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Taking pictures is always a great way to keep memories, wherever you are. They’re also a fantastic way to spend some time and bond with friends and family. However, taking ordinary pictures with a camera or webcam can get pretty boring after a while. Mac OS X’s photo booth software can get pretty interesting with all of the possible effects that you can select, but what about Linux?
Thankfully there’s a fairly popular application which gets the job done.
Cheese Photo Booth — or Cheese for short — is an application which often comes packaged with distributions that ship with the Gnome desktop environment. It’s a relatively simple application which can add some interesting effects to your webcam photos. These can then be used for sharing over many different appropriate mediums.
On first launch, you’ll see that Cheese is rather simple in design. The most of the window is taken up by a current view from your webcam without any effects enabled. Below the preview you’ll find a couple of buttons. These include photo mode, burst mode — which takes a couple of pictures within a few seconds, and video mode. In the middle is the big red record button, and to the right of the record button you’ll find your way to the available effects.
Once you click on the Effects button, you’ll be presented with a few pages of effects, laid out in a 3 by 3 grid. You can navigate between pages of effects using the “Previous Effects” and “Next Effects” buttons. There are plenty of effects you can choose from, ranging from simple things like black and white, sepia, and “Hulk”, to complicated effects like Shagadelia, Optical Illusion, Edge Detect, and Warp. In previous versions of Cheese, people were able to combine multiple effects for their own taste, but as of this review the newer versions cannot do this. All of these effects work just fine in all three modes — Photo, Burst, and Video — and you can even switch between effects while shooting a video. Clicking on the Effects button again will return you back to your webcam preview.
In case Cheese isn’t installed on your system, whether you removed it for whatever reason, or it never came with it, you can always search through your respective package manager for “cheese”, and it will more than likely be the first result. If the terminal is your style, you can install Cheese under Ubuntu using
sudo apt-get install cheese, while in Fedora you can use
sudo yum install cheese.
For such a simple but fun activity, Cheese definitely gets the job done. It doesn’t take a lot to power the application, so it works perfectly well on even the weakest netbooks that you can buy. While Cheese isn’t exactly the best option for when you have work to do, it’s a great time killer for grown-ups and a fun activity for little kids to mess around with.
What’s your favorite photo booth software for Linux? What about for all operating systems? What would you like to see included? Let us know in the comments!