Nikon/Post Processing

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So, you want to Photoshop your images? Is that after you Xerox some stuff on your HP copier and get a box of Kleenex that says Puffs on the side before using your Samsung iPhone? I'd make a reference to Googling things, but when you actually do have 90%+ of the marketshare... Photoshop is a generic term that really doesn't need you to spend $70 for a basic version or $700 for a full-blown version of software. Or to get some sort of a cloud subscription service so you can spend money every month. For most users, there are alternatives.


There are plenty of online free options. I've found the Google+ image editor to actually be pretty powerful for most of the stuff I want to do. There isn't a great set of utilities for touching up photos (no clone or smudge tool), but that's not what I need. I want crops, rotations, unsharp masks, color tone adjustments, and the occasional filter, everything else is really just a mistake made at the time of shooting IMO. For those with a Chromebook, Pixlr is a decent editor as well. For the majority of my images the Google+ tools are just fine for me. But when I really want to work with post processing, the online stuff can be a little...gimpy.

The Gimp[edit]

This granddaddy of all open source editors and still the go-to editor for anyone running Linux or too cheap to buy a Photoshop license (and too ethical to steal a copy). Gimp does pretty much everything you'd want in a real photo editor with all of the proper tools and layers. Installing it is nice and easy, but if you shoot RAW you'll probably want UFRAW as well.

# Ubuntu Precise's ufraw package doesn't include support for the Df yet, this one isn't fully supported either but at least it's recent.
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:crass/ufraw
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ufraw gimp gimp-ufraw 

That's it, you can now open your happy little NEF files in Gimp. If you aren't getting thumbnails, you'll want to edit /usr/share/thumbnailers/ufraw.thumbnailer and add the following content:

[Thumbnailer Entry]
Exec=/usr/bin/ufraw-batch --embedded-image --out-type=png --size=%s %u --overwrite --silent --output=%o

It's also worth noting that NEF files will open up in Shotwell instead of Eye of GNOME like most images. This isn't a bad thing, you can install the libopenraw1 package and it will enable EoG to open the images but you'll only get the low res embedded JPG thumbnail. However, a quick and non-scientific study shows that UFRAW opens the images slightly faster (run "time ufraw filename.NEF" and close it immediately after it loads, then run "time shotwell filename.NEF" and close it). Shotwell has the benefit of having a "next/previous" set of buttons, but UFRAW has the benefit of showing the histogram, applying in-camera settings, and having easy access to GIMP with a button in the lower right. If you want to change the handler, just right click a NEF file, select Properties, and Open With. Flipping back and forth isn't hard depending on your preferences.

Other Tools[edit]

One of the more useful tools is the command line "exiftool" package. It will show you everything you need to know about the EXIF data and seems to already support the Df.

Creating an Animated GIF[edit]

Love the Google+ AutoAwesome but it didn't grab or process your series properly? No worries, you can do this manually. First, you'll need to edit the images, unless you took them on a tripod which would be a good plan. To edit, you'll need to make the images line up as much as possible. Pick some fixed objects and straighten each image in the sequence - using the horizon may work here, or just pick a point on two objects that are about equal heights.

Next, you'll want to crop. Again, pick two fixed objects that appear in every picture. Here's the tricky part, you'll want to crop the object out or create a bit of a buffer around the object. Objects along the edge of a picture can be distracting. Assuming you're saving as JPG, you can save them to a directory and flip through them using Eye of GNOME (eog) to make sure they're close enough to what you want.

Now, you'll need the imagemagick package:

sudo apt-get install imagemagick

This is an incredibly useful set of tools for any Linux image editor. Assuming you're in a directory where you've got all of the images you want to stitch together, run this:

for file in *.jpg; do convert "$file" -resize 1500x "$file"; done

This will resize the files to 1500 pixels across - it should be more than enough for most people but feel free to change this value to something better suited to your application. One step left:

convert -delay 20 -loop 0 *.jpg output.gif

This will stack all of the images together, loop them, and write output.gif. Feel free to play with the delay setting to change the speed.