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Atomic Publishing a Static Website

Yes, yes - Static Site Generators are all the rage these days. It seems like there’s (multiple!) options for every language out there (including homegrown options from back in the day).

There’s a bunch of benefits to using them and once you get past thinking you need a “dynamic” site they make perfect sense. I use Metalsmith (NodeJS) for this site and I used Pelican (Python) for, and I just got my feet wet with Hugo (Go) for the new digiKam website.

Whichever system you use, the build system normally ends with your website built into a directory. To publish the site you need only transfer that directory of files to your web server. In my case I use rsync to only transfer files (or parts of files) that have changed.

Care should be taken with how the site is updated on the server, though.


The Wonderful Art of Pascal Campion

I’ve always had a sensitivity to light. I don’t mean in a Mogwai sort of way, but rather I’ve always felt aware of the feeling and mood that light plays around me.

Gremlins was for kids?!

I think this manifests in my photography when I favor single strong light sources for my subjects. Particularly Rembrandt and side lighting. This also manifests in my seething hatred for overhead fluorescent lighting and a general dislike for direct mid-day sunlight…

This is one of the reasons I am absolutely in love with the art of Pascal Campion. Allow me to (ahem) illustrate why…


Support GIMP at LGM 2017

The Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) is the annual meeting for creatives from across the Free/Libre project spectrum. I’ve written about the previous meetings I was able to attend in Leipzig (2014) as well as London (2016). It’s an amazing opportunity to meet with other Free/Libre Software users and projects.

I won’t be able to make it out to this year’s LGM (I seem to be on a sort of biennial schedule), but most of the GIMP team will be there! So I have a favor to ask…


Bus Factor

The Bus Factor for a project is usually defined as the minimum number of team members that would have to disappear (get hit by a bus) for a project to stall due to lack of knowledgeable people. A low Bus Factor means that the loss of just a small number of people can stall out a project, while a high factor means there is some resiliency in the project.

This was how PIXLS.US was very early on with only myself writing for the site (Bus Factor of 1). As soon as possible I tried to find others to help and also made sure the code was available on a public repository (along with being licensed liberally using Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0).

In the case of PIXLS.US for example, we aren’t doing too bad…


Your Privacy

When we built the new website for we moved from a homegrown build system to using Pelican, a Python based Static Site Generator. That migration deserves its own post over on the GIMP website to talk about the process and the specific things we did to support the new site design, but we did use the migration as an opportunity to step up the security of the site substantially. (This was mostly due to the efforts and prodding of Michael Schumacher.)

Security matters to me as well, so when I migrated this to a new site I also implemented many of the same ideas. I’m not quite Content Security Policy (CSP) ready like the GIMP website is, but it’s in my plans!



Jehan Pagès recently published his interview with GIMP maintainer, mitch. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a fun interview with a very colorful person. I highly recommend checking it out!

Mitch at LGM
Mitch at LGM/London last year.

Some of the responses in various places online were pretty normal for GIMP news (eg: full of vitriol), but there was one comment that questioned the inclusiveness of the project that I took exception with personally.


Rebuilding as a Static Site

It’s About Time

For almost a decade I had been using blogger to host my personal website. That just didn’t seem to make sense any more, and I wanted an opportunity to fiddle with things a bit. I thought it might be fun to put some constraints on designing a new site for myself while migrating to something better.

I’m leaving these images of P!nk that I used during my initial design and styling because I like them. If I have to keep looking at temp images while fixing CSS rules, they might as well be ones I enjoy looking at. (And I enjoy looking at them because they remind me of my wife - not the other way around…)

Pink for PETA
Large image (should be bigger than column). This caption will continue, though, to test the formatting of the style for this figcaption element and make sure it wraps as expected…
P!nk by Ruven Afanador.
Pink by Bryan Adams
This is a caption for an image that should be smaller than the total column width (on a dektop at least). I’m going to make this caption longer so it will wrap hopefully…
P!nk by Bryan Adams (Yes, that Bryan Adams).

Average Book Covers and a New (official) GIMP Website (maybe)

A little while back I had a big streak of averaging anything I could get my hands on. I am still working on a couple of larger averaging projects (here’s a small sneak peek - guess the movie?):

I’m trying out visualizing a movie by mean averaging all of the cuts. Turns out movies have way more than I thought - so it might be a while until I finish this one… :)

On the other hand, here’s something neat that is recently finished…


What's New, Some New Tutorials, and PIXLS!

What’s been going on?! A bunch!

In case you’ve not noticed around here, I’ve been transitioning tutorials and photography related stuff over to PIXLS.US.

I built that site from scratch, so it’s taken a bit of my time… I’ve also been slowly porting some of my older tutorials that I thought would still be useful over there. I’ve also been convincing all sorts of awesome folks from the community to help out by writing/recording tutorials for everyone, and we’ve already got quite a few nice ones over there:

So just a gentle reminder that the tutorials have all mostly moved to PIXLS.US. Head over there for the newest versions and brand-new material, like the latest post from the creator of PhotoFlow, Andrea Ferrero on Panorama Exposure Blending with Hugin and PhotoFlow!

Also, don’t forget to come by the forums and join the community at:

That’s not to say I’ve abandoned this blog, just that I’ve been busy trying to kickstart a community over there! I’m also accepting submissions and/or ideas for new articles. Feel free to email me!

Filed under: photography, tutorial, F/OSS, PIXLS.US

PIXLS.US Now Live!

I checked the first post I had made on PIXLS.US while I was building it, and it appears it was around the end of August, 2014. I had probably been working on it for at least a few weeks before that. Basically, it’s almost been about 10 months since I started this crazy idea.

Finally, we are “officially” launched and live. Phew!


I don’t normally ask for things from folks who read what I write here. I’m going to make an exception this time. I spent a lot of time building the infrastructure for what I hope will be an awesome community for free-software photographers.

So naturally, I want to see it succeed. If you have a moment and don’t mind, please consider sharing news of the launch! The more people that know about it, the better for everyone! We can’t build a community if folks don’t know it’s there! :) (Of course, come by and join us yourselves as well!).

I’ll be porting more of my old tutorials over as well as writing new material there (and hopefully getting other talented folks to write as well).

Thank You!

Also, I want to take a moment to recognize and thank all of you who either donated or clicked on an ad. Those funds are what helped me pay for the server space to host the site as well as the forums, and will keep ads off the site. I’m basically just rolling any donations back into hosting the site and hopefully finding a way to pay folks for writing in the future. Thank you all!

Filed under: photography, F/OSS, PIXLS.US

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