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...

JungleBook: Simple Kindle Ebook Cover Analysis

Jason van Gumster just posted this morning about a neat project he'd been toying with that is along similar lines of the Netflix Top 50 Covers by Genre, but takes it to a deeper level. He's written code to average the top 50 ebook covers on Amazon by genre:

Top 50 Kindle Covers by Jason van Gumster

By itself this is really pretty (to me - not sure if anyone else likes these things as much as I do) but Jason takes it further by providing some analysis and commentary on the resulting images in the context of ebook sales and popularity (visually) to people.

I highly recommend you visit Jason's post and read the whole post (it's not too long). It's really neat!

The GIMP Website

I had this note on my to-do list for ages to tinker with the GIMP website. I finally got off my butt and started a couple of weeks ago. I did a quick mockup to get a feel for the overall direction I wanted to head:

I've been hacking at it for a couple of weeks now and I kind of like how it's turning out. I'm still in the process of migrating old site content and making sure that legacy URI's aren't going to change. It may end up being a new site for GIMP. It also may not, so please don't hold your breath... :)

Here's where I am at the moment for a front page:

Yes, that image is a link. The link will lead you to the page as I build it: http://static.gimp.org. See? It's like a prize for people who bother to read to the end! Feel free to hit me up with ideas or if you want to donate any artwork for the new page while I build it. I can't promise that I'll use anything anyone sends me, but if I do I will be sure to properly attribute! (Please consider a permissive license if you decide to send me something).

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:

A Blended Panorama with PhotoFlow

Basic Landscape Exposure Blending with GIMP and G'MIC

An Open Source Portrait (Mairi)

Skin Retouching with Wavelet Decompose

Luminosity Masking in darktable

Digital B&W Conversion (GIMP)

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!

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!

An Update about G'MIC on OpenSource.graphics

David Tschumperlé has a blog over at OpenSource.graphics and it appears that after releasing G'MIC he had some time to write down and share some thoughts about the last 10 months of working on G'MIC.

He covers a lot of ground in this post (as you can imagine for not having reported anything in a long time while working hard on the project). He talks about some neat new functionality and filters added like color curves in others colorspaces, comics colorization, color transfer (from one image to another), website for film emulation (yay!), foreground extraction, engrave, triangulation, and much more.

Interactive Foreground Extraction

Engrave Filter

A short table of contents for the post:

  1. The G’MIC Project : Context and Presentation
  2. New G’MIC features for color processing
  3. An algorithm for foreground/background extraction
  4. Some new artistic filters
  5. A quick view of the other improvements
  6. Perspectives and Conclusions

David may not write as often as I think he should but when he does - he certainly does! :) Head over and check out the latest news on an awesome image processing framework!

Discourse Forum on PIXLS.US

After a bunch of hard work by someone not me (darix), there's finally a neat solution for commenting on PIXLS.US. An awesome side effect is that we get a great forum along with it.


On the advice from the same guy that convinced me to build PIXLS using a static site generator (see above), I ended up looking into, and finally going with, a Discourse forum.

The actual forum location will be at:

What is extra neat about the way this forum works, though, is the embedding. For every post on the pixls.us blog (or an article), the forum will pickup on the post and will automatically create topics on the forum that coincide with the posts. Some small embedding code on the website allows these topic replies to show up at the end of a post similar to comments.

For instance, see the end of this blog post to see the embedding in action!

Come on by!

I personally really like this new forum software, both for the easy embedding, but also the fact that we own the data ourselves and are not having to farm it out through a third party service. I have enabled third party oauth logins if anyone is ok with using them (but are not required to - normal registration with email through us is fine of course).

I like the idea of being able to lower the barrier to participating in a community/forum, and the ability to auth against google or twitter for creating an account significantly lowers that friction I think.

Some Thanks are in Order

It's important to me to point out that being able to host PIXLS.US and now the forum is entirely due to the generosity of folks visiting my blog here. All those cool froods that take a minute to click an ad help offset the server costs, and the ridiculously generous folks that donate money (you know who you are) are amazing.

As such, their generosity means I can afford to bootstrap the site and forums for a little while (without having to dip into the wife goodwill fund...).

What does this mean to the average user? Thanks to the folks that follow ads here or donate, PIXLS.US and the forum is ad-free. Woohoo!

Skin Retouching with Wavelets on PIXLS.US

Anyone who has been reading here for a little bit knows that I tend to spend most of my skin retouching time with wavelet scales. I've written about it originally here, then revisited it as part of an Open Source Portrait tutorial, and even touched upon the theme one more time (sorry about that - I couldn't resist the “touching” pun).

Because I haven’t possibly beat this horse dead enough yet, I have now also compiled all of those thoughts into a new post over on PIXLS.US that is now pretty much done:

PIXLS.US: Skin Retouching with Wavelet Decompose

Of course, we get another view of the always lovely Mairi before & after (from an older tutorial that some may recognize):

As well as the lovely Nikki before & after:

Even if you've read the other material before this might be worth re-visiting.

Don't forget, Ian Hex has an awesome tutorial on using luminosity masks in darktable, as well as the port of my old digital B&W article! These can all be found at the moment on the Articles page of the site.

The Other Blog

Don't forget that I also have a blog I'm starting up over on PIXLS.US that documents what I'm up to as I build the site and news about new articles and posts as they get published! You can follow the blog on the site here:

There's also an RSS feed there if you use a feed reader (RSS).

Write For PIXLS

I am also entertaining ideas from folks who might like to publish a tutorial or article for the site. If you might be interested feel free to contact me with your idea! Spread the love! :)

Film Emulation in RawTherapee

This is old news but I just realized that I hadn't really addressed it before.

The previous work I had done on Film Emulation with G'MIC in GIMP (here and here) are also now available in RawTherapee directly! You'll want to visit this page on the RawTherapee wiki to see how it works, and to download the film emulation collection to use.

This is handy for those that may work purely in RawTherapee or that don't want to jump into GIMP just to do some color toning. It's a pretty big collection of emulations, so hopefully you'll be able to find something that you like. Here's the list of what I think is in the package (there may be more there now):

  • Fuji 160C, 400H, 800Z
  • Fuji Ilford HP5
  • Kodak Portra 160, 400, 800
  • Kodak TMAX 3200
  • Kodak Tri-X 400

  • Fuji Neopan 1600
  • Fuji Superia 100, 400, 800, 1600
  • Fuji Ilford Delta 3200
  • Kodak Portra 160 NC, 160 VC, 400 NC, 400 UC, 400 VC

  • Polaroid PX-70
  • Polaroid PX100UV
  • Polaroid PX-680
  • Polaroid Time Zero (Expired)

  • Fuji FP-100c
  • Fuji FP-3000b
  • Polaroid 665
  • Polaroid 669
  • Polaroid 690

  • Fuji Neopan 1600
  • Fuji Superia 100/400/800/1600
  • Ilford Delta 3200
  • Kodak Portra 160 NC/VC
  • Kodak Portra 400 NC/UC/VC

  • Fuji 160C
  • Fuji 400H
  • Fuji 800Z
  • Ilford HP5
  • Kodak Portra 160/400/800
  • Kodak TMax 3200
  • Kodak Tri-X 400

  • Polaroid PX-70
  • Polaroid PX100UV
  • Polaroid PX-680
  • Polaroid Time Zero (Expired)

  • Fuji FP-100c
  • Fuji FP-3000b
  • Polaroid 665
  • Polaroid 669
  • Polaroid 690

  • Agfa Precisa 100
  • Fuji Astia 100F
  • Fuji FP 100C
  • Fuji Provia 100F
  • Fuji Provia 400F
  • Fuji Provia 400X
  • Fuji Sensia 100
  • Fuji Superia 200 XPRO
  • Fuji Velvia 50
  • Generic Fuji Astia 100
  • Generic Fuji Provia 100
  • Generic Fuji Velvia 100
  • Generic Kodachrome 64
  • Generic Kodak Ektachrome 100 VS
  • Kodak E-100 GX Ektachrome 100
  • Kodak Ektachrome 100 VS
  • Kodak Elite Chrome 200
  • Kodak Elite Chrome 400
  • Kodak Elite ExtraColor 100
  • Kodak Kodachrome 200
  • Kodak Kodachrome 25
  • Kodak Kodachrome 64
  • Lomography X-Pro Slide 200
  • Polaroid 669
  • Polaroid 690
  • Polaroid Polachrome

  • Agfa Ultra Color 100
  • Agfa Vista 200
  • Fuji Superia 200
  • Fuji Superia HG 1600
  • Fuji Superia Reala 100
  • Fuji Superia X-Tra 800
  • Kodak Elite 100 XPRO
  • Kodak Elite Color 200
  • Kodak Elite Color 400
  • Kodak Portra 160 NC
  • Kodak Portra 160 VC
  • Lomography Redscale 100

  • Agfa APX 100
  • Agfa APX 25
  • Fuji Neopan 1600
  • Fuji Neopan Acros 100
  • Ilford Delta 100
  • Ilford Delta 3200
  • Ilford Delta 400
  • Ilford FP4 Plus 125
  • Ilford HP5 Plus 400
  • Ilford HPS 800
  • Ilford Pan F Plus 50
  • Ilford XP2
  • Kodak BW 400 CN
  • Kodak HIE (HS Infra)
  • Kodak T-Max 100
  • Kodak T-Max 3200
  • Kodak T-Max 400
  • Kodak Tri-X 400
  • Polaroid 664
  • Polaroid 667
  • Polaroid 672
  • Rollei IR 400
  • Rollei Ortho 25
  • Rollei Retro 100 Tonal
  • Rollei Retro 80s

Have fun with these, and don't forget to show off your results if you get a chance! It's always neat to see what folks do with these! :)

Help support the site! Or don’t!
I’m not supporting my (growing) family or anything from this website.
There is only one reason I am writing these tutorials and posts:
I love doing it.
Technically there is a second reason: to give back to the community. Others before me were instrumental in helping me learn things when I first got started, and I’m hoping to pay it forward here.

If you want to visit an ad, or make a donation, or even link/share my content, I would be absolutely grateful (and tickled pink). If you don’t it’s not going to affect me writing and posting here one bit.

I’ll keep writing, and I’ll keep it free.
If you get any use out of this site, I only ask that you do one thing:
pay it forward.