Photos of Site-related

Our Arbitrarily-Determined Most-Interesting Photos of 2019

December 17, 2019  |    0 comments  |  Site-related

As mentioned in previous years, Flickr uses a mysterious algorithm to determine what constitute an “interesting” photo. No one seems to know what makes a photo interesting in the eyes of Flickr. My assumption is that it’s some combination of view count relative to a user’s normalized view count, some comment metrics, a dash of machine learning and magic dust.

At any rate, as we’ve done before, here are the 10 Most-Interesting photos taken this year by us as determined by Flickr.

Donkeys and Cows
Red Hibiscus
Sunrise at the Pier
Dawn on the Ridge
In the Fog
The Little Town at the Foot of the Mountain

Twelve Years of Photos

August 12, 2019  |    0 comments  |  Site-related

When I was a little kid, my parents made sure that we went on adventures to see the world, or at least the world that they had the time and means to expose us to, which usually meant our home state of Texas. From our home in East Texas, we went to easy-to-reach places such as Dallas and Fort Worth, and more-distant locales, such as Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Big Bend and the Rio Grande Valley. One of the common denominators of these trips was my late father carrying around his Minolta SRT-101 SLR with the “kit” 50mm lens permanently attached.

I was always fascinated by this mechanical wonder…if you took off the lens and clicked the shutter button, you could see the shutter curtain pop open for a split second. Pushing the lever over to advance the film would reset the curtain for the next shot. Ingenious and incredibly interesting for a little nerdy kid who harbored fantasies of building robots and walking on the Moon.

(Side note: I’ve still never built a robot and my chances of ever visiting the Moon are zero)

The fact that this little metal box with a tube of glass on the front could capture memories was—and still is—amazing to me. I still have thousands of my father’s negatives, awaiting for a time when I can get around to digitizing them before they fade away. I relished every chance he’d allow me to click the shutter button and make another celluloid memory.

By the time high school rolled around, I decided to join the yearbook. The staff was shorthanded and I ended up as a photographer. Or, more-often-than-not, the photographer. I loved spending time in the darkroom, processing film and printing it in the dim glow of the red safelight.

I’d hoped to continue doing photography as a hobby after high school, into college, but the reality of the cost of film, let alone maintaining and stocking a darkroom, precluded that. I took a couple of photojournalism classes just to have some access to a darkroom, but outside of that, I rarely took photos.

Graduation came and went and I started my career as a software developer, always thinking that one day I’d get back into photography. But the cost was always a blocker. Then digital cameras came onto the scene. Pricey at first, with not-so-great quality, I kept waiting for them to get better, knowing that memory cards and hard drive storage would be a lot cheaper than film.

Finally, a bit over twelve years ago, the Canon 400D came out and was in my price range. I dove right in. And I loved it.

Going on adventures to take photos was almost eclipsed by the relaxation and zen brought on by editing the photos on my PC. I quickly maxed out my PC’s hard drive with RAW files…I’d go out on a Saturday morning and not return until late in the evening, my CF cards full and my batteries dead.

I loved taking photos, but what good is capturing images if no one gets to see them?

Since there were few avenues for sharing photos—Instagram wasn’t around yet and Flickr was just getting rolling—I decided to create a photoblog. Photoblogs were big at the time, precisely because a lot of people found themselves in the same situation as myself—lots of photos, no where to display to the world.

My goal at the time was to post a photo every day for as long as I could keep it up. Now, twelve years later, I’m still posting a new photo every day.

A lot has happened in that twelve years. I got married. Changed jobs a few times. Moved around the DFW area. Switched from Canon to Panasonic to Sony. But one thing has been consistent and has kept me sane—posting a new photo every single day for over 4300 days straight.

This year, to celebrate the twelfth year of 75CentralPhotography, I put together a barcode representation of every photo posted from August 12, 2007 until today.

Click to view larger

Each vertical line on this image is a representation of each photo posted to the site, compressed to 1 pixel wide and stitched together via a .NET app I threw together.

I think it’s an interesting artwork on it’s own, but as a visual representation of what twelve years of daily photos looks like, it’s a great visualization of the effort and passion that I’ve put into photography for over a decade.

As for 75CentralPhotography, I don’t have plans to stop posting photos daily, so fingers-crossed that I’ll be able to continue for years-to-come.

Thank you for your support for the last twelve years…I appreciate every one of my followers, fans and visitors.

(If you’re interested, you can read more about my personal photographic history at a post I did several years ago. It’s somewhat out-of-date, as it doesn’t cover the years I spent in the Micro Four-Thirds ecosystem and my subsequent transition (still-ongoing) to Sony, but it’s still informative. Or at least I think it is).

How I Added Photo Location Data to 75CentralPhotography.Com

February 17, 2019  |    1 comment  |  Code GPS Logs Site-related

I like to geotag my photos. Almost every time I go on a phototrek/drive/adventure/walk, I log my locations so that I can merge my geotagged data with my photos and know exactly where each photo was taken. (I swear I thought I’d done a write-up on how I do this, but I can’t seem to find it. I have posted some of the track logs in the past however…you can see them here .)

Since I have this data sitting around and it’s embedded in each photo on 75CentralPhotography.Com, I thought it would be fun for visitors to the site to see exactly where in the world each photo was taken. But how to do this?

WordPress—the backend system for the site—helpfully provides a function to store EXIF data (basically the metadata in a photo that shows interesting things like shutter speed, aperture, ISO and a ton of other stuff) but only stores the basics, whereas the EXIF standard has scores of datapoints (colorspace, exposure bias, YCbCr positioning—whatever that is—to name a few). Unfortunately, this means that they don’t include location data as part of this limited scope.

Luckily, some kind soul has already solved part of the problem for us with a built-in function in PHP (WordPress’ programming language). This function, exif_read_data(), will let us read any part of a photo’s EXIF data and use it how we want. In this case, that would be to link to Google Maps and show a place marker of where the photo was taken.

Here’s how I leveraged that function to add a link on each photo’s page to the related location on Google Maps.

First, we need to get the photo’s EXIF data. Since exif_read_data() will only accept a local file as a parameter, we need to get the local path to the image relative to the page where we are executing the code/displaying the link. Fortunately, WordPress has us covered with a couple of functions: attachment_url_to_postid() and get_attached_file().

attachment_url_to_postid takes the URL of an attachment (i.e. a photo attached to a post) and returns the ID of that photo. To get the attachment’s URL, we use our old friend catch_that_image(), which resolves the URL of the first photo on a post (and, since we only ever post one photo at a time on the site, the only image on a post). Then, we take the result of that function and pass it to get_attached_file(), which returns the aforementioned local path of the photo file:

$attachment_id = attachment_url_to_postid( catch_that_image() );
$fullsize_path = get_attached_file( $attachment_id ); 

We then take this local path and pass it to exif_read_data() for parsing of the photo’s EXIF data:

$exif = exif_read_data($fullsize_path);

This function returns an array of values where the first value is the EXIF data label and the second is the EXIF data itself (you might think of this as a keyset). So, a particular photo’s data might look something like this:

Equipment Make SONY
Camera Model ILCE-7RM2
Camera Software Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic 8.2 (Macintosh)
Photographer Matt Harvey
Maximum Lens Aperture f/2.8
Focal Length (35mm Equiv) 44 mm
Horizontal Resolution 96 dpi
Vertical Resolution 96 dpi
Image Created2019:02:16 21:03:14
Exposure Time 1/80 sec
F-Number f/4.5
Exposure Program Normal Program
ISO Speed Rating100
Lens Aperture f/4.5
Brightness 7.2 EV
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Metering Mode Pattern
Light Source Unknown
Flash No Flash, Compulsory
Focal Length 44.00 mm
Color Space Information sRGB
Exposure Mode Auto
White Balance Auto
Scene Capture Type Standard
Contrast Normal
Saturation Normal
Sharpness Normal
Latitude N 33° 3.9174′
Longitude W 96° 58.2118′
Resolution Unit i
Exif IFD Pointer266
Compression Scheme JPEG Compression (Thumbnail)
Horizontal Resolution 72 dpi
Vertical Resolution 72 dpi
Resolution Unit i
Offset to JPEG SOI1044
Bytes of JPEG Data19487
Exif Version2.3
Image Generated2019:02:16 07:52:16
Image Digitized2019:02:16 07:52:16
Shutter Speed 1/80 sec
Focal Plane Horiz Resolution 2164 dpcm
Focal Plane Vert Resolution 2164 dpcm
Focal Plane Res Unit cm
File Source Digital Still Camera
Scene Type Directly Photographed
Digital Zoom Ratio1
GPS Info Version
Latitude Reference N
Longitude Reference W

In the context of this project, we only care about two elements of this data: Latitude and Longitude. So, to extract individual data points, we use a couple of functions to extract the coordinates and convert to decimal:

$lon = getGps($exif["GPSLongitude"], $exif['GPSLongitudeRef']);
$lat = getGps($exif["GPSLatitude"], $exif['GPSLatitudeRef']);

Which calls:

function getGps($exifCoord, $hemi) {
	$degrees = count($exifCoord) > 0 ? gps2Num($exifCoord[0]) : 0;
	$minutes = count($exifCoord) > 1 ? gps2Num($exifCoord[1]) : 0;
	$seconds = count($exifCoord) > 2 ? gps2Num($exifCoord[2]) : 0;
	$flip = ($hemi == 'W' or $hemi == 'S') ? -1 : 1;
	return $flip * ($degrees + $minutes / 60 + $seconds / 3600);
function gps2Num($coordPart) {
	$parts = explode('/', $coordPart);
	if (count($parts) <= 0)
	return 0;
	if (count($parts) == 1)
	return $parts[0];
	return floatval($parts[0]) / floatval($parts[1]);

So we finally have a specific photo’s GPS location. Our final step is to verify that we have valid data for GPS (i.e. neither the latitude or longitude are 0, because that’s what’s returned when no GPS data is available and there could be, but shouldn’t be, photos on the site without location data). If the verification passes, we link to Google Maps with our coordinates:

if($lat <> 0 && $lon <>0){
								echo '<a href="'.$lat.','.$lon.'" target ="_blank" title="Location data may be innacurate or fuzzed in certain cases">View This Photo\'s Location on Google Maps</a></br>  ';

Note that we added a title element to the anchor tag for the link that states that photo data may be inaccurate or “fuzzed” for some photos. This is because some photos were tagged “after the fact” instead of using an actual GPS log or were tagged en masse with a fairly-accurate location or were tagged with a general location to preserve privacy (i.e. photos I’ve taken at home or other people’s homes).

To view any photo’s location on the site, go to the individual page for a photo and click the “View This Photo’s Location on Google Maps” link under the photo’s tags.

If you find any bugs or photos without GPS data or have any ideas for improvements, please let me know at

My Most-Interesting Photos of 2018*

December 31, 2018  |    0 comments  |  Site-related
*Once again, according to Flickr’s dubious and mysterious “Interestingness” algorithm.

As I’ve done in past years, I thought I’d share the 10 most-interesting photos from 2018 that I published on 75CentralPhotography.Com. To figure out what are the 10 candidates, we rely on Flickr’s “Interestingness” algorithm, which doesn’t actually seem to work very well, as I feel like I’ve published a lot of other photos that are more interesting than those chosen by Flickr. Oh well…here you go:


On the Engine’s Edge



Under the Stripes









Big Boulders



Last Sun on the Power Lines



Big Tree



Stairs and Rails






Glowing Orbs


Back to Blogging

December 7, 2018  |    0 comments  |  Site-related

As you might have noticed, I hadn’t blogged in a while. In fact, for a long time, there wasn’t a link to the blog up there on the menu bar. A couple of reasons for this, though no excuse is really good enough for not sharing anything but photos.

  1. Because of performance issues with my previous host,, we ended up moving to a new host, Dreamhost. Because our bread-and-butter is photography and not writing, our focus was making a smooth transition for the main photoblog to the new host and, thus, deferring migration of this seldom-updated blog until a later date. However, that later date kept getting pushed back for months until now. Why? Laziness, really. No other excuse beyond that. Oh, and I started a new day job a while back that has been taking up a lot of my time. That and an unanticipated move from one Dallas suburb to another that destroyed any will to write a bit for a long time.
  2. We knew it would be time-consuming to migrate. Which follows on from point 1.
  3. The blog never got as much traffic as the main site. Of course it wouldn’t…we’re in the business of making photos, not making writings.
  4. Finally, I kind of just forgot about it. After all, the photoblog is our focus. We’ve shared fine photos daily for over 11 years straight now and we didn’t want to slow down.

At any rate, I’m going to start blogging and sharing interesting things again. It will still be somewhat-seldom, but at least I’m doing it. 

That said, the migration is mostly-complete. We’re still fixing some borked links and re-uploading some media that was lost in the transition, so please be patient. If you find anything weird, shoot me an email at


Ten Years of Fine Daily Photos

August 12, 2017  |    0 comments  |  Site-related

Ten years ago, I started the 75Central.Com photoblog as a creative outlet to show my photography to the world. A lot has happened since that first photo went up on the Web on August 12, 2007. I met and married my wonderful wife. I adopted a dog. I’ve worked my way through five cars. I’ve been all over Texas, through the deserts of Nevada and California, to parts of Canada I’d never visited in the past, sailed to Alaska and the Caribbean, switched to Mac, partly switched back to Windows, loved and took care of my wife while she faced a life-changing illness, moved a couple of times, advanced both my photography and non-photography careers, made new friends, lost old friends and so much more. Most importantly, I learned to love life and not take it for granted. If an opportunity presents itself, take it. As I begin the second decade of sharing my work with the world, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who’s been a fan or a friend or just took a moment to admire on of my photos. It’s not always easy finding the motivation to select and post a photo every day, but I do it because I hope that at least one person appreciates it.

To celebrate this milestone anniversary, I put together the below video montage of every daily photo from the photoblog from the last ten years. Enjoy!


July 5, 2015  |    0 comments  |  Site-related

As you may (or may not) have noticed, this last week we slightly reformated 75Central.Com in as far as image sizing. Before, images were 950px wide and now they’re almost twice that size at 1800px wide (or, in the case of square or photos with portrait aspect ratios, 1200px tall).


This has actually been underway for several months, as we’ve been secretly publishing images at this new resolution but using CSS to constrain the sizes as we worked to get a decent backlog of images resized and republished. Unfortunately, as we’ve published a new image every day for almost 8 years, there are over 2800 photos in our back catalog. As of now, we have almost two years of our archives resized and published at this new resolution and are continuing to delve further and further into the archives to get every photograph published on the site resized to this new standard, which is why you might encounter smaller images if you go back far enough or start clicking through on the random link.

There are a couple of reasons for this new sizing standard:

  1. Larger images stand out more in Google Image Search, on social media and while surfing the web. There is also some evidence that Google and Bing both rank larger photos higher in search results.
  2. More and more people are browsing the web on high-resolution devices, such as Apple’s Retina MacBook Pros and now the Retina 5K iMac, both of which we use here to edit our photos, as well as high-resolution mobile devices. While these, for the most part, do a good job of resizing images so that they look decent at such a resolution, nothing beats a high-resolution master file.

In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to resize our archived photos as well as publish a new photo every day as we have since 2007. Thank you for your patronage and happy shooting!

The 2014 75Central Photography Year-End Recap

January 1, 2015  |    0 comments  |  Site-related

Last year, I posted a year-end recap for 2013, so I decided to continue this year with a 2014 year-end recap.

  • We made it to seven years of daily photos on 75Central.Com. In fact, the photo for January 2nd, 2015, is the 2,700th photo shared without a day missed since we started in 2007. Crazy, eh?
  • I continued my switch to the mirrorless micro four-thirds format, investing in a few new lenses and a tiny Lumix GM-1 as a back-up body/pocket camera.
  • Travel this year was a bit lighter than 2013, a result of a few day job changes on my part (the company I’d been working for for over 9 years sold out and massive layoffs followed. I floated around a bit, but luckily landed a great job working for my manager from my original job). That said, I did make it to Chicago, Minneapolis and Las Vegas this year, so not a complete loss.
  • And, like last year, here are 2014’s top 10 photos (as decided by Flickr’s mysterious “Interestingness” algorithm):

Marina City

An abstract architectural study of Chicago’s Marina City and the adjacent The Langham hotel tower


The Yellow Bull

Detail of a Lamborghini Aventador—named for a bull that fought valiantly at the Saragossa, Spain bullring in 1993—at the Cars in the Park event at Dallas’ Cooper Aerobics Center.The Arch Under the Cloudy Sky

The Emery Reves Arch of Peace rises into the cloudy sky at the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Dallas Arts District.Branches

Intricate tree branches rise into the overcast sky at DFW International Airport, Texas.Four Blackbirds

A mural of blackbirds frames four windows on a building in Deep Ellum, Dallas, TexasThe Lamp’s Shadow

A lamp throws a shadow onto a brick wall at Eastside Village in Downtown Plano, TexasWinter Trees

Stark, leafless trees spotted on the grounds of DFW International Airport, Texas.The Rickety Old Barn

An ancient wooden barn slowly rots at Penn Farm in Cedar Hill State Park, Texas.The Flight Helmet

An United States Air Force pilot’s flight helmet found at Addison, Texas’ Cavanaugh Flight Museum.

The Chain and Shadow

A rusting chain hanging from a pipe casts a shadow inside the abandoned Long Machine Tool Company building in Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas.








The 75Central Photography Year-End Recap

December 31, 2013  |    1 comment  |  Site-related

The Earth has taken another long loop around the Sun and 2013 has come and gone, so I thought—like so many other media outlets—I would take a few moments to jot down a year-end recap of the world of 75Central Photography.


  • This year marked the sixth birthday of the photoblog, during which we never missed a day of posting a photo. Some were great photos, some were—in retrospect—not so great photos, but we’ve always had fun sharing with you, our readers/viewers.  And now we’re almost half-way through our seventh year of photoblogging and have no intention of stopping anytime soon.
  • We redesigned the website, moving to a more responsive modern design. (You can read about the various iterations of the site here). The interesting thing is, analytics have show that since we made the change in July, our visitor engagement has gone down, so we’ll probably be moving back to a simpler design in the near future.  In the interest of transparency, reasons for this downward trend seem to be related to load times, non-intuitive navigation and SEO-related issues.
  • We moved from Fotomoto for our print fulfillment to SmugMug then back to Fotomoto. This was a situation that was out of our control and affected not just our site, but every other photographer that relied on Fotomoto for integrated print ordering. Sometime in the late summer, Fotomoto was sold to a third-party that immediately took the site off-line without warning or explanation, leaving us, and the rest of their customers, scrambling to find a solution. We moved our print ordering to SmugMug, but were unhappy that they do not offer an integrated ordering solution like Fotomoto had, forcing us to hack together a kludgey solution using custom WordPress fields to link to the SmugMug “buy page” for each photo, which was a labor-intensive process. Luckily, after a few weeks of Fotomoto being down, the sale failed to complete and Bay Photo stepped in and bought it, reactivating the service and coming to our rescue. Within minutes of Fotomoto coming back online, we had 75Central.Com re-integrated with their ordering infrastructure.
  • We completed a fair amount of travel this year. Destinations included Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, the Texas Gulf Coast, Seattle, Alaska (Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau & Glacier Bay), Carcross and Emerald Lake, Yukon Territory, Victoria, British Columbia, San Francisco and, most-recently, our perennial destination of Las Vegas, which included side trips to Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston. Unfortunately, for the first time in over a year, we have no travels planned for the foreseeable future, though there are thoughts of perhaps Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake and Yosemite sometime in 2014.
  • Speaking of travel, it was our Alaska trip that had a big impact on my choice of gear for the last few months and probably the next few years. For that trip, I lugged a gripped 60D, a 24-105mm L and a 100-400mm L around for a week.  And it about killed me, both from the weight and the bulky awkwardness. So, once I got back, I looked into moving to something smaller. Having seen a fair amount of well-known photographers make the same leap, I started moving to a mirror-less system, settling on the Panasonic Lumix G6. My first big test was the week I spent in San Francisco in November. And I loved it! Small, unobtrusive and lightweight, this camera is packed with a lot more features than any dSLR from Nikon or Canon. And the sensors and lenses have gotten so good, I can’t really tell a difference between shots I was getting with my dSLR and shots with my MFT camera. The only slight drawbacks are that there seems to be slightly-less dynamic range and the focus on moving objects is not-that-great, but as I mostly photography stills, I’m not too worried about it.
  • And, finally, a photographic recap:
    •  The Top 10 Photos from 2013 (based on comment count):
      1. Rainbow RingThe rainbow-colored lights of a thrill ride on Galveston, Texas’ Pleasure Pier pierce the dawn’s twilight.
      2. The Cruise Ship’s AtriumLooking skyward in the nine-storey atrium aboard the cruise ship Carnival Magic.
      3. The Old JagDetail of a classic Jaguar Mark 2 at Dallas’ All British and European Car Day.
      4. The Cloud-Topped MountainA cloud envelops a small-glacier-topped mountain in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park.
      5. FrozenFrozen brush on the shore of the Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island State Park, Utah.
      6. F MarketA historic streetcar on San Francisco’s F Market & Wharves rail line, as seen in the Fisherman’s Wharf area.
      7. Serenading The Citydallas-traveling-man-skyline-seated
      8. The Reflected GlacierAlaska’s Glacier Bay National Park’s Margerie Glacier is reflected in windows aboard the cruise ship Norwegian Pearl.
      9. The Skyline at NightDallas’ distinctive skyline as seen from the Continental Avenue Bridge over the Trinity River floodplain.
      10. Reflected Clock TowerA clock tower reflected in a puddle, spotted along the Mandalay Canal, Las Colinas, Irving, Texas.


And, just for fun, here’s a link to a set of our 25-most interesting (however that’s measured) photos of 2013 on Flickr.

So, that was 2013. Let’s hope 2014 will be a great year as well. From 75Central Photography, Happy New Year!


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