So Flickr has launched a new redesign, and it’s crowded, jumbled and slow. Now on Flickr with its overlays, its fade-ins and loads, it’s unmoving side and top bars, Flickr’s design takes center stage, elbowing aside the photos that I’m there to see.
So I’m looking for a new community site where the photo I upload is the photo they display without overlays and with enough whitespace that people can consider it as a photograph. I’d like a site where I can talk with other photographers and get feedback, and where they’re happy to let me pay for multiple accounts for the various and separate ways I want to present my work.
500px looks like an interesting possibility, but they seem really heavy on the gamification, showing you “affection”, views, likes, favorites, on every photographer. Also, while their ToS are relatively easy to read, ToS;DR gives them a D.
What else should I be looking at?
An amazing shot by Philipp Schmidli of a cyclist in front of the moon.
PetaPixel explains the work involved in getting that shot in “Silhouettes in a Giant Moonrise, Captured Using a 1200mm Lens.” (Thanks to Bob Blakely).
Also in the realm of impressive tool use is this:
Orangutan from Borneo photographed using a spear tool to fish at Primatology.net, via Anita Leirfall.
Me, I took a picture of some very cute baby geese, but it didn’t come out.
I’m having a camera issue that’s become more and more noticeable with recent software changes. The raw previews coming out of the camera appear substantially more exposed than when Aperture is finished processing them. The difference is hard to measure (there’s no easy undo for raw processing), but appears to be about a full stop of light, sometimes more. I often use a quick shoot-adjust-shoot loop that gives me the exposure I want, and Aperture is messing with the result.
The intuitively obvious search terms (aperture, raw processing, exposure) are not getting me very far in understanding what Aperture does to process the raw images, how I might alter the defaults (well, there’s adjustments pane>RAW fine tuning, but that offers up only boost, huge boost, sharpening & edge adjustments, Moire, Radius and De-noise. Those don’t seem to be incredibly relevant to the brightness of the image.)
Does anyone have advice for how to get the RAW images to process differently?
First, congratulations to the folks at Instagram, who built something that was so valuable to Facebook and managed to get a great exit.
Me, I suspect that Facebook did it so they can gradually sepia-tone all your photos, but that’s not important right now.
I was struck by the nature of this article by the fine folks at Petapixel: “Instaport Lets You Download All Your Instagram Photos as a Zip File.” The article starts “Unhappy with Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and want to flee the photo sharing service?”
Fleeing Facebook is no longer something for the digerati and the privacy nuts. Now it’s presented as a reasonable response to Facebook acquiring Instagram.
That’s a good sign for the theory that all general purpose social networks eventually get overwhelmed with people you don’t care about, and perhaps a bad sign for those who bought Facebook stock at a $100 Billion valuation.
Photographers should check out Flash applets on some technical aspects of photography at Stanford.
The apps help you understand things like “Variables that Affect Exposure” (the aperture/time/ISO tradeoffs) as well as how lenses work, create depth of field, or how a telephoto lens bends the light.
This Week in Law is a fascinating podcast on technology law issues, although I’m way behind on listening. Recently, I was listening to Episode #124, and they had a discussion of Kind of Bloop, “An 8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue.” There was a lawsuit against artist Andy Baio, which he discusses in “Kind of Screwed.” There’s been a lot of discussion of the fair use elements of the case (for example, see “Kind of Bamboozled: Why ‘Kind of Bloop’ is Not a Fair Use“). But what I’d really like to talk about is (what I understand to be) a clear element of copyright law that is fundamental to this case, and that is compulsory mechanical licensing.
In TWIL podcast, there’s a great deal of discussion of should Baio have approached the photographer for a license or not. He did approach the copyright holders for Kind of Blue, who were “kind” enough to give him a license. They gave him a license for the music, but he didn’t need to approach them. Copyright law gives anyone the right to record a cover, and as a result, there is a flourishing and vibrant world of cover music, including great podcasts like Coverville, and arists like Nouvelle Vague, who do amazing bossa-nova style covers of punk. (Don’t miss their cover of Too Drunk to Fuck.) And you can listen to that because they don’t have to approach the copyright holder for permission. Maybe they would get it, maybe not. But their ability to borrow from other artists and build on their work is a matter of settled law.
I’m surprised this difference didn’t come up in the discussion, because it seems to me to be kind of important.
It’s kind of important because it’s a great example of how apparently minor variations in a law can dramatically change what we see in the world. It’s also a great example of how constraining rules like mechanical licensing can encourage creativity by moving a discussion from “allow/deny” to “under what circumstances can a copyright holder use the courts to forbid a copy.” If we had mechanical licensing for all copyrighted materials, Napster might still be around and successful.
In the Atlantic Wire, Uri Friedman writes “Did the CIA Do Enough to Protect Bin Laden’s Hunter?” The angle Friedman chose quickly turns to outrage that John Young of Cryptome, paying close attention, was able to figure out from public statements made by the CIA, what the fellow looks like.
After you’re done being outraged, send thanks to John for calling attention to the issue.
The New York Observer story, “How a White House Flickr Fail Outed Bin Laden Hunter ‘CIA John’” is also quite interesting.
From the app store:
I hope this doesn’t cause Apple to ban snarky update messages.
Eric Fischer is doing work on comparing locals and tourists and where they photograph based on big Flickr data. It’s fascinating to try to identify cities from the thumbnails in his “Locals and Tourists” set. (I admit, I got very few right, either from “one at a time” or by looking for cities I know.)
This reminds me a lot of Steve Coast’s work on Open Street Map, which I blogged about in “Map of London.” It’s fascinating to watch the implicit maps and the differences emerge from the location data in photos.
Via Data Mining blog and