Category Archives: Photojournalism

Fotopedia Turns Flipboard Into a Beautiful Photo Magazine

You know I love Flipboard and I love Fotopedia too. Fotopedia has beautiful photographs and Flipboard has a beautiful socially-influenced iPad magazine. Now the two are together and here the founder talks to me about that.

o add to the high-flow news day, today Fotopedia shipped a new, very beautiful, photography-centric magazine into Flipboard. Here founder Jean-Marie Hullot shows me the new magazine, and talks to me about some of the things he’s seeing. Fotopedia’s other apps have seen five million downloads, he told me, and Hullot was Apple’s and NeXT’s CTO for many years, so he has done some unique things in the industry and it’s great to get an update from him.

Join our Google+ discussion to discuss the features of this great new product.

Flickr's fourth birthday "adults only"

Interesting, next week Stewart Butterfield will return to his post at Yahoo as founder of photosharing site Flickr after taking several weeks off for maternity leave.

But, if he were to try to bring his family to Flickr’s fourth birthday celebration tonight he would have gotten turned away at the door like we were.

The official Flickr invite email didn’t mention this. Hmm, at least I got a T-shirt out of it.

Anyway, competitor SmugMug invites families to its parties (and even holds camping trips for families). When we interviewed SmugMug there were even babies in their workplace (along with dogs). Both of which I thought were very cool. I guess Yahoo doesn’t allow the integration of family and work life at this level.

Competitor Zooomr is run by a 20-year-old (who was 18 when he started the company).

Some of my favorite photographers, Matt Roe being one, are even younger.

Oh, well, this motivated me to copy all my photos to SmugMug finally (which started a while back when I got a good interview with the CEO). Now I understand why thousands of people pay SmugMug to host their photos.

UPDATE: I’m not dumping Flickr, just copying my photos over to SmugMug so I can talk about SmugMug more often.

Being family supportive is important in this world, particularly with photography.

The team from Flickr blamed the venue, saying that they have insurance that only allows adults.

That’s OK, next time Flickr asks me to come and cover a new feature or something I’ll say the same thing: my venue only allows family-friendly sites.

So, what do we do when we’re kicked out of parties? We eat sushi (which we hear was a lot better than what they were serving at the Flickr party anyway).

Heheh, I did get some news from Gabe Rivera, the guy who runs TechMeme.

I want to public domain my RAW photo files

When I shoot pictures, like I did this week at the LIFT conference, my camera makes two copies: one in the RAW format and one in JPEG. Now, the ones that get uploaded to my Flickr account are the JPEGs. But lately I’ve been playing with my RAW files and seeing just how much better those are for doing post processing. It’s amazing how much tonal range you have access to there. Things that look too dark often can be “saved.” Or you can change the color. Or sharpen the images. In a way that’s far far higher quality and has far far more capabilities than if you try to mess with the JPEG images.

So, I’m wondering how to share with you my RAW files?

Why can’t I share them now? Well, for one, Flickr doesn’t allow uploading of RAW files. For two, these suckers are BIG. One RAW file is about 15 MB. For three, most software can’t display them (and RAW files aren’t always compatible between manufacturers either).

But I’m looking for a way to cheaply share my RAW files with you, because if I really want to say that I’ve put my work into the public domain I’ve got to give you access to my source files.

One idea is to use a P-2-P file sharing service like Wuala, which was one of the winners of the LIFT Venture Night competition. But I’m wondering if there’s another service out there that’d work better.

In case you missed my earlier post, all of my photos on Flickr are in the public domain. You may use them without crediting me or compensating me in any way for my work. That’s a gift to the Web from me and Fast Company magazine. Tomorrow I’ll be at CERN and I’ll make a bunch of high-quality images there that I’ll get up as part of my LIFT collection.

The tree with the business model

I’m looking back at who has had a real impact on how I see the world. Thomas Hawk is near the top of that list. He got me enthusiastic about photography again. Now I carry my Canon 5D most days and when I don’t I hear his voice in my head “take pictures every day.”

Today on the way home I heard his voice in my head again and, so, on my commute home I stopped several times just to see the world.

The golden oak tree

First, I’ve passed by this oak tree hundreds of times (I used to work across the street from it) but I never really noticed it — how many common, everyday things do we take for granted and drive right by? One thing about photography is that it gets you to slow down a little bit and enjoy the beauty we have all around us. Something about the sunset got me to pull off of Sand Hill Road and think about the entrepreneurs that have passed by this tree. The Hewletts. The Packards. The Jobs. The Wozniaks. The Ellisons. The Gates’. And hundreds of thousands of others. It’s the tree at the top of Sand Hill Road overloading FWY 280 and Sand Hill Road. Off in the distance is the Stanford Linear Accelerator, the longest straight building in the world and home of the first Web site in the United States.

The tree with a business model

Sand Hill Road is where entrepreneurs come and pitch VCs in fancy offices and try to talk them out of funding. It’s a place for idealists. For dreamers. I was thinking that this tree has a business model better than most of the entrepreneurs who’ve driven past hoping to start a business. Heheh. Think about it. It’s lasted quite a few decades and probably has quite a few more left in its branches.

So, now, if you come and visit Sand Hill Road, you’ll look to your left as you get off of Freeway 280 and you’ll remember the tree with a business model that’s probably going to outlast yours. And if you get to Bank of America, go inside. It’s the nicest Bank of America I’ve ever been in. By the way, if you look closely at the bottom of the tree photo you’ll see a concrete pouring pumping machine. There’s a big new development going up on Sand Hill Road right across the street from the tree. Progress marches on.

Bank of America

One thing that Thomas taught me is to keep looking and keep shooting, even after you think you got the best photo. I laid down on the pavement to get another look at the tree. And then I looked down and saw this leaf. Something about it caught my eye because of the sunlight from the last few minutes of the sunset.

Oak leaf on Sand Hill Road

After leaving the tree and driving over route 92 I came across this sunset over Half Moon Bay and had to pull over again. Found some defiant weeds and realized I’ve got one of the nicest commutes in the world. Thank you to Thomas Hawk for putting that little voice in my head that says “pull over, make pictures.”

Sunset over Half Moon Bay

Also deserving credit is Marc Silber — we spent a couple of hours today at a Peets just brainstorming and talking about what we want to do in 2008. Hanging out with creative people does rub off and does make life richer. His lesson to me? Force yourself to use a 35mm lens. All the photos I took today were taken with my 35mm F2.0 lens. When I got home I discovered this lens is sharper than my others, which made me happy too.

Oh, and none of these photos have been retouched other than to apply a little unsharp mask. I see there’s a bit of dirt on my sensor. Gotta go clean that off. Someday I gotta get together again with Jan Kabili, who does Photoshop Online.tv and get some more workflow tips (I videoed her a year ago giving Thomas tips, time for another lesson!).

UPDATE: I forgot, all of my photography is public domain. You can steal it! Copy it! Use it in your mashups or in whatever you like (dart boards, etc).

An ode to great photographers

Thank you to the photographers who taught me to capture the main event.

If I believed in God, this is why I would

Thank you to the photographers who taught me to look for the details.

Sentry on the sunset

Thank you to the photographers who taught me to look down.

Social graph

Thank you to the photographers who taught me to look for juxtapositions.

Moon and light=moonlight

Thank you to the photographers who taught me to look for love.

Lovers

Thank you to the photographers who taught me to get down on my belly and get into the mud.

The last photons this grass will see today

Thank you to Flickr for making such a killer community of people who help inspire other photographers. Thank you to Canon for making a tool that is amazing.

Hope you are having a glorious evening, just like this one. All these shots were made tonight with a Canon 5D on my evening walk.

Don’t miss our next photowalking with the National Geographic at Stanford University where you’ll learn some of these lessons yourself. You’re invited! Tom Seligman (Director of the Cantor Art Museum) has confirmed his participation in the photowalk.
Marc Levoy will be there, too. He is a CS/EE professor who has been doing some amazing work in the areas of photography and imaging.