Posts Tagged ‘Websites’

2010 Webby Award Nominees for Best Use of Photography

This year’s nominees have just been announced for the 14th annual Webby Awards, and one of the nearly 70 categories is “Best Use of Photography“.

These are websites that showcase photography rather than websites about photography. The Webby Awards don’t have an award for that (yet).

Here are the five nominees this year:

It’s interesting to note that all of the nominees are flash-based websites that use dark gray or black backgrounds.

Dropico Provides Drag and Drop Photo Sharing Application

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.

Browse Your Flickr Contacts’ Fav Photos

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.

Calculate Your Local Golden Hour

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.

The Golden Hour Calculator (via Reddit)

Update: Darkness is an app for the iPhone that can help you calculate your golden hours on the go. (thx @noahaboussafy)

Fotobabble Helps You Make Talking Photos

Fotobabble is a newly launched service that allows you to add a short audio clip to photographs via either your computer or iPhone (using their free application).

Here’s the description on their website:

Fotobabble lets you create talking photos in two clicks. Simply upload a photo and then record your voice directly through your computer to create a talking photo. You can easily share it by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or embed it into a blog or website.

It’s free and all completely web-based. No software to download, just register and get started in seconds.

Here’s an example Fotobabble found on the website that we embedded into this post:

(via PhotographyBLOG)

MIT Photography Courses Online

Update: It looks like many of these courses are no longer available.

In a well known scene from Good Will Hunting, the main character Will drops the following gem as he defends his uneducated friend against a cocky Harvard student: “[…] you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f**kin’ education you coulda’ got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the Public Library.”

If you’re looking for some education in photography, another school in Cambridge, MIT, is offering the material of quite a few photography classes for free online. This includes everything from reading lists and assignments to full downloads of course materials and student projects. Here’s a quick list:

4.341 Introduction to Photography

This course also offers practical instruction in basic black and white techniques, digital imaging, fundamentals of camera operation, lighting, film exposure, development and printing. Course provides opportunity for continued exploration.

4.341 Introduction to Photography and Related Media

This course provides practical instruction in the fundamentals of analog and digital SLR and medium/large format camera operation, film exposure and development, black and white darkroom techniques, digital imaging, and studio lighting.

4.343 Photography and Related Media

Fosters a critical awareness of how images in our culture are produced and constructed. Student-initiated term project at the core of exploration. Special consideration given to the relationship of space and the photographic image. Practical instruction in basic black and white techniques, digital imaging, fundamentals of camera operation, lighting, film exposure, development, and printing.

4.A21 Stories Without Words: Photographing the First Year

The transition from high school and home to college and a new living environment can be a fascinating and interesting time, made all the more challenging and interesting by being at MIT. More than recording the first semester through a series of snapshots, this freshman seminar will attempt to teach photography as a method of seeing and a tool for better understanding new surroundings.

11.309J / 4.215J Sensing Place: Photography as Inquiry

This course explores photography as a disciplined way of seeing, of investigating landscapes and expressing ideas. Readings, observations, and photographs form the basis of discussions on landscape, light, significant detail, place, poetics, narrative, and how photography can inform design and planning, among other issues.

21A.348 Photography and Truth

Photographs in anthropology serve many purposes: as primary data, illustrations of words in a book, documentation for disappearing cultures, evidence of fieldwork, material objects for museum exhibitions, and even works of art. This course explores photography as art, research tool, and communication.

Have other links to free online courses? Feel free to share with us in the comments!

(via Your Photo Tips)

Image credit: The Dome at MIT by opencontent

Awesome Web App for Photo Forensics

If you’ve ever wondered just how much editing goes into a particular photograph, there’s now a super easy way to find out for yourself. Image Error Level Analyser is a simple web application that takes a URL to a JPEG photo and returns an image showing differing “error levels” in the image. Here’s an example they give:

After submitting the image on the left, they return the one on the right.

Error level analysis shows differing error levels throughout this image, strongly suggesting some form of digital manipulation. Areas to note are the lips and shirt, as well as the eyes. All are at significantly different error levels than their surroundings. Presumably, colours have been altered and areas brightened.

Thus, you can now investigate any JPEG you find on the Internet to see roughly how much the photograph has been edited or manipulated. The app even gives you a permalink to the resulting image comparison. Try it out, and post your permalinks in the comments to share your findings with us!

Update: Here’s an interesting article by Wired on how researchers use this technique.

SpiderPic Offers Comparison Shopping for Stock Photos

Launched less than a week ago, SpiderPic is a new image search engine for those looking to purchase stock photography. The same stock image is often available through multiple agencies and varying prices, and SpiderPic allows you to compare these prices to choose the cheapest deal.

While this is a win for stock photography buyers, the service will likely mean lower revenue for agencies and photographers, both of which may price stock images differently based on a number of factors to maximize their income. If SpiderPic takes off, photographers will be forced to set identical prices for their images if listed at multiple agencies, and agencies will need to keep their prices competitive.

An App for Finding Original Flickr Pages

findr_logoOne of the things I often come across when looking for interesting photography to tweet about is static Flickr image URLs. People seem to like posting these images without linking back to their original Flickr pages, while I prefer linking to Flickr pages so the photographer can get the credit for the photo.

If you’re not sure what I mean by static image URLs, here is an example of a static Flickr URL that links directly to the image and not the Flickr page of the original photograph:

A while back I tweeted a link to an article teaching you how to find the original Flickr page of a static URL. I’ve found this technique very useful, but it’s a big hassle if you need to do it often, since is not exactly something you memorize.

Thus, I decided to make a really simple web application that takes you directly to the original Flickr page of any static Flickr URL. It’s called findr, and here’s what it ended up looking like:


Hopefully some of you will find this useful. It sure beats doing the process by hand. Let me know if you have any thoughts, suggestions, or bug reports.

Update: If you have any suggestions for simple apps that you would find useful, let me know!

7 Awesome Newspaper Photoblogs

It seems like more and more newspapers are launching photoblogs on their websites. It’s an awesome idea, since each of them has a constant stream of high quality work pouring in from their photojournalists. Keeping up with these photoblogs is great for both getting your daily dose of photographic inspiration, and for keeping up with the current events happening around the world.

Here are some top-notch newspaper photoblogs you can follow:

#1. Boston Globe: The Big Picture


The Big Picture is a photo blog for the Boston Globe/, entries are posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday by Alan Taylor. Inspired by publications like Life Magazine (of old), National Geographic, and online experiences like’s Picture Stories galleries and Brian Storm’s MediaStorm, The Big Picture is intended to highlight high-quality, amazing imagery – with a focus on current events, lesser-known stories and, well, just about anything that comes across the wire that looks really interesting.

website / twitter

#2: Sacramento Bee: The Frame


A photo blog by the Sacramento Bee multimedia staff.

website / twitter

#3: New York Times: Lens


Lens is the photojournalism blog of The New York Times, presenting the finest and most interesting visual and multimedia reporting — photographs, videos and slide shows. A showcase for Times photographers, it also seeks to highlight the best work of other newspapers, magazines and news and picture agencies; in print, in books, in galleries, in museums and on the Web.


#4: Wall Street Journal: Photo Journal



#5: Denver Post: Captured



#6: St. Petersburg Times: All Eyes



#7: Austin American-Statesman: Collective Vision


Welcome to Collective Vision, your opportunity to get a little closer to the Statesman photographers whose work you’ve admired throughout the years. Here you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at some of our favorite images and some photos we were unable to fit onto the pages of the Statesman. You’ll get insight into how the photographers practice their craft and thoughts from the photojournalists who create the stunning images and videos. We hope you enjoy this inside look, and we welcome your comments.


Certain newspapers have really good photo websites, but display the photos in periodically posted galleries rather than as a photoblog. Here are some websites that I omitted from the list, though they’re pretty darn awesome as well:

Know of any others? Leave a comment and I’ll update this list!