5/28/2020 · #photography  #selfhosted  #alextorres.me  

The photo pipeline


I like to take pictures and I like to share my pictures. I also use like Instagram, but I don't like the feeling when you post a picture, get engaged by the likes, become a zombie scrolling and scrolling forever, feeling like a lot of pictures look similar to others, letting Facebook to own your pictures and try to sell you stuff all the time…

And I also guess that sooner or later Instagram will pass away — it happened to many services now.

So I want something reliable, no comments, no likes, just to post some pictures on the internet.

Automating the way

Currently this static site is hosted using Github pages. For the size, and quantity of files I intend to post I'm rather going with a different approach. I thought about using AWS S3, I've used it before and suits my needs. But for alextorres.me I want to keep it a bit more local, at least an European company which gives me more confidence and has better values, so I decided to go with OVH. They have a service called Object Storage based in OpenStack with an API compatible with S3, so why not?

The usual process for pushing pictures in here will be something like:

  1. Take the picture
  2. Resize it to three resolutions: 256 (Thumbnail), 1080 (Display), Original (Download)
  3. Convert to WebP and JPG
  4. Push the image to OVH Object Storage
  5. Extract metadata of the image
  6. Get a JSON with the image Metadata + URLs of the storage location
  7. Commit the new JSON to the github repo

It looks like a good candidate for automation right? After tinkering a bit with it there you go: The Photo Pipeline

It is missing to commit directly to the Github Repo, but that way is a bit more generic.

Displaying the pictures

I am trying to be a good internet citizen, so I won't let your mobile data plan break because you missclicked on my photo gallery.

Therefore, I resize the pictures to 3 resolutions:

  • 256: Used to display the thumbnails in the gallery view
  • 1080: For the single photo view
  • Original: Downloadable verison

And create two copies: JPEG and WebP.

Finally, I rely on the picture HTML element to either display a WebP version or JPEG version, depending on browser compatibility:

  <source srcset={photo.resolutions['1080'].webpFile} type="image/webp" />
  <source srcset={photo.resolutions['1080'].jpgFile} type="image/jpeg" />
  <img src={photo.resolutions['1080'].jpgFile} alt={photo.metadata.id} />
2022 Alex Torres