Matt Gray

Frenzied shutter pace

Jun 12, 2005

No, I did not wake up early. I’ve just finished parsing through, editing, and saving the photos I shot last night—something like 100 photographs on my digital camera. It’s safe to say this hobby is here to stay.

As per usual, I shall post a pic or two on this page. For now, however, I have no clear idea which one I should choose. Furthermore, I’m dead tired.

I fully comprehend the meaning of “photographic workflow” at this point—mine is totally non-existent. The initial photographs are saved in-camera to JPGs. These usually require some rotation, cropping, and levels tweaking to get things right. Previously, I’ve been discarding my alterations to the original-size images and saving down for Flickr (800x600 to conserve my non-pro account bandwidth). Now, I’m considering large-format prints. With my current setup, I will need to go back to the original JPG from the camera and re-do all my image adjustments. Therefore, I need to save intermediate images.

Re-saving as JPEG is out of the question. Re-saving to a lossy format guarantees that information will be lost, and the image degraded. PNG is ill-suited from the images. TIFF appears to be the way to go, with one major caveat: it appears that GIMP doesn’t pass EXIF data from the camera’s JPG on to the TIFF. Unless I always save the Flickr version in the same GIMP session as when I create the TIFF, the web JPEGs will lack EXIF information. Even worse, this may prove tricky to match up TIFFs with original JPEGs later.

My current sketch of a method:

  1. Download JPEG data from camera, sort into “originals” directory by date.

  2. Browse through the images in gthumb, eliminating obviously bad photos.

  3. Open Flickr-worthy images in GIMP, one by one. For each image:

  4. Rotate if necessary.

  5. Adjust the dynamic range for the color channels.

  6. Adjust color balance.

  7. Perform any cropping.

  8. If modifications were required (beyond rotation), save as TIFF. I insert the original JPEG filename as the TIFF comment.

  9. Scale so largest dimension is 800 pixels.

  10. Save as JPEG for Flickr.

  11. When I’ve gone through all the images, I upload to Flickr via the standard web interface, and add tags / description.

  12. Finally, I add images to appropriate group pools.

Clearly, this approach needs some streamlining. I need to learn Script-Fu to help automate this tedious, wrist-destroying process.

Crap. Now I’m going to have to head outside and capture the sunrise before falling asleep.

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