaters, museums...


I'm thrilled to be included this interactive guide that is free to download and run (Windows only though). I've read some thoughts on this from other bloggers about Schmap's creative marketing strategy, but I won't over analyze it here. Rather, I'll just say that I'm pleased to freely share my photos for non-commercial purposes whenever possible so long as attribution is given, something formalized in the Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution Share-Alike license. Sure, they might generate revenue with Ads, but they don't charge for the use of the Schmap player to browse cities. No doubt, this is a Web 2.0 idea.

Otherwise, this has been a good year for getting my photos into publications. I'm considering moving into professional photography, at least on the side, and for now I'm trying to gain some exposure, so to speak. This year started with a bang when my photo of Main Street's Market and Cafe was selected for the cover of New England Print and Publisher magazine. Most recently, The Writer magazine requested a different photo of the same cafe on Main Street in Concord, MA for use in their upcoming December 2006 issue. I've also had numerous requests to use my photos in newsletters and other small publications, including Indiana University Faculty Newsletter, the Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture, and the online Concord Magazine..


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Two day seminar in the Boston area: Deep AJAX

At this week's Boston CFUG presentation of AJAX by Rob Gonda, a new member informed us of an upcoming, comprehensive seminar on AJAX sponsored by the Greater Boston Chapter of the ACM. At Harvard University's Maxwell Dworkin center, this two day conference Deep AJAX will feature speakers from Yahoo!, the Dojo Toolkit, and the Django Framework, running the weekend of October 14th at a cost of $495. I won't be able to attend it unfortunately, but just wanted to get the word out if you're in the area.

Deep AJAX
A two day deep dive into developing real world applications using AJAX
AJAX - more an approach than a technology - is one of the hottest topics for Internet developers. AJAX builds rich interactive applications using standard browser technology, enabling delivery of sophisticated user experiences without the problems of distributing and updating client software.

New event for The Online Coldfusion Meetup Group: Rob Gonda on AJAX

Welcome Back ColdFusion Enthusiasts!

The summer is winding down, and most everyone has returned from vacations, so the Online ColdFusion Meetup Group is getting fired back up. To kick off the first online event this fall, Rob Gonda will present on AJAX, in the context of ColdFusion applications.

If you have ideas for topics or speakers you'd like to see, please contact me to let me know. Nate Nelson is preparing a couple talks on Advanced SQL, so look for those in the near future, too.

Thanks!
Steven Erat
Organizer, OCFMG

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