6 February 2010 21:50
I've been trying to remember to post the pictures I like online for the past few months. So this is a reminder to myself.
This image below didn't turn out quite how I wanted it to:
- I was hoping for a nicer sihouet upon the lady's face.
- The tree-branch on the left irritates me.
But that said I keep on coming back to look at it. I like the lighting, and I love the way that the brick wall on the right hand side angles towards the building on the horizon.
Enjoy. Or not.
A similarly "not perfect" image is this outdoor shot. I have only one irritation with this shot - and that is that the trees are clipped at the top. Meh, such is life.
(I have two styles of photography; semi-random where I snap what is in front of me, and staged where I try to construct a particular picture - the two images above? One of each.)
Tags: images, misc, photography, random, soul-stealing
3 June 2010 21:50
Would it be wrong to make a new blog entry just to test the blogging platform? If so I'm wrong.
To pretend that isn't the case I'll briefly document some recent events:
I've been making changes to the blogging software, chronicle, to support RSS feeds on comments, and to allow outgoing Pings on new entries.
I've also been flirting with an OpenID-backed image upload and sharing site, provisionally named picshare. Why? Partly for fun, partly because I like comments, and partly to flirt with RESTful design and API construction.
I've provisionally agreed to be the photographer for a special event at a local hair-dressers. This will either be fun, or all end badly.
No money, but free food and the chance to experiment more. So all good.
There. Almost like a real entry, right?
ObSubject: Cruel Intentions
Tags: chronicle, photography, picshare
23 June 2010 21:50
Over the past few years I've amassed a collection of a few thousand images taken with a succession of digital cameras.
I'm pretty good at organising images, in a directory hierarchy which
makes sense to me, in a few simple and broad categories:
skx@birthday:~$ tree -L 1 ~/Images/
|-- Pets & Animals
Beneath ~/Images/People, for example, I have subdirectories for specific individuals (or a "Debian/" folder for Debian-people who've been snapped but don't warrant their own folder.)
~/Images/Travel has things like Travel/Local/2010, Travel/Vienna/2008, etc.
In summary I have images of people, places, and things stored beneath what should be a reasonably discoverable directory hierarchy, however this just doesn't work. I still struggle to find images - for example images of myself might be located in ~/Images/People/Self/*, but in practise I'm often included in ~/Images/Travel/* as well.
A few times I've looked at using f-spot, digikam, and similar tools
to perform image-organisation (but not editing, or timelines, or
anything else. Just organisation). I've found I didn't like being
locked into their formats, didn't want them to copy my images to a
second location, and other gripes. In the end I've forced myself to come up with a Steve-Specific-Solution. Not for the first time, but I think I have just cause...
I'm now using the User-Comment field in the image's EXIF data to store tags. (When it comes to EXIF data I keep camera-generated fields, but sometimes update/set "Copyright", "Comment", and "Title" fields. So UserComment is one I've never used until now, and thus I run no risk of trashing existing meta-data.)
I've put together a simple perl script, called itag, which will:
- Index the tag information from all images beneath ~/Images into a DBM file.
- Show the filenames of all images matching a tag, or tags.
- Allow me to add tag(s) to an image (which both updates the EXIF data and updates the DBM "cache").
This is enough for me to be able to see all images of "Edinburgh", via:
~$ qiv --fullscreen --slide --delay 5 $(itag --search=edinburgh)
Similarly I could find myself:
~$ itag --search=steve --search=people
I'm not sure it is useful to others, mostly on the basis that people probably fall into their own routine when it comes to filing, and I suspect that people with vast collections of images will just get annoyed by the obscenely slow indexing process I've got. (Hint: run "exiftool" on every /.jpe?g$/i file..)
Still its a simple enough idea and I think it should scale in the future - I can even see myself writing a wee GUI to do tag exploration and similar. Just not today.
ObRandom: Apologies for people waiting on email - it's been that kind of week.
Tags: exif, images, itag, perl, photography
22 November 2010 21:50
This week I've mostly been experimenting with lighting, most obviously in this silhouette - but also in a clubbing environment.
Lighting in clubs is an interesting problem, because in general they are dark and the lighting which is present is usually unhelpfully tinted.
Anyway minor problems with white-balance aside this past weekend was a lot of fun - although the Roller Derby match ended in a disappointing lost bout for the Auld Reekie Roller Girls
ObQuote: "He'd offer me his blood if he wasn't in a coma." - Thirst (2002)
Tags: lighting, photography, stolen-souls, toys
24 October 2011 21:50
I realise it has been nearly two months since I last posted anything here. The good news is I'm still alive!
Mostly the past couple of months has been full of cute victims to take pictures of, which has helped me setup a simplified portfolio site;
I still continue to prefer images of people and I was recently pleased with the delivery of my first "photobook". Over the past couple of years I've slowly decorated my flat with prints (4"x6" - A2) of my pictures, but seeing the pictures in a nicely bound book makes them feel so much more real.
I've also been doing a little more software development, mostly relating to the archiving of images and the workflow of taking RAW images, converting them, and finally uploading via rsync. I suspect the tools I've put together are Steve-specific, but I did have some fun with duplicate image detection and eilimination - something I've written about in the past.
ObQuote: "Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self" - Cyril Connolly.
26 December 2011 21:50
Over the Christmas period I've not been doing too much.
December was a month that started out pretty well, in the first 10 days I had five models/friends/random-folk come to pose for me. (I have a few folk lined up for mid-January, but things tailed off quickly this month due to people having little free time).
I spent a while mulling over what I was doing with images, as I've recently been doing a fair number of more NSFW images - In December this and this were my two favourite shots.
I've posted NSFW images in various places over the past year (with permission; some volunteers/victims/friends don't want me to share anything, so I don't. They just hang on my walls.) but I was never consistent.
Anyway I realised that .xxx domains are now available, so I figured I'd snarf one up and use that. That lead to tasteful.xxx - which is mostly full of images I didn't actually take, but that will change. (Sadly "artistic" was gone!)
In more on-topic news I reported #651896 - a trivial security issue in another setgid(games) binary. I've got a couple more of those to tidy up and report in the near future.
ObQuote: "Bright light. Bright light." - Gremlins
25 March 2012 21:50
Until recently I've had a Canon EOS 1000D, my starter-camera, and a Canon EOS 40D which is my real-camera.
The 40D is older, but it probably counts as a "semi-pro" body, albeit
an old mid-range one. From an image size point of view there isn't too
much to tell them apart - both produce 10MP images. But from a hardware
and ease of use sense the 40D has several key features which made it a compelling upgrade:
- Dual controls. So we can use one wheel for shutter speed, and one for aperture size.
- Better feeling body, which is slightly larger and more solid.
- Top display for instantly obvious settings.
Anyway both these cameras have been my friends for the past year or
two, although I did buy a toy camera for those times when I didn't want to carry the DLSR around.
I've made sure I only bought "posh" lens, including the fabulous and
horrifically expensive 70-200 f/2.8 MK 2 lens (Just short of £2000) and
I'd been wanting to use those on a full-frame camera.
Now it is upgrade time once more and I've just bought the EOS 5D MK II - a full-frame camera which means I don't have to worry about crop-factors any more.
So far I've only had it a couple of days but I'm in love. The output images are 21MP so I get far fewer to a (CF) card. But the detail is sublime.
Future portraits and photos of people will be wonderful -
although I hope they already are to a large degree!
This upgrade was a hard choice. The 5D is a full-frame, but a little
slow. (Faster than my 40D by a hairs-bredth) The alternative would
have been a 7D which is fast, and wonderful, but still uses a cropped sensor. Given that I have fast lenses and don't do sports (often) the 5D seemed like the sanest approach.
For my reference - my Canon serial numbers:
|EOS 5D MK II||4131916951|
ObQuote: "Courage is only required when facing that which you fear. " -Stargate: The Ark Of Truth
Tags: canon, photography, random, serial numbers
29 May 2012 21:50
The past few weeks have consisted of a heady mixture of taking interesting pictures of cute people, and writing code.
I spent a while getting to grips with seccomp filters, using the facilities present in recent GNU/Linux Kernels to filter system calls binaries are allowed to make.
My initial test was to patch GNU Less to only allow it to open, read, and close files. The side-effect of this was that the built in shell-escape was closed, thus allowing me to test it.
Photography has been a constant distraction, I took some
fun shots of the Edinburgh Marathon, and then distracted myself with
a volunteer to take an abstract
fishnet photograph. We went on to do some more fun shots begin
careful to stay on the safe side of the NSFW limit. I think this is borderline NSFW, but we were both clear exactly what we wanted and we got it perfectly there.
Next week will be quieter, but providing we don't have another mini-heatwave in Edinburgh I'll be cheerful regardless.
ObQuote: One, two, Freddy's coming for you. - A Nightmare on Elm Street (original)
Tags: mozjs, photography, seamonkey, seccomp
8 July 2012 21:50
I got a few emails about the status panel I'd both toyed with and posted. The end result is that the live load graphs now have documentation, look prettier, and contain a link to the source code.
Apart from that this week has mostly involved photographing cute cats, hairy dogs, and women in corsets.
In Debian-related news njam: Insecure usage of environmental variable was closed after about 7 months, and I reported a failure of omega-rpg to drop group(games) privileges prior to saving game-state. That leads to things like this:
skx@precious:~$ ls -l | grep games
-rw-r--r-- 1 skx games 14506 Jul 8 15:20 Omega1000
Not the end of the world, but it does mean you can write to directories owned by root.games, and potentially over-write level/high-score files in other packages leading to compromises.
ObQuote: "Your suffering will be legendary, even in hell! " - Hellraiser II (Did you know there were eight HellRaiser sequels?)
Tags: njam, node.js, omega-rpg, photography, security
10 November 2013 21:50
Recently I decided to set myself a big photography challenge. The three options which I discussed with a couple of people were:
- Photograph the front of every pub in the
nearby area city-centre.
- Photograph ever plaque, monument, and statue in the city-centre.
- Photograph every gravestone and memorial bench in the city centre.
Ultimately I decided pubs would be most fun. Not least because you could do it every year or two, to see what changes occurred.
To make it more useful I decided to not only take the pictures, but to collect, and share, the meta-data too:
- Lat/Longditude GPS for each pub.
- Contact details for each pub.
Today I spent an hour walking up Easter road, and down Leith Walk. I shot the outside of about 20 pubs, and then fiddled with the layout and organization of the images.
I'm reasonably happy with the result, but it remains obvious that I'm not a designer.
The data-set use to generate the site - which is perhaps the most interesting/useful part of the whole exercise to other people - is available online too:
All the data, even the images, is stored on github for collaboration purposes. I'm not sure if folk will join in, but I can probably manage a few of the major thoroughfares every weekend indefinitely it will only take a couple of days to get "city-wide coverage", then the rest is gravy.
Tags: edinburgh.io, photography, projects