Exiftool – sorting photos

I recently had a few days off and managed to sort out the growing collection of photographs accumulating on my hard drive. The collection is almost 150GB with 52000+ image and video files spanning 10 years. I have used a variety of photo management tools over the years including Canon software that came with the camera, FSpot, gThumb, iPhoto and Digikam (the tool of choice). The resulting mess of nested folders and sub-folders demanded some TLC. Thankfully I had a couple of backups on different disks as well as two live working copies so I was safe in case I messed up.

Enter exiftool. A command line tool to manage all aspects of your photo metadata.

I copied my collection to a scratch processing space year by year and processed them in chunks using a single line of exiftool wizardry:

exiftool -r -d ../output/%Y_%m/%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S_%%f.%%e "-filename<datetimeoriginal" input

This command recurses (-r) through the input directory finding all supported image and video files. It moves the files to the output folder, creating a YEAR_MONTH sub-folder (%Y_%m) using the original creation date of the file to be moved. The creation date and time (%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S) is prefixed to the original filename (%%f.%%e). For each year of photos I end up with 12 folders (2005_01, 2005_02, etc.) containing all the nicely sorted photos.

Exiftool also reports errors and files it is unable to process and these remain in the input folders after processing making it simple to manually check through them.  I also had some success with the remnants using the Last Modified Date.

exiftool -r -d ../output/%Y_%m/%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S_%%f.%%e "-filename<filemodifydate" input

Create a contact sheet of images

On Linux Mint (and just about any other Debian based distro) gThumb has an option to create a contact sheet of images in a directory.  However, on my machine running Mint 14 it crashes every time.  Hit duckduckgo to find an alternative and voila! ImageMagick Montage.  The montage program is part of imagemagick. Install imagemagick.

$ sudo aptitude install imagemagick

Continue reading Create a contact sheet of images

The Most Beautiful City In The World

The Most Beautiful City In The World™

Some recent photos of Cape Town and Table Mountain taken by City of Cape Town photographer, Bruce Sutherland.

Got wheels, will ride

Lomo effect applied from GIMP plugin.  The model is a natural.

got wheels

Cross-processed image using bright orange as the highlight colour.  Balance bike (a birthday present), helmet, jacket and glasses model’s own.

will ride


Batch Processing Images

Running digiKam 2.0 on Windows 7 Professional 32bit and Linux Mint 10 KDE 4.6.2

Standard workflow for new images:

  1. download into new date based folder renaming on the fly and applying metadata template.
  2. tag new images
  3. geotag new images
  4. select images for upload to web
  5. add to batch queue manager
  6. adjust colours – auto levels
  7. sharpen – unsharp mask
  8. resize – 1024px wide
  9. watermark – overlay PNG (prepare earlier using Xach Effect in GIMP)
  10. reapply metadata
  11. write to output folder
  12. export to piwigo
  13. export to gallery Continue reading Batch Processing Images

Hacking Piwigo

Piwigo Logo

Here is a semi-sequential account of events over the last couple of months (squeezed in when I have a spare moment) that have resulted in piwigo.mixedbredie.net.

Install PhpWebGallery in test (2009)
Install Piwigo in test (2010)
Go back to Gallery2
Install Gallery3 in test (2010)
Tire of lack of nice themes in Gallery3 even after some tweaking.
Go back to piwigo and update and move from test to live site
Add some themes.
Add some plugins.
Read the documentation and then head to the forums where there are threads for plugins and themes. Get used to french people writing technical stuff in English.
(note to self: learn French hahahhahahaa ha ha)

Making the changes:
Choose a theme that works and looks like you want it (mostly) to look.
Start mangling it. The Local-Files editor is your friend allowing you to make local changes to templates, CSS and configuration files that overrule the default options.
Realise I can make a child theme just using a theme.css and config-inc.php in a “my-theme” directory.
Change the background colour
Change the body text colour
Change the link colour
Change the link hover colour
Change colour of different elements in the page
Add a header image
Creating and using custom template files
Changing size of thumbnails > regenerate thumbnails plugin by p@t – Set this to 286 x 286

I had to hack some more CSS style rules together in order to get the look I was after.  I shamelessly copied this from www.fotolobia.com where the Turkish designer has done a far better job than I have.

digiKam splash
digiKam splash

Meanwhile, running in parallel to this there is the continuing development of digikam that seems to advance at a rate that most linux distros can’t keep up with.  The latest stable version of digikam is always at least one, maybe two or three, versions ahead of what is available in the repositories.  I use linux mint 10 with the K Desktop Environment (KDE 4.6.5) and my desktop tends to be used for managing photos with digiKam and editing photos with GIMP.

Trying to keep the desktop updated so that the latest digiKam will run has dissolved into an arms race between the linux mint maintainers, the digiKam developers and the end users of both communities. Some distros update the “stable” version of KDE quicker than others and others custom package digiKam.  An alternative is to compile it yourself.  This is a whole week of fun all by itself and when I am done I’ll put the procedure up here.  Some others have already done this and I am working from their scripts.

GIMP filters

I was playing with GIMP the other day trying to find some filters or scripts that created nice borders around images.  I use Digikam to organise my collection of photos and it has some built-in tools but the after effects are rather simple at the moment.  GIMP has a more mature collection of effects to apply.

Taking a sample image I applied a selection of the decor filters to the images.  You can find these under Filters > Decor.  I am using the latest version of GIMP on Linux Mint 10 KDE and Windows 7 Pro.

Super Moon Full


Over the weekend there was a super full moon.  Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon’s orbit. It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other (apogee).  Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon’s orbit.  The full Moon of March 19th occurs less than one hour away from perigee–a near-perfect coincidence1that happens only 18 years or so. [source]

These were taken with a Canon SX10 IS

Super Full Moon 20110318T204225: 1/400, ISO 200, f5.7, exposure bias -2 (self timer)

Super Full Moon 20110318T204121: 1/125, ISO 100, f5.7, exposure bias -2 (self timer)

Super Full Moon 20110318T204049: 1/320, ISO 200, f5.7, exposure bias -2

Have a look at some of the other pictures of the moon from around the world here: http://www.universetoday.com/84233/your-pictures-of-the-super-full-moon/

Photo FX

Last year we did a walk up to Airlie Monument to see what we could see.  We took some photos.  We had a snack.  And Daniel walked most of the way.

Using GIMP I was experimenting with some of the effects and scripts that come with it. The cross-processing script does something like increase the Red and Green values and reduces the Blue value of the image.  I like the way it adds contrast and gives the colours a slight “this is how I remember it” feel.

I converted another image to a monochrome copy with variations of guassian blur and transparency to create the dream-like effect you can see below.  I am not sure I like the effect really but you can see what can be done.

Bonfire Night Out

We had a night out the other night.  A Friday night, nogal!  We drove down to Coupar Angus and Larghan Victory Park to watch the firework display.  The Coopers joined us there for the fun and games.  Here is a selection of really bad photographs capturing our evening out.