Straighten and Crop with the GIMP

One of the more awkward tasks to do in the GIMP is straightening horizons. You have to manually rotate the image using that tool which always seems to be fairly hit and miss.

I had hoped that GIMP 2.6 would have the “draw a line and rotate” function that Bibblepro and I think Photoshop have but unfortunately it’s not there. Not to worry because the Straighten and Crop plugin by Bert Hinz does the job too! (There’s another Straighten and Crop plugin too. I haven’t tried it. What’s it like?)

Install the plugin by copying the .py file into .gimp-2.6/plug-ins/. You might need to chmod it to make it executable. Fire up the gimp and using the Path tool (press B) mark two points on the horizon with left clicks of the mouse. Run the plugin (from Image->Transform->Straighten and Crop) and it will rotate the image.

Nice and simple and has worked on the couple of images I tried it on. (via)

F-spot and Bibble 5 Preview updated

I noticed this morning that F-Spot 0.6.0 came out a few days ago. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m downloading it now. Unfortunately if it requires any dependencies not present in Ubuntu Jaunty I’ll leave it for another day, or until a .deb exists. I don’t have time to go chasing this stuff any more.

bibblalabs

Bibble Labs continue their progress to a final release of Bibble 5 with a new preview release. I downloaded preview 2.2 last week and it converted my large 11GB catalog to a new format while I went off and made a cup of tea. On loading nothing much had changed but lots of bugs have been fixed. I have over 75,000 photos loaded into it so it’s a bit of a memory and CPU hog. When I plan on browsing through my photo archive I shut down the other memory hog on my computer, Firefox.
Can’t wait for a final release. You should try it out.

Bibble Pro and empty plugin dropdowns

After I reinstalled Ubuntu 8.10 I of course had to install some of the 3rd paty software I used before. One of those was Bibble Pro and I ran into a problem I experienced before. The drop down list boxes of Bibble plugins were empty!

I searched Google, and then the Bibble Labs forum, and found the answer, sort of. This is a Linux problem, as the permissions on the plugin files are too restrictive.
The paths are wrong in the commands given by afx however. Here’s how to fix the plugins. As root, type the following:

chmod ugo+rx /usr/lib/bibblelabs/bibblepro/plugins/*
chmod ugo+r /usr/lib/bibblelabs/bibblepro/tools/Plugins/*
chmod ugo+rx /usr/lib/bibblelabs/bibblepro/plugins /usr/lib/bibblelabs/bibblepro/tools/Plugins/

This is for future reference in case I get hit by this particular bug again!

GIMP 2.6 out and I’m looking for the Ubuntu package

Hot news this afternoon is that GIMP 2.6 is now out. The release notes are the first place to look for a list of what’s new in this image editing software.

From the my perspective, there may not be anything mind blowing, but they have started integrating GEGL and there’s an option to enable it, so it might be possible to edit images in 16bit mode. I’ll have to start dumping my RAW files to gigantic tiff files once that happens. High quality Jpeg is great, but it’s 8bit. Most of the time I don’t notice, but on images with lots of blue sky it’s possible to see ugly banding of the blue that isn’t there in the RAW file.

I’m waiting for the Ubuntu Linux .deb, as are others and hopefully it’ll make it’s way to getdeb.net sooner rather than later. Meanwhile I’ll try my hand at compiling it myself.

PS. Welcome all from People’s Republic of Cork. Your visits are appreciated!

blueMarine – Free digital photography workflow software

blueMarine

blueMarine is being developed as an open source digital photography workflow environment. It’s written in Java so it’ll run just about anywhere – Windows, Mac and Linux should be “easy” to support.

I haven’t tried it yet and I’m not a fan of Java apps in general but has anyone else tried it? They say they’re close to a beta release so it might be worth a look soon.

Start thinking of an opensource application like Aperture or Lightroom that enables you to organize, develop, print and publish your photos. Pretty standard stuff nowadays.
Let’s go on and let’s think of the workflow. For the existing commercial applications the workflow starts just after shooting the photo and ends with a print on paper, the photo archived and maybe a web gallery published.

Judging by the screenshots, it’s come a long way, even supporting geotagging of images and “Gannet”, a plugin for the amateur ornithologist photographer. (found on the GIMP Users list)

What tablet would you buy?

I’m in the market for a tablet to make my life using the GIMP easier. I’ve looked longingly at them in stores but my credit card stayed in my wallet and I resisted the temptation! Now, I’m seriously thinking of making a purchase and wondering which one to go for.

After some initial problems Richard Querin got his Wacom Graphire3 working and I know there’s the Linux Wacom Project but they’re not the only show in town. What about other manufacturers?

As a photographer, has using a tablet helped you? Has it made it easier to work on photos? Is it easier to apply large changes like dodging and burning a whole image?

And finally, red or blue pill?

Rawstudio – free cross-platform raw converter

Digital Photo School’s latest posting is about the eternal question, RAW Vs Jpeg? It’s a really good read and goes through “what a RAW file is .. compared to a Jpeg” which can be a bit mysterious if all you’re used to is uploading images straight from your camera!

The article was written in response to this discussion on Flickr on the same subject. I skimmed through the thread, but the very last comment pointed me at Raw Studio, a GPL licensed RAW converted for Linux, Windows and Mac and any other OS that supports GTK+.

It’s still rather new, being only at version 0.3 but I downloaded the very latest code from SVN and it worked fine. I pointed it at Matt’s RAW photos of my wedding and a few moments later up popped a thumbnail browser, preview window and side-panel controls. There are no automatic auto-exposure/auto-everything options but the auto-white balance worked perfectly.

It uses dcraw, the RAW conversion engine used by many projects, including Google’s Picasa (and no, there is no virus in the Linux version!) and my favourite GIMP RAW plugin, UFRaw. Linux RAW has a good overview of Linux software for working with RAW images.

At this early stage I’m very impressed!

rawstudio raw converter

PSPI – Using Photoshop plugins in GIMP

2006-06-27_ptlens.png PSPI has long been the best way of running Photoshop in the Win32 version of GIMP. I’ve waited for a Linux version with anticipation and it has now been ported! Not all plugins will work, but I tried the trial version of PTLens and once I pointed it at the .dat file it worked perfectly, if quite slowly.

As well as the efforts to run Photoshop actions in GIMP this is a great addition to the GIMP arsenal of plugins and tools to aid photographers!

Need Photoshop plugins? This article reviews 10 free Photoshop plugins. I installed the Virtual Photographer one. It works quite well, although the preview window is a little wonky and don’t move the window or it won’t redraw.