Photographer Shoots a Portrait of Every Book Reader Spotted on the Subway

Photographer Shoots a Portrait of Every Book Reader Spotted on the Subway

“The Last Book” is an interesting series of images collected by Dutch photographer Reinier Gerritsen, who spent 13 weeks over 3 years scouring the subway system of New York City for riders reading books. Every time he saw one, he would snap a picture and make a note of the book that was being read.

Continue reading Photographer Shoots a Portrait of Every Book Reader Spotted on the Subway.

Posted in Photography

digiKam Quick Tip: Transfer Photos from digiKam Directly to a Mobile Device

Provided that you use KDE, you can push photos from digiKam directly to a mobile device that supports the MTP protocol (e.g., most Android devices) using the KioImportExport Kipi plugin. First of all, enable the plugin in the Settings → Configure digiKam → Kipi Plugins section. Configure your device to use the MTP protocol for use with an USB connection, and connect the device to your machine running digiKam. Select the desired photos and choose Export → Export to remote computer.


Press the Select target location button, choose Network → MTP Devices, and you should see the connected device. Navigate to the target folder on the device, and press OK. Hit the Start export button to transfer the selected photos.

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Posted in Open Source, Scribbles, Software

Mejiro Update: Now with Analytics and Google Maps Support

Although I consider Mejiro more or less feature complete, I still find ways to improve and tweak my no-frills photo publishing application. The latest Mejiro release is a case in point. Previously, the application offered a rudimentary visitor tracking feature. When enabled, it saves visitors’ IP addresses in a log file. The new version of Mejiro replaces this functionality with a link to the CrazyStat web analytics PHP script. I forked and slightly modified CrazyStat for use with Mejiro and made the result available in a separate GitHub repository. To enable integration with CrazyStat, change the $stats = false; line in the Mejiro index.php file to $stats = true; This not only enables analytics, but also shows a minuscule visitor counter, which injects Mejiro with a dose of retro-chicness. The Little Mejiro Book provides instructions on how to deploy CrazyStat and make it work with Mejiro.


By default, Mejiro uses the OpenStreetMap service to show geotagged photos on a map. Now it’s possible to use Google Maps instead by setting the $google_maps parameter in the index.php file to true.

Finally, the latest version of Mejiro adds a tiny creature comfort: a counter in the browser tab displaying the number of published photos.

As always, the latest version of Mejiro is available on the project’s website, and you can view its demo on And if you want to get the most out of Mejiro and/or would like to support its development, consider buying the Little Mejiro Book by yours truly.

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Using Manual Focus Lenses with SONY NEX Cameras

With a relatively inexpensive adapter, your SONY NEX camera becomes an admission ticket to the wonderful world of manual focus legacy lenses. And you are not limited to a specific lens maker, either: there are adapters that allow you to use practically any lens from Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Minolta, and other manufacturers. This article provides a few pointers on using manual focus lenses with SONY NEX series cameras.

Choosing a Lens

Which lens to choose depends largely on your personal preferences, as there are plenty of excellent legacy lenses at reasonable prices available on the market. Obviously, lenses from respected manufactures like Nikon and Canon are always a safe bet, but there are plenty of other third-party lenses — like those from Tamron and Sigma — that are worth a try. If you are not sure which lens to pick, the MFLenses and All About Photographic Lenses websites provide a wealth of information that can help you to find the right lens for your needs.

When choosing a lens, keep in mind that due to the camera sensor’s crop factor you have to multiply the lens’ focal length by 1.5. So if you choose a 24mm lens, its effective focal length on SONY NEX is going be 36mm (24×1.5=36).

SONY NEX-3N with a FOTGA adapter and Nikon NIKKOR 24mm f/2.8 non-Ai lens

Choosing an Adapter

Once you have a lens, you need to pick a compatible adapter for it. All adapters can be roughly divided into three types. The simplest adapters are basically metal tubes that increase the flange focal distance (the distance from the mounting flange to the sensor plane). These adapters don’t contain any optical elements, so they don’t affect lens performance. You can find an affordable no-name brand adapter on eBay, or you can opt for a rather expensive adapter from manufacturers like Novoflex. I bought a FOTGA NIKON-NEX adapter on eBay, and I have no complaints: the build quality is good, and the adapter has no play. These cheap-and-cheerful adapters don’t work with newer Nikon lenses that don’t have an aperture ring, though. For these lenses, you need a different type of adapter, like the one from Fotodiox that has its own aperture ring. Finally, you can opt for more advanced adapters that are often called speed boosters or focal reducers. These adapters range from crazy expensive (e.g., Metabones Nikon G Lens to Sony NEX Camera Speed Booster) to reasonably priced (e.g., Zhongyi Mitakon Turbo II Focal Reducer Booster). Additional optical elements in these adapters are used to reduce the effective focal length. This makes it possible to use a manual focus lens with a SONY NEX camera at its original focal length.

Camera Setup

To make your SONY NEX camera play nice with manual focus lenses, you need to adjust a few settings. Mount the lens, turn the camera on, press the Menu button and switch to the Setup section. Configure the following settings:

Peaking LevelMid

Peaking ColorYellow (you can experiment with other colors, too)

MF AssistOn

Release w/o LensEnable

Basic Usage

To have full control over exposure settings, you might want to shoot in the manual mode. Alternatively, you can choose the aperture-priority mode which automatically adjusts exposure settings depending on the current aperture.

Focusing the lens is done manually by peaking color. As you turn the lens focusing ring, the area of the image in focus is highlighted by the peaking color. The MF Assist feature makes focusing easier by magnifying the image. This function must be enabled manually by pressing the soft button labelled MF. Pressing the button twice increases magnification. The MF Assist feature is disabled automatically when you press the shutter release button.

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Glowing Mushrooms Come To Life In A Fairytale World By Martin Pfister

Mushrooms are often a favorite subject for macro photographers, but photographer and outdoor sports enthusiast Martin Pfister has found a refreshingly creative way to shoot these elegant and sometimes tasty fungi – he lights them up from behind with tiny LED bulbs to give them a magical glow! Pfister’s photos, most of which he captures using a Canon EOS 6D, have a subtle fairytale-like quality.

Continue reading Glowing Mushrooms Come To Life In A Fairytale World By Martin Pfister.

Posted in Photography

In Living Color: The Forgotten 19th-Century Photo Technology that Romanticized America

Every few centuries, someone rediscovers America. After the first humans arrived from Asia roughly 15,000 years ago, Vikings touched down in Newfoundland in the year 1000. Half a millennium later, Christopher Columbus spotted a small island in what is now the Bahamas, and in 1769, Gaspar de Portolà was the first European to gaze upon San Francisco Bay, whose indigenous people had remained hidden behind a thick wall of fog throughout most of America’s Colonial era.

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Posted in Photography

digiKam Quick Tip: Group Photos by Format

Using the View → Group Images → By Format command, you can group photos in albums by format. This feature can come in useful for managing albums containing photos in different formats: JPEG, TIFF, RAW and video files, etc.


Run the command, and digiKam neatly groups all photos into sections by format. This can save you a lot of work manually sorting and organizing files and photos.

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Posted in Photography, Scribbles

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