NachoFoto is a new image search engine that attempts to deliver relevant results for a specific kind of query traditional search engines haven’t focused on: dynamic keywords.
These are keywords for which the resulting photographs should change over time.
For example, if someone searched for “tiger woods” this past week, they were likely looking for photographs of him at the Masters. However, traditional search engines such as Google returned exactly the same images as they did the week before. A quick Google search for “Tiger Woods” shows many images of him, but nothing specifically from this week. A NachoFoto search of the same term returns photographs ordered by freshness.
Another example would be the searches for “earthquake”. Those who search for the term “earthquake” prior to a major disaster would have greatly different expectations than those who searched for the term immediately after. As of now, Google does not offer any way to sort or filter by time in their image search.
Traditional services like Google built their reputation upon relevancy, but newer services such as Twitter have demonstrated that the ability to surface “trending” topics is important to users as well.
This new service is an interesting look at a feature image search engines should have, but unless someone acquires NachoFoto, it probably won’t stand a chance if the feature is added to existing search engines.
Late last week we reported that Facebook had acquired the young photo sharing startup, Divvyshot, and will be shutting the service down.
Troovi is a service that’s similar in functionality — one that focuses more on exchanging photographs than it does on providing a permanent way to share them online.
Rather than provide permanent photo sharing and storage, it’s geared more towards collaborative private albums (called collections) that your family and friends can all contribute to. While services like Flickr or Facebook are great for sharing photographs from a particular trip or event, they don’t provide efficient collaboration features or ways to download entire albums at full resolution.
Troovi allows up to 250 photographs per collection, and one click downloading of the entire collection at full resolution as a ZIP file. This is great for people looking to quickly exchange photographs rather than simply view them.
Free collections are supported by advertising and expire after 30 days of inactivity, while premium collections start at $1.49, expire after 90 inactive days, and allow an unlimited number of photos per collection.
While it looks like Facebook is attempt to make exchanging photos easier with its Photos application, it’s unlikely it will rival Troovi in allowing you to download hundreds of full resolution photographs from events, since Facebook doesn’t store full resolution versions of uploaded images.
Israeli startup Dropico thinks there’s time to be saved in online photo management. The company has just launched its flash-based web application that allows you to manage your photographs across various web services (i.e. Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc…) all in one place.
Each photo sharing service is displayed in a separate box, allowing you to easily drag and drop photographs from one service to another. Transferring a photograph from Facebook to Flickr took literally a couple seconds, and photos can be moved in batch as well, but currently requires clicking a checkbox on each one.
A problem we found was that giving after giving Dropico permanent access to your social media account, there doesn’t seem to be any way to revoke permission or to change accounts unless you go to that application (i.e. Facebook) and revoke the permissions there.
Despite the current lack of advanced features and minor usability flaws, the idea behind Dropico seems pretty solid. Also, TechCrunch reports that the service is planning to provide an aggregate stream of your friends’ photographs across social networks, allowing you to follow all the latest photos in one place.
In January 2010, NASA and the University of Arizona launched HiWish, a way for the public to become involved in the effort to photograph the surface of Mars. The website allows anyone to suggest locations on Mars to photograph next, and the winning entries are photographed using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, also known as “the people’s camera”, aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Since the program began, over 1,000 suggestions have been received, and NASA has just released the first 8 images selected through the program.
Now eight ordinary people can tell their grandchildren, “I helped photograph Mars.”
ViaU is a new photography service by Mariano Pastor, a 25-year veteran of the Madison Avenue photography industry whose clients include L’Oreal and Lancome.
What sets it apart from other services is the flat rate it charges for photography regardless of who the client is or what the photograph is used for. Clients simply create a layout for the photo via ViaU’s web interface and ship the product to the studio. The photographs are created within 24 hours, and the product is shipped back free of charge.
Now here’s the kicker: the photography is free, and you only pay the flat fee of $224 if you decide to buy unlimited rights to the photograph. On the website Pastor states,
The truth is that great photography doesn’t really have to cost that much. It’s a simple idea, but also a big idea.
Simple enough, that is, to create your layout online and escape all negotiations. You know what you’ll get before you start. Great original photography, to use as you wish, at an affordable price. After twenty-five years of shooting for Madison Ave. I believe Via U! is my most creative accomplishment.
Can’t say I’m complete surprised by this. I know product photography was one of the categories hit hard early on when companies started doing the shots internally so maybe this is just the natural progression of a photographer competing for the bottom dollar there, except something doesn’t feel right to me. Doing this kind of thing for small companies seems like a smart play, delivering the same price to billion dollar companies seems rotten.
What do you think about this business model for photography?
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.
The golden hour in photography is the first or last hour of sunlight in a day that photographers often aim to shoot in, since the sun’s position produces a soft and warm light with longer shadows. The Golden Hour Calculator is a useful website that can help you calculate the golden hour(s) for your location, telling you exactly when the sun rises and sets.
Flixtime is a website launched recently by Stock photography service Fotolia that helps you easily transform your photos, videos, and text into short 60-second flash video clips.
Creating a video requires an account, and you can choose to either use your own photographs, or stock photographs provided by Fotolia. Once the video is created, you can either share it online or download it to your computer. Generic animations can be added to your video, which can be saved in a large number of video formats.
If you need to create a short video clip for whatever reason, Flixtime is a pretty fast way to get it done.
SepiaTown is a website that lets you view historical imagery of particular locations using Google maps.
If you have historical imagery, you can contribute to the project by uploading them to a particular location as well. Since the project is just getting started, finding historical imagery in smaller cities or towns may be difficult, but larger cities like San Francisco, London, Paris, or Moscow are filled with interesting photographs.
As the SepiaTown collection comes to encompass thousands of locations throughout the globe it will allow people to interact with history and geography in a new and exciting way; to tour the landscapes, cityscapes and events of history with a scope and breadth never before possible.
This type of “street view” historical imagery seems like something Google might want to integrate into their applications as well.
Showzey is a web app that helps you collect and organize your photographs from various places on the web in once place.
One of its interesting features is the ability to collect all the attachments in your Gmail account and either save them to your Showzey account, or transfer them directly to a photo service like Flickr or Picasa (Facebook supported too). Here’s how you would collect the photos from your Gmail:
I don’t know about you guys, but usually when I receive a photo attachment in an email that I don’t save to my computer, I never see it again. This might be an interesting way to explore all the various photos you’ve been sent over the years.
P.S. Showzey seems heavily inspired design-wise by Mint