Digital photography

Images done well on your Mac

Yesterday was Independence Day here in the U.S., and if you're like many (me included) you probably spent the day with friends and family, and maybe watched some fireworks when the summer sun finally went down. Chances are you dusted off the barbecue for chicken, hot dogs, and burgers, and maybe even had potato salad or other picnic foods. Another common practice with these types of gatherings, of course, is getting out your digital camera and taking a bunch of fun pictures.

Now that the fun is over, you might be thinking about editing and transferring those pictures to your blog or some other photo site. If you're looking for an easy way to get those pictures ready for prime time, I found a little program that offers a lot of useful tools you can download for the Mac.… Read more

PicLens: Instant photo galleries off the Web

Galleries of images set off against a black background have become common as software and Web sites try to help people show off their photos better. Cooliris' PicLens offers a clever way to do set up such galleries from many Web sites on the fly.

The PicLens browser extension can convert a bunch of images from Google and Yahoo image search, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and RSS Media-based sites and other locations into a full-screen gallery of pictures. The photos slide by at a stately pace or advance when the user clicks the keyboard's arrow key, and a handy filmstrip … Read more

Microsoft announces new Windows Live products: How do they stack up?

Microsoft has just announced two new Windows Live products, Windows Live Folders and Windows Live Photo Gallery. Windows Live Folders is Microsoft's online storage solution, set to compete with AOL's Xdrive,, and a lot of other startups in this market. Windows Live Photo Gallery acts as an upgrade to Vista's Windows Photo Gallery, providing tight integration with Windows Live Spaces and Windows itself.

Windows Live Folders

Windows Live Folders features a 500 MB storage limit, which is a below the industry norm, compared to competitors like Xdrive which provides 5 gigs or which … Read more

The Real Deal: Online photo sharing

On our weekly Real Deal podcast today, Tom and I covered online photo sharing. It's not so much a comparison of the dozens of good photo sites we know of, but rather an overview of the issues for people confused about the whole space. Topics covered: Various services. How to pick a site. Privacy and copyrights. Online editing. And listener questions.

See also our Newbie's Guide to Flickr.

If you want to join the ongoing discussion, come on over to the Real Deal forums.

Real Deal subscription links: For RSS readers: more

Zooomr hopes pro accounts will bring in bucks

Photo-sharing site Zooomr is mostly relaunched in its version 3 incarnation, and now the two-person company has begun offering $19.95 "pro" account subscriptions in hopes of raising money.

"We do need to make at least a little money to survive," Chief Executive Thomas Hawk said in a blog posting Monday. "The community has stepped up and helped us in the most generous of ways, and we are hoping that all of you who find Zooomr meaningful will also consider helping us out by turning pro."

Those with pro accounts won't see ads … Read more

Make Internet images good

I'd put money on the probability that most Internet users have had to grab and optimize screenshots for cyber use. While some of us are lucky enough to have professional graphic artists on our side, it's important to know how to quickly create and touch up an image for the Web. For example, you might want to create your own avatar from a real-life photo or digital graphic.

Editing images for the Web is a different process than editing for print, and it therefore calls for its own approach. That's primarily because screen resolution can affect how easily the eye can interpret graphics. Ever noticed that faint flicker on the screen? Eyes have to work harder to overcome that subtle interference and process a clear image.… Read more

Pirate Bay creators launch new photo-hosting service

Admist some of last week's hullaballoo regarding Flickr's censorship on some of the photos of its German language users, it's timely that the creators of The Pirate Bay, the popular BitTorrent tracking site, have recently launched their own censorship-free image-sharing service called BAYIMG. It's similar to other image-hosting services like ImageShack, TinyPic, and DivShare, with one exception--the only person who's able to remove uploaded photos is you. That is, assuming you don't forget the secret removal access code you picked when uploading.

Despite this well-advertised stance on free speech, the service claims that if … Read more

Flickrites: Why your camera isn't so popular anymore

While I was perusing the Flickr camera finder during the last couple days, I was perplexed to note that a number of previously popular models had taken a hit.

The site tracks which cameras are most widely used to upload photos in the last 30 days, but the leading contenders nearly universally got whacked. For example, take a look at the digital SLRs that are leaders with Flickrs' high-upload enthusiasts--the Canon Rebel XT, Pentax K100D, Olympus E-Volt E-500, Nikon D50. They all plunged in terms of the number of photos taken during the last month.

I thought it might be … Read more

Doodle on and deface your photos with Graphita's Live Studio

Here's a fun piece of Webware that made its official launch last week. It's called Graphita Live Studio, and it's a really fun and well-done Web-based photo editor. Unlike some of the other solutions I've looked at in the past, Graphita doesn't have any grand scheme to replace your favorite desktop photo-editing software. Instead, Live Studio provides users with a way to quickly deface, or "enhance" their photos with all sorts of rasterized stamps and a trouble-making doodling tool.

To get started, users simply need to upload a photo from their hard drive. … Read more

Flickr curtails German photo sharing

Flickr just found a downside to adding support for seven languages to its photo-sharing site: limits on photo sharing and resulting accusations of censorship.

Flickr launched sites in seven languages Wednesday, expanding beyond just English. But because of a German law, the company decided it had to restrict the photos German members could see to those that had been marked "safe" by members using Flickr's filtering ability that arrived in March. That restriction triggered a forum discussion thread, "Flickr now censoring all moderate and restricted photos from Germany," and an "Against Censorship at Flickr&… Read more