Open-Source Solutions for Cameras in the Digital Age

Location: Ballroom A1
Average rating: ***..
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This tutorial is for anyone with a digital camera, plus anyone who’d like to move from analogue to digital but still mistrusts the latter.

The first half of the tutorial covers essential elements of photography itself, placing emphasis on whether, when, and how digital changes any of that.

The second half covers specific issues and solutions for managing and manipulating your digital photos without having to resort to proprietary software.

  • Brief history of photography
  • Biological digression
  • Current state of digital tech
  • Signal and noise
  • Different strokes for different folks
  • Why do digital and analogue seem different?
  • Optics and Focusing Systems
  • Importance of in-camera vs post-camera processing
  • Free software for digital photography
  • Organization and backups
  • Hardware
  • Suggested resources
Photo of Tom Christiansen

Tom Christiansen


Tom Christiansen is a programmer, author, and lecturer who’s been involved with Perl since its initial public release back in 1987. Tom is the owner of the PERL.COM domain and website, and original author of much of Perl’s online documentation. Tom is lead author of the The Perl Cookbook and co-author of Programming Perl, Learning Perl (2nd edition), and Learning Perl on Win32 Systems, all bestselling titles by O’Reilly & Associates.

He served two terms on the USENIX Association Board of Directors, and was president of The Perl Journal. Perl users selected Tom to receive the first White Camel Award in 1999. In 2000, Members of the Open Source community voted Tom Best Newbie Helper in the first annual Andover.Net Slashdot Open Source Community Awards, to honor Open Source pioneers.

Tom holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a dual specialization in operating systems design and in computational linguistics. He previously received his Bachelors degree there in Spanish and Computer Science with minor fields of study in French, Mathematics, and Music. Tom has lived abroad in England and in Spain, where he studied Romance Philology, cafĂ© solo, and vino tinto.

Residing at the western edge of Boulder, Colorado, Tom is an amateur naturalist who spends most of his summer hiking and camping high in the wilderness well above 10,000 feet of elevation, wandering about the vast Colorado Plateau, or relaxing under the glittering kaleidoscope of the Black Rock Desert’s starkly featureless playa. Over the past five years, Tom has become especially interested in how the exciting growth of affordable digital photography has opened up to mere mortals dramatic artistic opportunities previously possible to only the most dedicated and persistent of professional photographers, and often not even to them.

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Picture of Suzanne Axtell
Suzanne Axtell
07/20/2009 9:23am PDT

Tom, would it be helpful for us to bring our cameras to this tutorial? And will you be including any tips for video? Thanks, really looking forward to it!

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