Category Archives: Simulacrum

Visual stuff.

Photoshop – IPTC and JPEG Files

When batch modifying XMP and IPTC header codes on JPEG files using the Adobe Photoshop File Browser, a new file is created with a new creation date and the original JPEG is deleted. Since Photoshop does not yet offer lossless JPEG rotation, I was worried that the new JPEG files with attached IPTC header codes may have been recompressed and undergone one step of JPEG degradation.

Luckily, my worries were unfounded, for a quick call to Adobe technical support revealed that IPTC header codes are appended to the file and no image data is changed. The fact that the original file gets deleted and a new file with a new creation date gets created is a known bug that has been logged and Adobe is looking into the problem.

A Fistful of CSS Quickies

Not only have I been converted over to the anti-tables camp, but I’m finally starting to learn advanced CSS layout techniques.

If you still need proof that CSS is the fast track to more organized Web development, check out the CSS Zen Garden project. Once you admire the designs, you’ll definitely want to conform to XHTML and CSS Web standards.

Update: A List Apart lists various markup resources, and the New York Public Library has standardized on XHTML and CSS for document presentation. Sure, it’s important to look good, but organization is key!

Rebels are popping up like weeds!

B0000C8VU8.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpgIn the few short months since my purchase of a Canon EOS Digital Rebel, I’ve noticed that they’re popping up everywhere! I’ve seen them around at various events, but I counted about two dozen of them in use at the Boston BMW CCA Ice Race that took place on Sunday. Not only were spectators and professional photographers running around the course with them snapping photos, but competitors have started mounting them in and on their vehicles.

It appears that the sub-thousand dollar price tag and EOS lens compatibility has officially turned the Digital Rebel into the camera to own. Digital cameras have been around for years, but this past weekend was the first time I’ve ever seen such a high concentration of the exact same model being used by so many people! The coolest thing about it was that most of the photographers weren’t using the factory lens, which further proved that many of them probably already had existing EOS glass in their collection!

We have bats in our belfry!

Have you ever been sitting around, unable to sleep late at night, and gotten the Bad Feeling in the pit of your stomach? You know the feeling. Somewhere in between the freaky kid in the corner is staring at me and the teacher just saw me throw that spitball. I turned down the music and heard an absolutely frightening chattering. And meowing. And the occasional scrape and flutter. And meowing. Then silence. Silence is never a Good Thing!

I wandered out of the computer room only to be immediately buzzed by a bat! Three kitties were tracking its every movement, and it was circling at the top of the stairs! I called Kelly in with a strange incoherent babble that showed obvious distress and confusion over exactly how to vocalize what I was experiencing. We both stared in amazement for a few minutes before I realized that I happened to be holding my Canon EOS Rebel Xs.

Unfortunately, I had the Quantary telephoto which was way too slow for the conditions. I ran downstairs, grabbed the Elph, and started shooting stills and video! After the little guy started to tire out and got close enough to the floor for Willow to smack down, I remembered Kelly’s pond net sitting outside, grabbed it, and went all Steve Irwin! I utilized the genuine Croc Hunter Net Flop technique to safeguard our little friend in an impromptu pocket, transferred him to a fishtank, then brought him outside to his freedom!

Twenty-first century digital boy…

B0000C8VU8.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg I just placed an order for a Canon EOS Digital Rebel for the outstanding price of $650 (regularly $899). Thank you American Express Membership Rewards! I couldn’t justify the Canon EOS 10D because its feature set was complete overkill for what I’ll be shooting, but the Digital Rebel uses the same 6.3 MP CMOS for a resolution of 3072 x 2048 pixels! Not only that, but I already own a Canon EOS Rebel Xs and Speedlite 380EX with Canon EF 35-80mm and Quantaray Tech-10 CN AF 70-300mm lenses that are fully compatible with the Digital Rebel!

Why the sudden digital photography kick? I’m finally pulling in a steady trickle of cash from my affiliate accounts, and have found a way into the stock photography scene, so I can finally justify the purchase price! Also, with high-resolution gear, the wife and I may get back into risque photography and start working with models in the New England area looking for portfolio development. I also have a complete revamp of all of my Web sites planned using Mambo Open Source Server with Google optimization, so that will add quite a few new opportunities for affiliate income!

Scriptable Image Processing System

For the past few weeks I’ve been on a mission for a co-worker – find a utility to embed ColorSync ICC profiles into a JPEG without opening and re-saving it using Photoshop or another imaging tool. It turns out that Panther already has this functionality built into a low-level command line tool called sips. Many thanks to fxt for digging this one up!
Continue reading Scriptable Image Processing System

I’m so stuck on you…

At some point in history, someone who works in the photo industry came up with the absolutely brilliant idea to start pasting paper strips to the edges of negatives. Not only would this make handling delicate films easier and more efficient, but lab technicians no longer had to be trained in the imperious art of common sense and assiduousness.

No, the paper strips made things so much simpler, and each lab used a special feeding system that would utilize this groundbreaking technology! As word spread around that adhering a paper strip to the negatives meant that untrained monkeys could now be hired to run pharmacy photo labs, everyone unhesitatingly jumped on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, no real standard was masterminded and dozens of such feeder systems were devised to make handing negatives easier.

That’s a pretty ugly baby you’ve got there!

One of the most bewildering functions performed by these strips is the act of depositing white adhesive marks all over the emulsion of your negatives! If only I had come up with such an efficient method of destroying irreplaceable memories, I’d be rolling in the dough right now! But no. Some no-talent ass clown beat me to it and is now profiting from my misery as I discover face after face in my photo collection smacked with the ugly stick of adhesion.

Proprietary what?

As if the destruction of negatives wasn’t enough of a bonus to convince an avid photographer to utilize this system, turning negatives into proprietary masters should definitely convert anyone over to the darkroom side! For over a century, the 35mm standard has been used and basically guaranteed that any strip of 35mm film could be printed by anyone with basic darkroom equipment.

But now, a permanent randomly-sized tumefaction has been been added to the film strip to make normal printing and scanning procedures obsolete. Like any other cancer, attempted removal of the tumor could result in the destruction of the host. Successful removal still leaves behind a malignant gooey virus that spreads to any surface that touches it. Emulsion. Lenses. Fingers. Prints. Envelopes. Nothing is safe.

And, for anyone who’s never worked with film before, the solvents required to remove the adhesive will permanently blemish the surface. Why is no project ever simple?

That’s a negative, sir…

31065.jpg I’ve been on a photography kick for the past week or so. I’m not really sure why, but something random motivated me to start going through and organizing all of my digital photos and images. Around 10,000 original images and video clips with 30,000 total in the library. The problem was that I had switched indexing systems so often I had source files haphazardly strewn all over the place over multiple hard drives, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. Yesterday evening I finally finished dumping everything onto a dedicated 120GB hard drive.

So, what next? Renaming. Lots of it. I’ve come up with a filename convention that should last quite a while and I’m in the process of fully documenting it. The system is based on the age-old standard of CCYYMMDD-XXX-Description.ext. I’ve expanded quite a bit on that root and have added lots of bits of filename metadata for search engines and indexes. That, combined with EXIF and internally stored metadata should drastically reduce my clutter!
Continue reading That’s a negative, sir…