Tag Archives: flickr

33 Fun Things to Do With Your Photos Online

Now that you’ve got yourself a digital camera, what can you do with all those wonderful photos? Here’s a list to get you started:

Organize and share them:

These services allow you to upload your photos, share them with friends and family, tag them, make slideshows and send them out for printing:

FlickrFlickr – Owned by Yahoo!, Flickr offers both free and premium services. You can tag your photos, add comments to any part of an image, create sets, collections, slideshows, print out photobooks, postcards, snapshots, etc.


ZooomrZoomr – Think Flickr, but map centric. Zooomr offers nice photo storage functions, closely integrated with geotagging (placing your photos on a world map) and e-commerce (selling your photos) functions.


SmugMugSmugMug – SmugMug is a wonderful website for storing your images. It’s fast, well supported, and offers plenty of sharing options, including making photos private and password-protecting them. There’s even a special offer for Yahoo Photos customers who are looking for a place to store their now orphaned images.


PhotobucketPhotobucket – Photobucket also offers tons of features including easy options to share your images online (particularly useful for bloggers and photographers sharing their photos in online discussions)


Shutterfly – Primarily a photo-printing business, Shutterfly also lets you store your photos, create photobooks, postcards, share your photos, etc.

Fix them:

These services will let you upload your photos and edit them online. Useful if you don’t have an image editor on your computer, or when you need to quickly edit a photo while at a cybercafe.

PicnikPicnik – I was impressed by this one. Picnik will even let you play with their software without creating an account (Scrapblog will too), a clever way to let you try Picnik without forking over your personal information. Slick looking, fast and powerful. Worth trying, even if just for fun.


LookWowLookWow – Java-based online photo editor. Will let you apply effects to an image, undo, compare and save.


SnipshotSnipshot – Another really good looking online photo editor. Not as powerful as Picnik, but worth trying.


PhixrPhixr – Has a nice set of tools, but took forever to load.

Create:

MyPictrMyPictr – Quickly create image thumbnails for online social networks. Upload your photo, crop the area you want to keep (usually your face), choose the network you need your photo for and MyPictr will spit out your image in the proper size and format.


QuickThumbnailQuick Thumbnail – Great when you need to quickly resize an image. A useful feature will resize your image to several sizes at once (i.e., 25%, 50%, 75%)


ePassportPhotoePassportPhoto – The Internet equivalent to a passport photo booth, it will format your picture so that it can be printed and cut into six passport-ready photos. No more paying $8 for 19 cents worth of prints. Make sure your photo is passport-worthy before uploading.


BigHugeLabsBigHugeLabs – Do almost anything with your Flickr images. Calendars, frames, print-out projects… too many to list.

Fun:

ScrapblogScrapblog – Online scrap books. A wonderful service by my Miami friends. You can give Scrapblog a try without creating an account (you can create an account later and recover your trial project). Connects directly to your Flickr account, so using your existing images is very easy. Amazing flash-based interface will leave you wondering what else is possible on the Internet. Let your inner Martha Stewart run wild.


Spell with FlickrSpell with flickr – A fun service that will turn any word into its Flickr image letters.


PhotagiousPhotagious – Online Slideshows, themes, editing, text, unlimited uploads. Should probably be listed under “Organize and share them” but their slideshow functions are in a league of their own.


RiyaRiya – Although it’s been transformed into a “visual search engine,” you can still access their original image storage and sharing service. Riya’s technology will let you search for items containing similar items to a reference image. It will also let you identify a person in an image and find additional images where that person appears.


PikiStripsPikiStrips – Turn any image or images into comic strips, with text balloons and special effects. Look through the earlier examples uploaded into the system for the better quality stuff. It seems the latest ones are mostly people making gang signs.

Map Them:

You don’t need a GPS to map your images online, though one certainly helps. These services will let you identify the geographical place where each image was taken and show them on a map.

PanoramaBuilder Build panoramic images by stitching together your photos. Now you can pan around a place as if you were (almost) there.

3cim Virtual ToursVirtual Panorama Tours on Google Maps – A list of panoramic images overlaid on Google Maps. Mostly used for real estate.


PanoramioPanoramio – Map centric photo storage and sharing. Geotag your photos, correct photos others have wrongly placed. Panoramio photos are regularly uploaded to Google Earth so that other Google Earth viewers can see them by activating the Panoramio layer.

Make real stuff:

Your digital images don’t need to stay trapped inside your computer (or the Internets’ tubes). Make books, posters, postcards… almost anything you want with these links:

MpixMpix – Photobooks, Cards, Magazine covers, greeting cards, calendars, bookwrap, tickets, puzzles and statuettes (these last ones you HAVE to see… worth every cringe-inducing penny!)


QOOPQOOP – Photobooks, postcards, mugs, stickers, canvas prints, mini photobooks, shirts, hoodies, mousepads, calendars, greeting cards, etc., directly from your photo storage account. Works with most popular photo storage sites.


FlattenMeFlatenme – Create customized children’s books with your little rascal’s image in place of the book’s hero or heroine.


RasterbatorThe Rasterbator – An application which creates rasterized versions of images. The rasterized images can be printed and assembled into enormous (or smaller, if you prefer) posters. See website for details.

Improve your technique:

Microsoft Research Group ShotMicrosoft Research Group Shot – MSR Group Shot helps you create a perfect group photo out of a series of group photos. With Group Shot you can select your favorite parts in each shot of the series and Group Shot will automatically build a composite image. Erase someone in the background, fix faces with eyes closed, etc.


Fascinating! Content Aware Image Resizing – An amazing image resizing algorithm. Watch the video and rest easily knowing that the scientist behind is already working with Adobe on the next Photoshop.

Improve your photos with classical artImprove your photography with classical art – An interesting technique that uses traditional classical paintings to correct the light and color of your photographs.


Automator Actions: Photoshop Automator Actions v3.5 – If you’ve got a Mac and Photoshop, these scripts might make your photo-editing life a bit easier.

Manage your digital images on your computer:

These programs will help you manage your entire photo library on your PC or Mac. Most will allow you to do minor editing, cropping, resizing, color correcting and printing. Easily upload your images to your favorite online photo storage service.

PicasaPicasa – PC/Linux photo management, also includes online photo sharing for anyone with a Gmail account.


iPhotoiPhoto – Mac photo management. If you’ve got a recent Mac, then you have iPhoto installed already.


Apple Aperture – Professional photo management for Mac.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom – Professional photo management for Mac and PC.

Updates:

2007/10/01: Make that 34 Fun Things to Do With Your Photos Online. Abhiram Sarat of flauntR sent me an email highlighting their quite promising online photo apps:

flauntRflauntR one-click effects – Online photo editing and effects. Includes uploading from your computer or flickr account and is nice enough to include sample images to play with. You can try out the apps (currently PhotostylR and PhotoeditR, soon PhotoprintR) without registering.

Case Study: NBC’s Heroes

HeroesAfter a summer-long teaser campaign, NBC‘s “Heroes” opened to great ratings and wonderful reviews. I haven’t been this excited for a new series since 24 and Lost first showed up.

According to this recent LA Times article, the networks are spending increasingly higher amounts to produce their new series. High-definition video is more expensive to produce. Marketing campaigns are no longer restricted to their own networks. And successful shows demand much more than just a TV image.

Heroes

Heroes is a tale of “ordinary people with extraordinary abilities.” Sort of like “X-Men” before they got together under one roof. There’s the cheerleader who can’t get hurt. The single-mom whose reflection in the mirror has a mind of its own. The cop who can hear your thoughts. The Japanese salesman who can bend the space-time continuum…

Heroes offers a great many opportunities for Digital Media Integration. Is NBC taking advantage of them?

What Heroes is doing right

Heroes has a magnificent story where, like in Lost, all the characters are somehow connected. The producers have also tried building an off-screen story to accompany the broadcast. It’s in this area of media integration that shows like Heroes can really make a difference. These are some of the things NBC got right:

Heroes Hiro* Hiro Nakamura (space-time dude) has a blog.

* Claire Bennet (unbreakable cheerleader) has a MySpace profile, as do some of her on-screen friends. (Very interesting, given that MySpace is owned by one of NBC’s rivals).

* If you missed the live episode, you can download it or watch it on NBC’s website. They also have a two-minute replay available.

* Message Boards let you get together with other viewers and some of the show’s producers and explore your wildest conspiracy theories.

* Heroes Comic BookOnline Comics delve deeper into the storyline.

So NBC is actively expanding the show into the internet, which is great. But they still have a way to go…

What Heroes is doing wrong

Considering the effort NBC has put into this show, it’s sad to see them not taking full advantage of the available opportunities. These are some of the things they either got wrong or didn’t get at all:

* Hiro’s blog is hosted at nbc.com, under a huge NBC logo and navigation banner.Hiro's Blog on NBC

* Hiro’s blog shows a note indicating it’s been translated by Yamagato Software. A Google search for this company comes up empty. A mock website for this company, perhaps with some hidden clues, would’ve been great. (Interestingly enough, there’s a Yamagata company that does translations).

* There’s no online presence for Isaac Méndez, the artist. An online gallery or even a Flickr account should me available with some of his paintings.

* No online mention of Peter Petrelli’s brother political campaign.

Coming Soon?* Incomplete website. Even though we’re past the second episode of Heroes (and the lengthy ad campaign), some areas of the official website are still not ready. Try clicking on the Games or Downloads links and you get a “Coming Soon!” message. And if you cheat and enter the urls yourself, you get half-finished placeholder pages.

Is it too late?

NBC still has time to fix these problems. The show is young and the audience large. And there’s always the remote possibility that these materials are out there, but still haven’t been discovered or made it to the top of the search results… And user generated content (maps, theories, connections, etc.) will eventually surface.

But this has all been done before, and it’s been done right (see Lost and The Blair Witch Project), so what, exactly, are we waiting for?

Google’s Flickr Killer – Part 2

This is a follow up to my post: Google’s Flickr Killer.

As I’ve already mentioned, a photo organizing and editing tool that runs on your computer (and not over the web) -such as Picasa- is an integral part of the equation. If I could upload straight from Picasa into Flickr, I would use my Flickr account ten times more than I do now. Since I’m using a beta version of Picasa Web Albums, I can upload directly into Google’s own web-based photo storing and sharing service. But, convenient as it is, it’s still no Flickr (or smugmug or photobucket).

These are some of the features which, in my opinion, will permit Google to turn Picasa Web Albums into the next, best Flickr:

  1. More storage space. How about unlimited? The current 250MB is laughable, and the only upgrade option is to 6GB.
  2. Direct linking to images, at several sizes. This would allow users to link to their images from their websites, blogs or forum posts.
  3. Tags. It should be easier to tag photos within Picasa and these tags should replicate in Picasa Web Albums. Tags make organizing photos easy and fun, and make it much easier to find similar information from other users.
  4. Geotags. Come on, Google..! Google Maps/Earth + Picasa + AdSense = Why isn’t this happening quicker?
  5. A powerful API. An API would allow users and companies to offer third-party services, add-ons and tools beyond Google’s imagination or capabilities. Map tools, printing services, backup services, blog galleries, mosaics, games, t-shirts/purses/mugs, avatars… you name it, someone will come up with it.
  6. Add-supported, revenue-shared. Google could use the AdSense network to advertise on user’s galleries and photos based on the tags used (or use an image-analysis algorithm to extract relevant information from each photo). Beyond a certain number of hits, Google would share the advertising revenue with the photo’s owner (via Google Checkout, of course).
  7. Comments and notes. Visitors should be able to comment on each photo, ala Flickr.
  8. RSS feeds. RSS-everything: tags, users, comments…
  9. Better GMail and Blogger integration. (Currently I can only post four images at a time to Blogger and can’t BCC: on my emails). Ideally, Picasa would allow posting to any blog (WordPress, for instance) the way Flickr does. Publish-by-email would be nice as well (send your photos to a predefined secret email, and have them appear on your photogallery and blog).
  10. And of course… Google Search for all my images.

The funny thing is, Google has already implemented these ideas in one or many of its services. So, what is taking them so long to tie them together into a killer photo storage and sharing web service?

Do you have more suggestions for Google? Post them in the comments to this article.

And Google, I’m available for hire… in case you want to boost Picasa Web Albums into hyperdrive.

Contact me through this form:

[CONTACT-FORM]

Google’s Flickr Killer

… or why Yahoo needs to buy a desktop photo managing app, pronto.

I’ve been using Flickr for a while now – I even have a Pro account (I previously used smugmug). I also use Picasa to manage my photos (having tried several versions of Adobe’s Photoshop Album). I like Picasa’s simplicity, instant image fix-ups, and Gmail integration (for major alterations, I use Photoshop CS2). However, getting images into my Flickr account is a major operation. I can use Flickr’s Upload Tool to store my images on Flickr, but I usually like to crop, color-correct or otherwise fix my photos before showing them. So after fixing them in Picasa, I must export them to a new folder, which I must then upload to Flickr.

Ideally, Picasa would upload to Flickr, making tagging, editing and arranging files a breeze. I doubt Google will do that, though (Picasa doesn’t even upload to third-party blogs, limiting itself to Google’s own Blogger service).

Google has been recently testing an online photo storage and album service: Picasa Web Albums. While it’s still no Flickr, its integration with Picasa is a killer feature and Yahoo/Flickr should take notice. I expect it will eventually integrate with Google Maps/Earth for geotagging, and Checkout for selling your photos, among other Google services. Once Picasa Web is out of beta there really shouldn’t be any reason for Picasa users to keep using Flickr. We all know how long Google’s betas last, so there’s still time for Yahoo to catch-up, but the ball is certainly flying out of the stadium.

Comment in you have any suggestions on which software Yahoo should buy.