Last Summer, I spent a lot of time tinkering with Google’s Symptom, artificial neural network’s so called DeepDream images. My goal was create a script that scraped images from a given tumblr, process them uniformly with Imagemagick, and then pass them through a couple of deepdream filters. I had found a recipe I liked, and enjoyed seeing it work with consistent success for any set of images I scraped.

[I used scraped images in a tmp directory to ensure the recipe worked for a wide variety of circumstances.]

Today, however, I learned a bit about G’MIC, and it looks like I could have done what I accomplished with ImageMagick with G’MIC instead. And it would have taken a bit less scripting. Note, I haven’t fully explored scripting with G’MIC yet.

Things I Should Have Known:

  1. G’MIC is not just a gimmick in the GIMP. It is a powerful scripting tool for image processing.

  2. G’MIC has a Web-based, online image editor that looks quite polished and does a great job of introducing visitors to G’MIC’s reality tunnel.

For a lot more background on G’MIC, visit this post.

From here I yatter on about G’MIC online.

G’MIC online

My instinct as film photographer, most interested in concert shots, is to try to reproduce with a digital camera the texture of a film shot: particularly, the texture of TMAX3200, the film stock I relied on most. There was a Photoshop addon that helped with this…by alienskin I think. When I moved to Ubuntu and The Gimp for processing photos manually, I had to find a combination of filters that gave me a similar effect.

Using G’MIC online, I can manipulate images stored locally. Instead of working with a shot of my own, I’ve chosen this shot:

Before applying filters

The subject is the New Jersey band Ho99o9 performing live. A lot of envy for this shot, which is far from how I might have captured the moment. My hope is to keep energy of this moment but to mimic the texture of my preferred film stock. I also want to subtly increase contrast: the image has a grey tone to it; there’s not the contrast I like: but there is detail. Fantastic detail: Look at the singers jeans, or the top of the head of the man holding up the singer’s leg and back. I don’t want to lose that detail.

  1. Start from a shot on local storage

  2. Navigate to

  3. On the left side of the page, at the bottom of the “Preview” pane, click Open file…, and navigate to the photo you’d like to manipulate.
  4. The center panel offers over 300 filters, pretty well categorized. I’m simply going to choose Film Emulation, choose B&W Films, and then choose the preset I prefer: TMAX3200. I elect not to manually adjust the filter.

  5. When I’m happy with the preview, I click Render Full Image. I now have to choices, Download and Set as New Input. I want to fully inspect the new image, so I choose Download. Here’s what I find:

Filter applied

When I inspect the image, I look first at whether the very darkest parts of the image have detail: the stage, for example. I’m happy with the stage, the parts of the floor I can make out, and the wall barely visibly at the left-center edge.

So I turn to highlights, making sure nothing is completely overblown: I’m looking for detail in the highlights. I see the man in the center’s jeans…comparing the before/after images, I’m really impressed, but provisionally: the contrast has increased, rather strongly, but there’s still detail in the two hot spots: the singer’s jeans and the man’s head.

Also, the artifacts are present: artifacts reminiscent of photos shot on TMAX3200. Perfect there.

I’m not wholly satisfied with the result. I feel certain after this first attempt, though, that if I adjust curves ahead of time, and manually override the filter presets for this effect, I’ll have accomplished the trifling little effect that I’m after.

I’m confident now that I can go out, shoot a performance in a dark club with my Nikon D3000, and run a bash script that relies on G’MAC to produce shots reminiscent of what’s in my portfolio.

After some tweaking, I can see muscle tone in the highlights, but TMAX filter works as I wanted it to.

If a silly person asked if there’s anything Windows could do that I miss in Ubuntu…that last trifle, a TMAX3200 filter, is no longer on the list.

The list is empty. There is nothing to be nostalgic about when it comes to my production environment.