When we featured Strobox back in 2009, it was a simple idea: provide an easy way for photographers to create lighting diagrams and share them with others. Since then, they’ve upgraded their website to include a gallery where you can browse photographs done by others, view their lighting diagrams, and comment on them.
If you don’t have a full arsenal of lightning equipment, you can filter the photos by what kind of lighting equipment was used to browse photos that are more relevant to you. Read more…
Google has a useful account on YouTube called GoogleWebmasterHelp that publishes short video answers to search engine optimization (SEO) questions submitted to them. If you have a website promoting your photography, then thinking about SEO can help you drive more visitors to your photography.
Here are a couple videos that are relevant to photographers:
How can a photographer’s image-focused site gain PageRank?
Takeaway points: include text relevant to the image(s) inside the img tag and around the image to help the search engine understand what the page is about. For example, you could include a description of the photo in the name or title tag of the image.
Secondly, allow visitors to comment on the image. This often leads to users describing some aspect of the image for you (i.e. “I love the light falling on the barn door”), which helps search engines understand what’s happening on the page. Read more…
Tilt-shift lenses are usually pretty pricey, so many people fake the effect during post-processing by selectively blurring sections of their photographs. There’s even simple web-apps that can add such blur to give your photographs a miniature scale model effect.
If faking the effect isn’t legit enough to satisfy your photo-geekiness — and you’d rather not drop big bucks on it either — there’s a nifty do-it-yourself solution you need to check out: Bhautik Joshi over at cow.mooh.org has a new DIY Tilt-Shift project that teaches you how to convert an old lens into various kinds of tilt-shift lenses. Read more…
Here’s a pretty cool idea: StudioShare.org is a website through which individuals can rent studio gear or space from each other. Members can either simply sign up to rent, or if they’re a studio owner, they can sign up to both rent and to rent out their studio space. All members can rent out their gear if they wish, though it’s probably a good idea to get equipment insurance first.
Photographers can also set up collaborations with each other using the site, as well as offer their creative services for studio shoots — and services aren’t limited to photographers, it could include stylists, makeup artists, and other creative talents.
The site streamlines all the prep for a photo shoot, from the creative services to the gear, lighting, and space. The site also emphasizes the human element of photo shoots, allowing users to network with each other and to share portfolios and resumes.
Membership starts at $49 and StudioShare takes a 20% commission on rates set by resource owners.
One drawback to the service is that it is relatively small right now, with less than 2,000 members in the United States with a rather thin distribution. Since the available stock and resources depend on that number and location of members, it might be a bit early to jump in as a renting member until the pool of studio and equipment owners grows.
We wrote about Snapsort at the beginning of this year, when it was still a newly-launched, bare-bones website for comparing digital cameras. Though it was spartan, the service was useful for comparing the specs of cameras and seeing how they stack up against each other.
The service has gotten even more useful in the past few days, with a massively updated website taking the place of the first version. In addition to the sweet new design, the service now offers much more than simple comparisons. New features include detailed camera pages, customized advice (i.e. by budget), and a learning section filled with bookmarkable material. You can even compare cameras that haven’t hit the market yet.
If you’re currently in the market for a digital camera, you’ll definitely want to give this page a peek.
Sylights (short for “Share Your Lights”) is a new website that makes it easy for you to create and share lighting diagrams.
Created by Paris-based photographers Pierre-Jean Quilleré and Olivier Lance, the service is quite minimalistic, with the main pages being a diagram editor and a browse section to check out other photographers’ diagrams. Here’s an example diagram created on the service:
The site is designed quite well, and the editor is actually easy and fun to use. You simply right-click to add elements to the canvas, and then drag, resize, and rotate them as needed. The editor uses HTML5 and CSS3, so it should work fine on devices made by companies run by CEOs who hate Flash.
If you want to try out the editor, we made a test account so you don’t have to create a new one. Use the email address “[email protected]” and the password “password”.
Google has a new feature that photographers may enjoy: you can now customize the Google homepage with your own photography. Visit the Google homepage, and you should see a “Change background image” link on the bottom left hand corner of the page. If you don’t see this link, try logging out of Google and then visiting the page.
You can use images from a preset collection, a public gallery, your Picasa account, or your computer via upload. If you can’t see this feature for some reason, it should be rolled out to you shortly.
If you need to fix some red-eyes in a photo, but don’t have an image editor handy, Red iGone is a quick and easy way to get the eyes corrected. It’s a simple web-based application that requires only that you select the eyes to be corrected. After that, all you need to do is download the fixed photo.
Here’s an example photograph that we ran through the app:
We were pretty surprised at how well the adjustment worked. It’s a great app for when you only want to fix red eyes and nothing else. PicTreat also offers web-based red-eye reduction, but it touches up the rest of the photo as well.
If you don’t live in London, you can play around with the same concept using Historypin, a website that allows you to pin historical photographs onto Google’s Street View. The screenshot above shows a photograph of London bikers in 1926. Even though the views aren’t “live” like with the iPhone app, it’s still neat to see old photos in the context of present day images.
Here’s a useful tool you might want to bookmark: findexif.com. It has a super simple web interface in which you simply paste a URL to a photograph in order to display the EXIF data embedded in the image. It should work for any photograph that hasn’t had the EXIF stripped out for some reason, and can be a great way for you to learn how certain images were made. Here’s an example page showing the EXIF data of a photograph I made a while back.