Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ice Photos and Photo Blogging Wishlist

My referrer logs suggest I'm not keeping up with the needs of depressed teens on Xanga and MSN Spaces for bleak winter photos to illustrate their poetry. So here's a few recent ones of ice in Massachusetts.

In the photo blogging software update, I have none and am increasingly frustrated. I'm one step closer to just using Flickr, but I am reluctant to send people there when they click on my pics. I am not cool, I guess, in that I am not a fan of their UI for viewing, at least not till they let me customize the page experience a bit better. In case anyone has any other recent suggestions, what I need is this: tagging, auto thumbnailing and image reduction on upload, option of date or tag viewing, display of optional captions. Ideally CSS etc. for the pages themselves. Help, anyone? (I don't want to install and fix up Movable Type just for a photo blog, life is too short.)

6 comments :

Ken said...

Your options seem to be: spend more time rooting around for good software and installing, configuring, etc it or just use Flickr or something like it.

My vote is to just use Flickr.

Singleshot meets some of your requirements, but falls down on "auto-resize on upload" (there's no upload client) and of course it still has to be installed and configured.

On the other hand, if you just used Flickr you could post photos now. And Flickr has enough users that if you tag them more people will see them than on your own private site.

If you do use Flickr I recommend doing all your tagging, titling, and captioning before upload by using IPTC or XMP annotations. That way you don't have the only copy of your metadata on Flickr.

Lynn said...

Any prognosis on Singleshot handling the resizing? (Well, even if it did, it's not certain I'm allowed on my webhost to do all the parts you require for installing it.)

Bleh. I've done the rooting around for new software every few months, and no one out there seems to have gotten it done yet. Today I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to make a reasonable web gallery--AFTER using Adobe software to generate the basic one that I needed to modify--and concluded "Hey, I could have been working instead!" I love taking pictures. I hate the web part.

Lynn said...

PS. I guess what I'm saying is "You're right, I should just swallow my pride and use Flickr." My life is now even shorter, after today's wasted hours.

rob said...

I think I was going through the exact same thing until I just caved ... and used Flickr. You'll be all cool and Web 2.0-ish, or something ...

Lynn said...

I am not cool. And that's all there is to that :-)

Ken said...

Oh, singleshot does the resizing. It just doesn't do it before the upload. It generates a given size the first time that size is requested.

I've fed it "raw" JPEGs from the camera and it works but I usually preprocess photos before posting anyway so generate a single midsize (1200px longest dimension) version from Photoshop and upload that. Singleshot makes the sizes it needs. You can configure what sizes SS will make available.

I've even had some experimental support for handling CRW files (auto-generate a JPEG from the CRW and then resize that). dcraw is too slow for that to be practical without preprocessing.

Singleshot has no upload client -- it uses whatever files are in the directory it's pointed at.

I use Singleshot primarily because I didn't want to be at the mercy of whoever owned Flickr for the "canonical" version of my photo hosting. I post to Flickr, but only to make the shots visible to more people -- when I point folks at my photos I point them at my own site.

Singleshot is probably insufficiently polished for me to strongly suggest it to someone that didn't want to fiddle with it, but I like it.

Singleshot uses IPTC (or XMP if IPTC data isn't there) data for titling, captioning, and keywords. I still need to release the version that handles comments but you can see it go on my photo site.

I don't know who you're using for webhosting, but one of Singleshot's design goals was to attempt to support running on "typical" hosting -provided webhosting. This slipped a little bit with 2.0 -- Singleshot still runs with plain CGI but it runs a lot better with FastCGI. My webhost (Dreamhost) runs Singleshot pretty effectively. For a while I was running my own photo site on CGI-only NearlyFreeSpeech.net and it worked.