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.

Digitizing Ansel Adams

The Ansel Adams gallery has a problem: there’s still a lot of demand for Ansel Adams photos (Steve Jobs allegedly has a bunch of originals in his house) but they can’t make any more original prints because Ansel has been dead for quite a few decades. That means his original prints are selling for tens of thousands of dollars (and in some cases even hundreds of thousands).

Which means most people won’t be able to put an Ansel Adams picture on their walls.

That’s changing because his grandson is leading an effort to digitize some of his photos and print them in an affordable format. But these are no mere cheap copies. They are virtually indistinguishable from the originals. Matthew Adams, Ansel’s grandson, says it’s hard for him to tell the difference and he’s around the originals all day long. Here I learn the process that they use to digitize the images. If you’re a photo geek you’ll appreciate this video.

Who has the coolest iPhone photo sharing app?

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One reason why I leave my cell phone and email on my blog (they are +1-425-205-1921 and and hold meetups that are open to everyone is so I can meet cool people I would never have gotten to know otherwise. Tonight I met a DJ, Richard Savill, who works out of London, England. Not a geek, particularly. Not someone who shows up on Twitter or FriendFeed. But he wanted to see what a Photowalk was like, so I said “let’s go out and shoot London.”

He ended up giving me a great demo of a very cool iPhone app called Snap My Life.

It is nicer to use than Flickr on the iPhone. But what caught my ear? His excitement in talking about what it’s done for him. He also tells you how he found the app, which is always interesting for other startups who are trying to get adoption.

Startups: do you have customers like this who are rabid advocates of your service? Why haven’t you done a video of them like the one I did with Richard? Or, better yet, I’d love to hear from them.

I made this video as we were walking down Edgware Road in London. Later he showed me the app and showed me that his pictures automatically were tagged with location so his followers can see where we were taking pictures. Pretty cool and nice, simple, interface.

Have you seen a better iPhone app for photo sharing?

You can see Richard’s photos on his Snap My Life site.

I wonder what Ben McConnell or Jackie Huba would think of Richard? They wrote a book titled “Creating Customer Evangelists” and that’s exactly what Snap My Life did here. Congrats to them!

A tale of two photos on Flickr

Last night I uploaded two photos at the same time.

As of this posting one had 96 views on Flickr and the other had 1,389 views.

Some other facts:

The photo with 96 views used a fisheye lens that cost 4x more than the other photo. (Thank you to Pro Photo Rental for coming along on the Las Vegas Blog World Expo photo walk and bringing $40,000 worth of equipment for all of us to try!) Shows that exotic equipment isn’t guaranteed to bring in views.
The photo with 96 views required better camera technique to make than the other photo.
The photo with 96 views is of a far more recognizable landmark than the other photo (the Bellagio in Las Vegas).

Yet one photo has gotten more than 13x more views.


A few things.

1. Promotion. I Twittered the photo that got a lot of views and kept the conversation going on both Twitter and on FriendFeed throughout the evening. Also, my first Tweet about this photo was designed to get all six of these items communicated to my audience.
2. The subject. The photo with all the hits is Hugh Macleod, famous blogging artist who did the art on the SXSW bags and the TechCrunch party posters and, among bloggers and other influentials, is very popular (about 20% of all business cards I have from well-known bloggers, including my own, were done by Hugh).
3. Scarcity. There are thousands of cool photos of the Bellagio. But how many photos of the Las Vegas Convention Hall of it empty with one person standing in it have you seen?
4. Socialness. People “favorited” the photo of Hugh 17 times while the other one was only favorited twice. Each time someone clicks “Favorite” on a photo, it is sent to their audiences. Plus, if you’ve registered Flickr on FriendFeed it will get reshared there. Also, many people retweeted my Twitter message and sent it to their friends.
5. Humor. Hugh’s blog is called “gapingvoid.” The fact that I got him to stand inside a gaping void long enough to make a photo of him is funny.
6. Serendipitous. The photo with 96 visits was prepared for. We were on a planned photo walk. We all had our cameras, expensive equipment ready, and were looking for photos. The one of Hugh? Totally unplanned. A friend had to pick something up at a Kinkos down there, I saw this opportunity, pulled my camera out of my bag, and took 20 seconds making the image. If I hadn’t carried my camera everywhere I would never have gotten the more viewed shot.

All of these demonstrate how to succeed in the media business. The same formula works with blog posts, videos, or photos.

Oh, one other thing. The Web actually works against the photo of Hugh. It’s hard to see him on the average laptop monitor. This works a lot better as a 16×20-inch or larger print (I’m going to make one for Hugh, cause he’s brought me so much joy).

Other things I’ve learned from the photos I uploaded last night? Laughing baby photos pull 3x more than regular baby photos. Also, photos with women in them outpull photos with men in them.

Keep in mind that I haven’t applied ANY of Thomas Hawk’s lessons (he does a lot of post-processing, er, Photoshop manipulation to make his photos more “social.”) Watch his photo blog and see just how much more interesting his images are than mine. That’s cause none of mine have any post-processing done to them yet.

Anyway, just some fun on a Sunday afternoon. Here’s the two original photos.

96 views, Bellagio at Night:

Vegas at night

1,389 views, Hugh Macleod standing in South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center:

Hugh Macleod of

How I Photosynth'd my family room

I just put up a Photosynth of my family room. Unfortunately you need a Windows machine to view it. But, this is a combination of 50 images I made this afternoon with my Canon 5D.

It took only a few minutes to upload them all and complete the Photosynth. Very easy to do. Anyone can do it, you just need to plan out your Photosynth a bit. Sort of like a big stitched panorama, except that people can “walk” through the images and zoom into different ones.

Can you find the photo of our 11-month-old son, Milan?

"Demo of the year" of 2006 released by Microsoft

If you go to Google and search for “demo of the year” you’ll find my 2006 post about Microsoft’s Photosynth. It was that good. The demo is still among my favorite I’ve ever seen (and I’ve sat through thousands of demos).

A few minutes ago Microsoft released Photosynth for all of us to use.

What does Photosynth do? You take a bunch of photos of something, like the outside of your house. Shoot a bunch from different locations. It’s best to have between 20 and 300 photos, the Photosynth team tells me. Then it creates a 3D mesh of all the photos that you can “walk” through. There are several demo Photosynths on the site.

I am uploading some of my family room right now, will let you know how that works later tonight. Just wanted to let you know you can play with it too.

UPDATE: My images are now uploaded so you can see a Photosynth of my family room (can you find baby Milan?) and O’Reilly has a nice writeup on the release.

UPDATE2: There’s even more on TechMeme.

Front-row seat to John Edwards sex scandal

Rielle Hunter sitting next to him)

I had no idea that when former Senator John Edwards invited me to come along on his plane back in December of 2006 that I would have had a front-row seat to a sex scandal. John Edwards today admitted he had an affair with Rielle Hunter back in 2006.

I, along with a few other journalists I had a front-row seat and have some of the only photos of Hunter.

See, stuff like this always seems to happen to “other people.” People you don’t know. Never have met. Don’t care about.

In this case, though, my wife, Maryam, interviewed Elizabeth Edwards. I interviewed John and sat next to Hunter. All while not having any clue about the secret they were all keeping.

It reminds me that as a blogger/journalist I have to always capture images, not knowing what the real story actually will turn out being. And always keep looking beyond what I was being presented.

The photo above is Hunter sitting next to Edwards. I never saw them behave inappropriately in front of me and Edwards let me hang out with him nearly around the clock.

There are lots of stories on Google News. Personally, my thoughts go out to everyone involved.

Here’s all my photos of the trip with John Edwards where he announced he was running for President of the United States. Unfortunately the videos I shot are gone, PodTech pulled them down and I don’t have the copyright on those, so can’t repost them.

Here’s my photo of Hunter:

Edwards' videoblogger - Reille Hunter