Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Can you make the text bigger?

The other day, our editor commented that the text on the new web pages was too small. I replied noting we both had larger than average screens (1920 x 1200 pixels) which made the text look small. I mentioned use of "command +" or "command -" to change font size. 

A couple of weeks later another member, John Morden, said he saw a web page with text icons to set the text size and asked me if I could add them to our site.

I took up the challenge. Article #126 on the "A List Apart" web site explained the how and why of changing font sizes by flipping CSS scripts. A javascript does the heavy lifting, putting a cookie on the viewer's computer to remember the preferred text size for all other pages on the site with the necessary code imbedded.

I modified the template pages and updated eight of the new pages, six have been uploaded. The other "new style" pages need to be linked to the appropriate template before I upload them.

The revised pages have two characters "a A" on the far left of the navigation bar---  enjoy.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Farewell to our Secretary

After retiring as librarian at York University, Toronto, our long time secretary Tiit K├Ádar, announced he was moving to the downtown, meantime he and his wife took a holiday to see family members in Victoria, BC. To our surprise, when they returned, Tiit gave us the news that he intended to move... to Victoria this summer. We are losing both our secretary and our videographer. For many years Tiit has recorded our monthly meetings at his own expense. He is shown here recording a program in April 2005. His video library will stay here in Toronto with his son who works in video technology. We wish Tiit and his wife the very best in moving to the beautiful and charming capital of British Columbia. Fortunately in today's world, we can keep in touch via the internet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Anna Morfix

Buffalo NY native Paul Pasquarello combines two photographic specialities: stereo and panorama views in his Cinemascope stereo images. Paul joined us Wednesday night, June 18, 2008 and brought along his special set-up to project these Cinemascope images. The images were captured with a pair of modified Nikon FM cameras sporting ISCO anamorphic lenses. I took some shots off the screen to display on our web site. The brief flash of my focusing grid annoyed at least one viewer who gave me an excellent suggestion to try using manual focus for the next presentation (with the double polarizing filters on the projector and the camera, the darker slides prompted my camera to flash the red focussing grid).  Have a look at our web page for more information on Paul Pasquarello's gorgeous Cinemascope shaped stereo images and his elaborate set-up to shoot and show them.

We meet in in the North York Memorial Hall at Park Home and Yonge Street in Toronto on the Yonge subway line on the third Wednesday of the month from September to June.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Changing Standards on the Web

If you visited our web site over the last few months, you may have noticed a change in the newer pages. I am moving the site slowly over to c2007 XHTML and CSS standards using Adobe Dreamweaver. The combination of CSS and templates will make it easy to do site wide changes. Most of the site was written over the past decade using old methods. As a result, to update the look of the site and meet the new W3C standards, the 100+ pages on the site must be individually rewritten - a lengthy task.

This week I did a complete rewrite of our index/home page - often the first page a visitor sees. The new design gives links on the left side bar to all exchange and institutional members of the PHSC. The body of the page has been segmented with current news "above the fold" and older news at the bottom of the page. Sandwiched in between are sections on our Journal, Photographic Canadiana, our E-mail Newsletter, Membership, and Events. You can jump to the sections using icons just below the header and navigation bar.

And, the navigation bar now has a link to this blog (far right) but you already know that :-)

To keep the pages more interesting, I added some faded out images as a background to the header. The old cameras, brochures, and photographs in the background are all items that were photographed by the PHSC when they passed through our hands on the way to new owners.

The other major rewrite was the combined Programs and Past Programs pages, now all on one Programs page. This page has an index linking to all individual program pages on the site, plus information on our Toronto meeting dates, times, and location.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Requiem for the Darkroom

Our latest Photographica-Fair was Sunday, May 25th 2008. The show began with an unplanned "requiem for the darkroom". Just seconds before we were to open the doors, the whole soccer centre was plunged into darkness. A few windows high up in the playing area gave a modest amount of gloomy light on the show floor. Once our eyes adjusted to the dim light, most of the floor was quite visible.  

We held off letting the anxious bargain seekers in for a while and ran a poll with the vendors. The vast majority preferred to open without power and lights. The few who didn't were given the option to cover their table or move out (no one left), and the crowd was let in. During the delay a few of our executive circulated, taking charge and keeping everyone informed. Shortly after 11:00 am a buzzer sounded and the lights began to brighten once again.

Some vendors kept on after the 3:00 pm closing but by supper time the playing area was quiet and all tables once again were in storage. All ended well at our 34th annual spring show in spite of the darkroom requiem (we learned later that a car accident brought down the power feed to the area blacking out more than just the Soccer Centre for nearly an hour and a half). Patience and good manners on the part of the vendors and buyers, along with good management by our executive saved the day. President Clint Hryhorijiw, VP John Morden, and Membership Secretary Wayne Gilbert stepped in to keep communications flowing and plan the course of action that was taken, giving Fair Chairman Mark Singer a most welcome helping hand.