Quite often I will participate in “challenges”. Bloggers have themes with periodic challenges for others to participate. It is a nice way to build circles of friends. Monday Window is my way of inviting others to look around their environment and to see “windows”. When I join other challenges, I mostly do so on my blog Two Camera – Two Views.
The various interpretations of these challenges are a marvelous demonstration that there are many ways of seeing our world. It really helps to understand how others think in a friendly, cooperative way. There is not just one way of experiencing our communities, our environment, our world.
Take a look at the many such challenges and join in. You’ll be glad you did. It makes for a much more relaxed day. If you don’t know where to start, here is one place to find a listing of “challenges”: Cee’s Photo Challenges.
My iPhone has become my “goto” camera. It is always handy and does a fine job. As an old-timer in photography, I feel that after the shutter button is pressed the job is only half done. Post-processing is an essential part of bringing out the best in the image. My “lab work” is done on my laptop. This means, of course, importing the photo files and organizing them along with images from my other cameras.
The photo file names assigned by the iPhone look like this: 20230327_165036028_iOS.heic
There is some sense in that pattern, it goes like this: YYYYMMDD_hhmmssxxx_iOS.heic, where YYYY is the year, MM the month, DD the day, hh the hour, mm the minute, ss the second, xxx fraction of the second, iOS tells that it comes from the Apple phone operating system, and heic is the image format file extension.
These file names are a bit too long for me. I prefer this: LKYYMMDD-hhmmss.heic. Mine start with my initials, then just two digits of the year number, then month and day numbers, the time in hours, minutes, and seconds, the rest before the dot is dropped. Of, course the extension is preserved, since that tells editors how to manage the data. Most photo editor programs, or apps, provide a way for renaming files. My way is to rename them before they every get into an editor.
Here is how I do it
Windows still provides a command line processor that can do things they way they were done way back in ancient history. I posted about that in 2010 – see Batch renaming of photo files. Nowadays I do it a bit differently.
I have set up a “batch file” that resides on my desktop. The photo files are imported into a folder. That folder is then dragged and dropped on the batch file icon. That’s all. The job is done.
Occasionally I get “heavy-fingered” and hold down the shutter button a tad too long and get more than one photo. The file name will be the same for date and time to the seconds and only differ in the fractional second part – beyond what I want to retain as the new file name. Nothing bad happens! The second file will just not be renamed. With my pattern the original name started with “20” which sorts before the new names starting with “LK” so the file that was not renamed will be at the top in the folder.
You can see this illustrated in the above screen captures. See the two photos just under the top of the yellow arc that shows the drag-and-drop operation. Sometimes I rename such a file manually, often it is just a duplicate image that can be tossed.
Now the gory details
Windows still offers “command line commands”. If you open the “cmd” command prompt window you can direct Windows with typed commands. Those commands can also be typed as a script in a plain text file. When such a text file is saved with a “bat” extension instead of the normal “txt”, then Windows knows that it contains commands. My renaming script file contains the following:
REM rename iPhone photo files - naming pattern: 20230327_165036028_iOS.heic
ren 20*.* LK??????-??????.*
The first line that starts with REM is a “remark”. It doesn’t do anything. It is just there as an explanation to myself.
The second line stars with “cd”. That is the command to “change directory”. In the “olden days” folders were called directories. The other part, “%1”, is the interesting one. It means “the first parameter in the command call”. Since the script was called by dragging the folder to the desktop shortcut icon, this means “do the commands in the folder that was dragged in”.
The third line starts with “ren”. That means “rename all the specified files in this folder in the following pattern”. The next item specifies the file names that are to be replaced. The “20*.*” says basically, “the files that start with “20” with anything after that up to the dot, and anything after the dot”. The final item specifies the new name. It starts with “LK”, those characters replace the first two characters. The “?” question marks say “keep whatever character is in this position in the original name”. The “*” asterisk says “keep whatever starts in this position, however long it is”.
If this intrigues you and you want to learn more, search the internet for “command line commands” and “Windows batch files”. I will also gladly answer your questions over at Ask Ludwig.
I keep seeing ads from Shutterstock in my Facebook feed. They claim, ” Create one-of-a-kind images in seconds”. The ads annoy me, so I think it’s fair to give them a try. Let’s take a look.
The site says that we can “imagine anything”. Type the text into the search bar and click Generate.
How about a fairly easy task. The claim is that Shutterstock AI generates a few versions to choose from.
Let’s ask for a photo studio, with some specifications to describe what should be there.
“Few” seems to be four. There were four images “generated”.
How did Shutterstock AI do?
I had asked for a photo studio with a neutral backdrop. All for images got that right. Give ’em four points.
I asked for a table with a laptop computer seen from the back.
The first image shows a laptop apparently from the front. The second image shows one from the back. Good. The third image has three computers and the fourth has two. One of the images got the instruction right. Three did not. Score it a one.
I requested an empty chair facing the camera beyond the table. In the first photo there is something overlapping the laptop. The second image shows the chair on the camera side. The third has something that might be a chair but it is not clear where it is. The last image has no chair. Sorry, no points for this.
The image was supposed to contain four studio lights. There are three in each image. Counting to four is not one of AI’s strengths apparently. No points for lights.
My specification had also included instructions for how the lights should be positioned. Two for portrait lighting, one on the backdrop and one facing the camera. Well, when you can’t get the count right, the positioning can’t be accurate either. Let’s not count this requirement.
The total score comes to five out of sixteen – 5 / 16 – or just 0.3 on a scale of four. Clearly nothing to brag about. At the present stage of AI, at least at Shutterstock, it cannot be considered useful. Certainly a long way from taking over.
Vehicle Windows Normally I don’t take photos when driving. That statement leaves a bit of wiggle room and that is when traffic is at a standstill. On my way home one day last week I found myself in such a situation. Traffic just crawled along. I saw some rising smoke ahead, and then a bit […]
Clouds over Atlanta Two years ago I was looking out a window toward the skyline of Atlanta. Interesting windows in many structures. It was evening, 6:48 pm, to be exact. The scene seemed worthy of a photo. I used my iPhone. The photo did not turn out well. It languished in my archive until just […]