Contemplation

At the park that I shot the boathouse, I happened to walk by this bench on the way out to the lake edge you can see in the background.

As ordinary as a park bench may seem, it is a holding station for taking in the scenery around you. A park bench can help you work through problems, change your mood or become a stage for making memories. The way that I wanted to photograph this with the lake in the background was purely for contemplation. Imagine, for a moment that if you lost something important to you like a friend, job or spouse etc. You spend time contemplating the past, present and future.

I simply shot this with my zoom lens, taking account that since it was not in direct sunlight that I would bring down the shutter speed to grab as much data as I could so I can brighten it up just a tad in post. I added a tiny bit of saturation to bring up the vibrancy of the greens.

D90, 18-200mm vr

Virtuemart 1.1.5 class jfactory not found for Joomla 1.0.15

In a recent effort to migrate an overdue Joomla 1.0.x installation to Joomla 1.5, I hit a snag where the Virtuemart shopping cart needed to be upgraded to be compatible with the migration script. In doing so, this broke the shopping cart checkout on my Virtuemart 1.1.5 instance.

When a user fills their shopping cart with products, then proceeds to the checkout it dumps to a completely blank screen with this error:

Fatal error: Class ‘jfactory’ not found in /var/www/xxx/administrator/components/com_virtuemart/html/checkout.index.php on line 28

Searching around, I did not find too much help with this one other some related posts with other Joomla components which were considered “compatible” with Joomla 1.0.x. This error occurs when the Virtuemart code attempts to use a component that comes with Joomla 1.5 called “jfactory”.

Carefully looking at the jfactory portion of the code, it becomes a bit more clear. It first fills the $lang variable, then uses that to concatenate a variable for $name. Which, for most of us is simply going to end up as “english”. I looked for a way to install jfactory on the 1.x.x Joomla site and I did not find squat.

What I simply ended up doing is removing the $lang and $name lines, and simply removed the if/else clause to force it to use English. The code should end up like this:

I hope you can breath a sigh of relief as I did when this end up working properly to allow orders to start flowing again.

Unity

Unity

Out at our Sanford photo shoot, one of the first places we walked down was the back side of the main street to get into the less commonly seen portions of the city. This is one of the first things that really caught my eye. While this may be quite ordinary, I wanted project the symbolism of unity or a relationship through this picture. I really like the rusty old fences being held together by a colorful chain.

I hand held the camera for this picture. Since it was located in between two buildings, I really did not have light on my side. I opened the aperture up to keep a thin depth of field and brought the shutter speed down a bit. In post, I lightened up the picture a bit more and added a hint of saturation to restore the chain’s luster that was lost in the low light.

D90, 18-200mm lens

Banner Elk

Banner Elk, NC

A few months ago, I went up to North Carolina to drive a stretch of US129 in the Deal’s Gap area. This length of road is approximately 11 miles and includes 318 turns. This is commonly called “Tail of The Dragon”. What a great experience this was to have a few days to spend up in the clear air of the mountains taking in the beauty of everything around me. The last day of the trip I took a day trip up to Banner Elk, NC. to see and old friend from the Marines.

On the way back, I decided to stay off the interstate and take the highways to see as much as I possibly could. I could not believe how many churches there were! My friend tells me I was driving through the “Bible belt”. Aside from churches was an abundance of farm houses. This particular picture I took out of the passenger window of my car while I was heading to my buddies house depicts a big field with two such barns. He told me that the symbols on the barns are included in a region wide effort to get tourists to find them all and take pictures of them. In the background, you will see pointy cone shape trees, those are budding Christmas trees. I understand this area is the leader of growing and selling Christmas trees.

Nikon D90, 18-200mm lens

Broken Reflections

One of the coolest things about photography is being able to look at the everyday mundane things and find them to be extraordinary. I was walking around Sanford and came to this abandoned area behind first street. Inside of a chain linked fence was a cement slab with a random broken mirror. What really caught my eye was how the blue sky was reflecting off of the mirrors at me, so I put my lens right up to the fence and captured this one. There is so much beauty in in the smooth reflective fragments of glass lying on top of a forgotten, rough cement platform.

With this photo, I brought the shadows out and increased the saturation a tad to really bring the blue out.

Nikon D90, 18-200mm VR2 lens

The Boathouse

In Mount Dora, walk to the end of North Donnelly street and you will walk into a very nice park that meets the edge of Lake Dora. This park can be seen on Google Maps, although it is unmarked, it is a great place to take in a sun set over the lake or just a place to stop and think. Adjacent to this park is the Mount Dora Boating Center and Marina.

Pointing the camera right into the sun is pretty tricky and the better results come from not using automatic mode. Essentially, this requires closing the aperture down to f20 or f22 to get the sun beams to flare out. Despite the smaller aperture, you will be exposing directly into the sun so bias towards a quicker shutter speed. Thankfully with using a digital camera, you are allowed to experiment with aperture and shutter first hand to see how it affects the final result. I do not want to detract from those who believe that there are specific mathematical rules to trying to figure out what shutter speed to use with what aperture. The basic rule of thumb is that every stop on the aperture requires twice or half the shutter speed you were at to maintain the same exposure.

D90, 18-200mm VR2

Divine Crossings

Looking back through my photos that I have taken recently, I’m rather intrigued by how much I am attracted to train technology. With this particular picture, this sign caught my eye and came out pretty well. I purposely had symbolism in mind by lining up the sun behind the sign with an explosion of clouds filling the sky.

I imagined that this picture would symbolize the a milestone in the life of a Christian.

This picture was taken with a D90, 18-200MM VR lens