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It’s all About Me?

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

Black and White Photo of John P. HokeIts all about me! No? Damn it! Sure kick a guy in the … er … 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’m 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). While I may be fluent in “typo” but I cannot speak stupid. Add to this, 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. If you cannot handle these contradictions, I bet you are one of those people who like to “think outside the box” missing the point that the box itself is your limitation.

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 sleeves, this way you will always have a hug.


My Policies

CopyrightAll photos posted, unless otherwise attributed, are © John P. Hoke 2000-2018.

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 looking to make money of my hobby (although I won’t 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, it’s 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 nefarious 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 am running analytics from Google and locally using Piwik, but that is life on the big interwebs – this is so I can better understand who is visiting, what they liked, etc.

Aa bunch of plugins help me 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 … (although you may want to fear your microwave hahahahaha)

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), Hudson HenryTrey Ratcliff  and others who have pushed the way I see and think about photography from different angles, and I hope that it is starting to ‘sink in’.

 


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.

Update: In July 2017 while in Australia I picked up a Sony A7Rii mirrorless camera and Sony f/4 24-70 lens as well as a Metabones Nikon G to Sony E lens adapter for my existing Nikon glass. Maybe I am (fashionably) late to the Alpha party, but so far I absolutely love the kit. Not to mention the price, exchange rate and tax refund while leaving Sydney 🙂 I have since added a few additional lenses native for Sony.

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. I also grabbed a PeakDesign backpack, which goes everywhere with me … not replacing the messenger bag, but it fits more crap and is better for my back. As an added bonus I can use it while riding my motorcycle.

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!

In the ever evolving insanity that is my workflow, I have now (August 2018) migrated my catalog and digital management from Lightroom to On1 Photo Raw fully. The only thing I have kept LR around for is printing, as it does an amazing job. If / when On1’s print system catches up with Lightroom the entire Adobe suite will go the way of /dev/null.


My Code

Wordpress logo superimposed over codeI maintain this site using WordPress and Photocrati photography themes, including NextGen and NextGen Pro galleries. 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. The map markers are from the Map Icons Collection.  I am also using Add to Any Share Buttons for sharing and follow social media icons/links.

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. To keep things (fairly) secure I am using Wordfence Security as well as some homegrown bits to lock things down.

In April 2017 I moved from my long standing shared hosting provider, Hosting Matters, to an Amazon AWS Lightsail virtual private server. I was with Hosting Matters for over a decade, they are great people, but some of the site projects I am working on outside this blog required a dedicated solution. If you need hosting, please do check them out!

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 and 4.7x and beyond!) 😉

In May 2017 I started using ShortPixel and Google’s mod_pagespeed for Apache to better optimize the site. The file size savings I’ve been getting from ShortPixel is simply insane, and mod_pagespeed’s optimization of the rest of the bits and pieces such as scripts, css, etc.  has definitely sped things up here, moving from a Google Page Speed rank of about 65 to 90 on the landing page of the blog. I’ve also started using W3 Total Cache (Community Edition) to eek out a bit more performance from WordPress

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 using American Sign Language to describe the smell,  drop me a line over on my Contact page.


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 choose to include in a post – if I am getting paid I will always say so in the post. 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. I use Amazon Affiliate Codes to make a commission if you buy anything through the blog and Google AdSense for example . If you do purchase something via these affiliate links, I thank you … you are helping to support my photography habit … er … hobby.

Alternatively, I accept cold hard (digital) cash donations. If anything here tickled your fancy and you’d like to drop me a couple bucks as a thank you – use the PayPal donate button below

Also, I am generally a cantankerous son-of-a-bitch. 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. Unless of course I expressly say so 🙂


fnord!

(did you see that?)



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