I need some image programming advice

I am trying to build a high resolution image that consist of vertical lines from other images.

To be exact: I want to build an image that is 3888×2592 pixels. I want to build it using 3888 vertical lines that are 2592 pixels high. I have a folder with 3888 high resolution images and the new image should be build by extracting vertical line number one from the first picture, vertical line number two from the second picture, vertical line number three from the third picture and so on.

Here is a very simple illustration:
Click illustration to enlarge.

It would be possible to do this manually in photoshop. Open one image, cut the first column of pixels, paste in a new image and repeat 3888 times… But this is something that would be much easier by automation. Pseudo code:

– Create new image, 3888×2592

For n = 1 to 3888
– Open image number n
– Copy column number n (1×2592 pixels)
– Paste at column number n in new image
Next n

…the problem is that I have no idea what tool to use. Could this be programmed using automator and apple script? Using automation in photoshop? Or do I need to learn xcode and do it the hard way?

Preferably a solution that could be done on a Mac.

Any advice is appreciated!

I need some image programming advice

DxO and their completely ridiculous licensing

I’m using Previously I used DxO Optics pro to adjust and correct some of my images. But because of their stupid licensing system I’ve been forced to use other solutions lately.

And my conclusion is that you probably don’t need DxO.

The licensing

I’m using several professional software packages. Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, iStopMotion Pro. Elgato Turbo HD, Apple Keynote etc. Pretty expensive and professional software.

I’m working on several different computers. But my main workstations are:
1. My MacBook Pro (on the road)
2. My 24″ iMac (at home)
3. My MacMini (for time consuming batch jobs)

I would guess that laptop + desktop machine is pretty usual. But because I’m working on huge amounts of large files I also use my MacMini from time to time. Simply because that’s the computer that is running 24/7.

And all my professional software is installed on all these computers. I use the same license key on all of them because I never use the computers at the same time.

But this won’t work for DxO. When you buy their 299 Euro Elite license you’re only allowed to install the software on two computers.

I’ve run into trouble several times because of this.

Here is one scenario: installed on iMac and MacBook pro. Then my MacBook pro died. I get a new machine and get a message that I’m not allowed to install on an extra computer. My two installs are already used.

The result is that I have to send an email to DxO and wait for an answer and then after explaining the problem I’m granted access to another install.

Currently I’m running DxO on my laptop and my iMac. A couple of days ago I returned from a holliday and wanted to start a huge batch job of DxO processing on my MacMini. When I tried to install it I got the usual message: not allowed.

I email DxO and explain the problem. I’ve paid for the license. I don’t want to run it on several computers at the same time, but I want to be able to run it on the computer in my house that is running 24/7 so it can do the processing while I’m sleeping. Yes, I could set my iMac to run all night, but that wouldn’t be very environmentally friendly, and it is the MacMini that is placed in our home in a way where it can run all night without disturbing us with noise etc.

In total I had to wait for more than a week for this answer from DxO.:

“Hello Eirik,
Thank you. The license agreement limits installation and activation to two systems at the same time. If you do need a third activation, that will require the purchase of an additional license.

DxO Support Team
DxO Labs”

Well, I don’t have to buy several licenses of Lightroom, Photoshop, Keynote, iStopMotion and all the other packages I use just because I want to install them on the three computers I use.

Fortunately the latest version of Lightroom have included lens correction. And my quick tests show that for me, I really don’t need DxO anymore. This is not a scientific test and I really, really hope that the DxO correction is way better than the Lightroom correction. Or, at least 299 Euro worth of pure quality… But for me, the benefits of using Lightroom exceeds the extra hassle and probably slightly better quality of DxO:

– Lightroom doesn’t have that stupid licensing system
– Lightroom is much faster
– Keeping all my work inside of Lightroom gives a much simpler workflow
– For me, the quality is good enough

Here is my quick test. Using a fisheye image shot with my Canon 5D Mark II and my Canon 15mm f2.8 fisheye:

Original image:

Defished with Lightroom:

Defished with DxO:

Comparison from a corner of the image. No defish but all lens corrections (click the image for full size):

DxO and their completely ridiculous licensing

Of course I won’t sue Mitch Joel! :-)

Off course I won't sue Mitch Joel!  :-)

Actually, I am honored by the fact that Mitch Joel used my image of Avinash Kaushik in his presentation at Gulltaggen in Oslo today.

I use a lot of CC-images myself and I find it very hard to know exactly how to credit people. In the image? At the end of the presentation?

For this image I had burned in a tiny piece of credit at the bottom. And I feel that I don’t ask for much when I share my images with an attribution-share alike license. I even allow for commercial use. The only thing I ask for in return is some kind of credit. And with the burn-in I kind of suggest how I want that credit for this image…

Not a big deal, but Mitch Joel is an extremely smart guy that just did a very good presentation that I really enjoyed.

And if I wanted to discuss CC and how to credit people I found this to be a good oportunity to do so with a clever person… Personally I find credits inside the presentation distracting. Still, I want to give the artists the honor they deserve. How should we solve this?

And who knows, maybe there was some credits in there somewhere?

As I’ve tried to emphasize in the title and the beginning of this article: I’m completely fine with the fact that Mitch has used my image. And he informs me in the comments here that he has an ending slide with credits. That’s fine. And it’s a solution that I often use myself. I just wanted to start a discussion because I’m not completely sure how to solve this myself when I am presenting. What kind of credit do you expect us to put in?

(Yes, I know. I have been close to suing people for stuff like this before. But that was not a CC image. And it was a completely different use…)

Of course I won’t sue Mitch Joel! :-)

Test images from my current cameras

My available cameras today (shot with my 5D2, so it's not in the image)

As part of some experiments I’m running I snapped more or less the same image with all the cameras available to me today. The devices you see in the image above in addition to my 5D Mark II (that I used to snap that image…). Simply because I wanted to be able to compare some details.

And my conclusion? Once you go full frame you never go back. If I’m shooting anything even remotely serious I’ll bring my 5D2. Now if someone could give me a full frame digital compact with the size and weight of my old analog (and indeed full frame) Olympus XA

By clicking on the image you get through to flickr where you can have a look at the original full size image.

Canon 5D Mark II
Test - Canon 5D MkII

Canon SX200 IS
Test - Canon SX200 IS

Nokia N95
Test - Nokia N95

Canon 400D
Test - Canon 400D

Canon Powershot S50
Test - Canon Powershot S50

Apple iPhone 3G
Test - iPhone

Test images from my current cameras

DXO Optics Pro Rocks!

I have written about how to correct Fisheye images in this blog before. Now the team behind DXO Optics Pro have built support for the combination of Canon 5D MarkII and my Canon 15 mm f2.8 Fisheye.

And look no further. The best fisheye correction you can get is here. DXO analyze the different lenses in detail. On the specified camera. So you need to check if they have a module for your lens / camera combination. But if they have, DXO does the best corrections possible.

My original image

Original Fisheye Image

Corrected with DXO Optics pro

DXO Optics Defish

Corrected with DXO Optics Pro with new aspect

DXO Optics Defish Wide

All sorts of corrections

I’ve just scratched the surface of this program. It does all kinds of advanced corrections. Here is my old test image from the 50mm f1.4.

Original 100% crop at f1.4


Any chance that DXO can do something with this total mess of optic errors?

100% crop at f1.4 corrected with DXO


Pretty impressive! But before you run out buying crappy lenses thinking that you can save everything in DXO, have a look at the same image snapped at f5.6:


Proper optics out there in the field is the best way to go. But so far I’m impressed with DXO. It’s worth the fisheye correction on my 15mm alone!

DXO Optics Pro Rocks!

Aperture and the huge difference

First of all: The Digital Picture.com has an excellent page where you can compare the sharpness of different lenses and different apertures.

But recently I did some quick tests with my 50 mm f1.4 myself. It’s a decent lens and regarded excellent for the price range. And it’s pretty fast, featuring an aperture of 1.4. But lenses loose sharpness and contrast at low apertures, and I wanted to know exactly how much. In this lens the difference is huge. Here are two 100% crops:

50 mm @ f5.6


50 mm @ f1.4


Yes. That’s the same lens, the same camera and the same conditions. Only a different aperture value. But will you see the difference if you snap an image at full resolution and reduce the size down to what you’ll need on a web page? Let’s have a look. 21 megapixels from my Canon 5D MarkII reduced down to an image that is 500 pixels wide.

50 mm @ f5.6


50 mm @ f1.4


And I guess you’ll need a slightly trained eye to see the difference clearly. First of all you see the vignetting: darker corners. Then you see that the DOF is more shallow and that the cars at the bottom of the image in the f1.4-version is not completely focused. This is how it should be. A shallow depth of field is one of the beauties of a low aperture value.

But if you look closely you’ll see that the overall sharpness and sense of depth in general in the f5.6-image is better. Even when the image is reduced down to this size.

So, if you want the ultimate in technical quality you should plan your aperture. And buy very nice lenses…

Aperture and the huge difference