Monday, 30 June 2008

Geocoding photos

A couple of posts ago I mentioned I was awaiting an GPS bluetooth gizmo. Well (to the dissapointment of my wifie) it arived. I spent a couple of evenings coding or should I better say recoding two peaces of software (python s60) progs to work as I want them to work and now I have a nicelly working GPS data reader and uploader from Symbian S60 phone with Python and a storage card (the data taken can come up to a couple of MB in size) and an external GPS bluetooth receiver.

  • The file is saved with a datetime timestamp, and is internally of NMEA 0183 format.
  • After you transfer the file to your computer (either in NMEA or GPX format - I use my uploader script for the second), you can use a peace of software called gpicsync. You could ofcorse use any other software that does the same job, but I am verry satisfied with gpicsync. It also works on Linux, Win, and OS X.
  • The program asks you to enter the path to the coordinates file (NMEA or GPX formated) and to the directory where the pictures (JPEG format) are kept.
  • You can also do some additional tweaking like the UTC time offset, but other than that you are set to go - so click "Synchronise!" and the coordinates are read from the GPS files and the coordinates are writen to the EXIF info in the JPEG files.
  • All you have to do now is to upload your pics to a web service that can make use of the coordinates embedded in the images, Picasa Web Albums, Flickr, etc. or you can view the locations in Google Earth application or another app that can read KML files.
Here is the web album of some geocoded pics.

And the map of the photo locations.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Depth of Field calculator for your mobile (s60)

I had some time on my hands and tried to spend it usefully (learning Python while actually doing something useful). So I wrote Depth of Field calculator that runs on Python enabled Symbian phones.
Ok so the usefulness part is so so, it is only useful if you are interested in photography and actually try to calculate the DoF instead of just going for it. While most of the time I just go for it, there are times when I can't really tell by the picture on the screen how much of it is actually sharp and where does the blur begin.

Here is what the result looks like on the phone screen:

The files are available here.

And if you want additional information on Depth of Field and formulas used in my prog look here.

If you like it - drop me a note - leave a post on the blog. If you want more/new/different features - please don't hesitate to ask - I'm sure there is more to it than just what I did.

PS: the code is my first try of actually doing some Symbian stuff in Python so please keep the comments objective ;)

Sunday, 8 June 2008

moo/flickr cards

An acquaintance of mine gave me his "business card" that looked kind of funny. It was a bit more narrow, printed on good paper, and had a photo that he took on the back side. Being an amateur photographer I thought well that's kind of cool how could I get my grubby little hands on a couple of those. So he told me you could create them from the pictures you post on and the company called moo prints them for you.

So, here is the result of the cards I got (only displaying the picture side). On the front side you can squeeze in 6 lines of text and an optional logo. The text can be read from the picture specs too (aperture, lenses, etc).

Ownuser E-510 battery grip

A couple of weeks ago I ordered an ownuser battery grip for my Oly E-510 camera. It helps vertical shooting a lot and is a verry firm grip. Built well (not the cheap plastic you would expect really).

The it has two buttons on the grip (for left/right handed) and it can pack two batteries (two BLM-1) or 12AA type batteries with a special battery holder.
The only problem is that it actually powers the camera through the mini USB connector on the back side so it is a bit clumsy, but otherwise works perfectly.

It takes a bit getting used to if you use a lot of manual mode like I do and have to turn the knobs all the time ;)

I'd rate it worth the money for an E-510 user (since olympus does not produce any official grips for E-510/E-520 models).

I have also ordered an GPS bluetooth module from E-bay, when that one comes in we'll dig into geocoding of pictures.