Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
A_Finish reading digital asset management book
A_Ask mom about current digital asset management
A_Observe one shoot all the way to filing
A_Digital asset management system - offline indexing of images; ask who is doing this, and how
A_Website redesign: photo blog on front page
A_Get in touch with Luis Buenaventura over Yahoo (2006.01.02)
AXAsk iPowerweb about hosting (2006.01.26)
AXUpdate billing information on iPowerweb (2006.01.26)
AXSet up WPA password for Adphoto wireless network (2006.01.02)

5. Creating thumbnails with Imagemagick: 13:41

Categories: 2006.01.09#2 -- Permalink
Creating proper thumbnails in Photoshop was a mission and a half. I found a handy Imagemagick incantation for thumbnails. Here's the one I'll use to create 400x400 centered thumbnails for the photo gallery.
convert -size 400x400 sacha-20051201.jpg -thumbnail '400x400>' -bordercolor black -border 200 -gravity center -crop 400x400+0+0 +repage test.jpg

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4. 360' virtual tours: 23:53

Categories: 2006.01.08#2 -- Permalink
How do real-estate websites show 360' virtual tours of their spaces? I spent part of the afternoon looking at software for possible business use. Here's how they do it, I think.

*Take photos.* First take super-wide-angle shots, rotating your camera around a fixed point. A number of stores sell fisheye lenses and camera mounts for this purpose. The mount for spherical pictures (all directions, including up and down) is more complicated than the mount for a 360' panoramic shot. If you don't mind distortion, then you can use a regular camera and just take pictures facing different directions, relying on stitching software to compensate a bit for the distortion.

*Stitch the pictures.* Camera designed specifically for 360' or spherical shots may be able to capture the entire scene in one image. However, if you're using a rotating mount or you're taking pictures in different directions, then you'll need to combine the images into a seamless panorama by using stitching software.

*Produce the brochure.* 360' viewers range from simple ones that smoothly scroll a panoramic picture, to more interactive viewers that include floor plans and clickable hotspots in the image. Choose the software that fits your intended purpose and budget.

Some companies that sell 360' software:

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3. Javascript or Flash?: 22:39

Categories: 2006.01.07#1 -- Permalink
I've been thinking about the Adphoto portfolio viewer. As nice and, well, flashy as a Flash portfolio viewer would be, it might also be good to have a simple Javascript one, just in case (gasp!) someone who doesn't have Flash installed is browsing around. Well, ideally, we'd have both versions _and_ a static HTML one, but it's easier for me to hack together something in Javascript (yikes) than it is for me to do something in Flash, given that I don't have Macromedia Flash MX.

So, on to the Javascript crossplatform libraries...

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2. Indexing pictures: 23:36

Categories: 2006.01.03#1 -- Permalink
Adphoto is an advertising photography and digital imaging company. My parents established it 33 years ago. It's Good Stuff.

We'd like to develop the stock photography side of our business. For that, we need the ability to search for images and give clients thumbnails before pulling out the original images from our archives. The Digital Asset Management for Photographers book recommended a hard-disk based archive, but I wanted to make something work without disrupting the office (or my spare time) too much. =)

Right now, we use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to keep track of CDs and their contents. Our digital librarian is in charge of assigning numbers to CDs and describing the contents of the CD using keywords and phrases. When someone asks for stock shots with a certain keyword, she searches her Excel file and then physically retrieves the CDs in order to make thumbnails. Our previous digital librarian started filing copies of pictures in a directory tree arranged by subject, but this was not accompanied by metadata, and it was hard to keep up to date.

Our librarian has been experimenting with iView Media Pro and Extensis Portfolio. After some poking around, I found out how to do offline indexing in Extensis Portfolio. That would allow us to index thousands and thousands of CDs while keeping thumbnails on the hard drive. iView also has this feature, so we just need to play around with it and see which interface we like best.

My Adphoto goals for the next two weeks (I have to go back to Canada in two weeks!) are to:

  • Improve and document the workflow for digital images
  • Transfer the website to another host (must meet Luis Buenaventura)
  • Contract out the redesign of the website and the development of a Flash portfolio viewer (might be able to do the Flash portfolio viewer myself if I can find a good photoblog script)

Improving the workflow would include:

  • File and folder naming conventions to support quick indexing and retrieval
  • How to index images
  • How to retrieve images for comps
  • How to retrieve images for use

This will be fun. Hectic, but fun.

1. Adphoto website plans: 14:35

Categories: 2005.12.29#4 -- Permalink
My dad wants to be able to update the pictures on the Adphoto website easily. The iPhoto Flickr export plugin looks pretty nifty, and if I can make something similar, that would be ubercool.

Hmm. Must redesign site. Brochure-ware, perhaps also stock photography?

On Technorati:

Adphoto website

Audience: new customers - website, directory, business card loyal customers

photographer profiles

Front page: picture

Right now: ipowerweb, $7.95/mo

Need: shell access, php, mysql, mail, at least 1g space

Want: imagemagick, ruby