Category Archives: Image Editing Solutions

Tools for digital image editing.

Adobe Photoshop Open File problems?

Have you encountered a Photoshop Error/Warning message: Could not complete your request because it is not the right kind of document…?

Ok, if you are like me you don’t upgrade to the latest version of every software package that you might be using – sometimes you simply don’t need all the new bells & whistles.  If, however, you do get a new camera then you may need to find a work-around to get your new camera image files into a form that your old software can use.

One solution – only use a file format that your software supports (i.e.  TIFF, JPEG, etc.)  Of course the downside to this is you may lose some of the special data that your RAW files contain; you will also lose some flexibility in image editing since RAW files may provide more room for aggressive editing.

In most cases (for higher end cameras) vendor software is typically provided for editing RAW image files.  If, however, you have Adobe Photoshop CS2 and RAW support for your camera is only available in Adobe Photoshop CS4 then what else can you do?

Enter a simple, portable solution from Adobe – Adobe DNG (digital negative) format.  The DNG converter/reader is FREE – download, install, convert your new RAW files to DNG and then crank up your old version of Photoshop.  The downside?  Hmm, you may not be getting access to all of the information available in the RAW file – which could also be true for ACR…

Another solution is to use some other image application tool(s) to access the RAW files and then move converted files into your version of Photoshop.  In my case I started using (purchased) Adobe Photoshop Lightroom – which does support the latest cameras AND also supports RAW to edit in CS2 (creates a copy of the converted file which you then edit.)  I do all of my custom printing from Lightroom – I think that it is a wonderful tool – when purchasing, make sure to check for discounts, i.e. if you have an education connection.

Another tool that I have recently explored is Bibble 5.   This tools is cross OS, provides a license for Windows/Linux, has a nice interface, incorporates a number of plugins – I will provide a better review later this year.  In the meantime – it also provides support for RAW files so it could be used to resolve your RAW file dilemma…

Recover/Restore ‘lost’ photos on CF cards

There are a number of Open Source tools that you may find need for when your CF card (or other camera storage media) becomes corrupted (fully or partially.)  In all cases for digital camera media I encourage folks to:

  1. use the camera tools to ‘format’ (erase, clean) the media after you copy your images to your hard drive; if you use your computer to ‘format’ the media it may lead to problems (for various and nebulous reasons) and
  2. once you get your images onto your computer disk then make another copy to a backup drive OR to CD/DVD.

Ok – but we seem to have a problem – we can’t read the media – how do we get the images off of the ‘bad’ CF (or other) card?  There are a number of commercial tools (some free – check with the maker of your media) that you can try OR you can explore the Open Source data recovery tools below.  Note that this type of activity is not for the faint-of-heart and, if you have images with commercial value (i.e. taken on assignment or during studio work) then you may want to contract with a service that specializes in data recovery.

  • photorec – best for image files; relatively simple to use and designed specifically to recover image files.  Two resources with more information include this Wikipedia post and this CGSeurity page.
  • ntfsundelete – restore NTFS drives (and possibly files)
  • testdisk – Restore partitions (Unix/Linux); actually another tool related to photorec.
  • foremost – Configurable – restores files by type from a disk partition.  The recovered files will have numeric names but appropriate extensions (i.e.  .jpg, .gif, .pdf, etc.)  The bad news is your folder structure is lost.

When using these types of tools, I encourage folks to select options that copy lost files from the damaged media to a good drive – don’t try to rebuild, repair the damaged media.  Get your files first and then try formatting in your camera and taking some test images using the suspect media card and then copy the test images to your PC.  In most cases, once I recover any lost images I would discard the potentially problematic media…

The Linux manual page for PhotoRec is quite brief so you may want to explore the links above for more detailed information on using this tool.

PHOTOREC(1)                  Administration Tools                  PHOTOREC(1)

photorec – Recover lost files from harddisk, digital camera and cdrom

photorec [/log] [/debug] [/d recup_dir] [device|image.dd|image.e01]

photorec /version

PhotoRec  is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from Hard Disks and CDRom and lost pictures (Photo Recovery) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the filesystem and goes after the under-lying data, so it’ll work even if your media’s filesystem is severely damaged or formatted. PhotoRec is safe to use, it will never attempt to write to the drive or memory support you are about to recover lost data from.

/log   create a photorec.log file

/debug add debug information

testdisk(1), fdisk(1).

For a detailed example using hard disk tools the post on my technology blog may be of interest.