Aperture 2 Dodge and Burn

I am not sure why I was acting to ridiculously. When version 2 came out, I was super psyched, then I found out that if you wanted to use the Dodge and Burn tool, Aperture would make a copy, and send you to the plugin. If you had made any adjustments before this, you couldn’t tell anymore, all the sliders would look reset. It bugged me that the dodge and burn plug in wasn’t non destructive. So… I ignored it.

Just recently I came across an image (can’t find it now) that was adjusted with this plug-in, and I had a “what the heck” kind of moment. I immediately fired up Aperture to re-check out this tool. To get to the plug-in, right click on an image, select Edit With… and pick Dodge and Burn.

Selecting Dodge and Burn

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Zen Photo Press

I am not sure how I missed this. There is a plugin for WordPress called ZenPhotoPress. I even had ideas of trying to do this myself. Anyway, what this does, is allow you to get your photo’s from Zen Photo into your wordpress blog. It is built into the visual editor (tiny mce).

I have been working on a gallery with Zen Photo with my Cyberward theme. Still trying to decide what I want to do with it, but I think that I will move to migrate my family photos over to Zen Photo instead of Gallery.

Zen Photo just seems better in my opinion. Gallery (actually Gallery2) seems slow and burdened. Too many things activated and going on by default.¬† Zen Photo has fewer plugins, but that’s ok by me. It seems much easier to hack on too. I guess now I just need to time to do this.

CwExif Plugin Appreciated

The other day I finished the CwExif plugin. I got the idea originaly from posts that Gavin Gough, and Matt Brandon did where they were wishing for some easy way to get the EXIF data displayed.

Gavin today called me a “very nice man.”¬† Also that I¬†was a¬†”geeky Canadian”. We Canadian programmers take that to be the highest compliment. :-)¬†I was quite tickled. It is great when you get to create something that someone really wanted, and doubly when they go out of their way to say thank you.

I am glad that it is what he was looking for. I hope to make some improvements and options for display in the future, but will keep the “title” display¬†that works now.¬†

If you give it a try and have issues or suggestions. Leave a comment on the CwExif plugin page.

First Version of CwExif is out

I now have a first version of CwExif that can be downloaded. This is a new WordPress plugin that will show exif data for an image uploaded to the wordpress library in the title tag. There is a button on the media admin screen that will take the exif data and put it into the title tag. On hover, the data will be displayed.

This is just the first version. There is much more that I want to do with this plugin, but you have to start somewhere.

Get it here.

CwExif is almost done

I have been working on a plugin for WordPress that will display the EXIF data for an image. It turned out to be harder than I thought. First of all, there are very few working libraries that will access the data in an image. Second, this is my first WordPress plugin, and the documentation is not what I had hopped. So… to start, and get something out there, I have scaled back abit.

The first iteration of the plugin will simple replace the title of the image (displayed on hover) with the some meta data captured by WordPress. This will be things like f-stop and shutter speed. Eventually I would like more data, but I will have to go outside of WordPress to get it. Second, I will need to beef up the display options. Using the title is not what I wanted. I would like to have a hover give a proper note, or a click with a lightbox effect. I will get to those later.

So, the first release of this plugin will be soon. I have it working within the media library, but when you are adding an image, the admin panel uses a pop-up with a different form. I just need to get it working either way.

Lameda Plugin

Here is another plugin, Lameda, that uses the exif data that comes from the images as uploaded into WordPress. Lets take a picture:

Tulip in the Rain

Here is the exif data when you put this tag in your post: [lameda_exif id=556]


The thing with this, is you still have to go into the post html and find out what the wordpress id of the image is. Still a bit of a pain. I like that it is pulling this from wordpress. Looks like wordpress stores this in the post_metadata table in an entry about the image. Not all data is saved, just some of the more basic ones like those shown. We just need a more automated, and visually appealing way to show it.

Exzo WordPress Plugin

Exzo is the Exif and Zoom Image plugin for wordpress. I thought I would try it out. It is supposed to display some exif info around your pictures. Not sure it will work for me. I already post my photos on flickr, and just link to them here, but it seems like an interresting idea. One issue is that there is no way to pop in the image using the library tool. You need to goto the library and find out the image name, then in the HTML tab of the blog editor, you can add a statement like this:

[exzo url="" title=""]dsc_0021[/exzo]

That will get you this image on my site:


Most of the styling and which exif data that shows up is all customizeable. But I have a couple of issues. First, there seems to be an issue in the plugin where is doesn’t reference the zoom.css file. I had to modify exzo.php to point to it correctly. Second, the included lightbox effect isn’t so hot. The biggest issue is that the image pops up full size. Other versions I have seen try to scale the image for the viewport.

It does look like you could opt to just show the exif data though, like this :


Exzo plugin example

What would be really neat is if instead of the formatting of the picture, and the need to use this tag, is if via javascript, it could just attach itself to the image and display on a hover, or a click or something. Hmmm… that would be interesting…

Scott Kelby Stirs the Pot

I suppose that when you are somewhat famous, everything you say has a chance to get spun out of control. It is like this for Scott Kelby. The last couple of days he has posted about a photo shoot that he did, and the post processing he did with some of the images. Part 1. Part 2. There is just so much to comment on this post…

First, having someone document a shoot is pretty cool, I think. The fact that this one wasn’t going well just makes it even better. Shows that we all have to keep our heads on straight, and can still pull something out of the ashes.

Second, Scott shows us an effect plugin which he decides not to recommend. This is great. I like to see what people are using and how it is used. I don’t buy plugins (yet). They just seem soooooo expensive, and that is part of the reason that Scott does not recommend it.

Third, the comments are crazy entertaining. The plugin, by Lucis Art is what is driving all the comments. It is a mostly one trick pony that creates a rather striking effect. Scott posted about a older version of this a while back, and how to create it without a plugin. The comments concentrate on two things. One, they don’t like the Dave Hill look (I think he has some great photo’s), and those that think that the effect is overused. First, Dave doesn’t use the plugin. He invented this “look”. He certainly has the right to do to his photo’s what he likes. Why wouldn’t anyone else? I am amazed at the self richousness of photographers. Raw vs jpeg, crop vs no crop, in camera light balance vs post, “natural” vs post. The list is endless. I wish people would just take pictures. If you don’t enjoy someones work, just move on. I haven’t seen others using this effect, but then I don’t actively look for them. I did notice a couple of flickr groups, but I hadn’t seen them before today. I have yet to see in in print. Hardly overused. But who cares anyway.

One interresting thing is that a commenter talked about a plugin I had not heard of before from Topaz Labs . They have a plugin that comes close to this for a lot less money. I don’t know how close, because I haven’t tried it yet, but it does have a free trial. They also have other plugins for noise, sharpening, and others. I would love to know how good the noise one is. I could use a good noise filter.

Found new File Download Manager

I found a new plugin that I will use when I move to WordPress 2.7, which should be soon. It is called Drain Hole. This is a pretty spiffy plugin. It allows you to create different “holes” or folders to contain downloads. These folders can have different permissions assigned to them. The individual files can be versioned, although the file name appears to need to be the same. You can then use tags on your page to reference the files. One of the really interesting things is that it makes use of templates for those tags. So you can create a template to display a file, or list of files. You use a different set of tags in these templates that reside inside your own theme folder. I like this idea. I am already trying to think of ways to use it ouside of this plugin.

While playing with this plugin I discovered a bug. I couldn’t update/save the attributes for a file. I was trying to assign a custom icon, and the display name, but nothing would stick. Hunting this down I found out why php debugging, especially ajax calls really sucks. Anyway, I finally discovered what the issue was; a variable that was not initialized. It must be the particular combination of WordPress (2.7), PHP(4.5), and MySql(5.0) that I was playing with, because I can’t belive that this doesn’t work for everyone that uses this plugin.

Turns out that the developer has a tracker, so I created a bug with my solution. I am going to be moving to this from the Download Manager plugin I was using.

Integrating with WordPress

I probably should be working on the 2.7 upgrade, but instead I started looking at photo gallery options other than Gallery2. It is just too slow. There is too much of it I don’t use as well. I think I have settled on zenphoto. It seems to work pretty well, with out the feature creep that Gallery2 has. I figured I would convert the annieandchris.net site to that.

It got me thinking though about how I might integrate it with WordPress. After seeing the tantan Flickr plugin, and how well it works, I figured that there must be a plugin for zenphoto. Well, no. Not really. There are a couple that will let you show pictures in the sidebar. And Trung’s presszen looked promising, but it didn’t seem to work. I started taking a look at the code for the tantan Flicker plugin, and saw how he was able to take control of a URI to insert his own code in with the current wordpress theme. I stripped out the relevant stuff, and got it to work. This is the code.

function parse_query(&$query) {
	$query->is_404 = false;
	$query->did_permalink = false;
function request($query_vars) {
    $query_vars['error'] = false;
    return $query_vars;

function cww_template() {
	echo '

Zen Integration

'; get_footer(); exit; } define("CWW_ZEN_BASEURL", "/blog/test"); if (strpos($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'], CWW_ZEN_BASEURL) === 0) { status_header(200); remove_action('template_redirect', 'redirect_canonical'); add_filter('request', 'request'); add_action('parse_query', 'parse_query'); add_action('parse_request', 'parse_query'); add_action('template_redirect', 'cww_template'); } elseif (strpos($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'].'/', CWW_ZEN_BASEURL) === 0) { header('location: http://'.$_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'].$_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'].'/'); exit; } ?>

I think that I may take a go at pulling in the zenphoto albums in a plugin, and see how it goes. I like how you create plugins in WordPress, and it is kind of fun poking around. It was frustrating for the longest time when I was trying to get it going, and I was getting the body of the blog showing up at the bottom. I finally realized that I needed to ‘exit’ the script to prevent the loop from happening. You would think you could override a WordPress function to prevent that instead.