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#1 JohnJohnsonIII

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 03:00 AM

I was wondering what software is available for modifying EXIF information(like adding author info to EXIF data). Also, does anyone have any good software for DBing their image collections? I have the Japanese version of the software Olympus puts out(Kuraemon Marine 2) and it is nice, but I would like to have something a little more robust...my goal is to put 4 DVDs of images onto my web site and I am already writing the code in PHP to do this and store the data in PostgreSQL. Is there any software out there that already exports out to a DB like this?

Also, does anybody know any good tutorials for dealing with RAW data? I have shot in RAW format a little, but have no clue as to what to do with it. This is a total newbie question, but I would appreciate a point in the right direction in learning. Thanks!

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#2 Arnon_Ayal

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 03:26 AM

Here a link I found about RAW: http://www.outbackphoto.com/artofraw/
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#3 james

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 05:52 AM

For the most "beginner" DB to manage your photo collection, try Adobe Album. It's $99

If you're interested in an Online DB app, then try MyEgallery by marsishere.net or Exibition Engine.

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#4 JohnJohnsonIII

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 06:40 AM

Thanks for the links, everyone. I will be perusing the RAW info tomorrow. As for marsishere.net...what a disaster of a site...I have been looking at the site and everything seems fairly outdated with broken links all over and existing links leading to script errors. Exhibition Engine looks pretty neat. I will probably just write my code in the end. Was toying around with dynamically resizing images using PhP until I tried pulling the thumbs from the EXIF info...awesomely fast! Anyway, thanks for you help!
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#5 james

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 06:50 AM

Gallery v1.3.4 uses something called Netpmb or Netpbm (can't remember which) to do the resizing. Other choices are GD 2 or Imagmagik.

Here's the link to download My_eGallery:

http://www.marsisher...wdownload&cid=1

I know their site is pretty hard to use (it's french) but I suggest you download and try the module - it will only take a few minutes.

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#6 craig

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 07:10 AM

I have tried Exhibition Engine and implemented and underwater gallery from it. You can see it here. I modified it heavily so that I could describe my underwater equipment, housings, ports, filters, etc and added video support. I also added automatic EXIF extraction and group imports in the admin interfaces.

The problems with EE are that its license prevents me from contributing my underwater changes to the community and its database design has some serious flaws and performance issues. I could easily get the SQL queries to take several minutes on a 1GHz P3 due to the abusive way he merges enormous numbers of tables. You can't generate arbitrary photo views, either. Some of its appearance is pretty trashy as well, although I like it better than the other packages I've seen.

I've set out to write my own. The MySQL database is essentially done and the index pages and photo views are roughly in place. I need to add user controls for searches, size, preferences, etc. and add some kind of shopping or photo printing feature. The admin pages are largely done but I need a remote batch upload facility so that others can add galleries to my server. The database supports all the EE features except those I intentionally removed, plus it has all my extensions and is way faster than EE. The pages are a combination of PHP and Smarty and are about 1/10 the size of EE.

If you're a programmer and have interest in what I've done, please get with me. My current prototype is publicly available but I don't want to link to it.
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#7 JohnJohnsonIII

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 04:46 PM

Craig: Sounds like you've done a bit of work there. I'd like to see it, if you can send me the link. I am having fun messing around with PhP. ASP.net finally got an Image class that allows you to dynamically mod the file and serve it out in resized form, but since it is the expensive way of doing it, I decided to try PhP and its GD extensions. They are really cool, but rendering the images to different sizes dynamically on my poor little K6-2 333 was slow. So I decided to see if I could pull the EXIF thumbnail out faster and whoa! it was nice. Still screwing around with it and have the code to scan directories and display images and EXIF data, but still have to write the admin end of it. I am thinking of mine not in terms of software that can be spread around, but as something made for my specific way of storing images. I keep all my images in anal-retentively named folders with dates, places, people and the DB will kind of be bound to this structure, really. Would be nice to see how you are doing yours. I'm sure I would see features that I have not thought of or have overlooked! Thanks in advance!

--John
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#8 craig

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 05:46 PM

OK. You can have a look at what I've done at Breathless Images. Remember that this is under development. It looks good under Mozilla and a little less good under IE. Other browsers I don't know.

The site is set up to allow multiple photographers where people can enter stories, destination reviews, etc. Right now, all gallery links simply display all the pictures in the database. All the code exists to support various kinds of views and collections but I simply haven't added those collections to the database yet. My friend's galleries are all sldes and she hasn't finished scanning.

One of the more interesting features is the use of javascript to flow the thumbnails on the page. Try resizing your browser and refreshing. The thumbs across the page in the photo view will reflow and the number of them will change. Each picture comes in 5 sizes and the best size can be chosen automatically (I'm only displaying medium right now). All camera info is batch extracted from EXIF data. My goal is to minimize the number of onscreen controls while keeping the user experience good.

The color scheme is computed in PHP enabling users to have brightness/contrast/tint controls. I'd also like to implement automation when playing videos since I also do underwater video work. Most of the work that remains is user interface stuff and entering the content itself. How quickly I finish is really driven by how soon my friends have content they want to add. This is being done as much for others as for me.

You mention using GD to do image manipulation on the fly. I looked into that but was disappointed greatly with the quality. My personal opinion is that you want to do the conversion once and be able to review the quality of the results before putting them on public display. My approach is the antithesis of GD, all images preprepared using PS actions. I do use variable size thumbs but I let the browser do that. Apparently IE has a bug in resizing images so I may drop that plan, too.

My code requires a recent PHP with the EXIF module and MySQL support built in. MySQL and a PHP-enabled web server are also needed. I don't know if this is possible on Windows but its common (except the EXIF part) on linux/bsd.
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#9 wetpixel

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 07:01 PM

Craig - your work sounds really exciting. :D I'm looking for something that is efficient, NOT annoying, and that supports search, and heirarchical categories with multiple category assignments possible.

I'm about to look into exhibition engine, myself. I tried PhotoPost, but the way the html is generated makes it impossible to mod.
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#10 craig

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 07:58 PM

I didn't care for PhotoPost much either. Mine does search and multiple categories but not hierachical, at least not in the database. Of course, it's easily modified if I understood the requirements. I've seen deeply nested categories kind of like directory structures. I suspect that's what you mean and I don't think it's a biggie.

Look at EE. I did because I thought it looked good and was done by a thoughtful photographer. Once you look at the code you'll groan though. It's a mash of PHP, MySQL and html together without separation of content and format. If you want details on the performance issues I'll share them with you.

My database is 2/3 derived from EE has 95% of the original function. I deleted things like workflow descriptions because I figured they'd never be used. My database doesn't bog down because I don't do huge table merges like EE and all the photos in the DB are available to any arbitrary view. EE can't do that. Let's say your galleries and mine were on the same site. A global search for porcelean crabs would turn up your beautiful one along side my crappy one. EE can't do that unless we decided to do a porcelean crab exhibition (and reentered each photo in it).

My use of PHP and smarty makes things pretty small and straightforward. I looked at modifying php forums like phpBB, using phpNuke, greymatter, movabletype, etc. I tried midgard and typo3 (which is incredibly cool but way too much learning curve). In the end I just wanted enough macro processing to help with the html presentation. Smarty is very nice for that.
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#11 JohnJohnsonIII

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 12:27 AM

Aloha again. Wow--I looked at your site and was quite impressed. My biggest fault is that I am aesthetically retarded. I can't put together a nice-looking site to save my life. I love the sleek look of the site. I love the breathless frogfish up in the corner, too. That's cute.
My site is not running yet and I just have the code snippets to do pieces of this and pieces of that. I will actually have to make a system that others can use because I am soon going to be handling the website for the Underwater Photographic Society of Hawaii. The current site is nice and well-done, I thought, but they want one a little better. So looks like I will have to hurry up my programming job. The real work for me will be cataloging my images. I have 3 DVDs and change full of pics and filling out the info on them will be painful.
I think I might like the GD approach once I move the site to a faster system. The rendering is a bit slow. I agree very much with the idea of thumbnailing all of the images for speed sake. The drawback of that is that I will have to batch process thumbnailing 14+GB of images. You would still need to process all new incoming uploads. Of course, you can GD those as they come in. I think I will stay with the idea of one thumbnail size. I like the size of your thumbnails, but mine are from an Olympus camera with a 4:3 ratio so my design will be a little different though. If a faster system will alleviate the rendering speed I will probably use the EXIF thumbnail for thumbnail images and GD render the image to a large size when they click on the thumbnail. All in the early stages right now, but I will keep you posted. Keep in touch on your site, too. It's beautiful!

--John
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UN WAL/UN Macro

#12 Andi Voeltz

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 01:44 AM

Hi Craig!

very nice project you started there... We have been thinking about something similar for quite some time, but due to digideep.com we never found enough time to investigate further on it. As some of us have showed high interest in a good online-image-db solution, we maybe could join forces on it... Our last milestone thoughts were to...

- Offer an import on Imatch's offline db.
- Offer an import on several dive computers logs
- ...and combine these data's in photgraphic site called "www.divelogger.com"

I think it's the third missing part in the wetpixel-digideep-triangle. What do you think?
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#13 craig

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 05:21 AM

I think it's the third missing part in the wetpixel-digideep-triangle. What do you think?

Sounds fine. I've been doing it for fun and would be happy to share.

I've never tried Imatch but I'll look at it.

John, I think automatic generation of thumbnails is fine. My problem is automatically generating web sized photos from full sized images. They looked awful. I used ImageMagick as well as GD and tried the recommended settings but I just didn't see results I liked. I chose square thumbnails because they normalized the shape of the image regardless of whether if was portrait or landscape. That makes designing the page simpler. It has the side effect of giving a different perspective which I like. It does burden the photographer with an extra step in his image preparation but it makes the site more attractive and user experience is the primary goal. Several sites now use square thumbs.
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#14 james

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 06:18 AM

Great thread!!!! I would wholeheartedly support development of a new gallery package for us all to use.

Craig,

The guy that designed Gallery doesn't like GD or Imagemagik either - he prefers an app called "NetPBM" to do automatic thumbnail generation. Here's his reasoning:

http://gallery.menal...VsGd&file=index

I think I like it too.

Gallery 1.3.4 has almost all of the functionality that you guys are looking for I think. You can have as many categories and nested albums as you want. For example, I have:

Underwater Photography -> (10 albums underneath)
Coronado Islands, Mexico -> (4 albums underneath)
Lobster Shack -> (Lowest level album)

Another thing that's nice is that all the "albums" are stored in a separate completely independant directory, so if/when you upgrade your Gallery version, it doesn't touch your actual galleries.

Other nice features:

Easy Import of galleries from other servers/same server/home PC (I just imported all my galleries in about an hour)
Windows XP Publishing Wizard for "right click" gallery generation
Built in slideshow
3 different photo sizes (like Pbase)
Keyword search

Here's the link again:

http://gallery.menal...News&file=index

Cheers
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#15 craig

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 06:47 AM

I haven't tried netPBM but it's another linux builtin apparently. I'm not opposed to any automatic image generator so long as the quality is right. I'd prefer to make one big image and one square thumb and let the software automate the rest.

Some people prefer to watermark their photos. That really needs to be done after the resizing so automation is difficult. Some software can do that on the fly but I haven't looked into it. I prefer thumbs to not have watermarks.

Hierachical galleries are fine but they are a fixed view structure like anything else. What you want is a flat image database with arbitrary views. That way when you add your tesselated blenny photo it appears simultaneously in your recent trip report and in the category view (and in the Texas view and so on). You can do a category view from within a trip report or select a region of the world, then select a photographer, then look at categories. These are the capabilities a database offers. Really too much for an individual but not when you're planning on multiple photographers and many galleries.

I think its important to consider copyright and print-for-sale issues. These aren't so important to me but they become important quickly.

After looking quickly at Imatch I see a lot of potential. It appears to go to great lengths to interoperate with the world and it's scriptable. I could easily see producing an Imatch script that created an import file that could drive the server-side database. I would completely eliminate the work but it would be better than the automatic EXIF import I'm doing now. The question is how many people use and like Imatch?
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#16 wetpixel

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 10:09 AM

I use an like IMatch. I tried the others (Portfolio and Cumulus) and didn't like them.

It will be even better once IMatch supports thumbnails for LZW-compressed TIFFs, though. They don't current for licensing reasons, I believe...
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#17 wetpixel

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 10:13 AM

Gallery 1.3.4 has almost all of the functionality that you guys are looking for I think.  You can have as many categories and nested albums as you want.

It's got to be database-backed, though. Didn't you say that Gallery uses flat files?
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#18 Andi Voeltz

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 10:16 AM

I use an like IMatch.   I tried the others (Portfolio and Cumulus) and didn't like them.

Actually Lars and I discovered Imatch through your page Eric.
Again we sucked some honey from there :D

We compared it to some other solutions and found it superior.
Especially because of the pattern-matcher ("find equal images").

But we have not found the time to ad meta-data, or IPTC to all
of our shots... It's awful lot of work! But we had these thoughts
for the divelogger project...

So we own the two domain and the German brand name...
(I registered both, when we still had some spare money :) )
We'd be glad to bring it in for the project if everyone who
posted here is interested in pushing the project alive together.

As far as I saw most of the guys here are found of handling a
LAMP enviroment... that's fine... Or does anyone want to go
in the .net/ASP direction when developing this stuff?

Cheers Andi - GREAT THREAD!
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#19 JPS

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 12:44 PM

I use and like IMatch a lot.

BTW, I categorize my diving pictures also by species of subject(s), and at some point in time it would be nice to have "complete" hierarchical categorizations of Scaridae, Labridae, Scorpaenidae, etc, etc. with both latin and common names. Anyone else working on this as part of their IMatch effort?

Br,
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#20 craig

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 01:15 PM

I looked at Imatch briefly and thought it looked good. I haven't been using any tool like that but would be happy using Imatch.

The nice thing about Imatch is that it allows you to define most everything a web gallery needs AND it allows scripting so you can write your own export plugin. I can easily see writing such a plugin then creating an import script for the web gallery database. As long as everyone commits to Imatch that would be the way to go. We'd all have to agree on a category hierarchy, though.
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