Archive for the ‘Scribbles’ Category
A new version of WordPress for Photographers is available for download. The new release covers the Foto theme, the Easy2Map Photos plugin, and features an appendix on deploying WordPress on a Debian server. In addition to that, the content has been rearranged for more logical structure.
Readers who already purchased the ebook will receive the new version free of charge.
Look, there is a new film camera in my photo bag! I was leisurely browsing a local auction website the other day when I stumbled upon this Nikon L35AF unit. I didn’t actually need a new film camera, but at a measly $25 (that’s the price of a cup of coffee and a sandwich here in Denmark), how could I not buy it? I’m really glad that I succumbed to the temptation, as the camera turned out to be in excellent condition with virtually no signs of use. The package also included the original strap, the equally original lens cap, and a swanky (by 80s standards, at least) CS-L35 leatherette carrying case.
The model I’ve got is an earlier version of the camera with ISO limited to 400. But it can squeeze 38 exposures from a regular 36-exposure film roll. If my math is right, this basically gives me a free roll of film for every 18 rolls I buy. I can’t really add much to what has already been written about Nikon L35AF elsewhere, so I limit myself to features I personally like and dislike. Despite its plastic exterior which gives the camera a slightly junky look, Nikon L35AF is solidly built and its boxy shape makes it easy to handle. Better still, the rubberized grip gives you a firm hold on the camera. The lens is Nikon L35AF’s pièce de résistance, and it’s every bit as sharp as everybody says. The camera uses regular AA batteries which are readily available pretty much everywhere. Other highlights include fast focus, reliable exposure metering, manual ISO selection, and an exposure compensation lever for photographing backlit subjects. I also appreciate the lens cap with an integrated blinder that covers the viewfinder. This ensures that you don’t take pictures with the lens cap on. As for dislikes, there is only one fly in the ointment: the flash which pops up automatically in low light situations. Although it’s possible to prevent the flash from popping up by holding it with a finger (and still get properly exposed photos), this is not the most elegant approach. As soon as the camera arrived, I loaded a roll of Kodak Professional CN400BW into it and went shooting. Here are a couple of photos for your viewing pleasure.
All in all, Nikon L35AF lives up to its reputation, and I have a feeling that it might become my go-to compact film camera.
Hot on the heels of the latest release of the DSLR Dashboard app comes an updated edition of the Instant Guide to DSLR Dashboard. Along with a new cover, the 3.7.1 version of the guide features updated content and screenshots which reflect changes in DSLR Dashboard 0.30.23.
If you’ve already bought the Instant Guide to DSLR Dashboard, you can get the latest release of the guide as described in the Updates chapter.
If you happen to use digiKam for managing photos scanned from negatives, you’ll appreciate the application’s capabilities to add and edit EXIF metadata. Using digiKam’s dedicated interface for managing metadata, you can add key EXIF values, such as maker, device model, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focal length, etc., to the scanned photos (provided you have these data handy).
However, digiKam doesn’t allow you to apply the same EXIF data to multiple photos in a single operation. Adding the same maker, device, ISO, and focal length to a set of photos one-by-one can be a bit of a nuisance, but you can use a simple trick to work around this limitation. Start with adding EXIF values to a single photo. Select then the rest of the photos, choose Image → Metadata → Import EXIF, pick the processed photo, and press OK. This will apply EXIF data from the processed photo to the selected images.
Mimosa is the name of the last remaining film lab in our city. Compared to the rest of the photo stores in Aarhus which peddle pretty much the same assortment of mainstream photography stuff, Mimosa is decidedly different. For starters, the store carries a relatively large selection of reasonably priced films, including popular films from Kodak and ILFORD.
Mimosa offers C41 processing only, but the lab accepts regular black-and-white films for processing in Germany. Of course, Mimosa also carries chromogenic films like ILFORD XP2 SUPER 400 and Kodak Professional CN400BW, which can be processed using C41 chemicals. The store offers same-day film development (usually within an hour or so, depending on how busy they are) which is only slightly more expensive than next-day processing. Mimosa’s staffers are friendly and know a thing or two about photography. They are always ready to help and have a chat about all things photography.
So if you happen to be in Aarhus, and you run out of film (or anything else photography-related), you might want to stop by Mimosa. Who knows, you might even bump into me.
By the way, Mimosa has a long and fascinating story (in Danish), and it has been in business in one form or another for over 100 years.
It’s not every day I see a film camera in Aarhus. Come to think of it, I’ve actually never seen a film camera-toting photographer here in the city. Until today, that is. I was passing by a café, when I spotted two girls sitting outside with an Olympus Trip 35 on their table.
I asked permission to take a couple of snaps, and had a short chat with the owner. It’s always nice to meet fellow film shooters.
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S III and processed with Snapseed for Android.
Film photography can be a great learning experience, but the lack of EXIF data makes mastering the basics more tricky. After all, knowing what aperture and shutter speed values were used in a specific situation can come in rather handy. To solve this problem, I devised a solution which involves a notebook, an Android device, and digiKam.
Whenever I take a picture with my film SLR camera, I write down aperture, shutter speed, focal length and other useful info (exposure compensation, light source, lens used, etc.) in a notebook. To make data entry more efficient, I use icons for often-used lenses and common lighting conditions, and I have a cheatsheet in the notebook which looks like this:
While any notebook or even a loose piece of paper would do, I prefer spiral-bound notebooks from KOKUYO S&T for one important reason: I find the accompanying CamiApp app rather useful for quickly digitizing notes. Thanks to its size, the Ring Memo A7 version fits perfectly into a pocket, and the notebook is much tougher than it looks.
When the roll is finished and developed, I use digiKam to update the EXIF metadata of selected digitized photos. digiKam features a dedicated module which makes it easy to manipulate EXIF metadata. The process of adding EXIF data using digiKam is rather straightforward: choose Image → Metadata → Edit All Metadata, then enable and fill the relevant fields. Press OK when done.
Importing EXIF data by hand for each photo may seem like a daunting proposition, but I usually do this only for a few selected photos from each roll.
According to adaptall-2.org, this particular model was Tamron’s best selling lens throughout the early to mid 1980s due to its performance, price, and ergonomics. Because of its popularity, the lens is relatively cheap. I bought mine in mint condition (including the original box and a snazzy lens case) from a local auction website for a paltry sum of $35 as a replacement for my Tamron 70-150mm f/3.8 Adaptall lens.
There are two things I particularly like about this lens: the unique design and the lens’ distinct look. With its colorful markings, the lens completes my trusty Nikon F-501 from the same era. I had a chance to shoot a single film roll with the lens, and here are a couple of photos for your viewing pleasure. All the photos were taken with Nikon F-501 and Ilford XP2 Super 400.
This confused seagull chick climbed on top of the car and stood there, trying to figure out what to do next.
While the 103A model is technically not a macro lens, it’s capable of producing decent close-ups. This logo plate on a Triumph motorcycle was taken from approx. 1.5m distance at 210mm focal length.
One more example of the lens’ close-up capabilities. Lilium superbum from the Aarhus University botanical garden.
The sparrows in our garden are not having a good Monday. This morning, I witnessed a bird of prey snatching a sparrow right from the bird feeder. It was totally surreal: I mean, we live in an urban area, not some remote woodland. Later, I saw a stray cat trying to catch another sparrow. And now it’s raining cats and dogs. Poor buggers!
Taken with Canon 1100D and Tamron SP 300m f/5.6 Adaptall 2. Processed in digiKam.
Although I haven’t mentioned Pygmyfoto lately on this blog, I keep tinkering with the application in my spare time. So I thought I’d post a brief update on my progress.
- The most important news is that Pygmyfoto now can handle single quotes in titles and descriptions. I’m still trying to figure out how to implement escaping for quotes, though.
- The application now properly processes empty EXIF values (useful for publishing scanned images).
- Global settings have been moved to the separate config.php file, which makes it more convenient to tweak Pygmyfoto.
- As you can see from the screenshot, Pygmyfoto now features not a no-frills star rating system based on a simple PHP script.
- Pygmyfoto is now able to log basic visitor info (IP address, visited page, and date/time) in the ip.log file. You can think of it as a poor man’s web stats solution.
- Finally, I’ve added rudimentary support for RSS: the rss.php script automatically generates an RSS feed for Pygmyfoto. The script is far from perfect, but it’s a start.
As always, you can download the latest release of Pygmyfoto from the project’s GitHub repository. You might also want to drop by dmpop.dyndns.org/pygmyfoto to my own Pygmyfoto instance running on Raspberry Pi.