Pat David joins us this episode to have a wide-ranging discussion about making creative work using open source software. And he’s a great one to talk about it since he’s been kicking around the community for a good long while now. His interest in photography (and doing it with Free and open source tools) has gotten him involved with all kinds of open source image editing applications. Most notably among them is GIMP. Although not a developer on the project, he’s an integral part of the very small development team that manages that enormous project.
Another big topic we cover is that of communities. Pat launched (and still works on) PIXLS.US, a community website and forum with a focus on photography with Free Software tools. It’s a great resource for anyone interested in photography and image editing in general, serving as both a support channel and a showcase for the great work that can be created with the tools we know and love. And that community continues to expand. They’ve even added sections for compositing with Natron and astronomical image processing with Siril.
On of the highlights of our discussion was Pat going through his workflow when shooting and editing photographs. There’s definitely some fantastic take-aways from that and I’m certainly going to be thinking of this interview the next time I point a camera at anything.
It really is a wide-ranging conversation that’s a lot like sitting down over a cup of coffee and having a great talk with very few filters. Of course, speaking of filters, I have to apologize if you watch the video of this. I’ve recently set myself up with some new gear and I’m still tweaking the best way to set it up. In particular, I’ve migrated from my ancient Logitech C270 webcam to using my phone with DroidCam. The DroidCam mobile application isn’t open source, but the client for connecting to it is and it works really well. The only catch is that I turned off the auto exposure and auto white balance on my phone… and then the sun went behind some clouds while the show was being recorded. So there are some moments where my video looks really dark.
I also got a new audio interface (a Focusrite Scarlet 2i2) and a mic arm. Both work great, but the original mic I’d ordered was back-ordered, so in the meantime, I’m using a very old Audio-Technica stick mic. The sound quality should be acceptable, but it took a bit of post processing to get it to that point.
In any case, I hope you enjoy the show.
Pat David is a Husband, Father, and (Ocean) Engineer. He’s a proponent of Free Software and often describes himself as a “minor photographer, major nerd”.
In 2014 Pat wanted to solve the problem of fractured communities that were focused on specific software projects as opposed to the overall creative and technical aspects of photography (and later cinematography) in general.
The software was one part of a larger opportunity to share and learn from others around the craft of making images and there wasn’t a good solution, or community, available. PIXLS.US was his idea to address this, using Free Software ideals of openness, for all things photography/cinematography.
“I make stuff. I make stuff up. On occasion, I stuff-up what I make. I don’t do much stuff with make-up… though I’m not above trying. I work in all kinds of media: words, animation, ink, coffee, wood, video. And, of course, I’m really passionate about open source and open content, so that’s what I talk about in this show. Books I’ve written and other creative experiments I’ve made can be seen on monsterjavaguns.com.”