Boris, The Atlas Moth and SubRosa – Live in Toronto – August 7, 2014

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I’m not sure how, but apparently I’ve never been to Lee’s Palace before. I know, I know. I can’t count the number of shows that I’ve seen in Toronto over the last 10 years, but when I stepped into Lee’s Palace to check out Boris, The Atlas Moth and SubRosa, I couldn’t recall anything I was seeing in the venue. For a place that has hosted shows for ages, I don’t really know how it was possible… but it was.

Funny enough, the lineup order coincided with my excitement, but opposite of what it may usually be. While I was happy to see Boris, I’m mostly unfamiliar with their career, aside from checking out their 2005 album Pink, which seemed to get picked up by quite a few metal outlets. I love The Atlas Moth and was excited to see them play some material from their new album The Old Believer, but it seemed like just yesterday that they were in town with The Ocean. But it was the openers, Salt Lake City’s SubRosa, who I was really there to see.

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Flickr Picturefill – A Responsive Image WordPress Plugin – 2.0.0 Release

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This is an follow up to the original Flickr Picturefill – A Response Image WordPress Plugin post.

It’s been almost a year since I initially developed Flickr Picturefill, a WordPress Plugin that uses Flickr hosting, the Flickr API and The Filament Group‘s Picturefill polyfill to easily create responsive images on your WordPress blog and there’s been some big changes since then.

First, Flickr has changed their API so that all calls must be made via SSL. A great move, and we’re going to continue seeing much more of these changes moving forward, especially with Google really pushing the use of all websites to use SSL.

Second, there’s been a major update to the Picturefill polyfill, developed by The Filament Group. Since the W3C has added the picture element to its HTML 5.1 specs, Picturefill now uses the element to render responsive images.

A couple other items that are included in the update:

  • To limit the amount of API calls, the plugin has implemented the WordPress Transients API to store the results of API calls. Since the results of those calls won’t change, we may as well cache them.
  • The Flickr API key can now be input through the WordPress admin interface, rather than hard-coded in.

Roadmap

I’d like to take this plugin a few steps further over the next while and work on the following features.

  • Create a GUI for the plugin – a button on the WordPress editor that opens a window that allows the user to visually browse their Flickr account
  • Allow changes to break points/Flickr image sizes to be made through the WordPress admin area
  • Follow up on a comment to implement a Flickr Set to gallery option
  • Finally submit this to the WordPress Plugin Directory

Interested in contributing? Stop by the Github Repo!

2013 Roundup: Best photos of the Year

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2013 was a rather slow year for concert photography for me. I even took in some concerts and festivals without shooting them – something that doesn’t usually happen. I still managed to shoot some amazing shows and even crossed off a couple names on my “bands I need to capture” list.

Here’s a handful of photos that captures some of the shows and events that happened this year…

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2013 Roundup: Best Music of the Year

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2013 was an odd year musically for me. Usually, there’s an album or two that I can easily identify as being the best album of the year (subjectively, of course). But this year, I struggled to come up with an album that really drew me in with repeated listens or hit me with an emotional impact that I always look for in music. While I would love to say that this is because there were so many albums that I had a connection with that I couldn’t decide a single “winner,” it’s probably because that album just didn’t happen this year.

Does that mean that this was a disappointing year for music? Hardly – there were a lot of great albums that were released this year. The biggest story of 2013 was that we saw the boundaries of metal get blurrier – a direction that will only continue in the future .

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Creating Accessible HTML Tables Without Knowing HTML

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Part of the benefits of using a content management system like WordPress is that users don’t need to rely on anyone else to update their content or have any knowledge of HTML, the language of the web. This works great in most situations, but what happens when there’s some nuances that users aren’t able to do themselves without having an intermediate knowledge of HTML?

A recent problem arose, where users needed to create some tables on their page, but to maintain a level of accessibility. The default WordPress editor doesn’t even have a feature to create tables.  Sure, we could install TinyMCE Advanced and have users generate tables that way – but it still doesn’t give the tables the accessibility features that are required.

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Flickr Picturefill – A Responsive Image WordPress Plugin

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When redeveloping my personal site for the umpteenth time, I decided that instead of a portfolio type site, I’m getting back to blogging. The easiest content for me to publish is photos – they come much more natural to me than words a lot of the time. So, my goals for this site quickly became:

  1. Post high quality photos
  2. Keep the site responsive
  3. Ensure that mobile visitors aren’t bogged down with huge filesizes
  4. Keep things simple

The first item is the easiest bit. But responsive images have been a hot topic over the last year – while there’s a number of ways that you’re able to implement them on a site, a “best practice” has yet to really emerge.

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Gentlemen of the Road – Phosphorescent

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This past weekend, Mumford & Sons’ touring festival came to Simcoe, Ontario (my hometown), and I was there to take a few snaps.

One of day one’s featured acts was Phosphorescent, the moniker given to Athens, Georgia’s Matthew Houck.

Phosphorescent

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