Bad Guesses

Usually the best way to guess which technology product will be successful is to bet against the one I like. Betamax, Apple, Linux, Picasa.

So it surprises me Barnes & Noble are giving up on the Nook┬ásince I went Kindle. I’m not usually in this position.

Then again, I was on the brink of going webOS but went Android. Maybe though iOS will win out over Android and keep me on track.

Of course, this is post is confirmation bias. I’m sure if I really thought about it, then I could come up with lots of technology I like that predominate their markets over rivals.

GIMP Raw

When photographers I know talk about processing their digital images, they generally talk about Adobe products like Photoshop or Light Room. Some talk about Apple’s Aperture. Operating system only matters when it manages to make filters finish faster on the equivalent hardware.

Colorful Renee But… I am cheap. Photoshop was in my tool set back when work paid for me to do web design. Aperture and Light Room never entered it.

So I used Picasa as it did what I needed. Occasionally I used GIMP to perform more advanced edits. For example, I desaturated a custom area in the picture on the right to bring the attention back to who is important. Picasa can only do the same for a circle.

Considering GIMP is a image editor, it seemed quite concerning that it would fail to open Raw images. Surely Canon CR2 files from a 4 year old camera are supportable? Well, it turns out, GIMP needs help from a plugin.

  1. A dcraw-gimp plugin based on dcraw has very simple options for profiles used convert Raw to Portable Any Map for opening in GIMP.
  2. A ufraw-gimp plugin based on ufraw has much more cool tools for adjusting the levels prior to converting to Portable Any Map.

This morning I worked with F-Spot as my image manager and GIMP as the editor. This afternoon I switched to digiKam for the image manager and switched only to GIMP for things I could not manage.

I think I can use this workflow.

Watermarks

So far I have either been oblivious or lucky. Some people like my pictures which could mean they are downloading them and even representing them as their own. No amount of HTML or JavaScript technology can prevent this. Even watermarks have questionable efficacy as people get better.

Google’s Picasa is my current image editor. With it, I am able to manipulate photographs easily prior to posting them online. For everything it does, Picasa does a fantastic job. One of two things* it lacks is adding a watermark. If it automatically did this at the time a photo was saved, then I would definitely be a happy user. Maybe it will hit the features of Picasa 3?

Years ago, I knew how to do add a nice watermark in seconds with Photoshop 6 and 7. Over the last hour or so I have been playing with GIMP to accomplish the same. This has been slow going. First, in GIMP 2.2.3, the software crashed each time I opened the text tool. Now that I am on 2.4.5, the text tool works. Second, I have not found anything similar to the hand tool.

I followed a GIMP watermarking tutorial for one as it was better detailed than another I attempted to follow and was frustrated at not being able to find what it told me to use.

So, I am curious…. What do you use for watermarking your images?

* The other is splicing together multiple images.

links for 2007-11-03