Feb 28 2012

Instagram Photography App

Instagram on the iPod Touch or iPhone is simply brilliant! We’re fanatics of all the photography apps on OS devices and this one really is proving to be one of our favorites!

Here, below is how the initial view of the Instagram App begins. It’s called the ‘Feed’ view and resembles, in my opinion, Twitter, but is with photographs. Here it is possible to view the live stream of photographs people are taking. Of course, just like Twitter, you have to begin to ‘follow’ a particular person/photographer before anything appears here in this feed area.

How the Instagram App Feed view looks like

Feed View of Instagram

If you happen to see a photo that you like, double-tap that photo and you’ve ‘liked it’. Alternatively, you can click the ‘like’ button down below the image or can even leave a comment. Tweeting this image or any of your own images is possible as well. Sharing images on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Posterous or Tumblr is also possible as well as just emailing an image.

From this view, there are also a ‘Popular’, ‘Share’, ‘News’ and ‘Profile’ menu items to navigate elsewhere in the App. They are fairly intuitive and easy to figure out what each of them lead to. Popular leads to a live stream of ‘popular’ images being taken at the time, based on number of likes or so it seems? Share allows you to share you own photos, either from your built-in camera or photo library. News, shows which people liked or commented on your shared photos. Profile allows you to edit your profile settings, etc.

Below is how the ‘News’ section appears. It is split into ‘Following’ and ‘You’, where you can see which people liked or commented on your images you’ve shared or view what photos others are liking or commenting on.

The view in the news section of the Instagram App

Display of people liking your images in the 'News' area of the app

When you are ready to share your images, this is how things begin. You first have to crop your image to a square, which is the accepted format of image within Instagram. Then you can move and scale the image within that square.

Initial share view while cropping an image

The share view allows you to crop an image

Next, you can select what type of frame and photographic effect you’d like to apply to your image. I’ve chosen below the ‘Earlybird’ setting which warms up the image and puts an old-fashioned cloth-like, rounded-edge frame around the image.

Frame and stylize your Instagram images

Choose from a wide variety of photographic frames and styles

Furthermore, you can add a soft, blurred effect to your image quite easily. You can choose either a circular or vertical pattern to the soft focus effect, which adds even more of a ‘vintage’ feel to your images.

Editing your images in Instagram is easy

Adding a soft blur effect to an image

As a photography enthusiast, I would highly recommend this app. In facet, I’ve met a few fellow photographers on what’s called ‘Instawalks’ and there’s nothing better than meeting like-minded people who also have a passion and love for the photographic medium as an art form.

Chris J. Politzki
Studio 119 Degrees Web Design & Development Studio”

Feb 1 2012


Nov 18 2011

Castle Hill in Prague

Nov 18 2011

Miniature Prague and the Charles Bridge

Nov 18 2011

People waiting for streetcar in Prague

Jul 19 2011

Jimmy Page Official Website Launches

On July 14th, 2001, Jimmy Page launched his brand new website to the world at www.jimmypage.com. I had been waiting for this moment for a long while, being the Led Zeppelin fan that I am. Although sparse, it does not disappoint. I especially like the daily changing of the homepage and it’s correspondence to what happened in Jimmy’s career on this date…. it adds allure to the site and certainly will keep people like myself coming back daily to see what’s new.


The Website comes complete with a guide, pictured above. Within this guide, a map is lain out out on how to navigate the site:

The site is broken down into 5 distinct sections, ‘On This Day‘, ‘News‘, ‘Live‘, ‘Photos‘, and ‘Discography‘. The ‘Live‘ section allows one to click a button to tell everyone visiting this section whether they were there at the concert. It’s a great run-down of Jimmy’s extensive career and illustrates how much he’s performed live over the years. In the ‘Discography‘ section, all of Jimmy’s recordings are listed and you can favorite them. Here’s how my account looks now:


Notice the live dates I’ve attended over the years and some of my favorite albums! :)

Here are a few collaborations Jimmy has done with Roy Harper (Roy Harper Official website), one of my favorite singer / songwriters / guitarists:

I believe they actually had some earlier material they did together, but it’s not listed here as of yet. My favorite is ‘Jugula‘ from the mid 1980s, just before Jimmy joined The Firm with Paul Rodgers (of Bad Company and Free fame). In fact, Roy’s bass player, Tony Franklin went on to become the Firm’s bass player!

I really enjoyed the ‘Photos’ section, as I am a photography enthusiast. Here are some images shared within this section… some from The Firm, some from the Welsh cottage of Bron-Yr-Aur, some of Jimmy’s guitar collection, some of Jimmy in the studio, and some from a 1975 Madison Square Garden concert:

Jimmy is even on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Jimmy Page on Twitter or give a like to Jimmy on Facebook.

There are even credits given out on the site and some notable mentioned include the great rock and roll photographer, Ross Halfin and Jimmy’s own daughter, Scarlet Page on some of the photo credits. Jimmy is listed as the executive producer:


Posted via email from Chris J Politzki’s Posterous

Mar 29 2011

A New Stock Imagery Site Offers a Free Trial Membership

I was recently contacted by Fotolia Stock Imagery website about trying out their images for free. So far I’ve downloaded one image and the quality is really impressive. Their collection is also very diverse and doesn’t rehash all of the cliche images we’ve all seen. Their rates also seem reasonable. Looks like you can also add your own images and sell them.

Try them out here: http://us.fotolia.com/

Posted via email from Chris J Politzki’s Posterous


Mar 15 2011

Brand New J Mascis Solo Album!

J Mascis – Several Shades of Why by subpop

Ordered my copy and it should be arriving soon… in the meantime, listening to the streaming of the new album… cant wait until the Denver show in April!

Posted via email from Chris J Politzki’s Posterous


Dec 28 2010

Claim Your Business Listing in Google Maps / Google Places

Do you have a small business that you’re trying to get the word out about? A larger company and trying to attract more customers? Claiming your ‘free business listing‘ within Google Maps / Google Places is a great way to get the ball rolling! It’s also great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) value, items worth noting are marked green in this post,  and if you have remote workers then you need to monitor them to make sure they are doing the right work so remote pc monitoring software is a great option.

You’ll need a GMail account in order to do this, but don’t worry, this is free too! Nothing better than free marketing for your business or company! :) Once you have a GMail account, log into the Google Places Center and begin by entering your phone number to see if your business has already been listed (See image 1 in slideshow @ bottom of this post).

A. If the business does not exist:

  1. This leads to a page that will require the following input fields be filled out or edited:

    • Country
    • Company/Organization
    • Street Address
    • City/Town
    • State
    • ZIP
    • Main phone
    • Category (great SEO opportunity for better defining the type of business)
      • Google Notes: ‘Categories are ways to classify your business that help Google show your business for the right searches. The Google Places will suggest categories that match what you type, but feel free to create your own if you don’t see a category that fits your business. Make sure that the categories you choose are accurate and describe your business well. It’s ok if they’re specific; Google’s search algorithm makes sure that users looking for a general business type, like ‘book stores,’ will see businesses in more specific categories too.
  2. Optional fields are:

    • Email Address
    • Website(great SEO opportunity for adding a link to your business’s website)
      • Google Notes: ‘list your authoritative business website as your homepage, since Google uses information from your homepage to help improve search results. The URL you provide can be a maximum of 255 characters.
    • Description(great SEO opportunity to add a nice, attractive description for bringing prospective clients to your business)
      • Google Notes: ‘Tell users what makes your business special.
    • Service Areas & Location Settings:
      • No, all customers come to the business location.
      • Yes, this business serves customers at their locations
        • Checkbox for not showing business address on Google Maps
        • Either Distance from business or ZIP/City name can be chosen for areas served. (Choosing either one updates map with a coverage area outline. See example image.)
        • (great SEO opportunity to funnel in local people to your business)
    • Hours of operations (with option of not displaying operating hours)
    • Payment Options (16 different options)
    • Photos
      • (great SEO opportunity to visually appeal to end-users when they initially see your business listing within Google Maps – Separates the business from others also placed on Map – See ex. image for Pizza Hut – Logo suggested at the minimum)
      • Google Notes: ‘Using Picassa or similar image hosting service is recommended‘ – This would also facilitate an easy central updating point if all images were referenced/pulled from a URL rather than an uploaded file.
    • Videos (Need to have been uploaded to YouTube first)
      • (great SEO opportunity if videos are informative – Customer reviews might be good to show here)
    • Additional Details
      • Ex. Parking available, Brands carried, etc.
      • SEO opportunity to list out specific targeted services of your business – See example image)
      • Google Notes: ‘Create custom attributes that allow you to include additional information that you’d like customers to know. For example, you can list what brands you carry, or if your business has parking. Introducing small, yet vital things like these improve customer service.

B. If the business does exist: (Verification either via a postcard or phone at end of editing process)

  • Same process as above, but with an added ‘verification‘ step. Expect either an email or phone call (your choice) from Google to verify the business listing. If you are not the person at the listed address or phone number, call or notify somebody that is to give them advance notice.
  • If there are multiple businesses that are being listed, Google offers a bulk loading option. Minimum of 10 listings are required to use this feature and up to 100 listings can be made with one Google Account ID. An excel spreadsheet works for this process (more on this here: http://www.google.com/support/places/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&guide=28…).
  • If a business is verified by the business owner, a ‘Owner-verfied listing’ link appears in listing.


  • Listings usually appear after 12 hours.
  • Google adds these items automatically (if available):
    • Reviews
    • Driving/Transportation Directions
  • Listings display across various platforms / devices
    • Desktop (Google Earth), Web Browsers, iPhone & iPad (Google Maps, Google Local, One Box), Smartphones (Mobile Maps, Google Directories), Voice/Mobile Devices (Goog-411, Directory Assistance, Google SMS).
  • Ability to also fix an incorrect marker location on Google Maps is also given when editing.
  • If there are multiple offices at the business location with different phone numbers, you can add more if needed, but one will remain as the ‘main phone’.
  • With a Google Places account comes a ‘Dashboard‘ to track impressions coming from either a ‘Google’ or ‘OneBox’ Search. ‘Actions’ (when ‘users showed interest in your business listing‘) are also displayed along with ‘Top search queries’. Plus ‘Where driving direction requests come from’ info is given. ‘Offers’ such as coupons or specials can also be added to appear alongside you listing in Google Maps. Paid ‘Google Tags’ can also be managed from this Dashboard.

Here are some images to better illustrate this valuable process for marketing your business:


Other Valuable Resources:

Or for a detailed PDF of this post, download it for free here: Downloadable PDF for Business Listing Claiming Process in Google Maps.

Chris J. Politzki
Studio 119 Degrees Web Design & Development Studio


Posted via email from Chris J Politzki’s Posterous


Dec 23 2010

Artistic Black and White Photography by Edward Weston

In this age of ‘Everybody’s an Artist‘, it’s nice and refreshing to reflect on images coming from the age where there was no Adobe Photoshop, no Lightroom or Aperture computer programs to enhance your photographs. The photography of Edward Weston beckons to a time where computers were non-existant. Photographers produced their images with chemicals in the dark room, not a fancy computer screen. If there was a dark area of the image that needed to be lightened, a hand-made dodging device was usually used in the dark room to perform this task. The ‘Dust and Scratches’ filter in Photoshop didn’t exist, instead a spotting brush was used on the final print to manually retouch an image of it’s imperfections.

Edward Weston was a contemporary of Ansel Adams and was also part of the famed Group f/64 in the 1930s. He was born in 1886 in Chicago and photographed mainly in California and Mexico. Having seen his work personally, I can attest to the power of his imagery and would like to take this opportunity to point others to his body of work that is simply amazing, to say the least!


Edward Weston Bell Pepper imageEdward Weston Shell image

Edward Weston Point Lobos Cypress Tree imagePortrait image by Edward Weston

Desert Dune image by Edward Weston Black and White Nude image by Edward Weston

Chris J. Politzki
Studio 119 Degrees

Posted via email from Chris J Politzki’s Posterous