31 Jul 2020
I am a photographer. I take a lot of pictures which my camera saves as raw files. I edit them with RawTherapee (a free and open source super powerful piece of software). When I tell you I take a los of pictures I am saying tens of thousands. My Nikon D5300 has a 3:2 aspect ratio. I am totally ok with it, I like it. But when you want to share your work aspect ratio can be a problem. Why? Well, you can showcase your work in your website but perhaps its templates require a different width-height relation for cover images.
And there are social networks around. You will need a 16:9 picture in twitter, a square image for your Instagram profile (you should use pixelfed instead). Sometimes is possible to crop a picture, sometimes is not. You can destroy your composition completely when cropping. So you can insert your picture in frame which has the aspect ratio needed.
Are you afraid of using the command line? You shouldn’t. Image magick saves me tons of time when I need to adapt my pictures. A short line of code can make my computer do what I need in less than a second (opening Gimp takes me longer).
Supose you photographed a disc from your broken drive spinning on a table:
The image has a 3:2 aspect ratio. But you need a file in 4:3 and you don’t want to crop anything. If you have Image magick installed, after open your file’s path on a terminal window you only need…
magick -size widthxheight xc:color yourfile.jpg -gravity center -composite output.jpg
And now you have a 4:3 picture with your fantastic photo in the center:
Or may be you want to change your composition drastically. So…
magick yourfile.jpg -crop widthxheight+xoffset+yoffset output.jpg
And your disc’s base is the new subject in your image.
Above commands are for Image Magick 7. You can do a lot of funny things with this tool and your pictures. Perhaps I will tell you more in future posts. For now, I only want to make it clear… If you are not afraid of the command line there lots of tools to make your life easier.