Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
Weblog about cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore.
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Thu 20 May 2004

Web galleries in seconds - iView Media Pro

Category : mac and the internet

If you are still labouring over mannual resizing and linking of photos for a gallery, strop right now. You can instead use the free J Album - great stuff! I discovered this multi-platform tool when one of my cycling kakis, Chi, put up an album for an 80km ride we made in Feb 2004. It's what I now recommend new users especially students with no cash to fork out for shareware as yet.

I am hooked to something else. In 1999, John Larkin introduced me to iView Media as a means of making HTML galleries for the web. I paid the US$20 shareware fee in May 2000 and upgraded (US$30) to iView Media Pro 1 in April 2002.

iView has paid for its weight several times over as I threw up gallery after gallery almost effortlessly for various projects. In fact I just started consolidating the galleries to a galleries folder/index page because they were littered all over the server.

Initially, I simply used basic templates out of the box, and later some from the iView webpage. E.g. (Journey to the North, July 2001). Then I tried making my own ugly templates with Claris Homepage 3.0 and discovered iView template commands. In particular, I liked allowing users to click a photo to advance to the next one in an album.

Captions can reflect the time that the photo was taken. An iView command in the template inserts the EXIF data from the photo. Provided you set the date and time on the camera correctly! This Round Island (Singapore) cycling gallery from 2003 reflect these ideas.

Speed is of the essence in event photography - everyone is in in a reflective mood over the event, and are excited to see galleries quickly. I also find it a realistic approach to project management. If I wait a few days, some other crisis will crop up.

So before the Kranji mangrove volunteers got home from the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore last September, the galleries were up on the web. But only minor editing had been conducted on my iBook at the site - spoilt photos were removed, but there were no captions. Probably never will be! Even quicker was to use a bare-bones basic template to create mac meetup in April 2004 or this Seashore Life Workshop. During this workshop, I took photos os the students' ideas about handling the marine trash issue and showed them their gallery of ideas before I left.

When I organised the Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium 2003, I knew I'd be the one creating the galleries. But I wanted a different look as mine tend to look alike! Thankfully, I found Daniel Robillard's "Galerie Aqua" on the iView Media site (can't find it now). I struggled with his template a little, and removed the French language alternatives. I had to do some editing because symposium photographers had only entry-level digital cameras inadequate for the indoor setting. Still, more than 800 photos were tossed up to the web, in record time, of a historic meeting of the local biodiversity community.

One of my friends, Alan Yeo, complimented me - he's a photographer so understood the work involved. I did have help though - a G4 Desktop at work with its large lcd screen.

Version 2.5 of both iVew Media and iVew Media Pro was just released which Windows users too can enjoy. Rather unfortunately, iView Media Pro Version 1 users like myself cannot up upgrade to iView Media 2.5 (i.e. the non- Pro version). Even at the discounted US$72, I hesitated.

But I need its cataloging system for an ever growing archive of photos from field research, events and activities. I had thought of using the free, revamped iPhoto 4 but am uncomfortable about the way it archives my photos - they seem to disappear into layers and layers of folders. So I got the museum to cough up for iView Media Pro 2.5. And now, there's more to learn.

Posted at 7:27AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .