Ben Hartshorne
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Digital Camera

Back in May of 2003, I bought a Nikon Coolpix 3100. It was a great little camera. Google it for more info. We lived together on the RVH for quite a while, but one day, after serving me faithfully for a full year, it decided to jump overboard. It was a hard parting, and it took me a while to recover. But, life must go on. In September of 2004, I bought a Fujifilm E-510 to replace it. (google it) I don't like my E510 much.

Since the first day I bought my Nikon, I searched for a good way to deal with the photos. I'm still looking. But in the mean time, I wrote a couple of scripts to help me deal. These are what I use for my own organization, as well as creating my photo pages. Here are the steps I go through.

  1. Download the photos from the camera using get_photos.tgz
  2. Launch xv on the images in the background: $ xv dscn?????.jpg&
  3. Run my renaming script on the same images $ * (it ignores all but the right files)
    1. Give all the photos interesting names. Note that this script will keep the name of the picture, the thumbnail, and the image data all together
  4. Run my prepare_picture_webpage.tgz script. It does things like make all different sizes of the photos (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768) and names them appropriately. It also copies the HTML templates into the current directory, and launches vi on them for me. I have to fill in the interesting parts. It asks me to write captions for the files, or accept the defaults of the filename (with _ translated to " " and the .jpg stripped). Finally, it runs the script (included in the tarball above)to generate the HTML for the page.
  5. Edit the previously last gallery to point the next buttons to this page: $ vi ../blah/*.html
  6. Add this gallery to the front page: $ vi ../index.shtml

Sooner or later I hope to write a script that will manage all the next and previous buttons for me to eliminate the last two steps. It's pretty tough to automate many of the remaining steps, since so much of it is dependent on things like describing the photos and writing the introduction to the page and so on.

You are welcome to take any of these tools and use them to your heart's content! They are all released under the GPL.

Though they were originally written for Linux, being based on nothing but the standard GNU toolkit, they work equally on my current laptop, an iBook running OSX.


P.S. I'm still looking for one crucial component. After copying the photos onto my laptop, I must do a first-pass run to delete all the worthless pictures. I have yet to find a tool that makes this easy, except for (I hate to admit it) Microsoft's Picture Viewer. The only thing I want to do on the first pass is to delete the horrible pictures. MS's viewer preloads the image offscreen, so as long as you go through the pictures forward (and don't back up), it's very snappy to display them on the screen (no long loading time). The Delete key is will delete the photo (after confirmation) so that all you need to do for the first pass is press the right arrow key to go through the pictures, and hit Delete-Return when you see one to kill. I can go through them at a rate of about 1-4 photos per second using that interface. For a first run through of 150 pictures, two minutes is not too much to weed out the chaff. If I do the same thing using the scripts above, or using Apple's preview, or some other program, it takes many times longer, and is more prone to error.

I really dislike iPhoto because it requires waiting for all the photos to preload into iPhoto (which is slow), and then processing them afterwards. Even once they're in iPhoto, it's not as easy to go through and delete the offensive ones.

Please email me if you have a program you think I should try.

So far, I've tried

It seems simple to me. All I want to do is step through the pictures quickly and delete a bunch of them. That's it! I'll use a different setup to rename them and rotate them etc. The one feature I would accept in addition to delete is some method of marking the really exceptional ones. It's often the case that I will have hundreds of photos from an event, of which a third of them are immediately destined for the trash can, and maybe 2 or 3 are really remarkable. It is annoying to have to look for those later, especially if I get behind schedule and don't get around to properly sorting through the album. I would like to be able to go through the in both directions, but that's not as important.