Photography, Software Engineering and LightBox

Dmitriy Babichenko | Pittsburgh Photographer Sometimes having two jobs sucks. However, more often then not, being a software engineer and a photographer is actually a pretty decent combination. Being a photographer helps me step back from the code and think about problems creatively. Being a software engineer helps me gain a very technical perspective on photography (yes, I am a geek and I actually know how CMOS and CCD sensors record image data). Another advantage of being a software engineer is that I can write software that helps me run my photography business. Over the years, I’ve written scripts, applications and even Photoshop plug-ins that managed my backups, batch-processed image files and geo-tagged vacation photos. My ability to write my own software saved me countless hours of dealing with repetative and boring tasks and allowed me to concentrate on things that I actually enjoy doing. Recently I found myself using Lightbox2 photo gallery more and more, both on my blog and on some of my clients’ websites. Lightbox2 is a JavaScript library that can be included on any web page; it allows you to create attractive image galleries with minimal knowledge of HTML. Quite a few of well-known websites use Lightbox2 or similar solutions to display image galleries - Wired.com, Lifehacker, Lensbaby and many others. If you have to deal with a small number of images, it’s pretty easy to follow examples from Lightbox’s website and hand-code your gallery. If you have a blog or a website that’s based on the WordPress platform, you can install LightBox2 as a WordPress plug-in and WordPress will pretty much take care of everything for you. However, if you have a custom blog like I do, than you can use one of the handy scripts that I wrote to simplify my life. Below, you’ll find two scripts - one is written in ASP.NET, another one in PHP. They do the same thing - if your website is running on a Microsoft Windows Server, use the ASP.NET script. For Linux servers, use PHP. Simply download and extract the files below (the ASP.NET script has two files) and upload them to your web server. Once the files have been uploaded, you can access them through the browser by typing http://[your website address]/LightboxGenerator.aspx for ASP.NET script or http://[your website address]/LightboxGenerator.php for PHP script.