The Seven Sages Project

Has it been 24 years already?

Photo galleries moving, and some new gear

Photo galleries moving, and some new gear

The Gear Acquisition Syndrome has taken hold. Looking at my options for something with a slightly nicer sensor than the 1Dx Mark II, my options were another 1Dx II, an expensive 1Dx Mark III, or jump over to another system. Well, the Pentax 645 medium format DSLRs caught my eye. Although a bit old, and it has some limitations, the 645D was actually on par for what I paid for the 1Dx Mark II. Basically, a used 1Dx Mark III, just the body, will run about the same as a new Pentax 645Z with a lens. So I purchased a used 645D and a pile of lenses. Even bought one of the lenses new because they were on sale.

Why Pentax? Well, as mentioned, the price is good. Pentax is committed to making DSLRs and avoiding mirrorless. More importantly, though, Pentax glass is good. Even their cheap lenses are great. The lenses are rugged. Also, most are available for not much money on the used market.

Now, it should be obvious I’m going to be posting more photos, but I don’t necessarily want to overload this blog with photo posts. With that in mind, I went ahead and grabbed a new domain for this purpose. The site,, is now live. The galleries that are here now will be moved over to the new site over the next week. I’ll keep the blog over here, even for the photography-related posts.

The featured image was shot on the 1Dx Mark II. That dude decided to see what I was doing while packing up my strobes in the travel case, and then proceeded to eat the berries off a tree for several minutes while I snapped away with the camera. The raw files were processed in DxO PhotoLab 6, then passed into DxO FilmPack 6 to give it a bit more character.

Seven months

Seven months

Well, it looks like I have managed to keep this and all the other wordpress sites going for over six months. Granted, this is the only one that gets regular updates, but that’s a record for me with WordPress. I have used some other bloated Java-based CMSs for over a year at a time, but even then it was rare for me to keep up with regular posts for more than the first couple of months. As I’ve said before… web-related stuff bores me.

So, why have I stuck with WordPress this time? First off, the need to support WordPress at work means I need to suck it up and stick with it. Second, that whole twitter junk that started even before Oak Stank took over pushed me back into the own my own content mindset. Finally, WordPress isn’t terrible any more. It used to be that if your session timed out while in the middle of the post, you were screwed. Good bye, post. Now, you log back in and pick up where things left off. This is one of the few times where modern web development trends has done something good. Finally, it’s no longer a pain to manage multiple WordPress sites thanks to tools like MainWP. From one single interface, it’s possible to update everything on a dozen or more sites in the same amount of time it would take to just login to three of them. I went with MainWP because it is standalone and fully hosted within WordPress itself, rather than shoveling things through some pointless cloud-based console like some other multi-site management tools.

Recent site changes

A few days ago I added a new plugin, the NextGEN Gallery. On the one hand, its interface doesn’t really feel WordPressy, but on the other hand, I can integrate a gallery into any random post or page, like this:


Image 1 of 5

Shot with the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 at 12mm. Exposure time was about 2 minutes. Cut it short because I noticed a jet would be passing over and if I shifted things just a smidge I could capture it and Orion at the same time.

I have also switched back to the Generate Press theme for the time being. I really need to figure out its so-called “advanced styling” features, as to me it just looks sort of meh. I did at least figure out how to add a border around the main content block so that things aren’t slammed up against the edge.

Also killed off the social media cross-poster plugin as I am done with twitter. I still want the fancy link previews for everything that supports that, so I installed SEOpress to deal with that.

One of those days

One of those days

Ever have one of those days where every minor thing just gets under your nerves? Today was definitely one of those days, so of course twitter decided to send me a notification that hey, maybe I should totally check out this tweet that I may have missed despite the fact it was the top tweet on my timeline. I think that is the last straw. I’m done with twitter. They are so desperate to extract and exploit just one more second of eyeball time they will show you what is literally at the top of your timeline.

In its earliest incarnation, twitter was a very short form mobile blogging platform. The 140 character limit combined with the original SMS interface meant it was effectively no more than an away message for life. Over time, it just turned into an outrage factory. I tried to whittle down my follows, mute words and phrases that were annoying, decline to follow any topics, but no, the noise continues. There are noisy promoted posters trying to let us know about some unknown pop darling nobody has heard about… and I block them. And reblock them, because apparently if you give twitter money they will unblock accounts. All the while, I’m reminded that every minor slight is somehow literally worse than Hitler, and that whatever good I try to do just isn’t good enough.

Existing on twitter is being on the bad end of an abusive relationship. I’m done. Well, okay, I’m not 100% done with twitter, but from here on out it is a write-only, read-never platform. Have a plugin that will post links twitter, which twitter has made more difficult because crossposting blogs doesn’t generate the same level of outrage as “interaction” with the angry twits.

Site Meta #1

Absolutely nobody asked, but I’m using GeneratePress, PublishPress, PublishPress Blocks, PostX, FileBird, along with a couple of caching plugins to make things not terrible.