Editor's Blog: Anger & Angst: Eugene’s Tribute to Image Format Folly

Editor's Blog: Anger & Angst: Eugene’s Tribute to Image Format Folly


I was in the worst movie of 1987. It was called Leonard Part 6, it starred Bill Cosby and I’d offer that it was perhaps the worst movie ever made for $40 million dollars. But what stuck out most for me from this time was something a stunt guy had said to me when I was inquiring about the whys and wherefores of stunt work and whether there were any schools he could recommend. He looked at me soberly and said with a sad smile on his face, “only a fool goes to school for this.” And so it is, long-way around style, that after two years of actually working at Adobe (as I did) and ample opportunities to take classes to figure out photo format action, I demurred and enjoyed then, and now, doing things the old-fashioned way: through trial and error. No directions. No help guides. Call it being spoiled after living so long in the Apple Universe Intuitive, but it seems a much cooler way to learn stuff.


Which is where I found myself when faced with two disks of photos sent to me by photo genius Tom Millea. Over 200 photos…all DNG, or Digital Negatives. Designed to be a salve for the explosion of different image formats for some of today’s high-end cameras, DNG is supposed to be some kind of crazy Rosetta stone that gets the photographer a little closer to what goes into their camera. (JPEGs and TIFFs are what you have after your digital cameras have converted their sensor data.)


Perfect. Now I’ll just open them with Photoshopwhhhiiccchhh doesn’t seem to work so well. And then the cavalcade of misery begins…I bounce from Gimp to Ping. From Ping to Adobe DNG SDK to Real Converter Pro (for Windows. Oops). Still: no pics. Supposedly there’s some element in Mac OS X that’ll let me see them but this requires some X11 thing. Rage at this point is my handmaiden. And 200 pics in Photoshop is clearly going to take hours to view. And I’m not paying $299 for Lightroom. All of my misery would, for sure, be alleviated were I to deign to read something or talk to someone but like asking for directions while driving I am constitutionally incapable of acting like any of this is hard at all.


But Adobe’s Lightroom…this rings a bell though, and I remember this was the app that Tom had suggested I use, and scuttling off to the Adobe site I see that I can get a 30-day trial offer for the magical price of FREE. Thirty days, which is significantly longer than it’ll take me to view the 200 pics, I now want to see them more than almost anything in the world. So I download Lightroom. I open Lightroom. I open the pics.


Elapsed time thusfar: 48 minutes.


Give or take an hour.


And the pics, when I finally get to see them, are, finally, fantastico, and I am much pleased. And when seeing pics online is as easy as opening my eyes? Yeah, I’ll be pretty much pleased when that happens too.



+ Add a Comment


I dont think that you are talking for the Movie in anyway. You are more on the adobe lightroom that is the latest tool for the photo editing. I am hoping that you ar going to define something about the MP4 movie format of the old move in it but you didn't.



It seems with computers being as powerful as they are today its about time we stop working in compressed file formats. I just got a black macbook and it can do everything my old flatscreen (800 mhz bubble bottom) imac took days to. iDVD literally took 12 hours to burn, now it takes less than three. And I can edit and export video effortlessly and have music and everything else running at the same time. And soon as Blu-Ray becomes more common for Apple computers video will be as easy as photos and music. It seems we should push for more uncompressed formats, (such as the DNG) to be standard coming out of cameras onto your computer, then when you want to finalize you decide gif for online content, jpeg for print etc. Just my thoughts

Log in to Mac|Life directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.