Monthly Image: A Year in the Life of a Maple Twig, Resurrected

In 1991 we lived in Tolland CT, where I took one picture of a maple twig every week:

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That was with a film camera, of course, with negatives. I assembled the printed images into a poster and eventually (perhaps in 2001) scanned / digitally photographed them four-at-a-time, saved the result as a 330 MB Photoshop file with one 2×2 group in each of 13 layers (there are 50 images, probably because vacations), and burned that to a CD.

All I can say: it must have made sense at the time.

Anyhow, here in the future, I found that CD in a pile destined for the shredder, which shouldn’t ought to happen without some attention.

Here’s how I extracted the separate images from that file into standalone JPEGs, cropped them to a uniform size, and smushed them to suitably low quality:

convert A\ Year\ in\ the\ Life\ of\ Tolland\ CT\ -\ 1991.psd -quality 95 Tolland-1991-%02d.jpg
for f in {01..13} ; do convert Tolland-1991-$f.jpg -crop "1212x1775+0+0" img-$f-0.jpg ; done
for f in {01..13} ; do convert Tolland-1991-$f.jpg -crop "1212x1775+1212+0" img-$f-1.jpg ; done
for f in {01..13} ; do convert Tolland-1991-$f.jpg -crop "1212x1775+0+1775" img-$f-2.jpg ; done
for f in {01..13} ; do convert Tolland-1991-$f.jpg -crop "1212x1775+1212+1775" img-$f-3.jpg ; done
for f in {01..13} ; do for g in {0..3} ; do convert img-$f-$g.jpg -crop "1100x1650+50+50" out-$f-$g.jpg ; done ; done
sn=1 ; for f in {01..13} ; do for g in {0..3} ; do printf -v dn 'Tolland-1991-Maple-%02d.jpg' "$(( sn++ ))" ; convert img-$f-$g.jpg -crop "1100x1650+50+50" +repage -rotate 90 -define jpeg:extent=200KB $dn ; done ; done

Then WordPress assembles the 50 images into a slide show.

Of course, it didn’t go quite as smoothly as all that, but it took maybe half an hour of fiddling to get it right by iterating on the commands until I liked the results. One might tweak the exposures and suchlike, but that’s in the nature of fine tuning.

Now I can shred the CD…


  1. #1 by Mick on 2015-10-15 - 08:32

    Nice. I didn’t realize how long it took the seeds to fully form.
    Our local paper, the comPost Bulletin did something similar 20 years ago, taking and publishing a pic of the same leaf for 30 days, from bud to fully formed.