If you’re both a photography lover and a Mac user (there’s a lot of you out there, right?), computer expert Lloyd Chambers has an uber-helpful section on his Mac Performance Guide website for photographers who want to learn how to optimize a Mac for Photoshop and other photo editing programs.
Google Street View photos won’t be limited to the exterior of buildings for much longer — the company has just announced Google Business Photos, a service that will allow Google websites to show the interiors of local businesses. If you thought having vehicles equipped with Street View cameras driven up and down every street in every city was a tedious project, for Business Photos Google is planning to have photographers sent to businesses that apply for the service. Crowd-sourcing the imagery would definitely be less labor intensive, but shooting inside private property requires permission.
There have been a number of devastating tornadoes in the Southeastern United States this past week, with the homes in many communities reduced to rubble. While certain things can be rebuilt or replaced, photographs lost in the storm often cannot be. A new Facebook page has been created after the storms that aims to reunite owners with photographs scattered in the winds, and already boasts close to 50,000 fans and 600+ uploaded photographs. It’s a neat idea, and a great example of how Facebook can be used for good and not just procrastination.
Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes (via PhotoWeeklyOnline)
Update: Interesting turn of events… Looks like Facebook didn’t like what was going on, and killed off the page. Wow.
Update: Never mind. Looks like the URL of the page got changed or something. Here it is.
The Stolen Camera Finder is a new search engine developed over the past two years by programmer Matt Burns. His idea is to search the web for photographs that have a stolen camera’s serial number embedded in the EXIF information. It uses two web crawlers — the first is a standard one that accesses Flickr’s API, while the second is a Google Chrome browser plugin that silently runs in the background and peeks at the serial numbers of images on any webpage viewed. These serial numbers and URLs are stored in a database, and if you’d like to volunteer your browsing for this you can download the Chrome plugin here.
Back of a Webpage is a creative new site that imagines what popular websites might look like if you look at them from behind — as if you were a tiny person sitting inside your computer monitor looking at the other side of the screen. What you see here is the one for Flickr. We finally get to see what those digital prints look like on the back!
Back of a Webpage (via Laughing Squid)
Looks like Nikon has a new 50mm lens primed for announcement. Earlier today a AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G product page appeared on Nikon’s website, but was quickly pulled — but not before it was already widely reported (here’s a screenshot of the page). The lens features a Silent Wave Motor for quiet focusing, and a “newly developed optical system employing an aspherical lens element”. It will be compatible with both DX and FX format cameras. No word on when this lens will become official or how much it will cost.
(via Nikon Rumors)
Hiding or censoring part of an image through obfuscation is as easy as selecting the area in Photoshop and applying the Pixelate->Mosaic filter, but what if you don’t have an image editing program at your disposal? If you’re seriously paranoid about your privacy on the Internet, there’s a new service called PhotoHide that helps you quickly add these pixelated areas to any photo. Everything is done through the web browser, and you can download the final image once you’re done.
Doing this to every single photo of you on the Internet would be ridiculous, but you might find it useful for more reasonable applications (e.g. hiding your house or license plate number in a photo).
PhotoHide (via PhotographyBLOG)
For a Yahoo HackU programming competition, a group of students at the University of Washington created FlickrMosaic, a simple app that creates photomosaics from Flickr photographs. The website randomly selects a Creative Commons-licensed photograph from Flickr, then begins transforming it into a photomosaic by adding other photos as small squares.
Sadly, the app is limited to random photos, meaning you can’t provide it one of your own to transform. Hopefully that gets added in the future though — it could be a super simple way to create a nifty image.
Emphas.is is a newly launched Kickstarter-esque website that brings the latest Internet craze of crowd funding to photojournalism. If you have an awesome photojournalism project that you’d like to do, you can submit the idea to the site to raise funds. If there are any projects that you’d like to see happen, you can help make it happen with a donation between $10 and $3K.
By agreeing to back a story, for a minimum contribution of $10, you are making sure that the issues that you care about receive the in-depth coverage they deserve.
In return you are invited along on the journey. Photojournalists on Emphas.is agree to enter into a direct dialogue with their backers, sharing their experiences and insights as the creative process unfolds.
It’s a pretty neat idea that will hopefully spark some really interesting photojournalistic work.
Here’s another site you can bookmark if you’re constantly on the hunt for cheap, used camera gear to play with: PropertyRoom.com is an online auction site through which law enforcement agencies can sell goods that were stolen, seized, or found. There’s a section just for for photography that includes cameras, lenses, and accessories. Like the Goodwill auction site we featured last year, the fact that these auctions sites are lesser known means it more likely that you’ll be able to find a crazy deal.
PropertyRoom.com (via Imaging Insider)