It’s not that often that my 9-5 day job crosses paths with my interest and passion for Isadora. But this mini project did and I am happy to share it all with you today.
At work at York Museums Trust I work as a Digital Creator. One of my new tasks has been to train up as a collection photographer. I’ve had a lot to learn and lots more still to come! Anyway, I have been researching lots of software because in my head it made sense to feather my funky new Nikon D300s to my mac and watch all the pictures magically appear on my laptop. I managed to do this using a few demos and found that:
1) USB cables are a bit of a pain – especially around priceless museum pieces.
2) You need a long cable one moment, the next a short one, then an extension, blah blah – again a real pain.
3) No matter what price the USB cable – they are easy to come out, a slight tug and it’s all over, even a wiggle can name it go crazy. I know some are *bit* better but they are not lockable. And no I am not sticking tape on my work mac! No way – this is not a tacky windows machine….
4) Similarly; the mini USB, or Micro USB, tiny mini small USB or whatever type of USB it is, really isn’t located in the best of places on the camera. I can’t complain at this really – it wasn’t designed to be used at the same time as me taking pictures was it? (Or was it? In which case – what stupid place to put it, smacking me in the cheek, getting stuck under my elbow… )I’m sure given half a chance it would try and attack some priceless pot and throw it on the floor. These cables do have a life of their own I’m telling you! If you are smiling or laughing at this right now then you know EXACTLY what I am on about. Anyway….
5) Some tethering software is good, some bad, some glitchy and some are £2000+ for stuff I don’t need. All I wanted (for now) was the last picture I took nice and big on my screen close by… so I know it looks good, needs adjusting, checking for shadows, contrast, etc. I figure if I have a super sexy Mac Book pro retina scree why not use it?
6) So, USB is also fairly slow. This can’t be helped.
7) Did I mention the USB cable was always getting in the way….?
So… I found out about these things called Eye-Fi cards. Not cheap but less than £100. So we ordered one. I created a closed network on my Mac, jigged around with the card – by jigged I mean set-up without reading the instructions. This was problem 1 out of 2 solved. No more cable, no more tripping up, no more USB extensions, silly connections and hazards.
So the full screen software? Well this is where Isadora came in. If you have not heard of Isadora then you can read my blog or visit the website.
So here is how I linked it all together.
– WIFI card is connected to my mac via WIFI (or adhoc network)
– Images are dropped into a folder.
– Using this action script kindly shared by Jamie Griffiths then isadora automatically imports the picture into a folder.
– My Isadora patch ‘watches’ the folder and indexes the pictures.
– Every time a new picture is added and then imported it tells a counter to show that image full screen.
– If I want to go back and forth then Z and X keys on my keyboard can be used to do this for me.
I do have plans to develop it but for me, this is all I need.
So here is my patch, it’s free! (But donations welcome…)