Posts tagged with “photography”

Dumb idea: DIY camera accessory box

An idle mind is an incubator for dumb ideas. My latest hack proves just that. If you happen to wield a seriously heavy piece of machinery like a Nikon D800, it's tempting to leave the photo bag with everything in it behind and head out with just a camera on a strap and a few essentials like a spare battery, an extra storage card, and other bits.

You can tuck loose items into pockets, or pack them in a pouch. That's what I did anyway, until one day I thought that it would actually be pretty nifty to have a box with all the essentials in it that I can somehow attach to the camera itself. It sounded like a dumb enough DIY project for a lazy weekend, so I went to work.

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Small improvements in Otto

Up until now, Otto could either geotag photos by city or geocorrelate them using GPX files. The latest version introduces a new -l option that allows you to geotag photos using the provided geographical coordinates and altitude. It looks something like this:

otto -d "/path/to/source/dir" -l "48.355,11.773,494"

Another new -r option can be used to transfer only RAW files as follows:

otto -d "/path/to/source/dir" -r NEF

Speaking of RAW files, Otto now uses the exiv2 tool to write EXIF metadata (copyright, author, description, etc.) to RAW files — something that wasn't possible before.

Instead of rsync, Otto now uses wget to fetch notes. This means that you no longer need to have rsync installed on the machine hosting notes, and you don't have to deal with login credentials.

And that's about it. As always, you'll find the latest version of Otto on GitHub.

SD card case I didn't know I had

When switching lenses on my camera the other day, I looked at the lens and the camera caps and thought to myself, Hm, I wonder if I can use them as an improvised SD card case? And you know what? I actually can.

Turned out, two SD cards fit neatly into the rear lens cap. And with the camera cap screwed firmly on top of it, I have a small and sturdy card case I can carry in a pocket. I use caps for Nikon F mount, but I'm reasonably sure that other caps should work too.

A content creator YouTuber could probably turn a simple hack like this into a 30-min video. But I write words, so I stop here, because there is not much else to add.

Topaz Gigapixel AI vs RawTherapee upscale

A while ago, I bought Topaz Gigapixel AI, because my feverish fantasies led me to believe that it would allow me to turn heavily cropped photos into multi-megapixel masterpieces. I mean, it says AI on the tin, which is basically a shorthand for magic and miracle, right? Well, the tool does a decent job of upscaling photos. But you know what? It turned out that RawTherapee is no slouch in this area either. The only difference is that the latter doesn't rely on multi-gigabyte models, and the application is free in every sense of the word.

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Otto now supports backups by date and EXIF stats

Ideally when you travel, you'd want to use a fresh card with your camera each day. This way, if you lose the card, or the data on it becomes corrupted, the damage would be limited to a single day. This strategy might not be feasible for longer travels (if you travel for a month and you use two cameras, you'd need 60 storage cards), but it can be practical for shorter trips.

Otto can now handle this particular scenario. Specify the -i parameter, and the script creates a directory with the current date as its name (for example, 2023-05-01) and backs up the content there. The script is clever enough to distinguish between cards coming from different cameras, thus keeping things tidy while avoiding inadvertently overwriting data coming from multiple sources. Here is how it works. Say, you use a Nikon D800, and you use the following command to back up data:

otto -i -d "/media/$USER/NIKON D800/DCIM/101ND800"

This command creates the 101ND800 directory first, followed by a subdirectory with the current name as its name. The data from the specified source is then backed up to the 101ND800/2023-05-01 subdirectory.

In addition to transferring and organizing JPEG and RAW files, Otto can now generate statistics by analyzing the EXIF metadata of files in a given directory. Say, you want to know what lenses you use most. Run the command below, and Otto generates a CSV-formatted text file containing all lenses used to take photos in the given directory along with the count for each lens.

otto -d "/path/to/dir/with/photos/" -s LensID

Want to know what focal length you use (most)? Here's the command to use:

otto -d "/path/to/dir/with/photos/" -s FocalLength

How about camera models? There's a command for that, too:

otto -d "/path/to/dir/with/photos/" -s Model

Each of these commands generates a .csv file that uses the EXIF tag as its name (LensID.csv, FocalLength.csv, Model.csv, etc) in your home directory. You can then import the file into a spreadsheet application like LibreOffice Calc and generate a graph. Or you can use web tools like cvs-graph to create a pie chart using the generated CSV file.

You'll find Otto in its own GitHub repository.

For all things photography and Linux, read the Linux Photography book.