GIMP Preview – the why and what of it

A recent thread on the GIMP User mailing list asked about why previews are so small, and why the “main window” preview isn’t available everywhere.
Replies were soon forthcoming. It seems that plugins can’t preview their changes in the main window, but built-in tools can.
Carol Spears even offered a small tutorial explaining how you can increase the preview size in plugins very easily!

Linux Raw Image Management

I’ve steered clear of RAW photography for some time. Maybe it’s the extra few steps required to get a finished product, or the very large file size, or just that “it’s not jpeg!”
I changed the quality mode on my 20D to RAW this afternoon and was shocked when it told me that I could only take 79 shots! *gulp*
I fired off a shot, of an old Honda parked in front of my car and as I was in a hurry, forgot to do any more.
Later on I went searching and found a number of sites:

  • Raw Digital Photo Decoding in Linux – Dave Coffin’s dcraw seems to be the basic library that everyone else builds their GUI tools on. He went to the trouble of decoding the various RAW formats in existance.
  • Nikon D70 under Linux – plenty to read here, including a section on noise removal and links to a few GIMP noise removal plugins I must try out!
  • RawPhoto – the author says it’s beta quality code, but it works. I haven’t tried it yet however.
  • UFRaw – you can install this in Debian with apt-get install gimp-ufraw. I tried it. It works, now I have to read the user-manual to figure out what all those controls mean!

I’d post an example RAW photo but the only one I have is nothing to write home about so you’ll just have to wait in line like everyone else!

GIMP menus overhaul

GIMP menus are going to be reorganized! Finally, no more Script-Fu, or Python menus, only one “Filters” menu!
What I’d love to see in the GIMP is a “My filters” menu where I could drag and drop frequently used menu functions. I’d drop Levels, Curves, Rotate, Scale and Unsharp to that menu for starters!

Corpus Christi on Pana

Here’s a panoramic photo I assembled from 2 shots at the Corpus Christi Procession on Sunday. I created the photo with the help of Panoramic Stitch which I mentioned a few days ago. It did a very good job, especially when you consider the foreground. I can’t imagine what kind of manipulation I would have had to go through to get those lines to match up! Using this GIMP plugin was simple – select a few control points, it figures out how close the points are on each image and then you generate the stitch!
I did try to stitch a 3rd photo to the left of this one, but the distortion became too great and artefacts were very evident. I hope the author is encouraged to continue working on this project as he has come a long way already!
PS. Pana is Cork slang for “St. Patrick’s Street”, the main street running through Cork City.