in post

1 January, 2021

Graphics Tools

I have to work with photos quite a lot. But the only graphics programs I have consistently used consistently over the years have been (the non-opensource, crossplatform program) XnView and GIMP. I usually go to GIMP only when there is something a bit more complicated to do. In XnView, my main uses are auto-correcting white balance (or doing this manually, if the automatic function does not work very well for a photo), cropping, and batch-resizing. My favourite shape for photos is 3:2, like the old 15x10 cm. printed photos. 4:3 is not a pleasant shape to look at (for me), and, if I use this size for a featured image under the title of a WordPress post, the text below it is too far down the page. 16:9 is too wide for many needs, especially if the photographer did not intend this shape when taking the picture. Standardizing on 3:2 is easier.

When I receive a bunch of photos from people for a post, these are often of mixed sizes, shapes and orientation. I don't batch crop, but I usually want to batch resize at least some of these photos, so that they will be of the right size, or the right weight, for the web. Obviously, when making the photos a uniform size, I do not want to enlarge the ones that are small.

XnView handles these needs quite nicely because :
a. It can choose to resize only those photos that are too large.
b. It can choose that the new dimensions will be according to just the longest side.

I have installed Gthumb again, which is much improved from its early versions. It has perhaps a more agreeable interface than XnView, has some nice editing functions; including many that are absent from XnView. But its batch resize functions are primitive compared to XnView (see screenshots). I say this with a little bit of uncertainty, because under GThumb's "Personalize" function, it may be possible to create scripts that can do more - but this is beyond me. I am sure there are ways to obtain the same flexibility by using Imagemagic, and there is a batch plugin for GIMP. But I know that with me, GUI simplicity works better than memorizing complex commands.

XnView's batch editor:


GThumb's batch editor:


There is one annoyance in XnView. Sometimes, especially after altering a photo, it gets the orientation wrong. Eventually, I discovered that this has to be corrected in Tools | JPEG Lossless Transformations rather than by the more intuitive method of rotating the photo in the editing view.
Anyway, I think I may incorporate GThumb into my workflow.

Meanwhile, I still did not understand why, in my Hubzilla instance, my PNGs come out looking better than JPGs. And I wonder when Hubzilla will begin to handle WebPs ?

Links blog

✭ Popular Tools for easily Cropping and Resizing images in Ubuntu
 working with images, even as an amateur, we frequently encounter the seemingly simple task of resizing and cropping our image files. Let us first see how cropping and resizing are different from each other.
#linux #graphics-tools

✭ Calls for release of man arrested photographing transfer of Rohingyas | Human rights | The Guardian
“Photography is not a crime. Abul Kalam was taking photos of buses on their way to Bhasan Char … it is by no means a secret and has been extensively covered in the media,” said a letter calling for his release.

✭ Dozens of residents die at Belgian care home after Santa visit | Belgium | The Guardian

✭ Joe Biden should end the US pretence over Israel's 'secret' nuclear weapons | Desmond Tutu | Opinion | The Guardian
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"Every recent US administration has performed a perverse ritual as it has come into office. All have agreed to undermine US law by signing secret letters stipulating they will not acknowledge something everyone knows: that Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal."

✭ How Four U.S. Presidents, including Obama and Trump, Helped Protect Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal | The New Yorker
"The Israelis first started to feel as though the unwritten Meir-Nixon arrangement was no longer sufficient during the Presidency of George H. W. Bush, when, after the first Gulf War, in 1991, world powers talked about the possibility of creating a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms."

✭ The Guardian view of Brexit: a tragic national error | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian
"This is a day of sadness. Britain’s departure remains a tragic national error. We have expelled ourselves from a union that was good for this country and the world....

In 2016, many of the most fanatical Brexiters hoped the UK’s departure would trigger the EU’s breakup. Yet two of the most striking consequences of the vote were the unity of the EU27 in the face of Brexit compared with the growing disunity of the UK4 over the issue. The breakup of Britain rather than the EU is now the more likely prospect."