photography software tips tools

fastest way to copy photos from a Sony A5100 camera

I love it when you can hook up peripherals, and they expose their files like a simple external USB drive. You already know how to copy files from a USB drive, so no need to install a new piece of software, and learn how to use it.

Unfortunately, a lot of peripherals do want you to install some fancy piece of software to import your files. The Sony A5100 camera is no different and wants you to install the PlayMemories software. I used it in the past, but it doesn’t bring me any extra value, so I’d rather not. This is how I export my photos now, and I guess this also works for similar Sony cameras.

  1. Hook up the camera using the USB cable to your PC.
  2. Power on the camera and select USB mode.
  3. Navigate to the \DCIM\100MSDCF folder on your camera’s USB drive.
  4. Copy the files to your hard drive.
  5. Delete the files from the SD card folder.

It works even faster if you have an SD card slot in your PC. In that case, put the camera’s card in your PC, and copy the files. Then put the card back in the camera.

Now we still have to restore the image database.

Because we removed the files manually, the camera’s image database needs to be reset using the settings menu. If you don’t do this, you’ll see missing images in the camera gallery. This makes sense because we just deleted them.

To reset the image database:

  1. Power on the camera.
  2. Go to the Settings menu.
  3. Use the Recover Image DB option.

There you have it, files copied neatly to your PC without needing the PlayMemories software. For videos, this doesn’t work, unfortunately. They are saved in a different format and need to be converted to mp4. In that case, I still use the software to extract the video’s to mp4’s.

belgium photography

after the storm

Nature can be awesome. Last year in November a hail storm passed by on a Sunday leaving the cloudy and stormy looking sky filled with orange colors so bright and alive I just had to go out in the cold and shoot some of that beauty. Click for the big version.

art geek internet photography society tips

access the worlds public photo collection

Over at the excellent Flickr photo sharing service they now have a new category of pictures called The Commons. It’s not the Creative Commons searchable pictures database I talked about before. This is a collection of copyright free images which are also publicly available from libraries or other archiving organisations around the globe.

It makes me think of what they are doing over at, which also contains a vast collection of public domain material ranging from texts to sound and video. Flickr is taking a step into the same direction by letting Institutions archive their photographic collections online, and allow people like you and me to interact and help describe the collection by adding comments and tags to the photo’s.

For now only a handfull of institutions are actively submitting content, but I’m sure more will follow worldwide. Something to look forward to if you’re interested in history and photography, and a nice resource for copyright free pictures to use in your research, blogs or whatever.

geek photography software tips

changing your photo’s exif data

A bee drinking nectar from a purple flower.

If you have one of those digital cameras that forgets what day it is after you’ve replaced the AA batteries you might end up with a lot of pictures with bad EXIF data tags.

As a geek and nitpicker I sort of dislike that. In fact, in Picasa all of those pictures ended up being cataloged in the year 2012 which is the default date of the camera apparently. Picasa I found out uses EXIF data and not the file date of your pictures. This makes sense of course. If you change a photo’s color settings for instance, the file date will change, the EXIF data won’t.

So to fix those bad dates I ran into this piece of software called EXIFViewer. The GUI look pretty damn old, but it works, so who cares. You can use it to set the EXIF date to a specific date and time, or perform a calculation on the selected files. For instance, you can subtract 2015 days from all files, and whoosh those files back in time to when they were actually shot.

I also found some links to more EXIF data changing software is on Flickr. I haven’t tried any of these myself, but it might be worth a look. There’s a command line based tool in there as well, so if you want to do some scripting, that might be what you need.

photography tips

digital photography tips

Excellent portrait of Sinsong.If you have a digital camera, and you’ve been browsing to the stunning photo’s you can find on Flickr you probably realise that you can do a lot more with that little piece of electronic light capturing device than shooting a few typical birthday party pictures by now.

Of course, it’s always handy to get some tips in this area, and I just happened to come across a bunch of great tips regarding digital photography myself, which I’m so kind to share right here, in my trusty old blog. Ain’t that sweet?

The tips are located at under the Digital Focus topic. Tips ranging from topics like your camera ‘s settings and what they are for, to digital darkroom processing and specific tips on how to shoot particular types of photo’s like a good portrait, photography at night, or taking pictures of your pets.
Also very interesting and filled with tips and how-tos for digital cameras is the tips section.

Interesting stuff there at Clearly written in short articles. Just the way we like it.