A Cute Smugmug Hack on Embeddable Links

Here’s a quick little hack I found while doing some tweaking on the blog the other evening. It turns out the images used to embed the image in the blog is versioned. Take this image:

Elk, Yellowstone

Smugmug gives you this code back from the share->get a link->embeddable link button:

<a href="http://chuqui.smugmug.com/Best-of-Breed/Best-Photos/i-2bLmTvm/A" title="Elk, Yellowstone">
<img src="http://chuqui.smugmug.com/Photos-by-Year-Taken/2014/i-2bLmTvm/5/L/140602_101423_chuq-L.jpg"
title="Elk, Yellowstone" alt="Elk, Yellowstone"></a>

See that ’5′ I’ve set to red in the URL of the IMG? That’s a version number. Whenever you upload a new copy of an image or do some other operation that causes the display variations of that image to be regenerated, you get an updated set and the version number is incremented. This update also happens when you change your watermark, for instance.

Smugmug is taking some care to make sure these embeds keep working and continue to look as they did when you created them; it’s keeping a set of each version of the image around indefinitely (as far as I can tell). But that means if you’ve embedded the image and you make a change to it (like my recent watermark update), that won’t propagate out to the embedded images.

What if that’s not what you want? What if you always want to display the most recent version of an image?

It turns out there’s an easy tweak: take that version number and set it to a large number, say ’99′. The Smugmug system is smart enough that if you give it a version number that doesn’t exist, it’ll return the version of the image with the highest version number. Tweaking this means you’ll get those version updates in your embeds automatically. Also, if you set the version to ’0′ it will always return the first version of the image, if you want that for some reason.

It’d be nice if Smugmug made this a checkbox in your account preferences. Most of the time the existing setup is fine, but some of us would like to get the updated images. fortunately, it seems there’s an easy hack to make that possible.

(as far as I can tell, this isn’t documented anywhere by Smugmug, so I’m posting it for others that might find it useful. Of course, being undocumented, Smugmug might change it and break it at some point in the future, too. But if you find it a useful hack, let them know and encourage them to formally support it).

By the way, that Elk above just arrived as a 30×30 canvas print that I had done through my Smugmug print store via the Bay Photo people, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Soon to like proudly on my wall. Might look nice on your wall, too…. (hint. hint.)

BsoaR-8CIAA7Cjr

Posted in Working on Web Sites

Ferruginous Hawk

The Ferruginous Hawk is a seasonal visitor to Silicon Valley, and is easiest to find in winter in the Coyote Valley area. This is one of the birds that has been wintering down there for a few years, and is both popular with and somewhat tolerant of the photographers that head down there to photograph it.

  • Species:
    Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)
  • Date Taken:
    November 4, 2011
  • Location:
    Coyote Valley, South San Jose
  • Camera:
    Canon 7d
  • Lens:
    Canon 300mm F4 + 1.4x TC
  • Tags:
    Birds, California, Coyote Valley, Ferruginous Hawk, Richmond Road, San Jose, Santa Clara County
Posted in Photo of the Day

Golden Eagle in Flight

At one point in my past, I actually took pictures of birds and talked about bird photography. Time to fire that up again, I think… The Golden Eagle is one of the largest hunting birds in North America. This bird is one that’s been wintering (and perhaps year-round) out near Calaveras Reservoir east of Milpitas. It is just taking off after having been grounded by a red-tail that was unhappy it flew through its territory.

Stunning and magnificent birds, they are increasingly easy to find in the hills around Silicon Valley in the winter, and we have some pairs that are staying year round and nesting.

  • Species:
    Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
  • Date Taken:
    October 14, 2011
  • Location:
    Calaveras Reservoir Area
  • Camera:
    Canon 7d
  • Lens:
    Canon 300mm F4 + 1.4x TC
  • Tags:
    Birds, California, Flying, Golden Eagle, Marsh Road, Santa Clara County
Posted in Photo of the Day