Archives from January, 2009.

How to deadly surprise your girlfriend…

Publicado por Miguel Ángel a las 23:04

Filed under: Life.


… so deadly she might kill you dead dead when she finds out 😀

Just kidding, I didn’t really upset her that much, but I had plenty of fun while awaiting for her (and my family and friends) to learn that I bought a Nikon D90 when a great opportunity came to me.

A colleague of mine visited California and asked me for advise on getting a DSLR. Our Canon guy was not around so I persuaded him to by a Nikon D80 because I was so happy with it. Some people would argue that I should have recommended him a Nikon D40, but I already have friends frustrated with the D40’s inability to use pre-digital (non-G) lenses like the $100 AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D –the new $440 AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G is way out of budget.

Then I suddenly realized that a brand new the Nikon D90 would cost me only about €640, little more than the €600 I paid for my Nikon D80 and starting considering getting one and selling my D80 to him. We reached an agreement and now we are both very happy 🙂

I got the new camera on Monday and didn’t tell anyone in fear that my girlfriend would kill me, but then I realize she would rather not notice and probably not even care much.

On Wednesday, I used the camera to take photos from the apartment we just left. She was there but didn’t notice anything. The same day, I submitted this photo to the Self Portrait challenge from DP Review after my father told me about this on Tuesday.

  • Geek@home

On Thursday, I showed the photo to my mother but I wasn’t expecting her to notice anything about the camera. On Friday evening, I told my father “I submitted a photo to a challenge” to make him curious, but surely not curious enough to make him use his 3G modem to look it over the weekend.

On Saturday morning, I wrote on my main blog (in Spanish) about the new apartment we just moved in, with photos using Vivid +3 Saturation to make a visually clear difference. In the afternoon, we attended a big friend’s party and took photos with the D90. One or two friends even took the camera from me and shot a few photos (why would I buy a good camera if miguev is always around with his and I can take it from him?) but nobody noticed any difference. Amazing.

On Sunday morning, I uploaded 52 photos from the party, available only to my friends and family, after having some trouble with Picasa 3 for Linux not auto-rotating the photos 🙁

Next Monday afternoon, as I predicted, my father (rethorically) asked me Have you got a D90, bad boy? and I thought no way to hide from him but he believed me when I sed my finger slipped from D80 to D90 and I couldn’t fix it afterward –phew! That was close. Of course I wouldn’t get away with this so easily, not my father, who pointed out that Flickr insists you got a D90. Only then he claimed not to have believed me the day before 😀

Having him found out, I started making it more obvious. Starting with twitting it:

first one to find it out: my father, as expected. It’s been “public” since my last post on 😉

This produced a pretty quick reaction from a friend:

@miguev now my question is: what the are you talking about?

@friend the answer is out there… just follow the pointers 😉

@miguev yeah, whatever, congratulations to your father for finding whatever it is out

Of course nobody will search for it, I’m just curious about how long it’ll take to different people to just find it accidentally. If I wanted all to know fast I would have told them! 🙂

How you could add EXIF tags to your film photos

Publicado por Miguel Ángel a las 23:39

Filed under: Geekness and Software.


Although it has been working very well for me, the way I was adding EXIF tags to my film photos would probably not work for many people due to a single point of failure: it depends on using digiKam. Besides, it ignores standard IPTC tags that many others use, including Picasa and Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Google has recently released Picasa for Mac OS X, filling the missing gap for Picasa to be mostly cross-platform. You can now run Picasa on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows to use the same photo library with all of them.

Storing tags inside the JPEG file themselves as standard IPTC tags will also eliminate dependency on any application’s database, something that was driving me mad lately with digiKam. First, external storage uses case insensitive FAT32 file system, which changes all-uppercase filenames into all-lowercase and breaks references within digiKam database. Second, even though digiKam supposedly uses Sqlite format, latest digiKam versions changed its database format and broke my exif-film-tags script. Enough.

I think I will be switching to Picasa and will try to convert all digiKam tags into IPTC tags, someday. EXIF tags for film photos are now even easier than before, only you need a little trick to add tags with special characters –anything other than letter, numbers, blanks and little more. Picasa even auto-completes tags, something I’ve been missing in digiKam since always. Leave alone hierarchy.

So I rewrote the exif-film-tags script to read IPTC tags as Picasa writes them, which is multiple values for the tag Iptc.Application2.Keywords like this:

Iptc.Application2.Keywords String 7 1/125 s
Iptc.Application2.Keywords String 3 1:1
Iptc.Application2.Keywords String 4 f/11
Iptc.Application2.Keywords String 19 Fujifilm Sensia 100
Iptc.Application2.Keywords String 12 Olympus OM-1
Iptc.Application2.Keywords String 22 Zuiko Micro 50mm 1:3.5

Exiv2 is an awesome tool that lets you read and write metadata on JPEG files, including EXIF and IPTC tags. It’s available as Free Software and runs on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows as well. Just get it! 😉

Even better: Exiv2 library is accessible from Python, thanks to pyexiv2 bindings. That makes the new script 60 55 (code) lines shorter –and me 6055 times happier with it 🙂