Buy digiKam Recipes, Get Subtle Curve Set

In skillful hands, digiKam’s Curves Adjustment tool can do magic. But mastering this powerful tool requires a lot of patience and experimenting. In fact, designing high-quality curves can be considered an artistic craft in its own right. You don’t have to create your own curves from scratch, though. The Subtle curves set gives you ten carefully crafted curves for use with digiKam. As the name suggests, the curves in the set don’t emulate garish Instagram-like effects: instead the curves can be used to improve photos and give them a stylish look in a more subtle manner.

soft-light-curve

Original (left) and the Soft Light curve (right)

For a limited time, when you buy the digiKam Recipes ebook, you’ll receive the Subtle curve set free of charge.

If you already purchased the book, you will find the Subtle curve set in the download location. In case you buy digiKam Recipes through Amazon Kindle Store or Gumroad, please send your order confirmation as proof of purchase to dmpop@linux.com to receive the download instructions.

Learn more about digiKam Recipes, and buy it via PayPal, Amazon Kindle Store, and Gumroad.

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Brutalist Dreadnought: Forschungseinrichtungen für Experimentelle Medizin

If you take a look at photos of the Forschungseinrichtungen für Experimentelle Medizin (FEM) building floating on the web, you’ll be forgiven for doubting that such a phantasmagorical structure can actually exist. To prove that it’s real, I went to Berlin to photograph it, and I lived to tell the tale. Read it if you dare.

FEM is situated in the Steglitz suburb, which is about half an hour by S-Bahn train from Berlin. Probably the easiest way to get to Steglitz from Berlin center is to take the direct S1 train from Potsdamer Platz and get off at the Botanische Garten station. It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk to FEM from there.

FEM welcomes you with a parking lot with abandoned and decaying cars. It’s as if the unsuspecting drivers were sucked into the building through its pipes never to be seen again, and the cars are left to rot forever. This probably serves as a warning that this may happen to you too. The deep humming noise coming from the building’s innards along with the steam rising from its chimneys complete the eerie atmosphere.

The “you have to see it to believe it” adage applies very much to FEM, as no words or even pictures can adequately describe this building. It evokes a mixed and intense feeling of awe, disbelief, and trepidation. The building feels more like a living organism than a concrete structure, a creature you should approach carefully and treat with respect.

The complex is surrounded by a fence with surveillance cameras and no-trespassing signs (as though the building itself doesn’t look intimidating enough to keep most people away). It turned out, though, that one of the gates was actually unlocked. I discovered that when I saw a person leaving the building. When I asked her whether I could go in and photograph, she hesitated, but then said that I would probably be okay if I stick to the open area around the building. So I walked around and took a few photos without any problems. Mind you, it was Saturday morning, so it might be different on a busy work day.

Apart from a handful of photos, there is not much info about the building to be found on the web, but here is what Shlur has to say about it:

The FEM is a colossal concrete structure with place for 88,000 test-animals. It is known colloquially as the ‘Mouse Bunker’ due to its solid, imposing appearance. Completed in 1980, during the ten years it took to build the original forecast cost of 4 million Deutschmarks had become 126 million.

The sloping, converging walls are supposed to be reminiscent of the gables of farmhouses or sheep-stalls in Lower Saxony. I don’t know if this reference to free animals was supposed to be ironic.

I’m glad I had the chance to photograph the building (and I wouldn’t mind doing it again), but I sincerely hope it won’t haunt me in my dreams.

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Posted in Photography, Scribbles

Mejiro Update: Better Navigation, RAW Linking, and More

Time for another quick yet important Mejiro update.

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To improve navigation, the new version uses photo thumbnails instead of Home, Next, and Previous links.

If you upload a photo in the JPEG format along with its RAW version, Mejiro automatically displays the link to the RAW file next to the photo’s title. This feature can come in useful when you want to give your visitors the ability to download the source RAW files of your photos.

By default, Mejiro sorts photos from newest to oldest. But it’s now possible to enable the reversed sort order (i.e., from oldest to newest). Doing this is as easy as setting the $r_sort parameter to true.

As always, the latest version of Mejiro is available for download from the project’s GitHub page, and you can view a Mejiro demo at dmpop.dhcp.io/mejiro.

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This Basement Darkroom from 1975 Was Designed to Look Like the Bridge of a Spaceship

Photographer Jack Turkel was born at around the same time as NASA, and grew up with a fantasies of space exploration as the modern space age was swinging into high gear.

When he began his photography career in the mid 1970s, Turkel decided to combine his two loves by creating a unique, space-themed darkroom.

Continue reading This Basement Darkroom from 1975 Was Designed to Look Like the Bridge of a Spaceship.

Posted in Photography

Photographs That Reveal the Intricate Innards of Old Mechanical Calculators

Photographer Kevin Twomey has a fascination with capturing complex objects in the most simple of compositions, and his series Low Tech is the epitome of this. The series features photos of old, mechanical calculators stripped bare, exposing the exquisitely complicated creations that they were from the inside out.

via Photographs That Reveal the Intricate Innards of Old Mechanical Calculators.

Posted in Photography

Smartphones versus DSLRs versus film: A look at how far we’ve come

With a deluge of three new cameras released every week, I’d completely lost perspective. Just how far have we come since film? Where would a modern smartphone camera fit into the evolution of digital SLRs? Would it be like DSLRs of five years ago? Ten? Or not on the same page at all? I wanted to get a feel for the pace of progress, to look back and see how far we’ve come, to get a handle on where we’re going.

Continue reading Smartphones versus DSLRs versus film: A look at how far we’ve come.

Posted in Photography

Little Mejiro Book Released

In my spare time, I tinker with Mejiro — a simple PHP-based script for instant photo publishing. I use Mejiro to publish photos processed in digiKam, and you can see the script in action at dmpop.dhcp.io/mejiro.

littlemejirobook

While Mejiro is supremely easy to install and master, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of this application. So I wrote an ebook that covers useful Mejiro tricks and techniques. So if you are interested in using Mejiro to publish and share photos, then this book is for you.

Learn more about Little Mejiro Book, and buy it via PayPal.

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20 Ultimate Ways To Use A Disposable Camera

A top 20 list of didn’t-know-you-could-do-that ways to hack, whack, and make the most of a disposable camera.

Continue reading 20 Ultimate Ways To Use A Disposable Camera.

Posted in Photography

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