Episode 137: A Trip to Hamburg

Download the Video! (50.9 MB, 26;46)

This time I have made an experiment. You can look over my shoulder while I select the images to keep from a trip to Hamburg. I use F-Spot for this task.

I am not sure if this was a successful approach because I didn’t talk that much while selecting the images. Can you find out what I was looking for? What are your criteria? I found out again that shooting without a goal is fun, but has not that much good results. ;-)

I mention two podcasts worth to follow. Jeff Curto’s “The History of Photography” and The World’s “Technology Podcast“.  And then there is the Haus der Photographie in the Deichtorhallen, which has good exhibitions and a good bookstore. The map in the begin was provided by the Open Street Map Project.


00:20 A trip to Hamburg – Podcast Promo Jeff Curto
02:30 Where I wanted to shoot
03:50 Using F-Spot for grading images
04:30 Setting the date range
04:40 Going through the images
18:30 What were my criteria?
19:40 Discarding a lot
21:00 Second walk through the images
21:15 Fullscreen mode in F-Spot
21:45 Selecting images for more doing work on them
23:00 How to shoot good images – not like me.
24:15 Podcast Promo for the “World Technology Podcast”
25:00 Train ride home

Creative Commons License
Meet the GIMP Video Podcast by Rolf Steinort and Philippe Demartin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://meetthegimp.org.

25 thoughts on “Episode 137: A Trip to Hamburg

  1. No torrent and no feed at the moment. My ISP is resetting my ADSL line s frequently that I don’t get a stable SSH connection to the server. I’ll try later again.

  2. Despite your doubts I loved this show very much. Excellent idea to add the original soundtrack to the images. They conveyed a very intense impression of the typical atmosphere of this both ugly and lovely, anachronistic and avant-gardistic city of Hamburg. In future I will also use F-Spot (or Digikam?) to organise my images. Seems to be easy and promising. I will also copy your practice of bracketing even for non-HDR images. I’m really looking forward to your editing of the trains’ image. Very nice shot with wonderful light!

  3. The idea with the original sound was very good. I liked that. How did you record it? With my Canon point-and-shoot-camera I do that sometimes too, it has a special functions just for sound and the quality is very good. Unfortunately, my DSLR don’t have a sound-record function, my Fuji point-and-shoot neither.

    In a book I read a tip to use manual metering. In a lot of cases the light doesn’t change, so I set the metering with the first pictures and can keep the values until the light or scenery change. It works for me surprisingly good. Of course it depends on what you want to shoot. But I could spare the bracketing most of the times in that way.

    I like watching you working on or with pictures, so this show was again very good.

    PS: I would have kept a lot of the stuff you throw away.

  4. I recorded the sound with a “Zoom H2″, a nice little gadget with great sound quality. I bought it for such occasions, but have used it up to now only in school. I started it and just sat it on the ground while shooting. But there is more to sound recording – I should have waited with switching off on the bridge – the last train made a real concerto fortissimo with different soli for switches and brakes. :-) But no recording. :-(

    Bracketing was in this case pure laziness in most cases except on the bridge with the fast changing clouds. Shooting in manual mode needs much more focus of the brain. I switched to manual in the train station, setting to f/2.8 1/50sec at 400 ISO with my 28mm 1.8 Sigma lens.

    And thanks for liking the show! :-)

  5. The Zoom H2 looks very interesting, but it is a little bit expensive just for background sound for me. It would be nice to have something small (and cheap of course :-) ), that records all the time and you can choose at the end of the day from a timeline the right part for the image, according to the timestamp in the exif-data. But I guess, this wouldn’t work. With my Canon I have to be very carefull. Every move of the camera is a disturbing noise on the recording :-(

    The advantage of manual metering is, that you always have still the last values on the camera. For example, you see on the histogram, that the last picture was to bright. You can use of course the exposure compensation. But if you move your camera with the next picture a little bit, it could happen, that the automatic of the camera is metering a little bit different and the exposure compensation is wrong. In manual mode it’s always the last values plus the recent changes.

    I was using the automatic or halfautomatic a long time, but it was more complicated for me to get the metering right for the image, if the first shot was not exactly like I wanted it. But there are many ways to shoot pictures.

  6. May I add my vote of approval for the sound — it added a lot!

    As for the fun photo session approach, I guess that’s mostly how *I* shoot (being very amateur!), and I always take a long time staring at each pic to determine whether there is any redeeming value. Sometimes I do come back and see something I didn’t see the first time through. I’ve got a high percentage of garbage on my hard disk. :-) I keep saying that when I start getting serious, I will go back and clean house. But more than likely, I may just end up stuffing the old hard drive in the back of the closet.


  7. Thanks for letting us look over your shoulder – great teaching, and very brave! I found it really helpful to watch you culling your shots so vigorously, and seeing you get rid of 80% of your ‘fishing expedition’. It was a great encouragement for us all to be more sensible – and ruthless! – about what we bother to keep.

    I guess you have a some implicit criteria for your choices about what you keep. And I suppose these have grown over time, so that you now know almost intuitively what’s you’re going to bother spending more time on. However, I noticed I didn’t always agree with your choices about what to keep. (That’s no surprise: different photographers will have different ideas about this.) But I’m pretty certain I’d have learned some useful stuff from hearing the thoughts behind your decisions a little bit more.

    But that’s a minor criticism, far outweighed by the benefits of sitting next to you and watching you work. Many thanks for a very interesting show!

  8. I too enjoyed the show and your comment about shooting with a particular project in mind rather than shooting for fun was certainly exemplified. One of the images triggered a thought, it was one of some sort of lock, I think and I remembered that some time ago you announced a project to prepare a collection of images of different sorts of fastenings. Is this still alive or has it been discarded?

  9. @Norman: No, this was for the project. I am still doing stuff for it, but it has been on the back burner a bit. Like all my photography…. ;-)

    @mac: I’ll talk about my criteria a bit in the next episode. I have selected some images as examples. And of course you would have chosen others, you would have shot other images too.

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  11. Great technique of presenting the soundtrack of the moment where you were taking pictures. This would be great to include in a slideshow with the best pictures and inserting the corresponding soundtrack. Also, to see you working with the pictures you have taken is great. It is a confirmation of some of the techniques and also new ones which can be useful.

    Keep up enjoying so much your work!

  12. Regarding your tiny hints, I assume storage for download and torrents are on different servers. You could use screen to reaccess a dropped session and use w3c or lynx (if you have no X-forwarding) to download the episode from your web-server to your torrent-server instead of uploading it directly – but only if you have full shell access to your torrent-server. This might actually be a lot faster since this transfer wouldn’t be throttled by the upload-speed-limit of your DSL connection.

    Please excuse my humble attempts to express this in english, but if you dont get it, drop me a note and I will try it again in wienerisch ;-).

  13. @Sascha: I used the Nikkor 18-200mm VR DX in aperture priority for all images before the train station. Then I switched to my Sigma 28mm f/1.8 in manual metering mode.

    All of Meetthegimp is on one server, but the torrent stuff is messed up. I got enough time online to post the show, but not to go through the torrent system. For that I need a ssl connection for more than 20 minutes or so. But the technician finally called me and I am waiting for them now.

  14. A great episode Rolf. Having the background soundtrack on while you were sorting through the pictures was excellent as it filled the sound space completely.

    It is a good thing that I waited till I got home to watch this episode as I don’t think my colleagues would have appreciated me talking to the screen:- “Keep the dark one Rolf, it’s got details in the sky”, and as for singing along to the accordion music, the less said the better!

  15. @John: In some ways this thing has more features than the H2, a better user interface and 2 lapel microphones included. The H2 has 4 microphones (a pair at the front and the back) and a nice automatic recording feature, which starts a recording after a certain level of sound is reached.

    @Kevin: The accordion guy looked a bit surprised about the 5€ he got from me. ;-)

    The sky is still in the images, I have them in raw NEF format. Then it is easier to combine images. I think I’ll tackle one of them too in a show.

  16. I like the episode. I live in Hamburg as kid and love the city. Many places Rolf go to I know good. Many people not like the city and it has a bad call. But it is from bad movies and so much tv. I hope to see more photo. Rolf, have you a photo from the seaman statue near the bridge? And in comment episodes before you write to explain the photo pimp winner. I have try to make the effekt but it does not work. My english is not to good to understand the explanation.

  17. Just wanted to say that I really like your show.
    I only got to episode 5 so far, but to me that means I have lots of fun to look forward to.
    And having my f-spot full with about 8000 photos gives me plenty to practice on :)

  18. Thank you for sharing your work. I’m a free software advocate and enthusiast.

    I just wanted to let you know about “qiv” the Quick Image Viewer. http://spiegl.de/qiv/ It is very fast at rendering photos — maybe not as quick as the eye, but the fastest I’ve found. Qiv has keyboard commands for marking files for deletion, zooming etc. allowing you to review a “roll of film” very quickly.

    Warmest regards

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Anything to add from your side of the computer?