Category: Technology

Photo Workflow Using Aperture

November 1st, 2009 Permalink

This is my second Workflow post. Previously, I talked about My Geotagging Workflow. I shoot every day. After a while, all those photos start adding up. Often people ask me how I manage all those images, and what my workflow is for processing them. This post details the current workflow that I’ve developed, using Aperture […]

This is my second Workflow post. Previously, I talked about My Geotagging Workflow.

I shoot every day. After a while, all those photos start adding up. Often people ask me how I manage all those images, and what my workflow is for processing them. This post details the current workflow that I’ve developed, using Aperture and a combination of Projects and Smart Albums to automate the details.

At the beginning of each month, I create a new Project in Aperture. The project is named “yyyy-mm Photos”. So today, since it is the beginning of November, I created “2009-11 Photos”. Inside this new project, I create a Smart Album named “TODO” that shows all Unrated photos:

Aperture - Smart Album

All the photos I take during the month will be imported into the Project for that month. After I import a batch, I click on the TODO Smart Album and take a few minutes and look at them, marking any obviously useless shots as Rejected. Marking them as Rejected automatically removes them from the TODO Smart Album, since it only matches Unrated photos.

When I am ready to process some photos, I select a TODO Smart Album. Usually, I have several to choose from, since I am rarely caught up to the current month. I will look through the photos in the album, processing photos that catch my eye. Sometimes I will just concentrate on a batch of photos, rather than processing photos from different months.

When I am finished with the adjustments for a particular photo, I add keywords using the Keyword Controls window in Aperture. I have some predefined keywords that I use often assigned to buttons in the Keyword Controls window. For keywords that are not assigned to a button I just start typing and Aperture auto-completes them. I normally add geographic keywords (at least city and state), as well as keywords for photo type, objects in the photo, and anything else that will help me find the photo at a later date. Adding keywords in Aperture ensures that the exported photos that get uploaded to various web sites will always contain the keyword metadata.

Aperture - Keyword Control

After adding Keywords, I rate the photo from 3 to 5 stars. Any photo with a rating of three stars or higher will be uploaded to Flickr and Zooomr, and possibly other services. Five stars means the photo is a personal favorite. After adding the rating, the photo disappears from the TODO Smart Album, and I can begin processing the next photo.

When I am ready to upload photos to Flickr and Zooomr, I click on my Ready to Upload Smart Album. This is a Smart Album that matches all photos with a rating of three stars or higher, AND photos that do NOT have the keywords “flickr” and “zooomr”:

Aperture - Ready to Upload

I select photos that I want to upload from this Smart Album, and then export them as JPG’s to a folder on my hard drive. After the export is complete, I add the keywords “flickr” and “zooomr” to the photos that are selected, which automatically removes them from the Ready to Upload Smart Album. I then use JUploadr to upload the exported photos to Flickr and Zooomr. After the batch has been uploaded to both sites, I delete the JPG’s, since I can easily re-export them again as needed.

Once I have finished processing all the photos for a particular month, I delete the TODO smart album for that month.

Using Smart Albums and Keywords in this way allows me to easily determine which photos need to be processed, which photos are ready to be uploaded, and which photos I have already uploaded. It greatly simplifies the details of keeping my photos organized, and allows me to concentrate on processing photos, rather than organizing photos.

Taskmaster Now Available

July 6th, 2009 Permalink

I’ve been slowly learning how to develop for the iPhone/iPod Touch platform, and this is the first result of my experimenting. Taskmaster is a simple To Do list manager for the iPhone/iPod Touch. For the first release, I wanted to focus on the core functionality: Add tasks, sort tasks, delete tasks. The calendar icons are […]

Taskmaster screen shot
I’ve been slowly learning how to develop for the iPhone/iPod Touch platform, and this is the first result of my experimenting. Taskmaster is a simple To Do list manager for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

For the first release, I wanted to focus on the core functionality: Add tasks, sort tasks, delete tasks. The calendar icons are the fanciest part of this release. The text is rendered onto the image dynamically as needed.

You can get the application on the iTunes store. The application is free. If you have to time to try it and provide feedback, it’s greatly appreciated. New features will be added based on the feedback received.

LED Light Bulb Retrofit

June 18th, 2009 Permalink

Last night, I took apart some recessed lighting trim in order to make it work with LED light bulbs that we wanted to use. It wasn’t very complicated, but I put together an Instructable for it anyway. You can check it out below. LED Bulb Retrofit For Halo 998 Eyeball Trim – More DIY How […]

Last night, I took apart some recessed lighting trim in order to make it work with LED light bulbs that we wanted to use. It wasn’t very complicated, but I put together an Instructable for it anyway. You can check it out below.


LED Bulb Retrofit For Halo 998 Eyeball TrimMore DIY How To Projects

Managing Your Digital Life

March 8th, 2009 Permalink

Scott Bourne has a new blog out there (how does he find the time?) called Managing Your Digital Life, or MYDL for short. So far it looks good. There are lots of tips about backup and storage, and they are practial tips. Head over and check it out!

Scott Bourne has a new blog out there (how does he find the time?) called Managing Your Digital Life, or MYDL for short. So far it looks good. There are lots of tips about backup and storage, and they are practial tips. Head over and check it out!

My Geotagging Workflow

October 13th, 2008 Permalink

Earlier this year, I blogged about my experiences with the Sony GPS-CS1 GPS datalogger. It was not the device I had hoped for, so I decided to try the Amod AGL3080. The Amod has been a good choice. It works well with my Mac, has good battery life, and is decently accurate. When the device […]

Amod AGL3080

Earlier this year, I blogged about my experiences with the Sony GPS-CS1 GPS datalogger. It was not the device I had hoped for, so I decided to try the Amod AGL3080.

The Amod has been a good choice. It works well with my Mac, has good battery life, and is decently accurate. When the device is connected to the computer via a USB cable, it shows up as a removable drive. To retrieve the GPS logs, simply copy them from the removable drive. This is ideal, because no special drivers are needed to use the device. The logs are written as a plain text file, in a format recognized as “Sony LOG”.

The Amod captures a data point every second and writes the data to a file. When the device is power cycled, it starts a new file. I use this to my advantage by starting a new file when I change the CF card in my camera. That way I know that each GPS log file corresponds to the shots on a card. One thing to be aware of is that the Amod device can take several minutes to acquire a signal, especially if it is in an area with a lot of tall buildings. It’s not a bad idea to power it up and wait for the indicator light to start flashing, indicating that it has acquired a signal, before starting to shoot.

Once I have finished a shoot, I tag all the shots prior to processing. Tagging the RAW files first ensures that the geotag metadata will follow the files around no matter what I do with them later. So before importing the photos to Aperture, I do the following:

  1. Connect the Amod via USB and copy the logs to a GPS folder on my Desktop
  2. Delete the logs from the Amod unit, and eject the device
  3. Copy the photos from my CF cards to folders on my Desktop, divided so that each folder is a batch of photos that has a single GPS log file associated with it
  4. Convert each GPS log to GPX format using HoudaGPS. Here are the settings to convert from the logs the AGL3080 creates to GPX format:
  5. HoudaGPS

    HoudaGPS Ready To Convert

  6. Tag each batch of photos using GPSPhotoLinker:
  7. GPSPhotoLinker

    Batch Tagging with GPSPhotoLinker

Now all the photos have the geographic data associated with them. I can import them into Aperture, process them, export them, and upload them. The geotags stay with the photos just like any other EXIF data, and I don’t have to worry about doing anything else.

If you’re looking for a way to capture GPS data to tag your photos, the Amod AGL3080 is tough to beat.

Update: I have finally written my next Workflow post, Photo Workflow Using Aperture

Zooomr Gets More Awesome

June 25th, 2008 Permalink

This morning, photo sharing site Zooomr rolled out some new features, improving their already excellent photo sharing experience. The navigation bar at the top of the screen is now much cleaner, and includes drop-down menus for accessing features: Discover has undergone some major changes as well. The algorithm has been tuned to better represent shots […]

This morning, photo sharing site Zooomr rolled out some new features, improving their already excellent photo sharing experience.

The navigation bar at the top of the screen is now much cleaner, and includes drop-down menus for accessing features:
Drop-down menus

Discover has undergone some major changes as well. The algorithm has been tuned to better represent shots that are truly awesome. Discover is now paged as well, so you can see more than just the first 100 photos that show up. There are also alternate Discover views available, including Pro and Undiscovered. The Undiscovered view is particularly nice because it allows you to find photographers that you have not yet interacted with. Here’s an example of some of the great shots that I found using Undiscovered:

Undiscovered

The latest release of Zooomr has introduced the idea of “Awards”. Many users on Zooomr have been tagging their photos with “fav10″ when they get 10 faves from other users. The Zooomr team have taken this idea a step further by automatically adding an award tag when photos get 10 faves. All the awards given to a photo will show up under the “Awards” section to the right of the photo. Awards are just tags, so they can be used to create SmartSets and can be used in searches:

Awards

Another recent feature is the ability to share a photo on popular social networking sites with a single click. Underneath each photo is a “Share this with Friends” section that lets you send the photo to Facebook, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Pownce, and more. This is a great way to leverage the social aspect of photography:
Sharing

In addition to these very obvious changes, the Zooomr team has been improving the back-end processes that keep the site going. The last few months have seen substantial improvements in the speed and reliability of the site. Uploads are now working as expected. The API is working, which allows third-party applications such as JUploadr to work with the site again. The site is smoother and faster overall.

Thanks to Kristopher and the Zooomr Team for all the hard work! Zooomr is getting more awesome all the time!

Flickr Tagcloud, June 2008

June 12th, 2008 Permalink

This is a tagcloud of all the tags on my photos over at Flickr. Rev Dan threw together a very cool hack that lets you extract your tags, which you can then post into the creator at wordle.net.

June 2008 Flickr Tagcloud

This is a tagcloud of all the tags on my photos over at Flickr. Rev Dan threw together a very cool hack that lets you extract your tags, which you can then post into the creator at wordle.net.

Little Brother

June 10th, 2008 Permalink

I’ve just finished reading Cory Doctorow’s latest novel, Little Brother. It’s a story about how fragile freedom can be, and the importance of fighting for that freedom. I don’t want to spoil the story by saying much more about the plot or the characters, so I will just let you read it for yourself. The […]

Don't Let Them See You

I’ve just finished reading Cory Doctorow’s latest novel, Little Brother. It’s a story about how fragile freedom can be, and the importance of fighting for that freedom. I don’t want to spoil the story by saying much more about the plot or the characters, so I will just let you read it for yourself.

The book is available for purchase or as a Creative Commons licensed free download at craphound.com. I encourage you to grab a copy and read it. It’s worth your time.

L337

May 23rd, 2008 Permalink

You’ve got to love it when an author inscribes a book using leet speak.

For J3r3my

You’ve got to love it when an author inscribes a book using leet speak.

Signing Little Brother

May 23rd, 2008 Permalink

Last night, Cory Doctorow was at Borderlands Books in San Francisco promoting his new book, Little Brother. He spent some time answering questions from the audience on a variety of subjects, from his opinion on the Orphan Works Bill (he is in favor of it) to what is the definition of a young adult (depends […]

Stay Free

Last night, Cory Doctorow was at Borderlands Books in San Francisco promoting his new book, Little Brother.

He spent some time answering questions from the audience on a variety of subjects, from his opinion on the Orphan Works Bill (he is in favor of it) to what is the definition of a young adult (depends on the kid, but generally 12-14 years old). He then read an excerpt from Little Brother, followed by more Q&A and then book signing.

It’s always a treat to hear Cory speak. His enthusiasm for technology and the relationship of technology to social structure is infectious. I heard him read the same except at SF in SF about a year ago. He still reads the story with the same enthusiasm.

If you would like to learn more about Little Brother, or any of Cory’s work, you can find it over on craphound.com.