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What About Me?

So, who the hell is this John P. Hoke person anyway?

John P. HokeIts all about me! No? Damn it! Sure kick a guy in the ego …

I am an amateur photographer, who happens to have a full-time job that gets in the way of me enjoying my photography addiction hobby more. I am also a husband, father, Information Security professional, coffee addict, curmudgeon, model aircraft (aka Drone or UAV) hobbyist, craft beer and whiskey connoisseur and an extremely sarcastic wise ass (not necessarily in that order). I may be fluent in “typo” but cannot speak stupid. I am also a 20+ year cancer survivor, which as I was initially diagnosed as a teenager. This has given me a different perspective on life, the universe and everything, as well as a serious case of gallows humor.

Nothing and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I photograph, post, opine on, make fun of, like, dislike or mention directly, indirectly, or discuss (get my point?) are to be misconstrued as the opinions of my employer, family, dogs, or the voices in my head. Hell, an hour later they may not even by my opinions any longer. People tend to take life way too seriously  – lighten up! If you cannot handle views that bother you, maybe the Internet isn’t the place for you… perhaps I could suggest a jacket with wrap around arms this way you will always have a hug.

My Policies

CopyrightAll photos posted, unless otherwise attributed, are © John P. Hoke 2000-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material, text, images or other media posted on this blog, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner (i.e.: me) is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links to content may be used, with the exception downloading and reposting of images, provided that full and clear credit is given to John P. Hoke and linked to the original photo page on this blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. No rights are granted for other reuse, repurposing, modifications, etc.

If you are interested in using any of the images found on this site, please contact me to discuss. While I am a complete and utter amateur photographer, and am not be looking to make money of my hobby (although I wont turn it down either), I do want to retain control on where my images are used, how they are represented, by whom and under what circumstances. I’ve been known to license images for no cost, its less about making a profit and more about making sure I retain creative and distribution control of my work.

Comments a.k.a. The echo chamber from hell

tripple facepalmWhile I want, expect and respect criticisms and a lively debate, I do not want flamewars to erupt. I reserve the right to delete or edit any post that is, in my eyes, uncivil – we can disagree, argue, debate, but we should always be able to have a beer afterwards! If you want to have a pissing contest, I am sure there are other places on the interwebs you can find where it is acceptable this is not that place.

Screw it… for now comments are disabled…

I have reverted to the WordPress comment engine. I haven’t locked down comments yet, please don’t be a dick.

Privacy Policy a.k.a. Big Brother’s Always Watching

privacy keyboardYes, its the dreaded privacy policy. I’ll keep it simple, this website uses cookies to provide session state, and user experience enhancement – but I do not do anything with the data – I’m a simple blogger. As for personal data, email is used for login, and if you wish notifications, but again, I’m just a blogger who isn’t using this info for anything other than to provide this site.

I use a bunch of plugins to manage authentication, and other bits that may have their own use/privacy policies. I cannot say that they won’t do bad things such as log you into my website and set cookies … this is the interwebs – if you don’t want to share information about you or your session/computer/favorite colors/that you like long walks on the beach/personal insanities/etc., use tools that prevent it from happening. If you have no idea what I am talking about – just relax, take a deep breath and surf away – I really am not watching you right now through your device’s built in camera …

Simpler privacy statement – You are on the Internet, and should have NO expectation of privacy without taking appropriate measures to ensure such. That is it in a nutshell… 

My Inspirations

Latte with a silhouette of an airplane - More Coffee - Less TravelCoffee, quadruple shot lattes from my DeLonghi Nespresso machine, yes please! Ok, that and anything that catches my eye. When that fails, I’ve been known to enjoy a Balvenie single malt, Teeling Irish Whiskey or two … (or three… yes please!).

I’ve also recently been inspired to push my photography by Matt Kloskowsky (or simply MattK) and Trey Ratcliff  both have pushed the way I see and think about photography from different angles, and I hope that it is starting to ‘sink in’.

When that fails, I look at or play with my dogs … it doesn’t really help, but hell they’re cute and they think everything I do is just fabulous!

My Gear

Packed and Ready

Most of the photographs posted here so far (April 2014) were taken with a Nikon D7000 with the kit lens in RAW format. Post-processing via Apple Aperture Adobe Lightroom CC and OnOne Perfect Photosuite and Nik Filters. I’ve upgraded to a full frame Nikon D610 with Nikon 70-300mm 4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR50mm 1.4G and 24-85mm 3.5-4.5G ED VR lenses, I’ve added a Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 as a walkabout lens, as well as a Sigma 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens and Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 for architectural and ultra-wide angle shots.

I’ve also switched from Apple Aperture to Lightroom CC. As far as I can see Apple is killing killed off Aperture and gave us a less than useful “Photosapplication bastardization, turning its back on professional and prosumer photography markets. So be it … Lightroom + OnOne PhotoSuite is a great combination. For HDR processing I have recently switched from using Lightroom to using Aurora HDR Pro  primarily after seeing what Trey Ratcliff is doing with it…

Last fall (2015), I backed a PeakDesign Kickstarter for their Everyday Messenger Bag, and I love it. There is a great bundle available on Amazon for the bag and accessories – this bag’s already been around the world and it fits everything I need, including my 15″ MacBook Pro! Oh, and it is comfortable as all hell.

In August 2016 I came across Plotagraph Pro and I am still looking for bits of my mind after having it blown. Being able to take a static image and animate parts of it – and I did say a single image really intreagued me. I’ve mucked about with it and posted some up to my Instagram account and elsewhere here on the blog. While its a bit pricey – the results are breathtaking!

My Code

Wordpress logo superimposed over codeI maintain this site using WordPress and Photocrati photography themes. As far as plugins go, I use Akismet to fight spam, Flexible Map and Snazzy Maps team up to provide the Google Maps of the photo locations,  Nomad World Maps creates the cool travel maps to visually show all my crazy business travel. WordPress Related Posts provides the links to related articles in this site (and may be used for external links down the road). The map markers are from the Map Icons Collection.  I am also using AddThis Smart Layers for the follow me icons, and sharing links are from Simple Follow Me Social Buttons Widget. Google Analytics is through Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. WordPress Jetpack is providing a ton of behind the scenes bits that I am too lazy to list all of. Yoast provides the glue that keeps all the SEO crap together. Google CSE (Custom Search Engine) provides search functionality for this domain, and may serve ads – but it is the fastest and most accurate engine available for WordPress.

I have hacked a bunch of things into the plugins I use, and have had to tweak things for interoperability – but I am fairly happy with the way it came out – the test will be at upgrade. It mostly passed the upgrade tests (and did so again to WP 4.6!) 😉

If you have any questions about this site, how I manage it, what I use, or what the color of orange sounds like as it passes the sound barrier in a vacuum, drop me a line over on my Contact page.

My Weatherstation

weather station imageI maintain a local weather station in my backyard using a Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 personal weather unit connected to an older Apple Mac Mini running WeatherCat. I publish all this wonderful data to the interwebs using an amazing set of scripts and templates on my personal weather station site here on Hoke.Org. I also feed data to the Weather Underground, The UK Met Office, Personal Weather Stations and WeatherCloud for Albrightsville, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas in the Poconos. The data is shared with and quality checked by CWOP (Citizen Weather Observer Program) the results of which are results are posted online.

The Weather Banner image below is generated on the fly from code in the templates from MeteoTemplate. I can’t recommend this solution enough!

Current Weather in Albrightsville, PA

Affiliate Links

street sign with $ and MoneyMy website may contain affiliate/marketing links, which means I may get paid commission on sales of those products or services I post about. The reviews or editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. Disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Long Story Short – Running the site costs money, and I may try to make a couple bucks to offset those costs… but this is not the primary purpose of the site… so I use Amazon Affiliate Codes for example to make a commission if you buy anything through the blog. If you do purchase something via these affiliate links, I thank you … you are helping to support my photography habit … er … hobby. Also, I am generally a son-of-a-bitch and the fact I may post a link to something does not mean I endorse it, nor has it any weight in my opinions of it …


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