At first glance, you might mistake it for a profile of the latest gimmicky art photographer, but as you read you'll soon discover that you've been suckered by this year's installment of Popular Photography and Imaging's long tradition of April Fools pranks. This year, the magazine chose to pull your leg through its Web site, with a profile of a phoney photographer named Richard Baresall. The tale, complete with the trademark puns and zany humor that have endeared the magazine's editors with generations of photographers, is a bit more risque than I would have expected … Read more
It might be a bit off-putting if you do this with photos of people, but still-life images or travel photos? Fantastic.
Myfotowall takes any of your own photographs and turns them into wallpaper. The company, based in West Yorkshire, England, says it can take any image and blow it up 16 times larger than the original without compromising the quality.
Myfotowall uses inkjet printing technology to put your chosen image onto paper-backed vinyl. The company charges 45 pounds Sterling per square meter, or about $90 per 10 square feet. You get to hang the paper yourself with spatula and glue … Read more
Adobe's VP of Hosted and Consumer Services refers to Photoshop Express as "the on-ramp to the Adobe digital-imaging franchise." Next exit Photoshop Elements? Construction delays? Slippery pavement ahead? The mind reels with metaphorical possibilities. With its familiar-looking organizational tools, slick Flash-based interface and robust retouching algorithms, Express embodies Adobe at its potential finest--this is a newborn beta, after all, and we should expect bugs. (If it should reach senior betahood, like Gmail, we will cease to forgive.) But there are also a few potholes in this on-ramp to beware.
Photoshop Express is two things: a photo-sharing site targeting the millions of snapshot photographers who think software such as Photoshop Elements is too difficult, too disconnected or just too much, and a platform from which Adobe will serve partner sites with editing tools. At beta launch, Facebook, Photobucket and Picasa comprise the short list of partners; Flickr will be next in line, though a date has not been announced.
As a sharing site it's simultaneously pretty and functional. And it succeeds as a proof-of-concept that Flash and Flex allow you to create robust online applications that look and feel like local ones. For sharing, the feature set is pretty typical: it lets you upload photos into albums (up to 2GB), organize them, make them public for sharing or share them privately via email links, and generate and email nice-looking self-contained Flash slideshows. There's lots of dragging and dropping to organize, and a free vanity URL.
For editing, it delivers a better-than-average experience. In addition to a more-than-sufficient set of tools for adjusting exposure, color and sharpness and touching up artifacts like red-eye and fixing blemishes, it also supplies a basic set of specifial effects that let you turn bad or boring pictures into something a bit more interesting. The application also displays a snapshot history of your edits, which is a nice touch missing even from Adobe's desktop products. Most of the tools operate relatively quickly; only Distort left me singing the not-so-realtime blues. (For a discussion of the interface, click through the slide show.)
Continuing their march upward in digital SLRs, Sony has for the first time allowed a hands-on look at a prototype of their Alpha 900. They had previously shown it "under glass" at photo shows.
There are a few noteworthy things:
Sensor: Holy moly, a 25 megapixel full frame sensor! Be sure to bring lots of memory cards, because you are going to fill them up fast, especially if shooting RAW (and as a pro, why wouldn't you be?). This is twice as big as the 12.2MP sensor in the competing Nikon D3, currently the darling of … Read more
Stock photography houses have been under siege from the millions of amateurs shooting quality photos and making them available for free under Creative Commons licenses on sites like Flickr. PicApp hopes to give the stock photo houses a way to monetize their copyrighted photos across the Web.
Developed by an Israeli company, PicScout, PicApp embeds images like a video into a page, using Flash, and includes an advertisement. The revenue is shared with the stock photo houses, such as Corbis or Getty Images, representing the photographers. PicApp options include embedding photos on Web pages as well as bookmarking and e-mailing … Read more
2View, one of my favorite tools for adding notes to digital photos recently ceased to exist, and since then I've been wondering if any other services would pop up in its void. Today I've been playing around with Picbite, a wonderfully simple (and slightly similar) way to add small speech bubbles or annotations to photos from your hard drive or from a Web link.
You can add small, yellow notes of any size to images then share them with others. The service provides a direct link as well as embed codes for use on popular social networking sites, … Read more
The short answer is yes.
The long answer is that the success of the soon-to-be-released Flickr video depends largely on how much the company borrows from its photo hosting roots and innovations.
While YouTube and various other video hosts I partake in are fantastic for content, the films many people capture on their digital cameras tend to have no editing or post-processing whatsoever. These same videos can be a hell of a lot more interesting when put into context, which is where discovering videos on blogs or people's personal sites can bring a little more to the table than simply plopping them in with the other mass of videos on other hosting sites.
Flickr's popularity, in part is because of its community who are incredibly active and fill the site with a massive amount of content. However, the site's development has remained somewhat stagnant, which is where the inclusion of videos is the single biggest change since its inception. With that imminent change, there's a lot to talk about regarding how video will play into Flickr's current structure.What Flickr does right
Let's start out with what Flickr video needs to have compared with features the site already has for its photo service.
1. Interestingness: Flickr's killer application is the "interestingness" algorithm. This automates the process of discovering some of the very best photos on the site simply by keeping an eye on natural user activity. If the same thing could be applied to videos, we'd have a much richer selection of naturally popular clips to view without any sort of special voting system or editorial control.
2. Organization: This includes things such as sets, collections, and tags. While nearly all the other video hosts have these features, Flickr needs to let you mix in your video with related pictures from the same set and do it seamlessly. At the same time there needs to be a way to separate photos from videos and browse each type of media on its own.
3. Push video to the API: Another reason Flickr got huge is because the public API, which lets all sorts of services tap into the data and make changes from outside of Flickr. YouTube just released its advanced API and it's the way of the future. As we've seen with services such as Digg over the past year, the results can be exceptionally cool if you let people create tools with your data.
The only thing that keeps me from thinking the company will do this is its stance on letting its members use Flickr as a host without linking back. Flickr may decide to let videos be shown offsite, or without any of the branding, but there may be strings attached--like a branded player with ads.
In its heyday some years back, Polaroid was one of the crown jewels of the Boston area business scene, a luminescent union of art and technology. But that was then. Today, post-bankruptcy proceedings and in the hands of new owners, it exists as little more than a brand name. Last month came the end-of-an-era announcement that it would no longer make its trademark instant film.
On Sunday, The Boston Globe ran a pair of articles in separate sections looking at the Polaroid mystique. Mark Feeney's piece, "Instant karma," pairs the Polaroid Swinger camera with the Ford Mustang … Read more
Last month London's Metropolitan Police started a five week campaign of what they are calling "counter-terrorism advertising," which includes a poster that implores people to report photographers to the police if they "seem odd." This is very troubling to me, since I consider myself to be quite odd and my job entails shooting photos on a daily basis. Luckily, I don't live in London, but here in New York City we have a similar campaign that's been going on for more than five years and while they haven't gone as far as … Read more
Yahoo-owned photo community Flickr has launched a new program today called Flickr for Good. The site will be a place for nonprofits or other photojournalists to pool together their photography. In order to get the ball rolling Flickr has teamed up with non-profit organizer TechSoup to donate 10,000 one-year Flickr Pro memberships (which normally cost $25 a pop) to nonprofits and public libraries to let them upload as many shots as they want to the popular photo hosting community.
Each nonprofit can grab up to five memberships to distribute among its staff. Details on how the groups are supposed … Read more