Steve's photos



Basic tools:

I work from a command-line shell rather than in a GUI, so I've written a few simple tools which make it easy for me to handle digital photos. I keep photo originals in directories organized by date, with index pages in HTML which allow me to browse through them easily. I used to use Opera as my browser; it allows the user to pan and zoom in images directly. But now I've switched to Firefox, with image browsing extensions installed.

I download pictures with GetPix, a shell script which copies photos into a directory named with the current date yymmdd. While it is downloading, I update my master photo index by hand, adding a brief description of the contents of the new directory. Then I build an index to the new directory with Perl script GenIndex. This invokes the freeware thumbnail extractor EzThumbnails from Fookes Software. It also uses Perl script jpginfo to find the height and width of each image. jpginfo can also print the information stored in each JPEG image in human-readable form, which is occasionally useful.

Panoramic photographs:

I use Olympus C-740 UZ panorama mode to take up to 10 adjacent frames, usually at maximum 2048 x 1536 (3.2 megapixel) resolution. For panoramas, I put the camera on a tripod and pan with the pan head so the frames line up accurately. When travelling, I ususally do not carry the bulky tripod, so some panoramas are handheld.

After downloading, Camedia software stitches the individual frames together into a single panoramic image, which can be very large. The stitching software is very simple to use and generally it works well, although saving a panorama is very slow and the rest of the Camedia software package is terrible. Sometimes the software misaligns adjacent edges, and sometimes the transitions from one image to the next are too clear. I process the panoramic image with the GIMP.

For the benefit of those who use Internet Explorer or Netscape, Panopan's JsphereLite allows interactive viewing of panoramic images if the browser supports Java. Otherwise, panoramas look like long, skinny images in the browser and it's hard to appreciate the detail.

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© 2003-2009 by Stephen A. Ness.
Last update: 4/28/09