Photo Archiving?

I have a problem… yes, yes, i know. This is different.

One of my photography projects (lets call it IWTFY) is quite popular. This means that periodically there are requests for sets of images. When this happens i end up trolling through Lightroom libraries on several machines looking for images, exporting them at an appropriate size / dpi, gathering them into one place, packaging them for distribution, uploading them to be downloaded. Bleugh!

What i need is a place that i can:

  • archive / upload a full-sized processed image
  • tag / label all images
  • search / select subsets
  • define an export size
  • have everything processed into a download bundle

Does such a thing exist? Is it worth paying for? Should i just get my shit together and import everything into a new Lightroom library on one machine?

Help?

Light Boxes

No idea why these advertising light boxes are the way that they are, but they are each end of the S-Bahn platforms at Hamburg Airport. Having walked past them, and occasionally taken the odd digicrap of them, here they are on film. In this case Kodak Portra 800 in the Natura Black.

It turns out that blue lights in a dimly lit underground station are about at close to a torture test as you can get for fast colour negative film. The obviously different light levels really didn’t help with a point and shoot. All of which made them an adventure to process – the white balance still isn’t consistent, but i give up!

Mystery why there are they and never contain any advertising… all other slots are always occupied, with these left open. Maybe they are a token gesture towards making the airport more relaxing / less commercial… or art? Ha!

Book Covers

Tangentially related to the previous post…

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That’s Iain’s latest book (or maybe it isn’t – a few months have passed…) The cover is a crop of the following photograph of mine, taken with the previously maligned Natura Black 1.9:

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Not sure it’s the crop that i’d have made, but i’m notoriously bad at cropping my shots.

It strikes me as somewhat unusual to have covers that are “full bleed” photographs at the moment. Maybe it was never a thing… but certainly the current trend is to more designed and graphical covers. The IWTFY books have eschewed that direction and, to my eye, look all the more distinctive for it.

Both IWTFY covers have also been fairly abstract portraits of M., taken in the bath with a digital P&S… that is a trend which seems difficult to continue.

Sticky Shutter

The olympus xa2XA2 is pretty much my favourite P&S camera. I’ve travelled with one for years. And i mean years – M. had one when we met…

That particular one died a few years ago. The shutter had started to get unreliable and eventually completely unresponsive.

It was a sad day, but a new one was purchased on Yahoo! Auction, and point and shoot life carried on unabated.

This problem with the shutter is apparently common, and the inevitable is now happening to the replacement. It’s hard to get too upset that a camera that was produced in 1980, and has likely seen hundreds of rolls of film, starts to give up the ghost. However, at this point it’s likely that any replacement that i find is quickly going to suffer the same fate.

Time to start to learn to fix it! According to this “tutorial” it should be simply a matter of opening it up, cleaning, tweaking the contacts, and getting it back together. It’s the last part of that which gives me pause… the alternative is to take it to the grumpy camera repair man and have him do it. Less embarrassing than turning up with a bag of pieces.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of P&S cameras, there is also the Fujifilm Natura S. Another purchase from Yahoo! Auction… and i have to say that i don’t like it. Some people rave about them, but unless you’re *only* shooting 1600 ASA film, it’s a horrible experience. The flash tends to be very eager to fire, even when you’d expect that it wouldn’t, the menu system is junk, settings don’t survive a power cycle, it has no exposure compensation, which leads to “fun” DX coding hacks (scraping paint of film canisters with your keys…), and to top it all off, the focus on mine is really soft in a lot of situations. Despite some reasonable results over the last couple of years, it has never become the replacement that i hoped it would be.

In Search of a Pair

It’s that time again. I’m trying to convince myself that it’s worth putting my photography on walls again. For the loooooongest time i’m wanted to do something “spectacular” (read: “stupid”) with the ‘Water under the Bridge” series.

Before leaving Japan i took a bunch of these shots on Acros and developed them with Microfine, the Fujifilm developer for smooth grain… probably now discontinued.

The results never did much for me, had trouble getting clean scans, which were never really big enough to consider printing at the size at which it seems likely that these shots would work.

Today as part of my effort to get back on track i scanned the shot to the right. That one is 12000×32000 pixels, printed at 300dpi it would stand 2.7m tall and 93cm wide…

What i don’t really know is what that’s going to look like on paper… looking at that little version over there (40 times smaller than the full scan!) it sure look sharp / in focus / detailed, but looking at the pixels 1:1 it’s not so obvious.

Despite being shot on a tripod, with a cable release, there is a lot that can go wrong. And despite the XPan lenses, whether i manager to nail the focus, and get the film perfectly parallel to the wall… who knows.

2.7m is a little larger than i’d anticipated. Down sampling it down to a size where it could be just 2m might help a little (in terms of making it practical to hang). Which is all very well, but how do i go about getting someone to do test prints for a couple of places in the image.

Oh, and can i find a few more that are similarly interesting / sharp? Still think it’d look spectacular hung one of those unpainted concrete gallery walls that are all the rage in Tokyo…

If you’ve ever printed on this scale and would care to share any wisdom it would be much appreciated!

Update: first suggestion, from @Tug, is C Type prints at Metro