After facing a tricky file conversion and batch processing challenge, our editor set off into the wilds of the web to find a few useful solutions.


After facing a tricky file conversion and batch processing challenge, our editor set off into the wilds of the web to find a few useful solutions.
City pictures
This is one for those among you who love photographing the urban landscape. The endlessly interesting and very useful Smashing Magazine site recently pulled together 35 great online photo galleries devoted to cities. Inspiring stuff that will have you popping an empty card and a fresh set of batteries in the camera for a trip downtown.
That’s Batchin’
If you’ve ever found yourself needing to process a whole heap of photos in A particular way (or ways), you need a batch processor. High end imaging applications such as Photoshop have this functionality built in, but many of the less expensive or free programs have limited or no batch processing. Phatch is a free cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) batch processor and renaming utility. It can be used to resize, rotate, rename, adjust perspective, apply shadows and so on to a large group of images very quickly.
Automater for Mac
Mac’s OS X includes an application called “Automator” which allows you to devise scripts that will execute a particular sequence of actions. We came across a great little step-by-step tutorial that shows you how to use Automator as a batch image processor. As long as your requirements are reasonably straightforward (re-sizing, renaming, etc) it is a handy, quick and free way to cut through what might otherwise be a long and tedious process.
Online file converter
Zamzar is one of those sites you only need every now and then. As long as your file isn’t over 100MB, Zamzar can convert it for you. The list of conversion options is a long one and not only includes 15 different image formats (eg jpeg to gif, png to tif, etc), but also dozens of text, video, music and compressed file types. Next time someone sends you a file type you can’t open, your first stop should be zamzar.
DeviantArt resources
DeviantArt is a huge (as in 11 million plus members) online arts community site. As you might expect, a large fraction of the membership are interested in digital photography and as a consequence there not only is a vast collection of imagery to peruse, but there are also some terrific resources and links for photographers. A great place to start is the applications resources page where you’ll find Photoshop actions, brushes for all the major image editing platforms, templates, custom shapes, patterns and more.
Rumor mongers
Given the rapid fire pace of change in the wonderful world of digital photography it can be more than a little difficult to keep up with the latest model releases and news of upcoming developments. Happily we have any number of sites devoted to the latest rumors from the top manufacturers. If you’re a Nikon fan, you should bookmark the Nikon rumors site (, the Canon crowd will want to check in on Canon rumors regularly ( Leica aficionados hang around Leica rumors (, while those cutting edge folk who’ve embraced the 4/3 concept can stay in the loop with 4/3 rumors (
This is an article from Photo Review Magazine Issue 42.
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