Archive for the ‘photography’ Category




  • So, I’m on a quest to find a photo organization tool for Linux (or, on a later note, for any OS) that does some things like…
    • Allow me to apply metadata to images, like comments and groups and tags (preferably hierarchical)
    • Store the metadata IN THE ACTUAL IMAGE, IN A STANDARD FORMAT. This also means it will probably need to support IPTC or XMP, preferably XMP. (No, shut up about GQview, it doesn’t cut it.)
    • Allow me to set metadata as a batch operation. I am thoroughly uninterested in having to manually go through the process of setting metadata for each individual image. And when I say “batch operation”, “batch” really needs to be more generic than “all files in a directory.” (No, shut up about scripting it with ExifTool or Exempi or Exiv2. Yes, they can edit XMP data on groups of files, but scripting doesn’t cut it as a solution unless someone can show me how to make this integrate with a GUI.)
  • Here are the apps recommended thus far:
  • And my responses thus far:
    • digiKam:
      • Has a pretty nice UI (though overdone sometimes)
      • The built-in editing features and plugins are handy and quick. I’m kind of cheating here because I’m already pretty familiar with digiKam.
      • Searching capabilities are pretty good.
      • Only wants to edit IPTC/XMP metadata one image at a time.
      • All its metadata (besides IPTC/XMP that you do one image at a time) is stored in an SQLite database, not in the image
      • Interface can get pretty slow sometimes.
    • imgSeek:
      • The interface works okay but it’s a little clumsy, and sometimes things are slow (I loaded about 10K pictures).
      • Finding pictures based on similarity to other pictures or to a hand-drawn image is an interesting feature.
      • The grouping/batching features are powerful, but a bit slow.
      • I am unsure if imgSeek lets me add IPTC or XMP data easily.
      • There is no easy way I can see to search based on date.
    • F-Spot:
      • I’m told the IPTC/XMP support in this isn’t that great.
      • I have yet to try this program.
    • LightZone:
      • This is proprietary, but they have a 30-day trial.
      • “Linux users will especially enjoy access to the new LightZone Relight Tool l which can achieve HDR effects from a single negative revealing hidden HDR detail in both the highlights and the shadows, using just a single exposure. For instance, you’ll see both saturated colors of a sunset and bright detail in the face of a back lit subject that was formerly lost. Achieving such stunning results from a single exposure without LightZone would require multiple flashes, reflectors and shades at the time the photograph — if it could be possible at all.” . . . sorry, but if you honestly believe this, you don’t have the slightest understanding what HDR is. Oh well, it’s all marketing.
      • Having tried this software, I cannot see any batch metadata editing capability, or any reason why I’d want to pay for this.
    • PicaJet FX:
      • This is proprietary with a 15-day trial.
      • I tried this software and could not find any batch-editing features for XMP.
    • Lightroom
      • This is the expensive stuff from Adobe ($300, but there’s a 30-day trial). Some people in #photogeeks on Freenode recommended it.
      • This is a “workflow app designed for professional photographers” and it’s from Adobe. If anything at al supports XMP batch-editing, and a billion other features, this would have to be it.
    • Razuna
      • I don’t know. This is an open source, web-based Digital Asset Management application.
      • It looks very nice (check out the videos there), but I don’t think it’s whatI need for this task.
    • Any application I failed to mention: I either ignored it on the basis of provided specifications, or I ignored it because I’m just too lazy.







  • MediaCoder – “a free universal batch media transcoder, which nicely integrates most popular audio/video codecs and tools into an all-in-one solution.” Only natively works on Windows, but came in handy trying to re-encode some video at work after I found that[Avidemux] liked to either crash or screw up the encode (on Windows at least as I know I’ve used it without problems on Linux)
  • CamStudio – An open source screen recorder (screencast?) application. Only works on Windows, but works pretty well.





  • Well, after my computer exploded and my hard drive became an orphan, I finally built a working computer again and fixed up my scripts so they didn’t suck. Now I shall attempt to post the giant piles of stuff that have accumulated.




  • – My friend Cassie sent me this link. In its own words: “Think of TasteSpotting as a highly visual potluck of recipes, references, experiences, stories, articles, products, and anything else that inspires exquisite taste.”


  • The eyeballing game – Another link from Cassie… it’s a Flash game that’s sort of interesting, related to one’s ability to eyeball something and tell if it’s straight
  • Nomic Game – A paperwork table game that looks a bit complex to actually play. The object of the game is to change the rules of the game.


  • The Score: How childbirth went industrial – An article in The New Yorker giving a (critical) opinion of why C-section is used so often. Interesting read.
  • Perils of pop philosophy
    • Probably related to Dunning-Kruger effect – “…people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it”
  • The Zen of Drinking Alone from Modern Drunkard Magazine. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of Modern Drunkard before, but this is a surprisingly cogent article about the value of… drinking alcohol alone, or “using alcohol to find your inner monkey”.
  • Well, more of an essay than an article… On Liberty by John Stuart Mill is something I should probably read at some point


  • Jake Speed and the Freddies – just saw them at the Southgate House and was extremely impressed, despite that ordinarily I’d never listen to “folk blues” voluntarily.
  • StumbleAudio – I don’t really know what this is. but I wrote it down, so maybe it’s good. “Guide to discovering music and sharing great new music.”