Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Tuesday 25 January 2005

Snowy Montreal (gallery)

I posted a new gallery of snaps from Montreal in winter, taken yesterday.

Picture of the day, January 25th 2005

Bike in snow - Montreal, Canada, January 24th 2005.

When going home at night, I found that bicycle embedded into the snow that was just behind the Lionel-Groulx metro station building. The lightning comes from the streetlight.

Technical info: Canon EOS 20D, 24-85 USM @ 24mm, 1/25s, f/3.5, exposure bias -1, ISO 1600, handheld.

Digital camera RAW files on Linux

I started looking at the solution to handle RAW files from digital cameras in GNOME. The problem with RAW files is that they are all proprietary as the camera manufacturer do not publish their specs. That is a good start toward non interoperability; greedy companies. What if film processing had been a secret ? C41, E6 and B&W chemistry and processes are well know, and you have plenty of vendor that still inovate. Why not doing the same for RAW files? Fortunately, Dave Coffin came to the rescue with dcraw. It works so well that Adobe did take the decoding algorithm to include them in the RAW plugin for Photoshop. I hope the future will converge to a standard solution, like DNG that Adobe (again) is trying to push, otherwise where would go all our photographic memories? We still enjoy digging thru archives of 70 years old picture found in some attic. This won't be the case with the polyacryl disc you'll find that you won't able to decode.

OK, I'm getting off-topic. Back to RAW decoding in GNOME.

The Gimp has 2 import plugins for RAW. The first one is RawPhoto. The second one, a fork of RawPhoto, is UFRaw.

There is also a solution for thumbnailing RAW in GNOME. I haven't tested it yet, but I suspect we could make it lighter by not having a script but a direct call to dcraw.

I myself don't really shoot in RAW mode, because 38 pictures on my 512MB compact flash, that scares me. I did 110 Sunday afternoon.

More on that later.