Created from 6 pictures from Giant Ledge









Displaying the Pictures

Jalbum

I have used
Jalbum for a long time to prepare my hiking pictures for viewing. This program is FREE but has incredible support from the author and from others who use the program. The skins are constantly being improved and more are added. Changes in the main program occur as many user suggestions are incorporated into the design. My only problem is deciding which skins to use. I have been using Fotoplayer, FotoSlides and Turtle which means I must prepare and post the pictures three times! This is a waste of time and space so I have finally settled on the Turtle skin since it is offers a clean display with may options, is currently being developed and does NOT require FLASH. If you have personal photos to process and display, give this program a try. They now offer FREE space on the web to store your pictures with reasonably priced upgrades for more storage. The website has also recently been updated and improved. Try the following to view albums displayed with Jalbum.

Turtle (non-Flash based)

ANVSoft Flash Slideshow Maker

Another interesting program I ran across is Flash Slideshow Maker by ANVSoft. This is more limited than Jalbum and does require Flash to be installed to work. However it does a nice job of displaying pictures. The free version simply adds an advertising screen to the end of the slide show. Purchasing removes the advertising slide. Try looking at this slide show made using the program.

Posters 3 Collection
Frick Pond

Photo Web Album

Another interesting program I ran across is Photo Web Album by Pho.to. This is more limited than Jalbum but does NOT require Flash to be installed to work. It does a nice job of displaying pictures and is very easy to use although I have only tried it on small "jobs". The makers of this program also offer free picture hosting which can be "upgraded" and several online features to spice up your albums. Try looking at this slide show made using the program.

Fall Colors

Fortop Album Album

Another interesting program I ran across is Fortop Album by Fortop Software. This is more limited than Jalbum and does require Flash to be installed to work. It does a nice job of displaying pictures and is very easy to use although I have only tried it on small "jobs".

Westkill in Winter

JW Imagerotator

Displaying a rotating sequence of pictures that can be easily viewed but that will continue without user intervention is always interesting. I tried various methods using Java and JavaScript but all were too difficult or lacked something. At one point, I switched to a service called Web Pasties which offered this and several other neat services. There were at least two drawbacks. The cost was about $100 per year for a set number of "feeds" and extra "feeds" cost extra money. Every click by a viewer, including me, was a feed. The number of feeds was generous and I had a LOT remaining each year. I kept those feeds but I had to continue to pay for the subscription even if they are not used. In addition, the image rotator is limited to 40 slides. In many cases this was enough but in some it was not. I ran across the JW Imagerotator when was trying to find a way to display videos. Using it requires an ability to follow simple instructions and to edit some files. It also seems that the company that created this program is no longer developing it. They have moved on to create JW Player which uses HTML5 which is more universal than the former Flash-based program. If you want a completely automatic process, then try Jalbum otherwise give it a chance. Try looking at this slide shows made using the program.

Best Hiking Pictures

Taking the Pictures

Taking pictures of my hikes had become almost as important to me as the hiking itself. I sometimes forgo bagging a peak to go to a place with better views. I often venture to places I have not been to see new views and take new pictures. Sometimes I return to places to get better or different shots that I missed the last time I was there. Taking photographs for me is a way to document my hikes and a way to share the beauty of nature with others.

I traded in my trusty Kodak Z650 camera for a Kodak Z980 which Kodak no longer makes! The Z650 had 6 megapixels and 10x zoom while the Z980 had 12 megapixels and a 24x wide angle zoom lens. The Z650 camera took very nice pictures which even look good when enlarged to poster sizes. The Z980 simply had better resolution and a MUCH better lens. It also took larger memory cards so that I could take over 3000 12 megapixel pictures on one card!

I got a Canon EOS Xti DSLR started to learn how to use it. It was too bulky for me to carry on hikes particularly since I needed a 75-300 telephoto lens along with the supplied kit lens. It was hard for me to carry my pack AND the camera case so I had to figure out how to do both. A case for the camera and a separate case for the lens so that I can put both in the pack seemed the best bet. There were places where I could take the camera and I got some good pictures. For all the "bother" I have to admit the picture quality and versatility beat the point-and-shoot models I had.

I decided to upgrade my point-and-shoot camera and bought a Canon SX40HS which has a 35x optical zoom wide angle lens and 12 megapixels of resolution. It takes very nice pictures and has more settings than I can use. It isn't small but fits in the main compartment of my pack easily. The camera has a rechargeable battery which can be a drawback but this one stays charged for a long time. At some point I dropped the camera one too many times and the optical viewfinder became out of focus. I put up with the viewfinder for a while but began to look for a new camera since I knew trying to get the old one repaired would be too expensive.

My newest camera is a point-and-shoot Canon SX60HS with a 65x optical zoom wide angle lens and 16 megapixels of resolution. When I read the reviews of this upgrade of my previous camera, there were many positive ones but a few that were very negative. I talked to a Salesperson at B&H Photo where I decided to buy the camera and he said his customer's comments were mostly positive. He also explained that B&H Photo is an authorized dealer while many of the other online offers that were cheaper were not from authorized dealers. I got the camera just before Christamas 2015 and have just started using it now. It still has too many settings and a few are different than the previous model! So far it seems to take crisper pictures than the previous model. I had a chance to use the long zoom to photograph and eagle. As I took the pictures at extreme zoom, I wondered how they would come out since I did not have a tripod and the camera was "bouncing" quite a bit. I was very happy with the resulting pictures as they were completely in focus and very clear. The image stabilization must be very good!