Simon Willison’s Weblog


16 items tagged “photos”


Using SQL to find my best photo of a pelican according to Apple Photos

According to the Apple Photos internal SQLite database, this is the most aesthetically pleasing photograph I have ever taken of a pelican:

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Weeknotes: Archiving, custom pages and directory configuration in Datasette, photos-to-sqlite

I mainly made progress on three projects this week: Datasette, photos-to-sqlite and a cleaner way of archiving data to a git repository.

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Photos from our tour of the amazing bone collection of Ray Bandar. Ray Bandar (1927-2017) was an artist, scientist, naturalist and an incredibly prolific collector of bones. His collection is in the process of moving to the California Academy of Sciences but Natalie managed to land us a private tour lead by his great nephew. The collection is truly awe-inspiring, and a testament to an extraordinary life lived following a very particular passion. # 21st February 2018, 4:58 am


PostgreSQL: How can I store images in a database? What existing products makes it easy for a user to upload photos into a general database?

As a general rule, it’s a bad idea to store images in a database. This is due to the large amount of space they take up, which can affect database read performance and will greatly increases the size of your backups, making them both take longer and cost more to store.

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For a Django application, deployed on Heroku, what are my options for storing user-uploaded media files?

S3 is really a no-brainer for this, it’s extremely inexpensive, very easy to integrate with and unbelievably reliable. It’s so cheap that it will be practically free for testing purposes (expect to spend pennies a month on it).

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Help pick the best photos, but watch out, it’s addictive! My favourite WildlifeNearYou feature yet—our new tool asks you to pick the best from two photos, then uses the results to rank all of the photos for each species. It’s surprisingly addictive—we had over 5,000 votes in the first two hours, peaking at 4 or 5 votes a second. The feature seems to be staying nice and speedy thanks to Redis under the hood. Photos in the top three for any given species display a medal on their photo page. # 25th January 2010, 12:36 am


PhotoSketch turns a rough sketch in to a photo montage (via) Computer vision is really exciting at the moment—Photosketch is an application which takes a rough labeled sketch, finds images matching the labels, filters them by the sketched shapes and composes them in to a not-too-bad photo montage. As wmf on Hacker News points out, “this technology has epic potential in the LOLcat market”. # 6th October 2009, 7:59 am

Building Rome in a Day (via) “The first system capable of city-scale reconstruction from unstructured photo collections”—computer vision techniques used to construct 3D models of cities using 10s of thousands of photos from Flickr. Reminiscent of Microsoft PhotoSynth. # 29th July 2009, 3:41 pm

Slouching towards Bethlehem. Photos of the various installations that contributed to the construction of the first atom bomb. # 15th July 2009, 10:19 am


Large Hadron Collider nearly ready—The Big Picture. Stunningly beautiful set of photographs of the LHC. I love Big Science. # 1st August 2008, 7:46 pm

A Look at the Presidential Candidates. The Big Picture (the Boston Globe’s fantastic photojournalism blog) presents a fascinating collection of historical photos of Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. # 4th July 2008, 9:09 pm

Video on Flickr! There’s a 90 second length limit, because “... Flickr is all about sharing photos that you yourself have taken. Video will be no different and so what quickly bubbled up was the idea of long photos, of capturing slices of life to share.” # 9th April 2008, 1:16 pm

Flickr: The Commons. Exciting pilot collaboration with the Library of Congress to release images with “no known copyright restrictions”. The header photo (of a bench) is one of my favourite spots in the world, in Mission Dolores Park, San Francisco. # 16th January 2008, 9:38 pm


Photos taken in Brighton on Flickr! (via) The new Flickr Places feature has finally launched, and it’s absolutely beautiful. # 21st November 2007, 8:28 am


My Washington D.C. photos. Touristy photos. Includes squirrels... and ENIAC! # 4th April 2005, 1:43 am


My photos of squirrels. I like squirrels, and I’ve started playing with Flickr. # 30th August 2004, 4:29 pm