Tools I use to make these digital photo web pages

Warning: Some of the links below may eventually lead to objectionable material.
I apologize, but it's the nature of the web and maybe of cameras --
you'll have to use your own judgement as you browse the web.
  • Camera:

  • Other hardware:

  • Software, in order of usefulness/usedness:
    • The fastest, most helpful picture viewer I know is ACDSee.
    • For most of my web pages I use thumbnailer, using two different "profiles" to create web-sized photos and to create the thumnails and HTML -- so, I hardly do anything, just point thumbnailer at a directory of pictures, twice, and... instant web page.
    • See my techniques below.
    • Sometimes, after using thumbnailer to create web sized images, I've used Albumatic which makes framed pages. I usually alter them afterward. And it's helpful if you at least add some scripting to the main page Albumatic makes to "unframe" your page if someone reaches it via an already-framed page.
    • I sometimes take panoramic sequences (multiple shots, attempting to hold the camera settings the same) and the use nifty freeware called PixmakerLite from Pixaround. It can make .EXE standalone and java applet based web panoramas and does a good job of alignment and such. A few quirks. Another Panoramic program is made by a fellow Linear recumbent bike rider, Joh Strait. His software is called Panorama Factory -- check it out too!
    • I rarely edit my photos, even to crop them, but when I do, I use PhotoImpact
    • For a few of my pages, I have used Frontpage to fancy up the HTML, but usually I use Notepad to create or edit.
    • I use Foxpro a database language, to do what thumbnailer can't sometimes. I really want to write a Foxpro program that will make dynamic, framed pages and will incorporate comments which are either embedded in the JPEG file or are in ACDSee's "descript.ion" file.
    • The server is running on MS Windows 2000 and IIS.
    • For some early pages I used a thumbnail and HTML tool called thumber. The author of thumber has also written some handy utilities for reading info about your pictures, etc. -- most digital cameras store quite a bit of data about the pictures -- exposure, settings, zoom, flash, date and time, etc. inside the image files.

  • Internet resources for digital cameras:
    • The usenet newsgroup This link only works if you're at an IU machine, so if not, you'll have to find your own news server and find the newsgroup there. Sorry!
    • Several camera review and comparison sites:, Imaging Resource,
    • A user's site about the C2000z. And another.
    • There's a user-based mailing list for Oly camera owners (not just digital).
    • Here's a very handy page with links to very specific ideas and instructions for the C2000.

  • Olympus C2000z and C3040 Camera techniques:
    • I almost always shoot with the LCD on, the focus set to infinity, I manually set the white balance, choosing the setting that seems to be getting the best read of lighting and color.
    • I often set the camera to "program" mode and use a halfway-press on the shutter to find out what settings the camera thinks it will use on a scene, then I change to shutter priority and shoot at a slightly faster shutter speed than automatic mode would have chosen.
    • I often use a shutter half-press while pointing at pavement or grass on bright days to get a good shutter/aperture setting, then aim the camera and finish the shutter press for my shot -- grass and pavement are said to have a similar grey content to a grey card.
    • I often use a shutter half-press to force the aperture or shutter speed to a setting that looks like it will give a good exposure, then aim and shoot my real subject. (Keep in mind, as I said above, I almost always use the infinity focus.)
    • Infinity focus eliminates the delay caused by the camera trying to autofocus on your subject, which can cause you to lose many "precious moment" shots, especially of kids or animals.
    • The quiet "shutter" of the camera often makes it possible to shoot several portraits or people shots when your subjects don't realize you're shooting more than one. You can get more candid expressions that way without really having a good "photographer's banter" or schtick.

  • Camera, hardware, and software frustrations:
    • The C2000z camera doesn't store settings when turned off, and even flips to autofocus when the LCD monitor is turned off. The C3040 lets you store your preferred settings, and it's easy enough to do that that I sometimes change my defaults several times in a day so that I can turn the camera on and off but come back shooting the same way for the conditions I'm in.
    • Various versions of the Flashpath floppy adaptor and Norton Antivirus combine to cause a system reboot if you move files (as opposed to copying them) from the Smartmedia to a hard drive.
    • The Lexar Universal Parallel port reader doesn't correctly treat the smartmedia cards as "removable media" under Windows NT -- you have to go to the "drive properties", and run a checkdisk to force Windows NT to notice that there's a different card in the reader. Worst thing was once I accidentally hit CTRL-Z while looking at a freshly inserted memory card, and NT began "undoing" the transfer I had made from the previous memory card, which corrupted the file structure on the current card and lost me about 8 shots. There is still no driver for Windows 2000.
    • The camera doesn't do a very good job of auto (or even manual) white balance, so under many lighting conditions you get blue or yellow or green tinged shots. This year's 3.3 megapixel cameras seem to do a better job of this.
    • On the C2000, the menu choices are made using a four-way rocker switch with which it is far too easy to navigate diagonally. Starting with the 2020, Olympus made the up, down, right, and left buttons separate. Get the 2020 or later if possible.
    • Silly Olympus. The lens extends when you turn the camera on. If you don't take the lens cap off before turning the camera on, it will push the cap off, or damage the delicate gears of the lens. Also, they make a lens extension tube (on which you can mount filters and such), but it's 1.5mm too short to accomodate the lens when zoomed out -- hit your filter with the lens barrel and you'll almost certainly strip the gears. So, I recommend you get the extender, plus a 43 to 55mm adaptor, and that adds enough length to be able to zoom all the way out without hitting the lens. It also makes the camera look a little more "serious", and protects the original lens from damage. Only problem is, the wider barrel creates a shadow when you use the flash at certain focal lengths.
    • In bright light, you can get purple halos at edges of subjects.

  • Software techniques:
    • Here's how I use thumbnailer, and two of profile files I use a lot -- they only work if you have registered thumbnailer.
      1. First, I create a directory for the new web pictures in my web hosting directory. Let's say it's C:\webroot\trikes.
      2. Next, I copy the original digital pictures into a subdirectory of that directory, called "originals". So now the pictures are in C:\webroot\trikes\originals.
      3. Now, I run thumbnailer against that directory, using a profile called "600x600". Here's a screen shot of the first panel of this profile. This profile takes JPG or TIF files in the "originals" directory, resizes and resamples them down to whatever will fit proportionally within 600x600 pixels, and outputs the resized pictures into the main directory (in this example, C:\webroot\trikes ) as JPGs.
      4. Next, I run thumbnailer again, using a profile called "thumbnails and html". Here's a screen shot of the first panel of this profile. This profile takes the smaller JPG files made in the first run, and creates thumbnails with beveled edges, which it puts into a directory called "thumbs", which it creates off the main directory (so, C:\webroot\trikes\thumbs ) as JPGs. It then creates a main index.html page, and thumbs1.html, thumbs2.html etc., and finally an html page for each image, which are linked to and from each other. For some reason, it uses the same thumbnail (the first one) as the linked image on the index page.
      5. Finally, I edit the index.html file using Notepad, and I add a title, maybe some text, and I pick a good thumbnail from each thumbs page to link to.
      6. Beyond finally... sometimes I run a Foxpro program I wrote which edits each of the individual .html files and adds a link to the original large picture in the "originals" directory. If I were short on disk space, I would instead just delete the originals directory (note -- these are always just a COPY of the originals which I store somewhere else, like on a CD-ROM!)
      7. Get thee to a webbery! In my case, I am running the web server locally, so at this point the files are already on the web. If you host your web pages somewhere other than your own PC, you will need to transfer this whole directory structure to your web host, and perhaps create links to it or announce it somewhere.
  • Here's a nice list of points/techniques from someone else.
  • Here are some tips on web pages, digital photography and video, and a few other miscellaneous topics by physics professor Rick Matthews.

  • Interesting technique for using a digital camera to copy slides very inexpensively from Henry Thorsen
  • Printing
    • I don't usually print digital photos, but in case you do, check out this person's recent comparison of the various print services, as well as lots of nice shots from the new Olympus E10 cameras.

last updated October 17, 2001
Actually, it turns out you can go home again.
Or, go to my Digital Pictures pages.
Comments, communications, congress: Kevin Atkins