Posts Tagged ‘linux’
gThumb may look like yet another image viewer, but behind its unassuming appearance hides a rather capable application that can help you to manage photos efficiently.
As any decent image viewer, gThumb provides all essential tools for browsing images and performing basic operations, such as rotating and resizing graphics files, converting images to different formats, and tweaking EXIF metadata. If you use tags to keep tabs on your photos, you’ll appreciate gThumb’s tag editing feature. To quickly assign one of the existing tags to a specific photo, right-click on it and choose the desired tag from the Tags menu. Choose the Other item to add new tags and assign them to the photo. To specify additional metadata, press the Comment button on the main toolbar, and fill out the available fields.
gThumb allows you to group photos into so-called catalogs (you can think of them as virtual folders), and the Organize button lets you generate catalogs based on several criteria, such as dates and tags. You can also create custom catalogs and add photos to them manually. To create a new catalog, right-click on the Catalogs item in the navigation pane, choose the Create Catalog command, give the catalog a descriptive name and press Create. Add then photos to the catalog by right-clicking on them and choosing the catalog from the Add to Catalog menu.
The application also features a handful of basic editing tools. To access them, double-click on a photo, and press the Edit file button in the top-right corner of the editing interface. While gThumb won’t replace a dedicated image editing application, the available tools can come in handy for quickly tweaking basic settings like brightness, saturation, and contrast as well as adjusting white balance and fixing common problems.
The Share button on the main toolbar lets you upload photos to several popular photo sharing services, including Flickr, Picasaweb, and Photobucket.
These are just a few highlights, and gThumb offers a slew of other useful features which make it a competent tool for managing and tweaking photos (take a look at a list of gThumb’s features to get a better idea of its capabilities). So if you are looking for a fast, lean, and feature-rich image viewer, gThumb fits the bill rather nicely.
Tethering your DSLR camera to a computer opens a whole new world of possibilities: you can instantly view your shots on a large screen, trigger your camera remotely, practice the art of time-lapse photography, and perform other clever tricks. While commercial tethering software for Windows and Mac OS X often costs serious money, you can enjoy all the advantages of tethered shooting on Linux free of charge courtesy of Entangle. This tethering software lets you control practically all camera settings, trigger the shutter from the computer, view a live preview of a scene, and automatically download captured images to the computer.
The Rawstudio raw photo editor made its 2.0 release on April 8, boasting a hefty list of improvements. There are new features, such as tethered shooting and automatic distortion correction, almost every tool in the toolbox has seen an improvement — including some you might not think needed improving. If you shoot with a raw-capable digital camera, it’s time to update. Continue to read
Storing your photos on a server or network disk? Want to manage them from several Linux-based machines using digiKam? Here is how to do that.
First of all, you need to mount the directory on the server containing the photos on your machine. Assuming your server is running Linux and you can connect to it via SSH, you can mount the remote directory using sshfs. To do this, you need to install the sshfs package first. On Ubuntu and Debian-based Linux distributions, you can do this by executing the apt-get install sshfs command as root. Next, run the id command and note the uid and gid values for your account (e.g., uid=1000 gid=1000). Use then the following command to mount a server directory on your machine:
sshfs user@host:/path/to/dir /mountpoint -o idmap=user -o uid=1000 -o gid=1000
Replace user with the name of the existing user on the server and host with the IP address of the server. Replace /path/to/dir with the path to the directory on the server and /mountpoint with the directory on your machine that will be used as a mount point. Once the directory has been mounted, you can use the files in it as they were on your own machine. To unmount the directory, use the fusermount command as follows:
fusermount -u /mountpoint
Next, you have to configure digiKam to use a MySQL database as its back-end. This would require, of course, a MySQL installation running either on your own server or on another remote machine. The Use digiKam with MySQL article provides detailed instructions on how to make digiKam work with MySQL.
The rest is easy. In digiKam, choose Settings » Configure digiKam and switch to the Collections section. Press the Add Collection button next to the Local Collections entry, then add the folder that contains the photos from the mounted remote directory as a new album.
In a similar manner, you can configure digiKam on any other machine you want to use to manage photos stored on the server.
I’ve left Flickr. After many years as a loyal Flickr user, I decided not to extend my pro account and leave the popular photo sharing service altogether. Why? For starters, I couldn’t find a satisfactory answer to a rather simple question: What would happen if Flickr fails? It may be difficult to imagine that Flickr would disappear, but remember that Flickr is just a business — and not a profitable one at that. And even if Yahoo! will continue supporting Flickr, what will happen if I wake up one morning and discover that my account has been deleted without any prior warning? Not that it has never happened to anyone before.
These questions were only one reason why I started thinking about leaving Flickr. Another important reason has a lot to do with my work as an evangelist for Excito, a Swedish company that develops the B3 Linux-based personal server. This tiny yet powerful device can handle pretty much every task you throw at it, and I’ve been using it as my file server and backup solution for quite a while. And since it comes with the Apache/MySQL/PHP stack, the decision to use B3 for hosting my photos was a no-brainer.
The server sports its own easy-to-use photo album application which makes it supremely easy to create slick albums from directories containing photos and share them with others. Although it’s a decent solution for quick and easy photo sharing, it’s a bit limited for my needs. Fortunately, there is no lack of good LAMP-based open source photo sharing applications, and after doing some research, I decided to go with the Piwigo solution. Since B3 has all the required components installed and configured, deploying Piwigo was a pretty straightforward thing to do. So I had my photo sharing solution up and running in almost no time.
Of course, the fact that B3 is capable of running LAMP-based applications right out of the box saved me a lot of time and effort. But with a little more work, you can deploy a photo sharing application on any Linux-based machine. On Debian or Ubuntu, installing the Apache/MySQL/PHP stack is a matter of executing a few simple commands (for example see: Installing Apache2 With PHP5 And MySQL Support On Ubuntu 10.10). The XAMPP package provides an even more straightforward solution.
Sure, Piwigo is no Flickr killer, but it has all the features I need. You can organize photos into categories, specify access privileges for each photo, let visitors comment and rate your photos, and much more. Better yet, you can extend the application’s default functionality with plugins. For example, I installed plugins that collect visitor stats, enable Facebook sharing, and map geotagged photos using Google Maps.
Leaving Flickr and hosting photos on my own server meant losing the social features that are an integral part of the popular photo sharing service. But was that such a big loss? Not for me. I do have a few Flickr contacts whose photos I enjoy, but that’s about it. I used to post my photos in different groups, but comments like “Awesome shot,” “Love it!” “Great DOF” didn’t really help me to take better photos.
Hosting photos on your own server is not for everyone, though. In addition to a dedicated server, you need a decent Internet connection, and you have to take care of backup and other practicalities. But if you want complete control over your photos and the way you share them, or you are not happy with Flickr for other reasons, then going the self-hosting route makes a lot of sense. Besides, it doesn’t have to be an either-or decision: you can still use Flickr and use your own server as Plan B.