contacts who’ve faved is a web application that allows you to quickly browse through photographs that your contacts recently marked as a favorite. Simply give the application read permissions by logging into it via Flickr, and it will display a grid of thumbnails for you to enjoy. The service was created by Aaron Straup Cope, a senior engineer on the Flickr team.
Posts Published in March 2010
The Paparazzi Bots are a series of robots invented by Ken Rinaldo, a faculty member in the Department of Art at Ohio State University. Each bot is autonomous, and moves about on a wheeled platform, using infrared sensors to move towards humans. It’s goal is to take single photographs of people, and it makes decisions on whether or not to capture the photograph based on facial expressions of the subject. If you happen to be smiling, the bot is more likely to photograph you.
Here’s a short video demonstration of the bot in action:
Rinaldo was invited to deploy three of these bots at the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and two of the bots were also used at an art and digital culture festival in Berlin.
We’d like to see a video of these things in action on New York City sidewalks.
(via Steve’s Digicams)
Korda was on assignment as a photographer for the publication, Revolucion. He snapped the photo on a whim, capturing Guevara’s intense, upward gaze in a brief moment. Korda later told interviewers, “It was not planned, it was intuitive.”
A fashion photographer by trade, Korda returned to the darkroom and cropped the originally horizontal photo in order to draw attention to the now iconic steely visage of the leader.
However, at first, Korda’s photo fell to the wayside, and was not published for another five months until it was run as a largely unnoticed file photo.
Seven years later, following Guevara’s death, Fidel Castro requested a photo of the leader on a poster, which was printed on a poster in Italy. Demand for the image rose in the commercial market as well, and the Italian businessman who produced the first print went on to sell over a million copies without artist attribution.
Since then, the image has become one of the most widely reproduced images in history, establishing a cultural memory and a posthumous brand.
According to the Observer, Korda’s work, at the time was not legally protected since Cuba did not recognize copyright. This meant that anyone and everyone could use the image, which contributed to the photo’s worldwide proliferation and iconic quality: the image itself has become a brand, reprinted on clothing, banners, and even on Cuban currency.
Korda received no compensation or royalties from his image.
The photographer eventually sued Smirnoff in 2000 for what he believed was a fundamental violation of Guevara’s political beliefs and an insult to his memory when the vodka company used the image in a magazine ad. Korda won, and the case also awarded him rights to his image.
In recent years after Korda’s death in 2001, Korda’s daughter, Diana Díaz, has launched copyright battles against companies she feels also abuse the image for use in advertisement. A notably ironic twist: Díaz agreed to sell licenses to “Che” branded products (the clothing, berets, etc.) in order to finance her legal pursuits.
Nevertheless, during his suit against Smirnoff Korda stated,
As a supporter of the ideals for which Che Guevara died, I am not averse to its reproduction by those who wish to propagate his memory and the cause of social justice throughout the world…
Díaz’s copyright suits are similar to the AP’s case against artist Shepard Fairey, which addresses the use and reproduction of a photographic image to use as a marketing brand without the photographers’ consent.
What are your thoughts on the use and copyright status of this iconic photograph?
(via The Observer)
Photo Magician is a free and lightweight (less than 1MB) program for Windows that allows you to batch convert a directory of photographs. It’s similar in functionality to Photoshop’s “Image Processor” feature, with one difference being you can’t select the output quality like you can using Photoshop.
The program also features a “Quick Convert Mode”, which minimizes the program to a little box onto which you can drag and drop folders of images. If you’ve been looking for a quick way to resize images in Vista (like the Image Resize PowerToy allowed you to do in XP), then you might want to check out this program.
P.S. For a more powerful free program that’s even more similar to Photoshop’s Image Processor, you can check out BIMP Lite.
Japanese company Green House recently released the Mini Digi, an “ultra-compact” digital camera that fits on your keychain. This eye-catching gadget is only 2.5 inches wide, and captures up to 160 photographs at .3 megapixels. If you get tired of carrying it around with your keys, you can also attach it to your computer and use it as a webcam. Oh, and did we mention it shoots AVI format videos as well? The Mini Digi is available through the online store for $20.
(via Trend Hunter)
If you’ve ever tried photographing a dog or cat, you probably know how difficult it can be to take a sharp photo while it’s looking at you. My friend’s dog (a pomeranian) is actually scared of my camera, and shies away when the DSLR is pointed at him.
FujiFilm’s new Finepix Z700 aims to make pet photographs easier by being the first camera to offer facial recognition for dogs and cats, and can automatically snap photographs for you when the pet is looking at the camera.
However, the technology is still pretty young, and has a ways to go before it rivals human facial recognition, which itself is ocassionally buggy.
For example, the camera has difficulty detecting pets that don’t stay still, and though it can detect up to 10 pet faces at once, it can’t handle a mix of dogs and cats. The subjects need to be either all dogs, or all cats.
Furthermore, some breeds of dogs (and maybe cats too?) can have pretty strange looking faces. The camera can’t handle those. FujiFilm even has a dedicated webpage listing the breeds of dogs and cats that the feature can usually detect, and includes sample images:
As you can see, you need to have a fairly… generic looking dog or cat if you want to detect its face.
Pets that cannot be easily detected include those that have: dark patches around the eyes or nose, too dark of a color, wrinkled/long/thin faces, or hair covering the eyes.
We’re guessing something like this will stump the camera:
Perhaps we should have titled this post, “Facial Recognition for Cute and Generic Looking Dogs and Cats”.
(via PC World)
The Cloak Bag is a minimalistic camera bag with a pretty unique feature: it allows you to photograph without removing your camera.
The bag features a zip-open bottom that can be rolled in on itself to adjust the height for various lenses, and slits in the sides allow you to use the camera as you normally would.
To secure the camera to the bag, you replace your camera strap with a special strap that attaches to the bag using velcro. This means the bag may not be compatible with special straps (i.e. an R-Strap) you might use.
You can order one yourself for $49 directly from their website.
I think the idea is pretty neat, though you might look a bit funny holding a bag up to your face. Perhaps you can pretend you’re drinking out of it…
The Washington Post just published an interesting article called “Pros and cons to Facebook’s fast-growing role in digital photography“, which contains quite a few interesting statistics. Among them,
- 40% of households with digital cameras no longer make prints
- 65% of people sharing photos online do it through Facebook
- Less then 33% of people realize that Facebook stores photos at a decreased resolution
The last statistic is quite startling. It means that we may have a whole generation of people who are essentially “throwing away their negatives” after “making very small prints”.
Facebook doesn’t have the capacity to store all the world’s photos without shrinking them first. Facebook just announced that it will increase its maximum photo size by 20 percent. But even with the upgrade, the photo quality on Facebook isn’t useful for more than basic onscreen viewing.
[...] It’s also troubling that most users aren’t aware that uploading a picture to Facebook — and then deleting it from your camera — means you’ve lost the original image for good. [...] This is probably because Facebook photos look just fine on a computer screen.
Remind your friends and family to keep all their original image files. Otherwise, they might need higher resolution versions in the future but find themselves stuck with 720px.
Sony has been quite mum with regards to their upcoming ultra-compact camera. However, they’ve begun releasing some teasers to give us a better idea of what’s to come, including the above YouTube video and the following screenshots of the touchscreen interface:
Here’s what we know about the system so far:
It will be an interchangeable lens system boasting a DSLR quality sensor and HD video recording capability. Controlling the camera settings and features will mostly be done through a large, touchscreen LCD interface on the back. The camera will support both RAW and JPEG modes.
Now onto speculation…
Based on the concept camera shown at PMA, and the camera icon shown in the screenshots, it looks as if the camera will have a traditional point-and-shoot design, rather than the mini-DSLR design many micro four-thirds cameras are going for. Also, the camera will likely use MemoryStick memory cards (based on the MS-shaped icon in the screenshot).
Is there anything else you can deduce from the screenshots Sony released?
Hallmark Cards recently held a photography competition in the UK called “The Picture of Motherhood”, inviting people to enter photographs that capture the essence of being a mother. After a nationwide search, an expert panel of judges has selected the above photograph, shot by Jenny Downing, as the winner. She comments,
I took this photo in India where I was working a few years ago, it depicts the natural instinct for a mother to protect her child. In the image she is putting a hat on her child to protect them from the sun. This encapsulates motherhood for me.
In addition to having her photograph featured on an upcoming Mother’s Day card by Hallmark, Downing will receive £1,000 worth of photography equipment.
(via Photo News Today)